Saturday, January 31, 2015

January Numbers- Big Month for me

Since the month ends on a Saturday instead of doing my weekly review I will just post the month of January numbers instead.

Just in case you are wondering about the week here you go, still have Sunday to go so will add 2ish hours of trail running most likely so I should be over 16 hours on the week after tomorrow.  Building the base.

Pretty solid month.  Looking back over my monthly hours the past few years this is my highest month total hour wise that I have ever had.  I need to be careful about that and not burn myself out, long ways to go until Leadman starts. (Click on photo to enlarge it)

Thoughts on the month--

1. Weather has been pretty good this month allowing me to get out on the bike more than expected.  Even took a day off work when it was nice to go ride.

2.  Really, really enjoying mixing in riding in my training verses just running all the time.  Yes my total running volume drops, but my overall volume of work increases and my joints don't hurt all the time anymore.

3.  Keeping up my weight training is starting to become a challenge but I am bent on keeping it up.  I think with the mountain bike that it is very important, especially upper body strength.  You do have to hang onto that bike.

4.  None of my workouts this month has been longer than 3.5 hours, need to start increasing the duration of long run/bike a little.

5.  Due to there only being 28 days in Feb instead of 31 days I expect my total hours this coming month to be between 50-55 hours.  Yes I need to really make my recovery week true recovery and NOT drop a 15 hour week like I did this month.

6.  Dropped 5 lbs this month while eating everything insight, guess that is good thing considering that I am stronger in my lifts at the same time so I am not losing strength which is what I truly care about.  I don't care about my weight as much as how I feel and my strength, which has been good.

I know this has been out there for a while now but I just got around to reading it thanks to James.  Of course I was reading at work when the Director of HR and Marketing walked up behind me to ask a question, but I don't give a fuck.  Read it...

Time for some R&R, start of Stout Month and Superbowl watching tomorrow.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Recovery week? Not so sure of that.

I really hate that stupid countdown clock in the sidebar but it is a motivating reminder.  Yes I will most likely bitch about it through the year.  146 days until the start of Leadman as of this morning.

I flagged this week as a recovery type of week which it was mileage wise but hell every jog or ride felt much harder than it should have.  Not sure what to think, hopefully this next week will be much better.  I cut the bike volume by a few hours, the run volume by about 10 miles , and only hit the weights once this week.   Speaking of weights, I am planning on keeping this up 1-2 times a week up until the Leadville Marathon.  Yes I know it cuts into my total volume/mileage but I just feel better and that is what counts.  My joints aka the right knee doesn't hurt nearly as much when I am doing a bunch of squats and deadlifts every week, I think there is something to that.   This is the knee that I have been struggling with since the beginning of May 2014 so it has been an issue.

Anyways came across this post. A great post by Vernon Gambetta that I need to file away in my mind to refer too.  I will stick to my garage gym.

 "A beautiful weight room with polished floors, tons of weights, machines that go bing, beep and burp surrounded with walls of mirrors all in a strictly controlled air conditioned environment set at an optimum 72 degrees may not be all that it appears to be. It’s not the weight room it is what happens there that matters. Is real coaching going on or is supervision with everyone doing the same program? It’s not the weight room it is the methodology that is employed there, it is the quality of coaching. Ultimately it is how the strength qualities developed in the weight room transfer to the field, track, court or pool. It is a very comfortable and seductive environment that can be a trap. The trap is chasing numbers that result an athlete completely adapted to the weight room environment rather than fully adaptable and prepared for the demands of the sport they are preparing for. The key is to learn to use the weight without getting dependent on it. The weight room is a step toward a “weight room without walls” where you take the strength training to the track, to the pool deck or to the court. This demands creativity and a deep understanding of the sport the athlete is preparing for. The advantage is versatile, adaptable bulletproof athletes who can apply their strength. Use the weight room as a step in the athletes’ development, don’t abuse it."

Back to this week, here is what was supposed to be a "recovery week", looking at the total hours one would have to say that I failed at the recovery week.  I might have to schedule another one sooner that I wanted too.

Summit shot from the top of Green in Boulder during yesterday's 11 mile snow/ice jog.

I started a Facebook Group called "Leadman Class of 2015" a few weeks ago getting the idea from Andy Wooten and it has gotten a great response.  There is 30 something Leadmen/Leadwomen in the group so hopefully some awesome group training will come out of this.  On Sunday a group of us from the Facebook group all meet up at the base of Lookout Mountain and did a few laps up and down the road on the mountain bikes.  

Can you name any of these characters?   

