Sunday, July 3, 2011

Weekly Summary for 6/27 Though 7/3

My Favorite "Trail" to Train on.  Not exactly Green Mountain.
It felt great to nail my first training week in Iraq.  My running world has transformed into a totaly different situation.In all honestly, I'm more focused now than ever on running.

My daily routine is to get up at 4:50AM, run, skype with Maggie and Felix for 20 minutes, eat, work for 12hrs with an hour and a half gym break where I run a second run and/or do strength work, eat dinner, skype Maggie and Felix for a hlaf hour and then go to bed (9:00PM).  This is the set routine with Friday ending work after 6hrs (half day) and Sunday getting the morning off (half day). 
My ride into Tikrit Iraq from Qatar.  I was the only passenger on the flight. 
AM 1:13, 9M; Easy recovery run after an 18 mile long run Sunday.  I was VERY slow from the start running nearly a 10 minute first mile.  Yesterday's long run took it's toll.  I got started too late on the long run yesterday (6:00AM), only drank 20oz of water in the 100+ degree weather and I didn't strech afterwards either.  Didn't feel like I was "running" until around mile 4.  By mile 6, I felt OK.  I'm definetly at the begining of a training cycle too. 
Saw 3 fox like coyotes and a jack rabit on my run today, pretty cool.
Did 3 sets of push-ups, sit-ups with general mobility drills and 3 strides. 
The Stadium.  Did 40 reps up the stadium.
Parade Stadium. 30 reps here with a dry-heave stop due to the excessive pigeon poop

AM 1:13, 8M, 1507ft; Hill Intervals.  I did 40 reps up "stadium" stairs then jogged (3-4 minutes) over to the second "parade stadium" and did 30 reps.  Cooled down 2 miles.  I ran hard up the stairs and medium hard down (to build those muscles as well). 
Stadium stairs are 19.6ft up and Parade stairs are 24.1ft up, therefore teh 1507ft of climbing today. 
Total time of intervals was 33 minutes. Was considering doing a few more on the Stadium stairs on the way back, but decided to build into my training and not rush it.  I have plenty of time, I don't want to rush it for all sorts of good reasons. 
On the 17th interval at the Parade stairs the 2" thick pigeon poop covering the last 4 or 5 stairs got to me, I dry heaved and had to take a 3 minute break, before returning to finish the last 13 repeats. 
PM :26, 3.5M, 740ft; Easy run on treadmill.  With the temperature reaching over 100 everyday, yes, everyday, until September at least, my afternoon run will pretty much always be on a treadmill.  I'll take the opportunity to do some steady climbing on my afternoon runs via the treadmill.   Felt good on this run at a 4% grade my average heart rate was around 138.

AM 1:15; 9.13M; Started the run at 5:10am. My legs were a bit stiff/slow from the stair repeats yesterday. My overall energy levels were high, but legs were not spry.

PM 23:11, 3.1M, 747ft; Easy run on treadmill. 7:30 pace at 4.5% grade so 747Ft climbing.  Did 3 sets of push-ups and sit-ups.

AM  1:28, 11.01M; GREAT interval workout. I was pretty flat on the warm up, with my calves sore from the stair workout on Tuesday and maybe from the 4-4.5% grade 3 mile second runs, but after some general mobility and 3 strides I loosened up.

I ran my 400m repeats (with 600M jog recovery) out on the flat dirt... as seen in the first picture on this post. The dirt fields/desert prarie has good footing most of the time with some mavunvering for a couple dips, some weeds, etc... every once in a while. 

I used my Garming GPS watch to do the 400/600 interval. At first I was disapointed I couldn't see the timer, just the distance to go with a beep countdown, but in hindsight this is awesome: RUNNING BY FEEL AND EFFORT ONLY! On a track or pavement I would have been at least 2-3 seconds faster/400.

Here were my splits (in mile pace), average was 77.5/5:10 pace. My goal was just to run under 80, on this first week back, so I was happy to exceed my goal and expectations.

