Monday, May 18, 2015

It's Working (At Last)

I wish I'd known (read: believed) two years ago that the junk mileage I was putting in between workouts wasn't helping me get fitter; it was actually hurting me by hampering recovery and putting me in an ever-deepening hole. Over the past four weeks, I have completely eliminated junk mileage from my training. No more little 3-4-mile runs between workouts to boost my numbers. No more "gray-zone" runs. The days of number-chasing for the sake of a nice weekly total are over. And it's for the better because it was an unsustainable course that was making me hate ultras.

My training is now a lot more planful, purposeful and quality-based--and it seems to be paying off because I'm feeling fit and I'm finishing my workouts strong, whether it's a 25-mile mountain run or a track, hill repeat or tempo run session. Rather than fixating on mileage, my greatest focus now is on A) fully recovering between quality workouts (cannot overstate the importance of this), B) executing true quality on my "hard days," and C) going very easy on easy days, including a complete day off (or at most cross-training) on Mondays. It really all comes down to training hard on hard days and recovering on easy days so my body (and mind) achieves adaption--the key to getting fitter. That's in contrast to what I've been doing when training for 100s the past few years--grind it out every day, run as many workouts as possible in a single week (for "practice"), sprinkle in some speed here and there (with no real purpose behind it) and largely ignore fatigue.

Here's an example of what my new training looks like--this is from my plan for this week:

Monday: Off/cross training
Tuesday: 6x800M intervals w/ 400M recoveries - increase speed with each
Wednesday: Recovery run/super easy pace (60-70 minutes)
Thursday: Hill repeats - 7-8 reps of 2-2:30 each
Friday: AM: Easy 6-7; PM: night run of about 15 miles with the guys
Saturday: Recovery run/super easy pace (60-70 minutes)
Sunday: Long trail run of about 22-24 miles

Ordinarily I'd have a tempo run on Saturday but, with a night run the day before, no tempos this week. The average week, though, has intervals, hill repeats, a tempo run and a long trail run.

Over the past three weeks, especially this past week, I have noticed a significant boost in my fitness. I'm able to finish my long runs feeling strong and good (versus tired and wiped out) and my turnover, speed and power are all noticeably better than they were in April (when I actually debated abandoning the racing year altogether). It is too soon to say whether or not this new approach will pay off at Bighorn in the way of a "good time." I think it will but, even if it doesn't, that's OK because this new way of training is more satisfying. When I'm done with a workout, I don't have to worry about getting in a few more miles that day; I have nothing hanging over my head and can instead live my life.

Also, I think I've discovered some great nutrition products. Again, it's too easy to say how it'll all pay off at Bighorn, but in my long runs over the past few weeks I've been very happy with Tailwind Nutrition (I mix about 125 calories per bottle), Justin's Nut Butter packs, and Honey Stinger waffles. My nutrition plan for Bighorn, mirroring how I've trained, will be a combination of the above, plus some typical aid station fare, with the overall goal of consuming about 150-200 calories and--most importantly (for GI health)--no more than two dozen grams of carbs an hour.

Overall, this new approach to training is more fulfilling, conducive to the responsibilities I have as a husband, dad and employee, and purposeful. I cannot predict how it'll play out at Bighorn. Bighorn will be the most challenging 100 I've ever done and so I'm going to need to be at my best. But I know that when I'm running 20 and 25 miles and feeling great in the end that that's a good sign. When I feel powerful and efficient going up hills and my tempo pace is dropping like a rock, those are good signs.

Bottom line: I remember a few years ago being told by a few older guys, like Jay Aldous, that once you have a big base it's a game of quality, recovery and adaption. Only now am I fully realizing that what they told me was 100% correct. Thank goodness I came this realization in time to get in decent shape going into Bighorn---versus churning out junk mileage like a hamster on a never-ending wheel. Never again.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Quality

I'm in week two of my new training regimen. It's modeled on the program Andy Jones-Wilkins had me on last summer. Since last year's Leadville, where I had issues (but still finished sub-25, thank God!), I've come to realize that my problem going into that race was that I never let myself adequately recover between workouts. I was almost always fried. I hit all of AJW's workouts and, between them, I put in lots of junk miles (which I did myself as AJW never prescribed junk miles--his workouts were always very purposeful), leaving me spent by race day. Big mileage worked for me in my mid-30s (admittedly, I did lots of quality back then, too), but all it does now is leave me falling behind in my recovery.

