Thursday, May 19, 2016

Leadville 100 Training Block #1 - April 18 - May 19

Keeping it short...

I trained up solid for the Salida Marathon in March. Kept up the miles somewhat after that and at the beginning of April devised a plan for attacking Leadville.

In a nutshell I worked backwards, creating four different training cycles or blocks.

I April 18 - May 19
II May 20 - June 19
III June 20 - July 19
IV July 20 - August 20 (August 20 is race day)

Each training block (or month) has target mileages and within those target mileages for the month, mileage targets for each week. That last block I really can not predict how it will look as my targets for those weeks will be very structured, as well as the rest for that matter. Basically I plan those last few weeks going into Leadville to closely mimic the last few weeks going into Run Rabbit Run last year... That could change but that formula worked fabulously last year so why eff with it if it ain't broke...

As of today I'm a bit off course but in the right direction.... :)

Training Block #1 Miles Planned = 250
Training Block #1 Actual Miles Ran = 358

I am playing with a few new concepts here... first, since I was able to hit a plateau of high mileage weeks I intend to stay there as "in theory" it is easier to maintain a plateau than the work it takes to get there.

Of course I can NEVER talk about any serious race preparation without whining and bitching about my weight, losing weight, and dieting... So the other and really right now primary reason for such high mileages is to promote calorie throughput so I can go into this thing in August carrying the least amount of body weight needed to get the job done. I am at 145 today. Ideally five more pounds to go to reach my goal.

Structurally I am feeling fine... sure some aches and pains here and there but all manageable. There is some fatigue but that is to be expected but I am far from being a zombie day to day.  Since I more or less got my sleep pattern dialed in last year, I am taking full advantage of that to aid in recovery from day to day.

I am pushing for something here... To either break down or to breakthrough, and whichever happens in training this year, either one is a win.  If I break down... just hit a run that I can not finish no matter what... great... I found my breaking point and I pushed myself to my limit. I will rest and back off accordingly then get back at it... What I am hoping for is a total breakthrough where I just keep "ascending" in my training and ultimately show up at the line on August 20th a completely different a runner than I have ever been in Leadville.

My other goal for this summer is to just have some fun too. I live in an awesome place with so much more for me to explore and run on. That is as soon as the snow melts! :)  I am hoping for my first foray from Pitkin County over into Gunnison County (Taylor Park) sometime around the third week of June.  

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Salida Thoughts In No Particular Order

I've had a few days to think about the Salida race and how it all went down. I'll refrain from the typical blow-by-blow race report and just shoot out random thoughts about the course and my race as well.

1. The new course is awesome. Overall the total vert gain is not much different but the way you gain that vert IS different. This is easily the 3rd toughest trail marathon in the state.

2. The course conditions were amazing. I have never seen this course so dry of snow and mud. However, If the course were in horrible shape with let's say, a lot of snow, it would make it exponentially harder than it was before with the latest course change.

3. The weather was perfect and really there for a little bit, almost TOO warm.

4. From an expectation point of view in terms of my performance and results, I came up short. (reasons to follow) But from a strategic and race execution standpoint I did great considering the circumstances... I could not have run any harder or faster for that day, period. No regrets.

5. Circumstance #1. About a week and half before the race I started having sore spot which was either extreme muscle tightness, or maybe even a slight tear in my right calf. The Tuesday before the race is really acted up and had me questioning if I could even race on it. Forced rest the remainder of the week going into Salida made it more than manageable come race day. No problems there. I felt it but it was just there, not an issue.

6. Circumstance #2. The Tuesday before the race was ALSO my birthday and one of my unexpected gifts that day was the onset of a head cold that afternoon. At first I suspected it might be allergies but by late afternoon I knew that was not the case. Nursed it the best I could but it did impact my race. The first two miles were miserable and I felt like I was running under water. Could not breathe right and the legs were all off in terms of turnover, etc.

Like I said... from an execution standpoint the race went fine. I was able to find the appropriate level of effort and hold it throughout the race, ending with an average HR of 163. However, even though the engine was running right and I had the RPM's dialed in, the gear box was off and the power was not effectively reaching the wheels.

