Sunday, July 31, 2011

Weekly Summary 7/25 through 7/31

M1s  These guys can move... and will run you over

-A New Job and A New Focus for Training-

This week I started a new job where I work pretty much exclusively with Army Soldiers.  My job is to make sure that the new entity moving on base has the supplies they need.  More specifically, I'm working with communication, power and force protection equipment.  The team of soldiers I am working with and for are awesome.  I have learned more in one week about the Army than I have since I have been in the military.  The work is tangible, it is working directly with people daily and we are getting things done.  Needless to say, I'm enjoying the new job and it's challenges.  I'll cover the changes with regards to running at the end of this post.

AM 1:09; 9.1M, 138Av Hr;
Slept poorly last night due to napping too long Sunday and a little anxiety about working with the army this week.

Felt good on the run. The bottom of my foot was sore yesterday possibly from being bruised on some rocks during my long run Saturday. Great news was that it felt better today. Would hate to have to deal with an injury right now.

1:09 is the fastest I've done my morning 9 mile loop, I believe! 

PM:30, 4M, 138Av Hr, 1,050Ft;
My afternoon treadmill run at 5.5% grade. My foot was bothering me again and I was feeling tired. 
All day Tuesday and on and off Wednesday

AM  As has been the case recently, I woke up tired, unmotivated and flat not to mention the bottom of my left foot was bothering me.  The icing on the cake was walking out the door to an unexpected sand storm.  No Tempo, back to bed.

PM :53, 7.5M, 139Av Hr;
The foot wasn't hurting this afternoon... I think the morning off really helped. Ran a chill 2 mile warm up, then a 3.2 mile tempo at 5:40 pace and a 2 mile cool down. Needed a little break. Back at it tomorrow.


AM :30, 4M, 1,050ft;
Sand storm continues along with the lack of get up and go I'm used to...  Did my afternoon routine run on the T-mill. 

PM 1:05; 9M, 475Ft;
Strangely I was sore today.  My body has just been off.  Luckily there was a strange movie about Oliver Twist on while I ran. 475ft of climbing at 1% grade at a decent clip, but still not myself. 


AM 1:12, 9M, 1,425Ft, 153Av Hr;
Woke up this morning again not motivated, tired and contemplating "alternative" running ideas. I slowly got going, the warm up was rough and so was my general mobility routine. I felt totally off. I still headed into the Pit. Once moving and especially after a few intervals into it I woke up. My split at the halfway point was still pretty slow at 21 minutes.

As a reference point, 40, 39:30 and 41 are my times on the first 3 Pit sessions. 

On the second half of the workout, I started to feel that extra gear I've been looking for over the last two weeks on this workout, go figure. Splits were all faster than 1:17 out 1:29 back and I finished with a total timeof 39:51!
This was great news. My second half average splits were faster than any other average splits for this workout. Average Heart Rate was 153 and 173 for my max.
Great end to a bad start!

PM :30, 4M, 1,050Ft;
Regular afternoon T-mill run.

Friday- Turning The Corner!!!

AM 1:27, 11.15M, 634Ft, 136Av Hr;
This morning was the first day since last Tuesday where I woke up and felt ready to run. It was a relief to get over whatever the heck was going on with my energy and body.
Ironically, this was the hottest morning in the 6 weeks I've been here with a reported overnight low of 97. I did 3 miles on the dirt, stopped at the gym and ran 2 miles at 6% grade for 634ft of climbing. I was tired from the Pit yesterday and my mouth was desert dry the last 3 miles, despite drinking a liter of water before and during my run.
Two tanks with a serious mount for a canon, one 1950s medical tank.

Saturday- Best Long Run Yet!

