This week seems to have been a mental turning point for me. A little over 2 weeks ago, I made the decision to scale things back with the hopes that I’d regenerate both mind and body. Very clearly I am not there yet, but the first glimmer of excitement has re-ignited in my brain. More specifically and succinctly, I miss the process of training for a specific event. I now have the desire to set running-specific goals again, and I find myself with the mental capacity to work toward those goals with commitment. This process, more than anything, is what I’m yearning to get back to. In fact, this is what first drew me into this sport to begin with and I think I’ve strayed from that mentality for far too long now. I’m looking forward to getting back to that process for 2013 and beyond. Do I sound like a broken record? Seems as though I write this exact paragraph every fall.
This ‘spark’ popped back into my head and heart on Thursday (November 1) and has been with me since. I know it’s real, which is a good sign, but I’m still waiting on my body getting back to a higher degree of health. Mostly, I’ve been too lazy to focus on solid recovery methods like stretching, icing, mobility work, and massage. However, through sleeping and eating well, my body is on the verge of starting to come back on-line. Sunday (November 4) was a test run, and let’s just say I’m not even close to being physically ready yet! I’ve got a long way to go. Enough yammering on. Here’s the scoop on the week that was:
Monday – 10/29/12
PM: Headed out in the afternoon for 20 minutes on my own, followed by 30 minutes with Parr on the Contour Trail behind the University. Parr was wrapping up a 30 miler and I jumped in with him for his final 4 miles. Parr is fit. I am not. This was proven in just 30 minutes today. (Parr’s getting ready for the North Face 50 in San Fran in early December.) Beautiful afternoon. Body is ridiculously sluggish. 50 minutes running. 6 miles running.
Tuesday – 10/30/12
AM: Out in the morning for a 1 hour run on Black Tarp Loop. Felt much better than yesterday. Excited for what the day will bring. Felt positive about my nutritional approach too. Recorded everything I consumed again today. (3300 calories, 60% from fat, 23% from carbs, and 17% from protein). Energy was stable throughout the day. Mental clarity and focus was good but not great. Body feels sore. 1 hour running. 6 miles running.
Wednesday – 10/31/12
AM: Same loop as yesterday. Black Tarp Loop. Felt okay. Feels like I’m basically just ‘locking’ into a jogging pace and zoning-out. That’s not altogether bad though. Beautiful sunrise. Positive morning. Minor strength work too. Body is coming back… maybe. 1 hour running. 6 miles running.
PM: With a local coaching client, out for a run. Ran the Cemetery Trail. Total run of 5 miles. Totals for the day: 2 hours running. 11 miles running. Minor mobility and strength work.
Thursday – 11/1/12
AM: Mental outlook shift this morning. Ran on the Contour Trail. Beautiful morning. The desire for a full-fledged training season is now back. Not feeling ready physically, and I certainly still need time to get the mind fully engaged, and the plan in place, BUT this is the first step in the process of coming back strong in 2013. 1 hour running. 7 miles running.
Friday – 11/2/12
AM: Short and simple run around town. Town loop and minor extension. 45 minute run. 5 miles. Basically just looking for time on feet. Good to get out and clear the head. Overdressed and sweat a lot.
PM: Lunch time run with friends Mark and Janelle Smiley. (Committed – 50 Classic Climbs of North America) Ran Signal Peak. This was my 80th Signal Peak Summit YTD. Ran the ridge up and down. 10 miles running round trip with 1500′ vertical gain. Nice to run in the daylight! Beautiful. 1/2 serving of First Endurance Ultragen and a small apple. Skipped lunch. Felt fine with this. Totals for the day: 2.5 hours running. 15 miles running.
Saturday – 11/3/12
AM: Late morning run from 11:00am to 12:00noon. Out for a simple 1 hour run on the Contour Trail. Did not feel good during this run. Came home, ate a good lunch and promptly fell asleep for a nap. Very tired. 1 hour running. 6 miles running.
Sunday – 11/4/12
AM: Up and out early. Ran with Parr and 2 WSCU XC Team runners. Ran from 5:00am to 7:15am. Ran the ridge up to Signal Peak. This was my 81st Signal Peak Summit YTD. We then proceeded onto the ‘Mountain Lion Single-track trail’ and 4-Plains Ridge. Then we rallied back down the ridge to town. Definitely running faster than I have been and was a little bit out of my comfort zone. Good. 2+ hours running. 14 miles running. Strength. After the fact, it became clear that I am not ready for training yet. Almost immediately my feet were super painful and right knee nearly locked up! Tired too.
Week totals –
10 hours training. 10 hours running. 62 miles running. Mentally Solid/Positive.
In other news, I’m deeply humbled to be aligned with two new sponsors for the 2013 season! I may have mentioned this a few weeks ago, but I’ll be wearing Arc’teryx brand clothing moving forward! This company makes tremendous outdoor clothing and is now making a strong push into adventure/ultra running apparel. Very excited! Also, I’ll be wearing Suunto altimeters and watches in 2013! Suunto’s altimeters are the absolute best on the market and as I’ve become a bit more of a nerd with data, I’m excited to know exactly where I’m at when I’m in the mountains. I’ll primarily be wearing the Suunto Ambit. Make sure to check out both of these fine brands.
On the reading ‘front’, I’ve been busy again digesting many articles on health, wellness, nutrition, and fitness. Finding many great articles on the subject of stress and it’s subsequent impact on mental, physical, and emotional health. There’s no doubt I’ve struggled significantly throughout the past couple years with chronic stress, and I now recognize how deeply I’ve been ‘addicted’ to chronic stress in my life. Mostly I’m referring to trying to cram my days so impossibly full that there was no hope of actually being effective or productive. The only answer/response was to wake up earlier. I became addicted to ‘waking up earlier’ instead of ‘effective productivity’. In fact, I spent several months (between October 2011 and June 2012) waking up at 2:59am, all in the name of ‘accomplishment’. (4-5 hours of sleep) Not healthy at all. I was able to get away with it for the most part, but in the long run? Not a good scene. I wish to distance myself from this unhealthy behavior and become more effective as a person and leader. The ancillary benefit? Maybe I’ll be a bit more enjoyable to be around too. FANTASTIC ARTICLE by Whole9Life on the subject of stress addiction.
Notre Dame is still undefeated. The process of training is something to think about. Here’s to balance. Thanks for reading. Live well. Be well. DC