7. The silver lining... I did not have the race I wanted. Shit happens. I'm good with it. I am good with it because I had an AWESOME training cycle going into this race and even though it sucked with the cold I was still strong. I'd hate to think what it would have been like with the cold and to not have been trained up... a very long day out there I suspect. This race was hard and I ran it hard, and that in turn will only serve to make me stronger throughout the season.


I've been in Palm Springs since Sunday and have had two great runs here. Still some residual drainage, coughing and hacking from last week and that is getting better day by day. They have awesome trails here! 

I did get a HUGE blister on my right heel during the race that has yet to pop... We have named him Kuato... :)

Monday, February 29, 2016

And There Goes February :)

February turned out to be a solid month. Lots of weather issues to contend with the first two weeks of the month but things have been downright pleasant these past two weeks. My last three runs were in shorts which is AWESOME!

246 Total mile of running in 36:00 hours even of time with 21,310 feet of gain. (20 Actual Days of Running.) Note: It should have been 240 miles instead of 246 but I did a Thursday night group run with "the group" to be social and to let everyone know that I was still living here and alive. LOL!

Backing things off a little bit this week and even more so the week after as Salida gets closer. After looking at the new course I have thrown out any ideas of a PR since there is now more single track on the uphill (outbound) portion. It's a bummer but it's something that affects everyone the same so throwing "time" out the window it's going to be a battle for placement.

Life has thrown one of those cool and unexpected bonuses at me this past week... as it turns out, right after Salida (And I mean right after the race) I am hopping in the car with my Daughter Annie and we are going to CA for her Spring Break. We will be spending three days in Palm Springs, then off to Santa Barbara for three days before heading back to Colorado.

Looks like I am going to get to run some nice dry trails soon after all!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

A Solid Week

Getting ready to head out Saturday morning for 20 miles.
A solid week of running. 60 miles in 9:09 and that's with taking Monday and Friday off as total rest days.

A little light on the vertical for the week though. I blame having to run on the 'mill Tuesday for that.

Things are looking up here weather-wise. We are going to get into the 40's this week. While that will make for comfortable running temps the problem will be in everything thawing and refreezing into ice and or things just being a total mess of standing slush. Picking running routes is going to be a bit tricky but doable.

The running went well this week. I am still having to perform a certain amount of cognitive gymnastics to get my brain around running but I think that will be less of a thing from here on out. This week the physical act of running wasn't as tough as convincing the brain that I can actually do it or more importantly that I WANT to go out and run right now.

But I caught a lucky break of sorts on my 9 mile run with hill repeats on Thursday... I finished the entire workout with an inspiring and promising time that tells me that things are definitely moving in the right direction. Just the kind of proof I need right now for some extra motivation and inspiration.

March is going to be a fun month... not only will there be the race in Salida and getting to go to Salida to look forward to - we are also going to Cancun at the end of the month! Hell Yeah! :) There is that birthday thing in there too on the 8th... but I am sort of ignoring that for now.

Here is something that is neat too... most everyone knows that one of my greatest vices, weaknesses, or addictions is my soda drinking habit. Well, I have not had a soda since Thanksgiving! Pretty cool. I have gotten to the point that I don't miss it anymore.

Anyway, a solid week this week. The tale will be told by the end of this coming week and seeing how I hold up to the stress... But I have to say overall I am pretty confident and to be honest right now I am rather happy to be in "training mode" again... in a weird way it makes life so much more simple for me and simple is good! :)

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Hello February!

First of all... January... it didn't end up the way I had hoped. The X Games and a cold the last week of the month pushed me heavily into survival mode. The last week I just worked with my clients, drove a sled (450 miles in five days - no idea on the vert) - nursed my cold and just did what I had to do to get by. 0 Miles the last week.

Ended January with 186 miles which is right between the miles I had for last Jan and the target I was shooting for this Jan... It will have to do!

Hello February! Winter is finally here and in full force. I have never seen this much snow in Aspen ever in all of my three winters living here. It's going to make running for the next few days interesting to say the least.

Fortunately I don't think I lost a lot of fitness last week even if I did not run. Driving a sled is hard and for nine to ten hours a day it takes a huge physical (and mental) toll. I got a workout every day whether I wanted it or not.

But now that Feb is here it is time to start including speed-work into the training. The next four weeks are all about that as I get ready for the race in Salida which is March 12th. Running outside was not happening today so I did a nine mile progression run on the 'mill which ended up taking 1:13:52. I am hoping that by the time Thursday gets here, the path on Cemetery Lane will be cleared off enough on the hill to do hill repeats... we shall see.