AM 2:50, 23.12M, 2,033Ft, 151Av Hr;
Didn't get to sleep until 9pm, but when I woke up a little after 3:30am, I was actually motivated, not to tired and ready to run... two days in a row now! Was running at 3:45am.
Ran to the stadium track and rounded off a mile warm-up in the dark at 9:02 pace, then hit the treadmill for 7 miles at 7:30 pace at 5.5% grade for a total of 2,033ft climbing.
This was the BEST I have felt on the treadmill since I have been here. The first 3 miles flew by no problem, which never happens. I was actually running on a treadmill looking out into the dark at 4am with no music, no TV and pretty much totally by myself at the gym. The last 4 miles went pretty well but not as mgaical as the first 3. I watched kids huck themselves off a skateboard ramp 9 stories tall at X Games... amazing. 

Right at 5am I began the 15 mile section of my run on the dirt and sand looping around the base.
I felt great. Splits were good, my body felt good, my energy levels were good.
On the begining of my favorite section of the loop, I encountered tanks driving on a gravel road in front of me. This week the Army has been doing some live fire exercises with their tanks. I was nervous about crossing the road and furthermore being to close to where they exit the base and getting harassed... luckily it wasn't an issue, but it certainly was cool to see these awesome tanks.
Also pretty cool was finding a whole pile of recently shot aluminum (not brass) 30MM bullet shells while running through my favorite fields. I took a few for my desk, they would also be awesome "shot" glasses.

Last time I felt really good on my long run, two weeks ago, I had a killer tailwind for about 6 miles, today it was just slightly breezy, so the splits weren't quite as fast but I managed to keep pace right around 7 flat for a longer duration, 10 miles.

Here are my splits:
1) 9:02
2-8) 7:30 Treadmill 5.5% grade
9) 7:50
10) 7:36
11) 7:34
12) 7:20
13) 7:33
14) 7:16
15) 7:00
16) 7:07
17) 6:57
18) 6:54
19) 6:58
20) 7:05
21) 7:01
22) 7:07

Average pace: 7:21 with 2,033ft climbing.

While the whole run was very comfortable and came easy, the last 1.5 miles I started to get very hot and tired. I drank 30oz with 2 servigs of EFS Lemon Lime on the Treadmill, then 3.5 OZ of EFS Berry Liquid Shot and finished (on the last mile) my 50oz of water in my Nathan water pack, so a total of 80oz of water today in under 3hrs!

Next week I'll do 24 miles with 8 on the treadmill at 6% grade. Things are coming along.
Wild Iraqi Melons.  I couldn't believe it... no, I didn't try one.


AM 1:26, 11.24M, 633Ft, 135Av Hr;
Easy recovery run. 3 miles on the dirt, 2 miles on the T-mill for 633ft climbing. Felt pretty good. Faster by about 3 minutes than the same run Friday with a slightly lower heart rate.

Weekly Summary & Status Check-

Due to the stomach bug, I lost nutrition, then energy which resulted in about a 7 or so day period of less than "on" training.  It only resulted in not doing one harder workout, but I was flat and unmotivated the whole time.  I turned the corner halfway through Thursday's workout and I'm running and feeling better than ever now.

Mileage: 92
Feet Climbed: 8,350
Total Time Running: 11:32
There are 3 kittens that live around my new office.  Despite all sorts of warnings against stray animals, I enjoy their company.

After really thinking about it, I made a significant transition this week with my running... and it wasn't planned whatsoever! 

