31 January 2011

January Digits and Frost Giant Double Take

What a whirlwind of a month! As of Dec. 24 2010 Meg and I were living in Gunnison and running in single digits. Now its been a month in the Fort and on Jan 28 Dakota and I ran 25M of 90% dry trail in 60 degree temps! How time flies... Training, motivation, and the joy/fun factor of running have been at an all time high! It's been awesome to learn and apply many of the Jack Daniels training principles. The big difference I'm noticing comparing this year to last is that of recovery days. Last year I ran 10-14 M most days; not to hard, not too easy. Looking back my body never really had an easy day to rejuvenate and I would simply take a day off running. This year I'm focusing on knowing the purpose of each given run. On easy days I run super easy putting in some good mellow miles and adding to the aerobic base. On fast days it's been great to plan out focusing on VO2 intervals, tempo/extended efforts to build lactic threshhold or fast reps to improve economy. With my easy days super easy my body is recovering and allowing me to run every day. My last day off was Christmas. The streak will end when it needs to; I'm simply enjoying the process and taking each day at a time. The variety has been great and it's a simple approach in its most basic tenets: alternating fast and easy days and throw in a long run each week. This is also the most miles I've run in a month despite not worrying much about my weekly totals and hoping quality will trump quantity to an extent.


411.3 miles
13.2 miles/day
0 days off
0 meat
0 alcohol
Stretch or rollout each day of the month
1200 Pushups
2275 Crunches
239 Pullups

Weekly breakdown:

1/1 - 1/2: 23.4 M, Quality: 5K race, Long: 14M
1/3 - 1/9: 87.7 M, Quality: 1. 10-100 count Fartlek (10 easy, 10 fast etc), 2. 4x1M, 4x200m, 3. 5K race, Long: 16M
1/10 - 1/16: 98.2M, Quality: 1. 10x30 sec. fast during run, 2. Towers Time Trial, 3. 8x800m, Long: 24M
1/17- 1/23: 93.4M, Quality: 1. 12x400m, 2. 5x1200m, 3. 10x40 sec. fast during run, Long: 23M
1/24- 1/30: 97.9M, Quality: 1. 2x1.5M, 1x2M, 2. Towers Time Trial, 3. 5K and 10K race, Long: 25M
1/31: 10.7M

Frost Giant Races-

Yesterday was another fun day of racing. It was the first time I've ever run 2 races in a day; good to experience something new! Senor Clark put up a nice write up on his blog- great description of the terrain we encountered on a road/dirt road/cross country course. The 5K start was a rude awakening. Felt a bit sluggish during the warmup and once we started I was breathing way too hard and settled in a few ticks back of the lead group of Youngster, Swank, Saunders, and Clark. Just before the mile I passed the Youngster (high school?) and it appeared the others had eased off the gas a bit. Before 1.5 I passed Saunders on the dirt road. I watched as Clark put a strong gap on Swank who appeared to be slowing ever so slightly. From mile 2 to the finish I gave it what I had and made up about 20 sec. on Swank who crossed the line 2 ticks before me...just a little too late.

The 10K felt amazingly better than the 5K. Our first mile was semi casual as the top four runners in the 5K doubled up. Clark was running strong and had a sizable gap after the first mile. Shortly after mile 1 I passed Swank and started getting into a good rhythm. The slightly slower pace felt amazing as I'm obviously geared towards endurance than speed. Put in a consistent effort throughout the race and finished strong in 2nd.


5K- Senor 17:56, Swank 18:26, RWB 18:28, Saunders 18:55
10K-Senor 36:23, RWB 37:28, Saunders 38:26, Swank 38:34

Senor is looking great for NOLA. Hay's in the barn at this point. Good to finally put some faces to names-running Towers at night you never know who is who when it's dark and headlamps are all you see of a face- good meeting Alex May and catching up with Rick Denning of Bells Racing Team. Greeley Superbowl 5K up next.