I am kind of glad... no... really glad that February is here. This month I will be focusing on two things and two things alone... the business and building it further, and running. No other side-jobs, distractions, or anything like that. The only thing I will have to battle in terms of training obstacles will be the the weather and judging from the long range forecast right now it should not be that bad.

Looking forward to Salida... might try a trip to Moab or at least around Junction to hit some dry trails in two to three weeks... I don't remember the last time I saw honest to goodness ground...

Thursday, January 14, 2016

I'm Running Again... Or Writing again... You Choose...

This is the Xth time I have started this write up since the beginning of the year. To be honest I just don't know what to say or write about.

I have been running again and I will be racing some this year... Simple plan, Salida Marathon, Leadville Marathon, Leadville 100. Goals... PR in each race.

Last week was my first real week of "training" in forever. I've run through the fall and early winter some but not with any serious intent or goals in mind. Anyway, last week... 55.5 miles, 4310 feet of vertical climbing, 8:56 in time. This week will look very much like last week but with maybe a bit more vert.

The last two weeks of the month will be a challenge to get training in as I will be really busy. I have all my clients stacked the next two weeks on Monday and Tuesday's. All of the other day's until the 1st of Feb I will be helping (working) the X-Games doing uphill transpo. That means about ten hours a day on a snowmobile (sled) doing laps as I take competitors up the course to the top of the half-pipe or the jumps. Besides making some extra money, there is a reason to do this and that is to get enough hours logged on a sled so that when I return to Aspen Mountain next winter, I can have a full-blown White snowmobile license with Aspen SkiCo instead of the Yellow provisional license I had last  year. It doesn't mean anything really but it will allow me to do a little bit more on the mountain during open hours when we are in snow making season again.

Some funny things about the X-Games gig... I will be on ESPN a lot, of course you won't know it's me... Secondly, I will be meeting a ton of athletes and hauling them around who are world famous I guess but I have absolutely zero clue who they are... I guess I'd recognize Sean White (maybe) but that's about it.

In other "notable news" I have been appointed (using that term very loosely) to be the chair for Aspen Elks Lodge Veterans Service Committee. I have been on the committee since last summer and was approached by the previous Exalted Ruler of the lodge about three weeks about taking over the leadership of the committee. At first I balked but after thinking about it some I decided to take it on. We had our first meeting with me at the helm last night but yesterday afternoon when I was reflecting on my path the past few months it sort of became apparent to me that me taking over things has been a long-term con that has been in the making for quite some time.

Snowboarding... eh... the only time I really enjoy it is when Melissa and I go out together and she skis. Of course now that I am "training" that will take a back seat to running and fitting everything else into life. But after being away from it for 20 years, I regained my skills rather quickly it seems as now I can do a top to bottom on Aspen Mountain and not die. I am thinking that after Salida and I am taking a little break I will get in a lot of snowboarding then.

Business with Tri Peaks Life Coaching is going well and really getting going now. I half suspect that come summer I will be renting a VERY small office and will actually be able to afford it! I got two new clients in one day last Friday... very exciting.

Running shoes... I've been wearing the Hoka Speedgoats this past month. Love the tread but I find the overall fit of the shoe to be questionable. I really want to like/ love the shoe but I am not there yet. Pros - they are light, great tread, and feel okay on my feet. Cons - Thin upper so you are going to get wet feet, and how they feel on my feet. I know I contradicted myself but they feel good and they don't at the same time, it's hard to explain but they have gotten better the more I have broken them in. They are NOT like Stinsons which I can take out of the box and run a 100 miler in with little to no break-in, that's for sure.

So there you have it... compelling, right? The name of the game between now and Feb 1 is to just get in as many miles as possible. The first week of Feb I will mix in speed work and I am hoping by then I will have a more clear picture of my fitness, strength, and speed or the lack of it...

Stay tuned... 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

My First Real Television Appearance

Yesterday I had the opportunity to be this week's featured guest on the Aspen Local's Show. I had a lot of fun doing it and working with Erik Skarvan, the host, beforehand. Obviously I haven't written too much in a while but this video from yesterday's show will catch you up on everything that has been going on.

Happy Holidays!