Sunday December 9, 2012: It was probably only the mixture of enthusiasm and excitement that got me out of bed and out the door by 5:45. As I looked out the window, I found myself peering through the dark at the first real snowstorm in Pueblo this year. Nevertheless, I bundled up and set out the door for a long run. The streets held that unique silence that only results from the combination of snowfall, darkness, and the fact that the majority of the city was still slumbering early on a Sunday morning. Underfoot, the snow was wet and and sticky. When I chose to run on the empty street instead of the sidewalk, it would start to cling to the soles of my shoes, and after a few strides, I would have to drag my feet in order to wipe them off. However, after the first 3 miles or so, I moved onto the dirt trails at the north edge of town, and this got better. Unfortunately, running in 3-4 inches of snow during a white out does a number on depth perception, so I found myself stumbling quite a bit. Nevertheless, I managed to run a little over 12 miles through the storm in just under two and a half hours. Not a bad start to the week.
Wednesday December 12, 2012: This is one of the busiest weeks of the year at work. Between concerts, meetings and other happenings, it always feels like the big squeeze before the holidays. On top of that I'd had a stressful day and I was tired when I walked in the door. Still, I knew I had to get on the bike and get something done. I'd taken two days off so it was time to go, but more importantly, the stress of the last few days was dragging me down. While Melisa went to do some holiday shopping before dinner, I got on the trainer, tuned into "Border Wars" and managed a whopping 30 minutes at a very moderate pace. Something's better than nothing, but this was not a great workout. Maybe just a little below mediocre. Still, I've done enough workouts in my life to know that they can't all be gems.
Friday December 14, 2012: On Friday mornings for the last couple of weeks, I've found myself awake a little after 4 a.m. On this day, I laid in bed listening to a podcast until about 5 a.m. Then it was up and out the door for a short run before work. I managed a little over 4 miles during the 45 minute run. I'm starting to get used to running in the dark now. I always run with my headlamp, my reflective running vest, and usually a flashlight. Friday is also Starbucks day at our household, which is always a favorite!
Saturday December 15, 2012: I treated myself this morning and slept until about 6:30. My plan today was for a 90 minute run, which I decided to do at the maximum aerobic rate below threshold. I had a great run and managed to get nearly 9 miles during the hour and half. Afterwards, I was a little sore, but we had a long day of shopping planned. Before bed, I took a few Advil and got to sleep early in anticipation of a long run early the next morning before Mass.
Back to back long runs will be a strategy that I use on the weekends during this training. The idea is to get the legs accustomed to running when tired. I will slowly be building the amount of time that I run each weekend. Right now I'm at a 90 minute run on Saturday followed by a 180 minute run on Sunday. Eventually I will expand this to where I'm running about two and a half hours for the first run, followed by up to 5 or 6 hours on the following day. Tomorrow I plan on running three hours. I'm also going to force myself to incorporate a couple of walking breaks into the run, so I can get used to that.
Something else that has been different on these longer runs is that I'm currently not taking nutrition or hydration when I run. I was nervous about this at first, but because my pace is so slow, and I've been teaching my body to metabolize fat for energy more efficiently, it has not been a problem at all. For warmer weather, I will definitely be adding hydration, but I'm going to hold off on the nutrition for a while. Eventually I will do a long run where I'll bring some nutrition along, but I won't use it until I absolutely need it.
I consider that there is a huge mental aspect to being able to run 50 miles and I'm finding it helpful to think about the race in terms of time instead of distance covered, and I think this will be key to running the ultra. Next week I'll write more about how I'm approaching the psychology of ultra-running, which may be just as important as the physical.
- Total time running: 4hrs, 41 min
- Total Miles biked: 30 min
- Workouts that I missed: No core or weight training this week. Something I'll have to stop skipping.
- Beers sampled:
- Noche Buena- an old favorite from Mexico.
- O'dells 90 shilling- quickly become my favorite go to beer.
- Winona's Big Brown Beer- the owner of Shamrock Brewing must be a fan of Primus.
- Sierra Nevada Pale Ale- with the Shrimp and Bacon Club at Cheesecake Factory