On October 17th, a Wednesday morning, I had a hard time waking up. In fact, I was groggy and tired as I finally dragged myself out of bed and headed out for a 1 hour jog along the Gunnison River. The morning was beautiful and I remember thinking that all four seasons were on display during this 1 hour run. The temperature was stable and the sky clear, so the weather was not what made me think about the different seasons, but the lighting did. There was something unique about the light that morning that reminded me of each season. Looking in one direction, the light was bright, looking in the opposite direction, the light seemed faded. At times the lighting seemed 100% crisp and clear, but at other times almost hazy. Still not sure what it was, but it’s safe to say that it was an inspiring morning. During this easy outing I came to the conclusion that over the next three months I need to find my optimal health and energy. It’s been too many consecutive months of merely muscling my way through nagging injuries and bullying through an unfocused mental state. I’ve made the decision to ‘let go’ of this compulsion to fight and train through my lulls and instead I’ve decided to seek optimal health over the next three months. What does this mean? I’ll write up another post with a bit more detail at a later date, but simply stated it means I need to fully heal and recover. I will continue to maintain the daily running streak, but will not be ‘in training’ until things are more centered. Here’s the scoop on the last two weeks:
Monday – 10/15/12
AM: Up early and out for a Signal Peak Summit Run. This was my 78th Signal Peak Summit YTD. 10 miles round trip, 1500’ vertical gain up and down the ridge. Went pretty well. SU/PU/Jumps/Ab Wheel. Woke up this morning truly fired up about life and ready to ‘do everything’. 1.5 hours running. 10 miles running. Strength.
Tuesday – 10/16/12
AM: Up early and out for a run on Gold Basin Road. 90 minutes of running. 11 total miles out and back. Within this run, I injected 10 x 1 minute hard efforts with 2 minutes recovery. Felt great during the middle 6 of these hard efforts. Felt good to run fast for a period of time. 1.5 hours running. 11 miles running. Strength work too.
Wednesday – 10/17/12
AM: The ‘all 4 seasons’ run. Ran along the Van Tuyl path and along the river trail on the Gunnison River. Beautiful morning. Made the decision to ‘not muscle’ my training for an extended period of time. Absolutely in need of time to allow my body to rest up and recover from the summer beating. I have several minor aches and pains that are in need of healing if I am going to go forward! 1 hour run. 6 miles running. SU/PU too.
PM: Strength training at the Escalante Fitness Center. This consisted of bench-press, pull-ups, biceps curls, triceps extensions, pushups, backups, obliques, bridges, thera-band lateral walks, thera-band clamshells, plyo-jumps, leg press, calves, shins. 1 hour training.
Thursday – 10/18/12
PM: Late afternoon 30 minute jog. Feeling horrible. Tired. Unfocused. Not good. Headed out and ran the cemetery trail out-and-back. 30 minutes running. 3.5 miles running.
Friday – 10/19/12
AM: My Birthday today. Turning 30! Also my 299th consecutive day of running today! Ran with Parr in the AM on Signal Peak. This was my 79th Signal Peak Summit YTD. 10 miles round trip, 1500’ vertical gain up and down the ridge. Actually felt pretty good. Ran at 6:00am and was therefore able to run down in the light for the first time in a while. Beautiful morning. Psyched to be 30 years old! Good to run with Parr. 1.5 hours running. 10 miles running. SU/PU.
Saturday – 10/20/12
PM: 1 hour run on ‘Black Tarp’ Loop. Beautiful afternoon run. Ran without my shirt for the entire run! 300th Consecutive Day of Running! 6 miles of running. Then headed straight to the gym and did a minor strength routine of pull-ups, bench press, walking lunges, calves, crunches on physio-ball, med-ball throw downs, and thera-band lateral walks. Fun to be in the gym with Annie and Jordan. Not feeling great though. Then jogged home for another 1 mile. 1.5 hours training. 1 hour running. 6 miles running. Strength.
Sunday – 10/21/12
PM: In Fruita at the Colorado State High School Mountain Bike Championships. Awesome to be around this many high school aged competitors again. I saw many of the kids/families I know from the Nordic world. After the long day, headed out for a 30+ minute shuffle on the trails near 18 road. Awesome! I love being in the Fruita area. 30 minutes running. 4 miles running.
