Saturday, January 31, 2009

Saturday Morning Long Run

Praise be to the Lord! I threw down this morning. I ran a super strong, perhaps the strongest of my life, 15 miler this morning. I was really intentional about keeping my two 10 milers yesterday easy so that I would have the legs for a strong 15 mile tempo this morning - it certainly paid off. My legs felt beefy and strong. I put in the middle 12 miles of the tempo at 6:15 or faster pace. Super clean, super smooth. Everything came together this morning, my previous day's training, nutrition, coffee buzz, new shoes, mental toughness, weather, spiritual peace. It was glorious. This afternoon I will take a nice and easy cruise around town to loosen up the legs and finish off my miles for the week. Peace.

Friday, January 30, 2009

This week in running...

Great week of cruising the roads of Montana this week... Here we go:

SU: 14 steady
M: 10+8 (easy)
T: 9 steady+8 easy
W: 5 easy+13 tempo (last 6 miles were lightning fast, an incredible run)
TH: 12 steady+8 easy
F: 10+10 (easy)
S: A long run of some sort, then something easy in the PM

As I continue fine-tuning my training regimen for this year of racing, I find myself continually reviewing what I did last year - what worked, what didn't. All told, I put more than 5000 miles on my legs in 2008. Likely, my daily average was 14-15 miles, with no days off for over 360 days. There were some blank periods in my training logs so it is difficult to give exacts. The last 6 months of 2008 were closer to 19 miles a day. My legs are feeling solid and well built for this season. A major change in my regimen has been taking easy runs much more seriously. By seriously, I mean treating them as easy runs. Too often I get carried away and end up running too hard on easy days. This morning I ran a 10 miler at an honest to goodness easy pace and the difference was palpable (not only was it supremely enjoyable, I feel well recovered already). I need the mileage, but also the easy paces so I can really 'let 'er eat' during my work outs - also reducing chances of injury.

Anyways, things are tuning up around here. Longevity in this sport is my goal. It is a fine line to walk - staying competitive and going the distance (in years) - but I am continually tuning myself to the patterns of my body and my abilities to strike a balance. Good day.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Last Week's Mileage

134 miles last week. A cut-back week of rest this week, then back to the 130s next week. Yayyyyyyyyyy!!!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

This week is training...

Another very consistent, rock solid week of life and ultra training. Firstly, ultra training:

SU - 20 (12 + 8)
M - 18 (10 + 8, tempos)
T - 16 (8 + 8)
W - 23 (15 tempo + 8)
TH - 17 (9 + 8)
F - 20 (10 + 10)
SA - 23 (15 steady + 8)

My body is rock solid and recovering very quickly. My work outs this week were good and honest efforts, followed by honest to goodness easy days. The easy days were still run at moderate pace, but were truly enjoyable and effortless. My routine is becoming second nature and it is getting easier and easier to run with the consistency that I am used to. My chocolate milk intake has leveled off at two 1/2 pints a day. Love it.

Life experience/training:

SU - A great day at church, resting and relaxing.
M - Hmmm, don't remember, but a good day.
T - Ran the health rocks enrichment with the kids. Had a really good time singing with them and talking about making healthy choices, specifically, staying away from tobacco products.
W - Running club was great. I am becoming more consistent and confident in my discipline meting. The kids are respecting me and we are all having a great time laughing and training together. A lesson I learned this week... drop expectations on kids, treat them indifferently. Mete out discipline in a strictly objective, non-emotional way, regardless of the history of the kids. In this way, the troubled kids begin to see that they are not inherently bad kids, they just make bad choices from time to time and reap the consequences linked to that misbehavior. The boys that I was having trouble with have begun to recognize that they can be successful if they do not deviate from what is expected from them (in my case, very high regards and expectations of excellence with a standard, objective set of discipline standards).
TH - Gave a presentation on bullfighting to the fourth grade class. Went really well. The lesson reaffirmed my love and feeling of natural deliverance from teaching elem. kids.
F - Good day, tied up some loose ends with a few projects. Had a great cocktail hour with Don after work. As usual, the man provided some great spiritual insight into future decisions and present issues that I am dealing with.
SA - Nice and easy, laid-back day. Just doing what I need to. No worries. Love it.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Quality Training