18 January 2011

Breakfast Fuel

Over the next few posts I will be writing about what fuels me. I've always had a healthy diet due in part to my upbringing. My mom gave me the best of foods growing up. I had no processed/refined sugar until I was 3 years old. When I was with a babysitter she'd pack ants on a log or cheese and crackers for my snacks. My Grandma Burch was shocked when she learned I had never had jello as a child! The first time was in 3rd or 4th grade. Anyhow, I am very thankful that my tastebuds developed with real food and hardly any sugar or fat and cholesterol laden fast food. 2011 is the first time I've ever eliminated a full food group from the spectrum. I'm a strong believer in moderation and simply wanted to try the vegetarian life for a year; I also have a fair amount of all or nothing thinking which is great juxtaposition for the previous statement. So I threw in the added challenge of also eliminating strong drink as well for 2011...go big or go home!?

As a youngster I can remember getting into the huge Quaker oats container. I would eat oats raw starting at 2 years old. I would simply grab a handful and down the hatch they went. In elementary school I remember packing them in ziploc baggies for an afterschool snack at the park. As the years went by I graduated to the instant oatmeal packets. My favorites were Maple 'N Brown Sugar and Peaches and Cream. This continued through high school and the first year of college. I then had a Food and Nutrition class at CSU which really opened my eyes to the amount of sugar they add to just about every product on the market. I then took action and decided to start weening myself of the sugar I had no idea I was ingesting in every meal. Step one: Ditch the instant oatmeal packets. Step 2: Engineer my own oats.

The first recipe circa 1999 was quite rudimentary: oats, milk, raisins, and cinnamon. For oat eating sustainability I knew I needed to get more creative. The following recipe is now being disclosed to the public for your own consumption. It is the evolution of 10+ years of research and development from the RWB Oat Refinery Labs:

1 Cup Old Fashioned Oats
2/3 Cup Powdered Milk
1 Heaping Spoonful of Wheat Germ
1 Heaping Spoonful of Ground Flax Seed or Chia Seed (Alternate every day for best results and nutrition)
1 Hearty Sprinkling of Cinnamon
1 Hearty Sprinkling of Nutmeg
1 Good amount of Raisins, Dates, or Figs (Alternate every day for for variety)
1 Big Handful of Walnuts, Pecans, or Cashews (Alternate every day so you don't go nuts) pun intended...
2 Heaping Spoonfuls of Sunflower seeds or Pumpkin Seeds aka Pepitas...(self explanatory)
3 Large Spoonfuls of bluberries, raspberries, strawberries (the more the merrier when mixed)
When you need to splurge: Pour in some real Maple syrup, honey, or agave nectar (I prefer Maple)

No joke, I eat this 98% of mornings and wash it down with a 20+ oz. cup of Celestial Seasonings India Spice Chai Tea or Earl Grey. This tastes even more amazing after a solid run on a cold morn!

As for running, next up is the Frost Giant 5K/10K in Estes Park, January 30!