This time around, with Bighorn six weeks away, I have opted for very purposeful training. Every day has a purpose, whether it's recovery, cross-training, hill repeats for power/strength, track intervals for speed/efficiency, a tempo run for strength, a long trail run for raw endurance and specificity, or out and out rest. My new rule is that if I don't know the purpose of a workout, then it's better to stay home. When you add it up, my mileage in an average week is now between 70-80. But, again, every workout has a purpose and I'm getting better and better at measuring progress not by mileage totals but by how I feel after a recovery run day.

This is a big change for me. I've always believed in volume when training for 100s. But, having read a lot of articles and blogs by experts like Joe Friel, Lucho, Jack Daniels and many others, I have come to realize that I have a big enough aerobic base (closing in on 40,000 miles since 2004) to focus more on quality and less on putting in the miles. You go hard on hard days and easy on easy days. You get better not just from the hard days but especially on easy/recovery days when your body is adapting to the stimulus you gave it with those track intervals, hills, tempo miles, etc. If you put in good quality but never recover because you run too fast on easy days (which I was doing) and fill in the gaps with junk miles, then you never adapt and get better. I have always known this but I also told myself that junk miles were recovery miles and "good practice." They are not. Junk miles take away from, not add to, fitness.

So far, so good. Last week, I put in some solid workouts thanks to excellent recovery from the 50K. But then on Sunday a strange thing happened on my 24-miler up and back down Waterton Canyon and Section 1 of the Colorado Trail: I felt good. I felt efficient. I felt strong. And I felt fast. It was fun! As Mike W. and I were running back to our cars, with about 1.5 miles to go, I dropped the hammer and ran it in hard, passing a runner ahead of us. Mile 22.5-23.5 was run in 6:50. I haven't been able to do that at the end of a long run, physically or mentally, in some time.

This week, all is going well so far. I had a solid track workout on Tuesday and a solid hill repeat session this morning. I can feel my efficiency improving and I'm definitely lighter on my feet. The biggest thing I've noticed is an ability to recover better between workouts since I've cut out junk miles like those extra 3- and 4-milers between runs, which are more about chasing numbers than anything. Plus, I'm going super easy on easy days--like 9-minute pace. But I don't really look at my Garmin on easy days because it's not about pace or distance; it's about recovering.

Whether or not all of this pays off at Bighorrn is yet to be determined. I believe it'll pay off and it'll set me up for a great taper and I know my life has improved, as a person and runner, now that I'm more focused and not always feeling pulled by the need to get in "more miles," which is exhausting when you have a lot of other things going in life. And even if my time at Bighorn isn't great, I'm OK with that, because at least now this all feels manageable, healthy and purposeful. Oh yeah, and fun!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

At Last, True Compression Sleeves That Work (Here's a Coupon Code to Get Yours Today!)

Note to reader: I'm not an elite runner or by any stretch "famous." I'm a regular guy who likes running and racing distances up to and beyond 100 miles. Here's a review of an outstanding product I recently discovered. I have been offered nothing by SLS3 but this one free product to test and review. This review is 100% how I feel about these calf sleeves. Now, read on!

I like compression gear because it works for me. In races and long training runs, I often wear compression shorts under my running shorts because they help keep my quads stable and chafing at bay. They also provide extra warmth up in the mountains and when the seasons are changing.

I've also on occasion found calf compression sleeves to be quite helpful and beneficial in the way of preventing soreness, promoting stability, helping with recovery, and keeping warm. But not until recently did I find the truly perfect pair of calf sleeves.

Source: SLS3
A few months ago, SLS3 asked if I'd wear-test some of their calf sleeves and then post a review about my experience. Who is SLS3? They've been around since 2004 (you can read about their story here) and have evolved over the years to offer top-quality triathlon apparel and compression gear. Although I'm not a triathlete (just an ultrarunner who also likes my bike), I am most certainly interested in good compression gear. So, when SLS3 reached out to me, a quick search of their website and a few e-mails with the very friendly rep (her name is Vanessa) revealed that this was a great opportunity. I turn down about 95% of these types of wear-testing opportunities, but this one was impossible to pass up because I believe truly good compression works.

Within a few days, my SLS3 FXC Compression Sleeves (shown to the right, but those aren't my legs, and I got black sleeves!) arrived in the mail. I immediately noticed how durable they appeared. In the past, durability has been an issue with calf compression sleeves, especially when you get on rocky trails. They like to rip. Not the case with my SLS3 sleeves (more on that below).

