Monday, June 13, 2016

Breakthroughs And A New Metric For Fatigue

Thank god for dirt! As I have been waiting all spring for trails to clear out I have been pushed into running a lot more harder surfaces than I would have preferred. Of course all of that resulted in not what I would call injuries but more like shit that just bugs me from time to time, shins, calves, some knee stuff, etc. Nothing serious but "there" nevertheless.

As things have been melting and clearing out quite rapidly these past three weeks, I'd estimate that 90% of my weekly mileage has been on trails and I noticed last week that every little ache and pain has magically dissipated. Like I said... Thank god for dirt!

Last week was a pretty cool learning week for me though both in my running life and I guess in a way in my professional life as well. The cool thing first...

When Melissa and I first moved here or when I spent my first weekend/week here in August of 2013 I ran and I rode a lot. One of the first things I realized that here around Aspen, up is UP... the terrain while not impossible is definitely challenging and more challenging than I was used to. I told Melissa back then that if I were to live here and to be able to train "right" here that there was no way in hell I was not going to get stronger.

But for the past two years I realized that I have been fighting the terrain, or the terrain has been working against me... or I guess me working against it... Or in other words it has been a constant source of "stress" in my workouts that maybe limited me a little bit.

On Thursday's run though I realized that was not really the case anymore. That I am actually able now to work with the terrain in my favor in any part of a run. That the third climb in a run isn't so much an obstacle but more like a feature... maybe that makes sense... maybe it doesn't. Sort of hard to explain.

The other thing I learned or really put together is how fatigue affects my work especially my professional blog. Writing typically comes rather easy to me. (Though editing does not) And most days when I write my daily article, once I settle on a theme, a subject, or a concept, the words just flow out rather effortlessly. But some days I struggle and last week on Tuesday after an especially hard morning run and a crappy night sleep, writing was damned near impossible.

It has been something that I have experienced a few times the past two to three months...  At times I feared it was lack of creativity or that "the well" was going dry but no... it's just some days I am tired and on those days writing is a challenge... Just something else for me to be aware of going forward.

The hardest day of training last week? Friday. Why? Because I had to force myself to take a complete and full total day of rest and do absolutely nothing! Last week I ended up getting ahead of my miles and in order to keep to the structure I needed to bleed off a day a running so Friday was that day. I took advantage of the day to get a massage, just on my legs, and that was nice. But sitting around and not doing anything or getting out was a challenge. But it was worth it as Saturday's 30 miler turned out rather awesome.

Elevation Profile For Saturday's Run
Headed up to Leadville on Wednesday to camp through the weekend. I am NOT doing the Leadville Marathon, nothing to be gained there for me but will be running on the 100 course some. I have a plan. It will be nice to get out of Aspen especially since the Aspen Food and Wine event is this coming weekend. (I'll keep my socio-political comments about that particular local event to myself.)

Anyway.... good week last week... 92 miles of running, 16:17 time, with 18,067 feet of vertical climbing. My biggest week of vert this year and that will continue to grow as I can range out even further and higher as things continue to melt out.


  1. Stay on top of the training ... not under it.

    1. Exactly! Your advice and perspective on that is something that I reflected on all week. Thank you!