The last couple of weeks of training have proved very fruitful. I have learned more about myself - mind, body and soul - in 2009 than I had in many, many years prior. The learning has come from applying Truths, notions that I absolutely no to be true, to my life - actually living them out. It is safe to say that I have now experienced many of these truths and found them to be wholly edifying and well, true. Anyways, it is hard to explain, but at the base of it is my faith and hope in the Lord. There is reason and purpose in all things. It makes my work more meaningful, my runs more enjoyable and my life more substantial. No where is this all more apparent than in my training - because it is so easily measured. Running with purpose and regularity has been great in the last couple of weeks. Consistency has been key.

This morning I went for my mid-week, kind-of long run. 14.5, probably closer to 15 miles. Super clean and fast. It was a great work out. It took me 5-6 miles to get into it. Once I hit my cadence I was super fluid and quick. Good run. This afternoon I will do my usual afternoon cruise through the coulees, then it is running club time! Good stuff. This week we are doing an individual 20 minute run, bookended by tag. Yahooo!

Alright, I hope that everyone reading this is well, finding meaning and purpose in all that they are doing. God bless.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Weekend Recap

Great running weekend. First 40 plus weekend in awhile...

SA - 20 easy AM, 7 easy PM
SU - 10 easy AM, 8 easy PM

Shook out the sillies this weekend. Work is going well today. I am working on putting together (and on) a photography adult education series starting in Feb. as well as finalizing some enrichments for February. Hopefully, by the end of the day tomorrow, I will be able to send out my Nike grant application, that, if granted, will fund our running club. Alright. Off to the day. God bless.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

This week in running...

Just finishing up what has turned out to be a stellar week of training. My work outs are starting to get more consistent again and meaningful. What do I mean by meaningful? Definitely, when I am running without a game plan I tend to run too hard and long, ultimately leading to chronic lethargy and pretty average runs. Last week I began scheduling my work outs again, so that each run has a purpose and limitations - max. pace, distance, etc. In this way, each work out has a definite end and a reason - to work on speed, distance, pace, etc. Last week was a slightly painful 125 mile week - lots of aches and pains from running too hard in the previous weeks. This week was much cleaner and flushed out the sore spots...

SU - 13 mile (moderate pace)
M - 10 mile tempo (solid effort with a kick in the last two miles) AM, 9 mile easy PM
TU - 9 mile hill tempo work out
W - 14 mile steady AM (moderate pace), 9 mile easy PM
TH - 9 mile easy AM, 8 mile easy PM
F - 10 mile easy AM, 11 mile (moderate effort with hard kick in last 5 miles) PM
SA - 20 easy AM (7:00-7:30 pace), PM To be determined...

This is a very manageable mileage load. I have been recovering really well. I am not sure that I will be increasing my mileage much above 130 this training cycle. I don't think that I need to. Instead, I will focus on increasing the intensity of my hard work outs. Also, I have been good on the hills lately, but I know I could be stronger and will need to be to do well at the The North Face Endurance Challenge. More hill work outs to come. 

Pretty good work week out here. Had a few moments this week, but I feel like I have recovered from them pretty well. Currently, I am doing laundry, kicking back and relaxing. A beautiful Saturday here (sorry Minnesotans). Peace and love!

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Good work out sequence this week. Let me start with Tuesday...

T - 9 mile tempo (I took the morning off to recharge my batteries)
W - 14 mile easy AM, 9 easy PM
TH - 9 solid-state AM, 8 easy PM

Tuesday I ran really hard and short. Wednesday I ran slow and long. This morning was a moderate effort followed by an easy cruiser this afternoon. Good stuff.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Winter Running, the Future and Thoughts

Winter running highlights, firstly.

1) 57:30 - 10 mile treadmill run (several 5:18 miles)
2) Back to back to back to back to back to back to back wintry long runs (15 miles plus).
3) 35:00 - 10k treadmill run (a few hours after a 13 mile cruiser)

2009 Spring running... my racing schedule is starting to come together. I was able to get into The North Face Endurance 50 mile NW regional race in Bellingham, WA. That race is June 6th. There are a few MT marathons in March, April and May that I will use as tune-up, training runs. At the end of February the USATF MT Half-marathon state championship is scheduled. The race is around Seeley Lake. I am tentatively planning to be there (and to run fast - treating the race as a race, instead of a training run). If my schedule and financial situations allow, I will be there. Should be fun! I am feeling good about getting some things on the schedule. It is making it easier for me to focus my training and start tuning my body - with active training and more rest. Good stuff.