SLS3 says its calf compression sleeves "boost blood flow by around 34%." I believe it. I've put in a few hundred miles in my calf sleeves and I've definitely noticed a difference. Not only am I not sore in the calves after a hard run, but I'm also recovering better. Maybe that's why I was able to hit the track for quality intervals a few days after running 31 miles at the Cheyenne Mountain 50K?

The one downside to them--and this is only because they offer top-quality compression--is that they can be difficult to take off. Again, that's what you're going to get with good compression; it's part of the deal. Fortunately, they're super durable. I've washed them a few times and they're as good as new. No rips. No fraying. Still as tight as when they came out of the tiny box.

If my calf sleeves are any indication, SLS3 makes really quality stuff. I hope they enter the ultrarunning arena and start making stuff for those of us who enjoy running all day.

The good news is that my calf sleeves are perfect for not only runners but also cyclists, walkers, triathletes and even skiers (hadn't thought about their benefit to skiing but it's true!).

If you're into compression or just want to try it, check out SLS3! You can't go wrong. Use coupon code Wyatt40 to get a 40% discount. Check 'em out!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Ditching Junk Miles and Opting for Speed

First off, many thanks to the folks out there who shared support after my last blog post. I appreciated all of the blog comments and e-mails.
 
Saturday's Cheyenne Mountain 50K proved to me that volume-based junk mile training, which I've fallen into this year because I've been lazy and, at times, unmotivated, isn't working. I felt slow and inefficient and my feet were heavy. When you feel that way, it's hard to mentally engage. So Cheyenne was kind of a slog fest for me. With the Bighorn 100 in seven weeks, now is the time to make necessary adjustments.

On Sunday, as I ruminated on my race at Cheyenne (and pulled more cactus needles out of my left hip due to a nasty head-first fall down the trail), I read quite a bit about what happens to us runners when we age, especially when we reach our 40s. I read blogs and articles by Joe Friel, Jack Daniels, Tim Noakes and other highly regarded experts. Here's what I learned: I am doing precisely what a masters runner with a huge endurance base built over a dozen years should NOT do: I am running junk miles, stacking up volume, chasing numbers and neglecting anything that builds speed and strength. That is why I am now weak, slow and inefficient. 

So, it's time to hit the reset button. I did basically nothing on Sunday and zilch on Monday in order to speed recovery from the 50K and give myself the freshest start possible. This morning, feeling re-energized, I headed to the track (life makes sense to me at the track) and did 400s to jump-start things in the right direction. A typical week for the next five weeks might then look like:

Monday - Off or cross-training in order to recover; no more Monday junk miles
Tuesday - Intervals such as 8x400 meters in order to promote speed and efficiency
Wednesday - 60-70 minutes at easy pace on mostly trails in order to recover
Thursday - 10x2-3-minute hill repeats in order to promote strength and power
Friday - 60-70 minutes at easy pace on mostly trails in order to recover
Saturday - 10 miles at tempo or steep trail running in order to promote strength
Sunday - Long run of 25-28 miles on mountain trails, staying at "ultra pace," in order to promote endurance and practice nutrition

In terms of 2015, I'm staying the course and will line up for Bighorn. I want to finish Bighorn but I won't be too concerned about my time. I will be focusing on having fun (and staying qualified for the Western States 100 lottery). After Bighorn, the priority will be to recover, have a great summer with the family (most important of all), enjoy the Pikes Peak Marathon, and hopefully get qualified for the 2016 Boston Marathon at a late summer race like the American Discovery Marathon.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

When the "Honeymoon" is Over

When you start ultrarunning (assuming you stick with it), you spend a few years in what I call the “honeymoon period.” That’s when it all feels fresh, new and exciting. It’s when you’re making fitness gains and achieving new breakthroughs, whether they’re mental or physical. It’s also when you tend to have a big cheering section. Everyone from your family and friends to your neighbors, social media contacts and co-workers are amazed by and “impressed with” your exploits. It’s when your running magazines show up in the mail and you devour them in one sitting, reading every word of every article because your thirst for new knowledge and your passion run so strong and deep. It’s when you look forward to every training run and those in your life are enamored with the determination you’ve shown in knocking off 30-milers on the trail on Saturday mornings, when most folks are sleeping. You can’t get enough of ultras and those around you can’t stop telling you how much of a relentless warrior and "inspiration" you are. Their adoration takes on a life of its own and suddenly you look in the mirror and see an “endurance athlete” with a “brand.”