Strava data from today's ride, it was a ball buster.  Of course a ride like today deserved a stop at Mountain Toad Brewery for beers afterwards.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Week 3 - Pushing the Volume a Little Bit

"Ask yourself: 'Can I give more?'. The answer is usually: 'Yes'."
-Paul Tergat, Kenyan professional marathoner 

So my whole goal this week was to push the total hourly volume of all activities combined a little bit with a loose goal of 50 miles running, 100 miles on the bike, and a couple of hours in the weight room.  Needless to say I am tired.  The last 3 nights I have been crashed out for 10 plus hours of sleep each night, which is my body trying to tell me something.  

After 3 solid weeks of over 15 hours, this week I think it is time to schedule in a down or recovery week.  Just not sure what that entails yet.  Thinking I need to cut the total volume down to about 10 easy hours this week, thoughts?  Guess I will just play it by ear.  As I sit here Monday morning my quads are actually sore to the touch so no hills today which is hard because I have MLK day off work and really want to hit my Flagstaff/Green loop like I did yesterday.  

This weeks training.

Photos from the week.

Took Friday off work and hit the roads on the bike in Lucho's hood.

  Easy run of Green and Bear with Clyde on Saturday


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Week 2- Trying to Discover the Balance.

"Better to live each day with discipline than to suffer a life of regret"

Not sure where I saw this quote at this week but it has stuck with me as I try and figure out a good training, work, and family balance this past week.  It has been an interesting week trying to fit it all in.  I came close to last week but not quite.  Hope to increase the total hours next week before taking a lighter week.  On a side note I think I am really starting to hate the countdown clock on the right hand side of the blog that I added, it feels like a weight on my shoulders.

The weather this coming week and especially next weekend look really good right now so I need to take advantage of that, especially on the bike and ride a bunch more up Coal Creek. 

Couple of photos I took this week while out and about.

Awesome sunrise on Saturday's long run.  This was taken on the Mesa Trail at the top of Skunk Canyon.  The colors were so much better than what my Iphone could capture.  12 mile run with about 3300ft of gain.

Sunday I parked at the bottom of Coal Creek Canyon and road my mountain bike up to Golden Gate Canyon State Park at about 9200ft and back.  Came across this sign on the road as I was suffering up the hill.  Yes my climbing legs suck right now.  Got some work to do but it will come with time.  Did 25 miles with 3200ft of gain.



Monday, January 5, 2015

25 Training rules to remember

Came across this article and pulled out 25 of my favorites that I need to keep in mind over the next few months.  Of course I reworded them to apply to running and biking.  Enjoy!


1. There is no perfect training program. In fact, very intelligent, very successful coaches often disagree with one another. That means you're going to have to learn a lot, think for yourself, and experiment a little and base it on what you have learned in the past. 

2. Don't repeat past mistakes that did not work in previous training cycles.

3. The effectiveness of any training program is directly related to the effort you put into it. If a program "doesn't work" it's probably because you're half-assing it. Effort trumps everything.

4.  Stop using "research" as a procrastination method. Yes, read articles and learn as much as you can, but most of what you learn will come from dedicated work.

5. Training may not always be fun, but it will always be rewarding. Lifelong rewards beat temporary fun.

6. Balance brutal workouts with long slow walks, preferably outdoors with the dogs.  This works for me.

7. Apply your work ethic to your workout. Don't give anyone the opportunity to think of you as lazy, distracted, inefficient, or weak... and don't give yourself that opportunity either. Embrace the work part of your workout.

8. Don't be so scared of injury and so obsessed with form that you forget to kick ass both running, biking and lifting. But don't be a jackass about it either and ignore obvious warning signs.

9. When life gets hard, work hard. Fight back, kick your own ass before anyone else has the chance – you'll steal their power and build armor.

10. Are you in this for the long haul?  Average people look for any excuse not to do the work, like a minor injury. Dedicated people find a way to work around injuries... and snowstorms, and holidays, and damn near anything else.

11. Think like a machine, not an emotional wreck who needs permission and approval and happy feelings at all times in order to be consistent.


 12. If the way you eat is working – body, mind, and ease of effort – then ignore diet trends that complicate things further. Rely on the knowledge you've gathered from prior experiences.

13. Having flat, carb-depleted muscles may make you look smaller, but it'll also make you weaker and lower your work capacity. Being weak and unable to work harder for longer periods of time is a recipe for stagnation.

14. Start with the major stuff. Worry first about that package of cookies or chips you're killing every night instead of your Vitamin C intake.

15. Be picky about where your macros are coming from and what purpose they serve. Sure, you can make kid's cereal fit into your nutritional allotment before bedtime, but is it taking the place of insulinogenic workout nutrition that would've made you kick ass at the next workout?

16. Don't do a low carb diet. Don't do a low fat diet. Do a low shit-food diet. Lower your intake of the things you know for sure aren't helping you.

17. Organic junk food is still junk food, hipsters.

18. Don't obsess over scale weight. Lose 10 pounds of fat and gain 10 pounds of muscle and the scale will say you made "no progress.” The mirror beats the scale.