Yesterday, at LEAP, I played the part of the bingo caller, yet again. One of the great joys of life, for those of you who haven't yet exerpienced bingo calling, is bingo calling. Today is club day; running club for me. A few of the kids are putting in some good runs outside of club now. Tomorrow we will review our club goals, have an open discussion about working outside of your comfort zone (pushing yourself) and then head out of doors for some warm-up tag, the triangle running drill and an individual timed run. Good stuff.

Alright, it is off to do the work of the day. God bless. Peace and love.

Friday, January 9, 2009

It's Friday!

Good day. A snowy day here. About 4 inches fell in Great Falls last night. Needless to say, my 10 miler was slow and snowy this morning before work. It was a great run. This afternoon I will take advantage of the Montana countryside and cruise along on a 10-12 miler before heading home. Peace.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Back on track...

Alright, finally, I can say I am back into my work/nutrition/work out routine. This is a good thing. Many people scoff at the idea of become to regimented with their daily activities. What I have come to learn through the years is that it is important to maintain a fairly steady routine of meaningful activities that nourish the mind, body and soul. For me that has meant holding meaningful jobs, running, attending a spiritual home on a weekly basis and eating well. Each day, I am able to engage with those things that give me life - praise be to the Lord - and it is routine that helps us maintain a steady, accountable framework of which to live. It is important to be open to change and not to become so regimented as to become mindlessly absolved in your day. Engage with what you do. Do what you love and do it honestly. At times, these things get out of balance in my life (running, work, social life, spiritual life, etc.) and I know it. It is then, when it is important to take an honest look at your daily routine and make the appropriate adjustments. Don't get caught up in the little details of the day to day, be open and ready for whatever God is doing in your life, but do have a plan, a structure, a framework of which to operate, so that you are more free to engage with the details as they arise.

Currently, I feel like I am balancing. It feels great. I am at peace. It is great to be back on track with my routine. Tuesday, I had to take a day off of running - keeping it at 8 miles for the day - in order for my legs to rest a bit. Yesterday, I had a really nice 20 mile day. A steady 13 miler before work followed by a mid-day 7 miler. This morning I ran a really solid 9 mile tempo run with a nice kick at the end.

I did 'the triangle drill' yesterday at running club. The kids really enjoyed it. One of the lengths of the triangle they sprint, then power walk the next, then jog the third and continue doing laps around the triangle for about 10 minutes (per repeat). At each of the corners of the triangle the kids had to either do 5 jumping jacks, 5 butt kicks or 5 knee lifts. It was great. We had a good time and played some serious rainbow tag to warm-up and cool-down. When the snow melts we will kick it up to 2-3 a week, 30 minute work out sessions afterschool to begin gearing up for Spring races. Love it.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

It's Been Awhile...

Hello all. Forgive my hiatus, for I have been busy engaging with the life. During my blogging drought some great things happened, I...

1) ...had a wonderful time at home with my family.
2) ...made it back to Great Falls in a relatively timely manner.
3) ...took my first day off of running in well over a year (a conscious decision).
4) ...had a delightful 22 mile Sunday, followed by a 17 mile Monday.
5) ...made it back to work and school with a good attitude.
6) ...shifted my 2009 training goals (See Below). 

My big focus this year will be the Colorado Trail record attempt. The 50 mile races that I was intending on doing filled up within hours of registration opening. Anyways, I am not sure that I would have had the time or the money to get to those races anyways. I will run a few races, but only for fun and training... nothing too competitive. This year I want to focus on running slow, long and hilly to prepare for the long days on the CT. The reality is, I can't get in the miles necessary for the CT while concurrently keeping the intensity of work outs necessary for racing. I am at peace with this. It makes sense and it relieves a lot of the pressure I put on myself when gearing up for races. 

Anyways, life is good. I will keep you updated on how my Spring training evolves and life changes.