For me, these years were from roughly 2006-2009. My first ultra, though, was in 2005.

Alas, over time, the honeymoon period tapers off. While your loved ones still support you in your hobby (and love you just as much, if not more), the thought of asking those in your life to give up entire weekends to wait for you at aid stations and ensure your bottles are filled with your energy drink of choice starts to make you a bit uncomfortable. While their support seems unending and the love and friendship run deep, you nonetheless come to realize the inherent selfishness of racing ultras and asking others to help you in your quests for whatever it is you seek--glory (yep, been there), self-transcendence (my favorite), competition (been there), fitness, or, for some, recovery. Dare I say running 100 miles starts to seem like a self-absorbed obsession. Praise and amazement from others, once a kind of fuel, start to grate on you.
 
That’s when it all gets really hard.

Brett Favre used to say (I’m paraphrasing) that it wasn’t a lack of love for the game of football that made him consider retirement; it was the preparation for the season, the daily grind and the sacrifices that made him decide to finally hang it up. While ultrarunning clearly isn't football, both sports will take a toll on your mind and body. At times, you're going to ask yourself, "Why?"

Just to be clear, I have no plans to leave ultras. But I’m at the stage in my running life where I look at myself and those around me and the thought of asking them to help and/or support me in my hobby is starting to feel uncomfortable. Back in 2007-2009, I can honestly say that any help I asked for in a 100-miler was with the goal of assisting me in truly competing in a race. That seemed to work quite well because I had people lining up to gladly help me compete and the results spoke for themselves. But these days, with an aging body and slowing legs (I especially felt old this past Sunday), requests for pacers and crew support seem more and more tenuous and unreasonable to me—since I’m now really just a pure mid-packer unless you put me in a 5K or half-marathon, where I can still move well enough to perhaps beat a few young guys and podium as a masters runner. That’s one reason why at Bighorn I’ll have one pacer (Scott S.) and pretty minimal support along the way—in some part because the race offers very limited crew access but in large part because, after years of being supported like a Tour de France cyclist up in Leadville, the thought of going rather minimal in the mountains in Wyoming is rather refreshing. It might even help restore my passion for ultras.

Plus, I’m looking at the time I spend training and starting to question if it’s time well spent. I will always exercise and I believe with 6-7 hours of physical activity every week--running, weights, some yoga, etc.--I could remain in excellent shape. But when I look at my training schedule and I see training weeks of 12-15+ hours (which, in the grand scheme of things, isn’t that much compared to the guys and gals putting in well over 100 miles a week), I start to see the tradeoffs I’ve made and I’m not sure it all sits well.

If 6-7 hours a week are reasonable and 12-15 hours aren’t, then that leaves 6-7ish hours I didn’t spend with my family but instead spent running. My family truly supports me in my running, but, when I look in the mirror, I ask myself if 12-15 hours of training a week, in addition to a 40+ hour a week job, leaves enough quality time for my wife and son and other things that matter.

Realizing this, a few years ago I decided that I would limit myself to one 100-miler a year and would keep a pretty thin race schedule. That would mean just a few months a year would be spent in the grind--OK, very doable, I thought at the time. Now I'm wondering if I need to make more adjustments. Not to judge anyone else, but I look at some fellow ultrarunning dads who are knocking off a handful or more of 100-milers every year and I don’t understand how (or why) they do it. If someone is paying them, then I totally get it. But my greatest fear is that one day I’ll wake up and ask myself why I spent so much time training for races when I could have used that time to camp with my family, go for a hike, show my son the mountains as he's never seen them, take my kid to a movie, take him to the museum, stay up late watching movies with my wife, etc.

I am now, to use a term a friend recently shared with me, a “grizzled ultrarunning veteran who has been there and done that" (though there's still a lot I've yet to do, like Western States). The honeymoon ended long ago, leaving me with the daily grind of training for a demanding mountain race in seven weeks, which I'm doing just fine. I’ve been doing that (running, training and racing post-honeymoon) for about six years now. Those who are still new to this sport may claim to understand the grind themselves, but give it a few years—when the honeymoon has worn off—and most of them will drop out of ultras, because their cheering section will have shrunk just a bit too much for them to endure what is truly a crushingly tough (and yet enlivening) exercise in human determination.

Whether or not Bighorn is my last 100—my last ever or my last for a few years—remains uncertain. I am excited about my first race of the year, the Cheyenne Mountain 50K this coming weekend, and I’m quite stoked about getting it on at Bighorn in June. But, in the back of my head and deep in my heart, I’m aware of the fact that this level of training, even as it’s far less than what I used to do, feels unsustainable to me at this point in my life, when the roles of husband, dad and employee are so key to quality daily living. 

