So ya, I’m signed up for another race. This one has a finish line and a lot of rocks. It’s called the Dirty 30, a local 50K trail race in beautifully, rugged Golden Gate Canyon on June 3rd. I wanted to do this race last year, however, I was still building up mileage again after a late winter stress fracture. So this year, I emphatically signed up for it because I was healthy, I’d have a solid base of road running, and a ton of my friends are racing. That said, I need another week before I begin to think tactically about the next race and the preparation that I can fit in between now and June 3rd.
Otherwise, I’ve been basking in the glory of last weekend’s victory! As I look back at the accomplishment, I gain more and more pride and vigor. Call me crazy… yes, many of you have called me crazy this week… but I think I may have found my niche in ultra road running. I’m already looking into 50-mile road races as my newfound sweet spot distance and surface. Wow, how things have changed!
In addition to relishing in excitement towards the future, I took some notes regarding what went well during this training cycle:
- New Job. Thank you Employment for giving me the opportunity to run to and, more importantly, shower at work. I’d been struggling for 8 months to position myself at a company that was close enough to home that I would not need a car to commute. Some may construe this as selfish, millennial pomp, but it’s actually the polar opposite. Life need not be a rushed and wasted in sequence of stress and struggles. My visions of the lifestyle benefits of working close to home were clear environmentally, physically, & emotionally. By trading vehicle commute time for running time, reducing my carbon footprint, and giving more purpose to runs, I drastically improved my physical well-being, mental health, environment connection, and overall happiness.
- New Training. As a carry over from logging 50+ slow n’ steady commuting miles each week, I found myself compounding long and race pace effort runs each Saturday. There were a few Friday nights that I felt nervous, while brushing my teeth, intimidated by the scope and expectations I had for the next morning. This was the focus and stimulus that I needed to improve.
- Married Life. Julia and I have been happily married for 9 months now. Last year, we were engaged, we were planning a DIY wedding, we were fantasizing about an epic Euro-adventure honeymoon, I was desperately trying to gain employment. Our lives are drastically more settled this year than last. We have routines, we have goals, we have challenging work environments, we have freedom. We love every bit of it.
- Blog Routine. Blogging becomes infinitely easier by making a routine of it. The impetus of this year’s weekly posts summarizing my training was propelled by the ease-of-use of the WordPress mobile app. I used to take notes as thoughts came in a notepad app on my phone. I’d email the notes to my desktop, email pictures to my desktop, then compile all the bits and pieces of clutter, get bogged down with uploading or downloading, and I’d barely focus on writing. The ease of the WordPress mobile app allows me to start a draft post at the beginning of the week, add notes, pictures, and highlights, as they come. On Sunday, I open my desktop, and jump immediately to editing — my favorite part! Publishing weekly blogs kept me engaged in the results of each week, while also receiving the support and enthusiasm of others who were also engaged in my progress. Blogging in itself is a motivator and an outlet for the miles and miles of thinking and sight seeing that I endure each day.
- Swing Stretch. Less focus on daily stretching has reaped some benfit. Now I focus more on dynamic leg swings to loosen up the hip flexors and glutes.
- Whole Milk & Smoothies. Earlier in the year, I started drinking Whole Milk. It is best when frothed and served over coffee. The added fat to my diet has been noticeable on long runs in which I bonk less & crave fewer calories both during and post-run. Speaking of post-run, Julia makes a mean fruit smoothie w/peanut butter twist.
- Consistency. Habits are powerful. Having the patience to run easy for 50-miles per week is powerful. Having a team of competitors eager to run hill repeats on Dino Ridge every Thursday is powerful.
That’s what I’ve got. Here are some of my race pics that have tricked through the Wings For Life Facebook feed:
Since I didn’t run much this week here’s a look into an awesome weekend with Julia. Vanlife in the Poudre Canyon:
For those keeping tally, I ran a little over 20-miles this week. I needed a few days to clear my head and body of the repercussions of 69KM at WFL. I’m planning to test some off-trail trail run training techniques this week. Stay tuned for gripping results!
Endurance Changes Time,