I’m trying to figure out this training cycle. I haven’t been overly motivated or obsessive in sticking to my plan, nor pushing myself in workouts, and I’m OK with that. I say that though, prior to reflecting on the weeks accomplishments. In this past week, I raced 35-minutes of Clovers at NP and ran a mental-fitness marathon in Wash Park. These were both great efforts and milestones in my training, despite being easily overlooked. The way they seamlessly plug into my training from week to week, however, makes me proud of the fitness that I am banking.
This, again, is what consistency should feel like. Hard efforts mixed in with easy volume mileage — without pushing the body too hard such that it’s on the brink of injury, and resting enough to absorb the training and feel stronger and confident as each week passes.
Excited to put my trail shoes on, I burro’ed a lot of food to work: 3-days of lunches, three days of cold brew coffee, and a restock of my oatmeal fixin’s.
I’ve been reading through Matt Fitzgerald’s daily account of training with the NAZ Elite running team. Here are some snips:
“Whatever you do, don’t hit your times,” Stephanie Bruce told me before we started. “If you nail this workout, Ben will just make the next one harder.” ~Saturday, July 22, 2017
“We talked a lot about the differences between how the pros approach the sport of running and how most amateurs do. They shared my frustration with the moderate-intensity training rut that so many amateurs get stuck in. Steph said she believed the biggest difference between the two groups was not physical talent but how much each group was willing to suffer. ” ~Tuesday, July 18, 2017
Following up on last weeks discussion about sponsorship, there are two additional comments I’d like to make.
First, I do not feel that I am entitled to a sponsorship by any means. There are so many amazing runners and racers out there. The fact is, I have won a few races simply because the better racers were not there. This doesn’t deem me any more worthy of a sponsorship than another racer.
Second, I think there is huge financial opportunity for trail & ultra runners to explore corporate sponsorship. It’s a model that’s not often explored, as typically athletes will seek out running sponsorships from companies with a proven track record in the trail running space. This parallels the sustainability community in which eco-leaders are almost always speaking to the choir.
Here’s a bunch of tidbits I groomed from Money In Sport:
- “A lack of knowledge (from athletes and sponsors) of how to create valuable and sustainable sponsorship is at the heart of the problem.”
- “It’s all about education, and creating sustainable programs that integrate the athlete, the sports organization, and the business community.”
- “Sponsorship is not a donation, and can be an incredibly valuable investment that provides tangible and profitable reward for sponsors.”
- “Outbound marketing activities include social media, advertising campaigns, event attendance and public speaking. Also companies can engage the athletes for their in-house operations and staff development.”
To realize the best return on investment from a corporate sponsor, the marketing opportunity should reach outside-of-the-box of each party. Take Leilana Munter for example, she is exploiting her commitment to sustainability among an unorthodox fan base in the NASCAR circuit. This cross-cutting of norms and typical pathways will effect the most change for athletes and sustainability companies.
NP5280 Clovers: I threw down a solid 21.5 clovers, covering about the same amount as last month in the 35-minute allotment. Though, today felt way easier and manageable than the last effort on July 5th.
Yes, I’m still listening to the Weekly Word Podcast with Coach Chris Hauth. I enjoy hearing him reiterate all of the training stuff that works for me!
- Don’t tax yourself early in a race (conserve your mental & physical energy): set yourself up to be your best and strongest when others are weak, hurting, and in doubt.
Just like hay in the barn and bricks to the home’s foundation, consistent training is like putting coins into your piggy bank. That is how I’ve benefited from run commuting. 5-miles here, 7-miles there, at the end of the month I’ve got a couple dollars worth of runny money. Truthfully, I just found a quarter on the road during my run home, so I felt that my revelation deserved a paragraph. Team Coinstar!
PlayGldn repeats on Dino Ridge plus the run home equals a 13-mile morning. It was BYOP day on the hill, meaning literally bring your own pace and figuratively bring whatever level of intensity your body was seeking. Following NP Clovers, my body was seeking an easy and chill pace. It was fun to run the hill with this crew.