This winter I was extraordinarily motivated and driven to train as hard as possible (often times TOO hard).  I was motivated by the results of my first Ultra, TNF 50 in SF, to find out what my body could do running on trails and by the fact that winter running in Boulder is downright awesome largely in part due to Chataqua Park. 
This spring motivation and focus was to race well at Nueces/USATF 50 Mile Championships.  After meeting my goals at USATF, I was ready to test myself racing "for real"... the summer season, more competition and my first 100 mile. 
Then came word of my 6 month deployment to Iraq at the end of April.  My focus then changed to getting time in the mountains running in CO and more importantly, spending quality time with Maggie and Felix.  Then I was off to Spokane WA and NJ for military training.  Out there, training was sporadic.  I raced the Dirty German 50M and the Wachtung Trail Marahon within two weeks of each other without any real race specific lead up, I was out late with friends, doing military training all day and drinking.  The races were fun, but my body was hurting before, during and  after these races and training was as far from focused or planned. 
The last week in NJ, on my way to Iraq (in Arlington VA) and for the first week and a half in Iraq I only did a handful of runs and accomplished a mandatory re-set. 
After catching my breath and getting established in Iraq, I was on a mission to:
A)Begin, for the first time since April, a focused training block and more importantly:
B)Absolutely crush the idea that I couldn't train for Trail Ultras in Iraq 
I did just that.  In 5 weeks I got my mileage up to over 100 miles in a week, with two focused hard workouts/week and over 8K of climbing.  Then came, rather I wanted it or not, the transition.
I had accomplished my goals and then my body mentally and physically was ready for a small breather and some new direction.  I was tired, got a little stomach bug, my foot was bothering me and I didn't realize it at the time, but mentally, I needed some new focus and goals. 
I'm over my ailments and have a new focus: racing The Iraqi White River 50M either Sunday the 21st of August or Sunday the 27th of August.  Over the last 5 weeks I've gotten my body pretty close to race shape and now it is time to start focusing on racing.  I'll continue the training routine I have now for a week and a half to two and a half weeks depending on which date works best and then have a week and a half taper. 
My pacer. 
The race will mirror The White River 50 Mile in distance and total altitude climbed.  I picked White River because it was a race I planned on doing this year.  More details to come when I pick which Sunday to run the race.  
Ready to Rock. 
Iraqi Whiter River 50 Aid Station Volunteers


  1. I'm concerned about your pacer - he looks like a lounge lizard and not get up and go kinda guy.

  2. The 146 miles was including the 100 miler itself. I actually did 120 the week before - but seriously, for me, tapering makes me feel stale. I felt dropping from 162 to 120 was a good enough taper.

  3. Maggie, no he will do perfectly... he will lay right next to the treadmill and watch me during my climbing sections.

    I know what you mean on the taper staleness. Nearly 300 miles the two weeks before your first 100 mile and then to get 3rd... has to be some sort of record.

  4. Check out Antons post from pre-Leadville of 2007 - it was like his third post ever on blogspot. He ran like 4 consecutive weeks at 200+ miles with no taper and won Leadville. That HAS to be the record! ha

  5. Jason, do you have the equipment you need? Do you need any shoes, apparel, or accessories? Let me know. I create all the run apparel for Under Armour and appreciate what you are doing for our country. I lost a teammate in 2001, 2nd Lt. Michael Felsberg, a Marine during the Iraqi War. If you need more gear, please let me know and I will send out a care package. Peace.

  6. Michael,

    Should have figured, Anton had that title!

    Hope your recovery is going well.

  7. Gabriel,

    Thank you so much for your offer for support.

    I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your friend/teammate. So many have and continue to sacrifice so much in support of the USA. Yeah, it is tough being here, but it is also amazing to see so many young soldiers, airmen, sailors out here working 6.5 or 7 days a week, 12hrs a day in the 120+ degree weather... because they believe in our country.

    Furthermore, it means more than you can imagine to receive support, rather verbal, on the TV, letters, packages, or a post on facebook or a blog.


    Gabriel, I have 3 enlisted soldiers that work with me that are helping me with my run, I'd love to give them something (something small, or whatever).
    I also can make Under Armour "the official sponsor" for the Iraqi White River 50M. I'll be doing a pre race post, race report and I'll even have some during the race updates on my splits/progress on going for a virtual win (verse times at The White River 50M in WA).

    Here is my email:
    if you want to contact me directly.

    Again, thanks for your offer and support!

  8. Congratulations with your new job and I hope that it can go well. I have been having pretty good luck with the pph free demo