1) 5:16
2) 5:16
3) 5:17
4) 5:23 ???
5) 5:17
6) 5:07
7) 5:01
8) 5:00
9) 4:57
10) 5:09 (obstacles)

PM 23:27, 3.1M, 743Ft; Easy run. A little flat from the morning workout. Ran at 4.5% grade for 743ft of climbing. Did 3 sets of push-ups and sit-ups and MSU core circuit. 

AM 1:15, 9.05M;  It was a bit cooler (82?) and windy on this run. Legs sore and heavy, ran a bit slower today to ensure recovery for tomorrow's long run. 

The unbelievabely powerfull Iraqi morning sun

AM 2:30, 19.25M; Awesome long run loop!  Started running today at 4:18AM. Ran with my nathan water backpack, 3OZ of EFS 1st endurance liquid shot, 50oz of water, sunglasses and camera. Great loop around COB Speicher Iraq. This is the longest loop available, bascially I followed the permitter as closely as "I'm allowed".  1st 3 or 4 miles were slow running into the wind and waking up, then found my grove around 7:30 pace. I was glowing with satisfaction at work after this one.  3 sets of push-ups, sit-ups and MSU core circuit. 
Yeah, I trespass from time to time, but no here... deadly
AM 1:15, 9M; Slow recovery run after yesterday's long run.

A great first full week of running and training in Iraq!!  It felt so good to be back to a routine and focused in on my running.  Iraq posses some serious challenges, but again, I have a lot less distractions and really not much to do but run, work, skype and email.  I really miss my friends and the mountains and in just over two weeks, I've gained a new level of appreciation for both.  Most of all I miss my wife Maggie and son Felix.
I've never been in a situation like this for such an extended period of time.  I expect to come out of this deployment with some new found discipline, determincation and most importantly, a phenomenally strong appreciation for all the things I love about the USA.  I'm pretty passionate about using the next 5.5 months to explore new levels of discipline and determination.  Maybe it is a bit sick, but I get butterflies in my stomach and my hair stands up on the back of my neck when I think about this battle.  Next week, I'll get into a bit more of what the heck I'm doing, with regards to work, here at COB Speicher, Iraq as well. 

Weekly Totals:

84.15 Miles
3,739 feet of hard earned climbing


  1. That's really cool to see what you are doing for training etc over there. Way to maximize the opportunity and turn it to your advantage.

  2. and good idea not trespassing.

  3. good stuff man. and thanks for your service by the way. any organized races in Iraq?

  4. The beer is on me when you return soldier. 2 inches of pigeon shit? Come on, that ought to be easy after wading through hip deep snow up Green. ;)

  5. Thanks Aaron! Got to stay positive and running. Give thanks to our Army, those guys are out there doing great things, sweating their butts off all day while getting shot at and having IDEs blow up around them. Again, nice work on your 11 miler. How about some new bests on Green?

    Jacob, good luck on that 100 coming up, excited to see how that goes for you! I appreciate your thanks, it is an honor to live in a country worth serving.

    GZ, I'll take you up on the beer... I've heard so much about your home brew, a Zach Attack sounds delicious. 6 month without any beer is a long time man.
    I tried to think of times where I hiked in caves full of bat poop and how that was no problem, but near the end of a hill workout with temps in the 90s, I broke for a period.

  6. Schlarb,
    Man what an excellent post. it is this kind of stuff that puts life in perspective and helps value what is most important... like not walking in pigeon shit.
    Really though.. our families, the simple ability to run where we want, making the most of opportunity and circumstances.
    Who you running with there? Who's taking the pics?

  7. Thanks Dave.

    Yes, indeed, being in Iraq makes me appreciate all the amazing luxuries of the US and our freedoms.

    I'm running pretty much solo out here and I tote my camera phone from time to time to capture the moment. I do have a great group of friends and coworkers that I share my training with and of course this blog... which helps me get out there some mornings!