Which begs the question: With these dilemmas tugging at me, have I finally become a true ultrarunner? Is this what it all means?

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Training Week 3/2-3/8 - 16 Weeks to Bighorn

Another solid week in the books--80 miles in a little over 11 hours. I am increasingly finding that my recovery after quality workouts just isn't what it used to be--a product of aging, I suppose. That's why my approach has evolved into going "hard" on days I feel good and going "easy" on days after hard workings and on days I'm feeling rough. Forcing quality on "bad" days isn't going to benefit runners in their forties. It's best to take it day by day and get after it when you're feeling fresh.

Here's how the week went down:

Monday: Easy/recovery
AM: 4.1 miles in 34:45
PM: 0
Just an easy 4 miles on the 'mill to get the week started.
Miles for the day: 4.1

Tuesday: Easy
AM: 7.35 miles with Nick in 1:03
PM: 0
Felt pretty OK. Nick was pokey as hell, so our pace was pretty slow. Very nice weather--31 degrees and clear. Plus, the last 30 minutes were in daylight (not for long). Enjoyed this nice weather while it lasted; the next day's forecast was fierce (ice, snow, super cold).
Miles for the day: 7.35

Wednesday: Mile repeats
AM: 3x1 mile at 6:00/maxed out treadmill with half-mile recoveries; 9 miles in 1:07.
PM: 0
I don't care who you are; mile repeats are tough and they're even tougher when they're at 6,200 feet above sea level. Had to do these indoors as it was 7 degrees and snowing outside. Underneath the snow was a thick coat of ice, so I didn't even flirt with the idea of running outside. Got through my intervals feeling pretty good.
Mile for day: 9

Thursday: Easy
AM: 7.6 miles in 1:04
PM: 3.6 miles in 30 minutes
Super cold but clear in the AM. With ice everywhere, had to watch every step and be careful. Felt good during my PM run.
Miles for day: 11.2

Friday: Easy
AM: 8.3 miles in 1:06
PM: 5.05 miles in 41 minutes, running very muddy trails
I was tired and labored during my morning run. Just couldn't get into a groove and never felt comfortable--probably delayed onset fatigue from Wednesday's intervals. So, I took it easy. However, I felt great during my afternoon run on muddy trails near our neighborhood. My pace would have been much faster had I not been slowed by a combination of mud, ice, snow and deep water. Good training for Bighorn, given the legendary mud there.
Miles for day: 13.35

Saturday: Easy
AM: 10 miles with Nick in 1:26
PM: 4 miles on muddy trails in 35 minutes
Felt brutal during my morning run--tired, groggy, and flat--despite getting a hefty 9+ hours of sleep the night before. So, I bailed after 10 miles. Once again, felt pretty good during my afternoon run, hitting muddy trails and coming back a mess. Not sure what's going on but I'm starting to see a trend of feeling rough in the mornings and good in the afternoons. Started listening to a Talk Ultra interview with Karl Egloff, who broke Kilian Jornet's FKT records on Aconcagua and Kilimanjaro.
Miles for day: 14

Sunday: Long
AM: 20 miles solo in 2:48 plus 1.2-mile cool-down in 13 minutes with Noah; about 1,500 feet of vertical
PM: 0
Don't you love losing an hour's sleep to daylight saving time? Oh yeah, and once again you're back in the dark. Was surprised to still not feel good. Just sluggish, slow and labored. However, the endurance was there (obviously). Made the decision to rest a bit next week. This was my 43th consecutive day of running. Was great to finish the morning's miles with Noah; he's getting faster and really seems to enjoy running. Finished up the Karl Egloff interview plus all the rest of the action on Talk Ultra, which, along with Ultrarunnerpodcast.com and Trail Runner Nation, is the cream of the crop, in my eyes at least.
Miles for day: 21.2

Total miles for week: 80.3
Total miles for year: 645

The week ended with me feeling less than 100%--a lot less. So, next week will see reduced volume. The only quality will probably be hill repeats--yep, gotta start getting after them. Then the following week the volume will be back up there, hopefully with some real trail running. The trails right now are horrible. It's hard to believe, but the racing season is just around the corner. Fortunately, I feel like my training is in a good place at this early date. Just ordered a new supply of S!Caps to get me through the season. 