Week totals –
10 hours training. 8 hours running. 50 miles running. Made the decision to not force ‘training’ until things are re-aligned and centered.
Monday – 10/22/12
PM: Headed out for a super simple town loop run in the afternoon for a total of 45 minutes of running. 5.5 mile loop. Did not feel great. Legs are feeling empty and energy is lagging. Good to get out though. No matter how bad I feel during a normal day, an easy run always seems to help. 45 minutes running. 5 miles running. Minor strength work.
Tuesday – 10/23/12
PM: Made it home and ran a short-and-simple out-and-back on contour trail behind the University. Tired and stiff. Great to get out though. Letting my brain wander to plotting and planning for 2013. 30 minutes running. 3 miles running. No strength.
Wednesday – 10/24/12
AM: Able to wake up this morning on my own! Headed out for a town loop run. Best I’ve felt all week, but still nagging pains in the foot, knee, and hip. At some point (I’ve said this before) I need to make a decisive move toward doing my mobility (AIS) routine again. Today I also diligently recorded everything I ate/drank/ingested. Pretty cool to see the totals. (3200 calories)(20% from carbs)(20% from protein)(60% from fat) Seems easy to hit those numbers when I’m not in ‘training.’ Felt great by the end of the day. 45 minutes running. 5 miles running.
Thursday – 10/25/12
AM: Same deal. Woke up feeling even better. I can tell that the day of eating clean yesterday really helped things go well today. BUT, by 30 minutes into my town loop run this morning, I still had that deeply fatigued feeling. That is one thing I am trying to change. Sleeping better. 45 minutes running. 5 miles running.
Friday – 10/26/12
PM: In Greeley for a ‘Campus Recreation’ Conference. Spent the whole day at the conference. Ate fairly well throughout the day. Ran on a treadmill at the fitness center at the University of Northern Colorado. Watched ESPN on the treadmill’s screen… awesome. Sweat a lot. Ran for 1 hour. 7 miles. This was the best I’ve felt yet this week. 1 hour running. 7 miles running.
Saturday – 10/27/12
AM: In Greeley still. Ran outside for 1 hour. Felt solid for the first half of the outing but not good for the second half. Ran for 6 miles. Did SU/PU afterwards. (Tweaked my wrist during pushups!) (This is the kind of stuff that seems to keep happening). Body is not firing properly. 1 hour running. 6 miles running. SU/PU.
Sunday – 10/28/12
PM: In the afternoon with Annie and Jordan. Headed out for 3 miles on the Van Tuyl Loop. A short and easy jog. BEAUTIFUL DAY. Great to run with Annie and fun to push Jordan in the Chariot stroller again. I love these family runs. Hung out outside after we finished too. Great day. 30 minutes running. 3 miles running.
Week totals –
5.5 hours training. 5.5 hours running. 36 miles running. Still not feeling great. I’ve been getting more and more sleep and things are starting to come back on line.
Training may be on the shelf, but that doesn’t mean physical activity is. In addition to the daily short runs, I’ve been walking quite a bit around town, and biking more as well. These bouts of general physical activity seem to be super beneficial from a metabolic standpoint. I go through a ‘walking phase’ just about every autumn and absolutely love it. On the reading front, I’ve been diving more into nutrition articles again. This article is a full transcript of an interview done with Steve Phinney (Author of ‘The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living’) about ultra-athletes and low-carb fueling. In particular, the focus in on Western States 100 winner and new course record holder Timothy Olsen, who follows a low-carb approach to his day-to-day diet AND his in-race fueling. It is, without question, the most simple and easy to follow introduction (that I’ve seen) on how and why to follow a low-carb approach. I’ve had success by following a similar approach. Most notably, my GI distress and ‘puke issues’ that plagued me for the first 5 years of my ultra career are no more.
In other news, Notre Dame beat Oklahoma yesterday. Very exciting times for every ND football fan out there. Thanks for reading. Live well. Recover well. DC