19. To guarantee the greatest gains from training, fuel, protect, and reload muscle immediately prior to, during, and after training.

Mind Game

20.  Weak people face life's obstacles with an excuse in their hand. Strong people carry a hammer.

21. Get shit done. Period.

22. You know what's worse than a critic? People who tell you to be average – well-meaning folks who enable mediocrity. Be passionate. Be a freak.

23. Build your willpower muscle, but use it wisely. Anorexics have great willpower, but it is misapplied.

24. Realize that the moment you decide to better yourself, other people will often try to stop you. This is sometimes disguised as subtle behavior. Don't worry, after they try to sabotage you, dissuade you, or politely get you to stop getting better, they'll come to you for advice. Give it to them kindly. People are weird.

25. Sometimes when you think life is kicking you in the ass, it's actually just moving you quickly to a better place.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Kick Off to Leadman training and 2015

Week numbro uno in the Leadman training and man do I have some work to do!  At the beginning of the week before Leadman opened up I got the bike trainer I have from my triathlon days out of the attic and got it setup just to see how bad my cycling legs are.  Of course none of the 5 mountain bikes we own would fit on this trainer and the only bike that would fit is my wife's road bike, so I guess that is what I am training on until the weather improves and I can move outside on Punisher (my mountain bike).  Maybe I should not have sold my tri bike last summer.

Anyways I discovered that after 45mins on the trainer I am wiped!  I have a long long road ahead of me as far as the cycling goes and honestly I find it exciting.  Much more exciting than running right now.  There is something fun in seeing improvement in leaps and bounds, I am looking forward to it.

Here is a breakdown of my week.  Of course all the cycling was on the trainer so there is no vertical there but it is still hard work.  With the trainer there is no breaks, no downhills, no cruising.  You are always pedaling.  Of course I was off work all week so it will be interesting to see what I can do once back at work, not sure I can pull out 17 hours during a work week but we will give it a shot. 

Have a great week everyone!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Leadman it is. What the hell was I thinking?

Well after lots of discussion with the wife over the past week I did pull the trigger yesterday for my plans for 2015.

Dear Shad Mika,

This email confirms your registration for the 2015 Leadman & Woman submitted on Jan 1, 2015 at 9:26:15AM MST.

We look forward to seeing you race in Legendary Leadville, Colorado!

Leadville Trail Marathon, June 20
Silver Rush 50s, July 11 & 12
Leadville Trail 100 MTB, August 15
Leadville 10K, August 16
Leadville Trail 100 Run, August 22

This is going to be an EPIC (yes I hate using that word) year for me for I just got a "real" mountain bike last year.  I have a lot to learn.  Hell with the through axles this bike has on it I still have not figured out how to even take the back tire off yet.  Suppose I should get around to that.   I was going back and forth between Leadman, finishing the 14ers, or doing a Sept 100 miler like Run Rabbit Run for 2015 but Leadman won out.  There is something exciting about adding the bike and knowing that you just plain suck and having to work up from the bottom.  Honestly as I sit here right now at 5:30am typing this up I really don't know if I can finish the bike races, the thought going down Powerlines with 1000 other people during the 100 mile bike race scares the living shit out of me right now.

I really have been pondering on getting a coach or not to help me through this year but remain on the fence due to the expense of it all but that may change come Feb after I spend this month just getting in some base training, especially on the bike.  I do plan on adding in some 50k's to use as training runs but I doubt I will go any longer than that, I truly believe that 50 milers take to long to recover from and the week of training you lose to that recovery is more valuable than the 50 mile run, it seemed to work last year getting ready for Bighorn.  I did learn something from that year of training under Lucho back in 2012.

Anyways I am planning on trying to keep this more updated as I work through this year.  Happy New Years everyone!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015 Numbers

Damn what a year.  One of my lowest mileage years since I started running ultras but one of the highest amounts of time I have spent in the weight room along with my best 100 mile run finish at Bighorn 100 back in June.  Covered 2,669 miles on foot and another 240 miles on the bike.  The increase of weight training time (80+ hours) is due to about halfway through the year I built a full gym in the garage with bumper plates and all.  I got tired of feeling like a weak nonfunctional runner but that is a post for another day.   I full expect the bike mileage and weight room hours to increase quite a bit this year while seeing more of a drop off in mileage covered on foot but we will see how the year plays out.  Still not sure what my plans are going to be for 2015.  I have a few things in mind but can't seem to make up my mind.  One thing is for sure, I did not put my name in the Leadville 100 lottery so the Pikes/Leadville combo is out this year for sure.  Happy New Years everyone!!

Oh yeah--- found this gem on my phone last night.  This is the talk that happens during the Solstice Grog Slog.