Just to elaborate on the podcast rant above, here are my favorite endurance-related podcasts in no particular order: Ultrarunnerpodcast.com, Talk Ultra, Trail Runner Nation and Rich Roll. There are lots of other good ones but those are my tops.

Onward and upward!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Training Week 2/23-3/1 - 17 Weeks to Bighorn

Another decent week in the books even as it started off on a rough note. I had no energy on Monday or Tuesday. This fatigue problem started the previous Saturday, after the Friday night run. I could barely keep my eyes open all weekend and it went into the new week. By Wednesday, I was feeling a lot better. I'm not sure if I had a bug or if my endocrine system was maybe a bit stressed. Whatever the case, I've started consuming carbs after hard efforts. For the past few months, I've been keeping my breakfasts very low/no carb (Greek yogurt with berries, eggs, etc.) but I think that, with my volume on the increase, it's not working. So, after hard workouts, I'm allowing myself some cereal, toast, etc. But on easy days, I'm keeping my breakfast low/no carb.

On Thursday, I did a 3x1 mile workout and I'm pretty sure it gave me a little fitness bounce that I felt by Sunday. For me, 3x1 mile builds strength, improves leg turnover and enhances mental toughness. I would say it's the single best workout I can do and yet I often slack on it and miss workouts because 3x1 is damned hard. I'm going to make every effort to hit my mile repeats at least twice a month during my Bighorn training, while also incorporating hill repeats into the mix. There is no question that 3x1 works wonders for me.

Monday: Goal: Easy/recovery
AM: 4.1 miles
PM: 0
Felt very drained and tired, like I was battling something (a bug maybe?). Was also tired all weekend. Something amiss.
Total Miles for day: 4.1

Tuesday: Goal: Easy/MAF
AM: 6 miles
PM: 0
Extremely fatigued, so I went easy with Nick. A balmy 10 degrees and icy. The week isn't getting off to a good start...10 miles in two days? This all made me realize that maybe no carbs after my runs might be backfiring on me as my mileage is increasing. Had some cereal after this run.
Total Miles for day: 6

Wednesday: Goal: Feel better
AM: 7.15 miles at MAF
PM: 0
Felt much better. Ran with Nick. The fatigue seems to be gone but decided to hold the mileage for the day down and not do a PM workout.
Total Miles for day: 7.15

Thursday: Goal: Mile repeats
AM: 8.6 miles/3x1 mile
PM: 3.15 miles at MAF
A solid day. With it being 7 degrees and snowy, had to do the mile repeats on my treadmill. Busted out 3x1 mile at 6:00 each (maxed out 'mill) with half-mile recoveries at about 8:00 pace. Also worked in a 6:58 mile for mile 8. Felt good but, yeah, it was a tough workout.
Total Miles for day: 11.75
 
Friday: Goal: Easy
AM: 8.1 miles on the 'mill
PM: 0
With the temp a chilly 2 degrees and our streets very icy, stayed in for this run. Felt pretty good.
Total Miles for day: 8.1

Saturday: Goal: Easy
AM: 10 miles at MAF with Nick
PM: 3.6 miles easy on the treadmill
Was supposed to be a ski day but it was too cold so we stayed home. This 10-miler with Nick went better than expected despite a 0-degree morning. It was shockingly cold for the first 3 miles but then we got warmed up and cruised right along. Was glad to see Nick go 10 miles. This is his kind of weather--he thrives in the extreme cold.
Total Miles for day: 13.6

Sunday: Goal: Long/tempo
AM: 20.1 miles, averaging 7:30 pace
PM: 0
Very solid run. Started with 5.5 miles very easy with Nick and then did 9 miles at marathon pace/tempo (about 6:45-6:50 pace), and then "slowed" to 7:30 pace for 3 miles and cooled down at about 8:30 pace for 2.6 miles. Felt pretty good. Took in zero calories for the first 17.5 miles. Glad to have also gotten in 1200 feet of climbing. Made a point to hammer the downs as best as I get the quads ready for the trails.
Total miles for day: 20.1

Total miles for week: 70.75
February mileage: 271.75
Total miles for year: 564.7

While the weekly mileage wasn't quite as high as I'd have liked, it was nonetheless a solid week despite the fatigue issues on Monday and Tuesday. In addition to running, I mix in push-ups, core work and some walking (as always). I'll be going for 80 miles this coming week, schedule permitting. On Sunday, if the weather holds, I might head to Mt. Falcon for some vertical. We'll see.