Every now and then I want to enjoy a peaceful morning at home. Coffee, pancakes, TV, reading. I had the day off from work, and I wanted to make it a special day, despite the looming obligation to a 3-hour run. That plan weighed heavily on my shoulders during the morning, and procrastination was a high hurdle to leap.
I got out the door at 10AM, exploring Arvada via the Fairmont Trail east of North Table Mesa. I tested some paved trails to pass the miles, listened to podcasts, and much to my chagrin, got sun burnt. I didn’t get burnt to a crisp, but my arms got red enough to anger me and my poor sun screen application. Before embarking on the run, I rubbed on a bit of sunscreen, and after stepping outside considered putting on more protection, yet I just kept moving instead.
The run was swell. I soaked in the creek on the return, scarfed down lunch, and quickly packed the car for our escape to Aspen and a 4-Pass loop adventure in the Maroon Bells. Before I knew it I was in the car, driving with Julia and KG. With butt in the car for 4 hours, my mood dive bombed. I did not want to be there.
My passengers could tell my disgruntled state of mind, as I was non-conversational. I wasn’t angry or anything, I’d just run for 3-hours, done chores for 2-hours, and now I was driving for 4-hours. I told them I needed the drive to recharge.
I felt out of sorts. I blamed the combination of excessive sun, a lack of downtime following the run, feeling cramped in the vehicle, and apparently not yet recovered from the stressful driving of our recent trip to California. Also, a monsoon rainstorm was happening outside and there was much consternation among our crew about the probability of a successful tour of the 4-pass loop. With all of this draining my system, I just was not looking forward to anything.
Once we made it to camp and were greeted by Pace and MB and I ate some hearty chili and noodles and I had a beer, then my body finally felt some sense of restoration.
Julia and I both had an awful night of sleep. The air mattress in the back of my car was rigid and slanted, causing a natural roll towards Julia’s side of the car. Also as I lay awake staring at the ceiling, I couldn’t differentiate the sound of the nearby river from the pelting of rain – assuming it was raining – my anxiety was exacerbated towards our Saturday running plan.
Nonetheless, my alarm went off at 5AM, I slipped into my running attire and hopped out of the car and into the morning drizzle feeling spritely and eager to adventure! Thank heavens for MB’s 10×10 pop-up party tent. Perched over the picnic table, the tent provided a dry huddle for the 5 of us to hangout and sing happy birthday to MB.
As the morning progressed, the rain grew more severe. We were OK with this and enjoyed the comedy of the weather as we indulged in coffee and breakfast treats.
Two hours into our breakfast laze, we’d scraped our plans for the 27-mile, 4-pass loop and decided upon a shorter hike up to Conundrum Hot Springs. On this route, the weather would play less of a factor, and we’d be able to bail at any time if the conditions became debilitating.
A quick drive to the trail head and we were off. I’d ditched most of the hydration and nutrition that I packed for 4-pass plan, having not fitfully quantified the needs that I would have on the shorter trail. Again, I immediately regretted this oversight and blamed myself, similar to my poor sun protection the day prior.
The run itself went well! The skies cleared, the gang powered up hill, and we said hello to a moose in the brush. By the time we reached the hot springs, we were at the tree line and could see the rocky peaks and ridge line in the distance. I wanted to keep going! The trail ends at the hot springs, so we all soaked for a bit, ate our snacks, and turned around for the downward journey. The trail was fun and wooded and muddy and rocky. There was a little bit of everything including some fast miles as the trail buffed out at the end.
A quick change of clothes, drive to downtown Aspen, gastropub lunch, and we were back in the car headed home over Independence Pass. I felt much better piloting the vehicle. My mind, body, and spirit had been recharged! Another successful week of training, fun with friends, and adventures that only Colorado can serve up.
Endurance Changes Time,