09 January 2011

Quicker Quaker 5K and Race Schedule through June

On Saturday I went out and ran my 2nd 5K of 2011 at the Lafayette Oatmeal Festival known as the Quicker Quaker 5K. Senor Clark and I carpooled down to represent the FOCO Ultra Contingent. It was an awesome day to run into ultra friends and meet new ones. After getting the race bibs I ran into Bill F who was running with his son and will be prepping for his 1st 100M at Rocky Raccoon in a month. Shortly after I met George Z. George, Nick and I ran the "hilly" course to warmup for the ensuing intensity effort.
My goal for the day was to go sub 18. On Thursday I did another round of 4x1 mile with a 400M b/t efforts: 3 @ 5:49, 1@ 5:46 followed by 4x200M at 35 seconds each. Friday I was flat as a pancake...the addition of the 200's had me feeling lead legged so I put in an easy hour and called it good. Wasn't sure what to expect for Saturday.
Once the gun went off I thankfully had fully digested the residual pancake from the day before. As usual I cranked out the first mile 5-7 seconds faster than I should have. Shortly after, Aaron K glided by with words of encouragement. I tempered the pace and tried to keep the heart rate stable on the "climbs." Shortly after mile 2 I passed George who went out like a bullet. Nearing the 3 mile I began reeling Aaron in. One last turn and then it was a straight shot to the finish. I kicked it into highgear and passed Aaron on the final corner and started seeing the finish line banner getting larger and larger...
Big mistake! I pushed the zoom button 200M too early and though the banner was getting closer and closer I was beginning to drastically slow and the 3 people I passed on the initial takeoff came floating by as I was significantly sinking...
For the second week in a row I had a blast racing a distance I am thoroughly unaccustomed to. I crushed my goal by 3 seconds- finishing in 17:57, 28th overall. It has been great feedback to see how well the track workouts compare to my average race pace. On Saturday I ran 5:47 pace...just as one could have predicted from the Thursday workout bout. Nick and Aaron ran smart races while George and I could have improved our first mile.
After the race it was an ultra cool down as I had the chance to meet and share some miles with Scott Jurek, Joe Grant, and Bob Sweeney. The 7 of us put in another 7.6 to cap off a great day of balmy January racing and running. In addition to my goals for the year I would also like to go sub 17 for the 5K. Don't worry...trails and ultras make me tick...I'm simply expanding the ways to enjoy and challenge myself with running a more diverse schedule of races...

Speaking of which, here's the schedule for 2011 through June:

February: Red Hot 50K+
March: Salida Marathon
April: currently working on entry/logistics for AR 50M
May: CP 50M and Pocatello 50M
June: Western States 100M

Amongst the ultras will be some more short and sweet local events.

01 January 2011

2006-2010 Years in Review and New Years Day 5K

2010 was a solid year of running and racing. It turned out to be my biggest year in regards to volume despite two injuries. This was the 5th year that I’ve tracked running data for myself. Below you will find the numbers that I’ve continued to build upon since I started ultrarunning in 2006. The numbers are relatively low compared to many of my competitive friends and peers. My prior “competitive” running background consisted of 8th grade cross country. I picked up the sport again in 2002 and ran the Bolder Boulder. From 2002-2005 I slowly began to run more and completed my first marathon in May of 2005. Going into my first ultra in 2006 (Fruita 50M) I had 3 marathons under my belt and the simple desire to run further than I ever had. I finished that day a broken man and never thought I’d do another ultra...
Mine is a story of continued improvement fueled by the simple love of running and the challenge to accomplish goals I would have never imagined 10 years ago. Perseverance, hardwork, desire, belief, and running friends have been vital to my progression over the years. As you can see I ran more each year as running became my dominant mode of activity. The early years were supplemented with ultimate frisbee, weight lifting, hiking, road biking, climbing, and mountaineering. As the love for running grew these activities began to receive less time. As a jack of all trades I came to the realization that my next challenge was to simply focus on one activity and see how much I could improve. Here’s how it has panned out thus far:

2006: 1148 miles, 3.1 mi/day, 22 mi/wk, 200:50 hrs/min, 8 races, 254 race miles,
0 wins, 2 podiums

2007: 1458 miles, 4 mi/day, 28 mi/wk, 248:33 hrs/min, 9 races, 392 race miles,
150 days of running, 41% of days, 0 wins, 2 podiums

2008: 2064 miles, 5.6 mi/day, 39 mi/wk, 316:09 hrs/min, 12 races, 515 race miles,
206 days of running, 56% of days, 2 wins, 5 podiums

2009: 2424 miles, 6.6 mi/day, 46 mi/wk, 371:46 hrs/min, 12 races, 478 race miles,
218 days of running, 60% of days, 4 wins, 7 podiums

2010: 3349 miles, 9.1 mi/day, 64 mi/wk, 528:54 hrs/min, 12 races, 540 race miles,
274 days of running, 75% of days, 4 wins, 9 podiums

Summits of 2010: Signal Peak- 123, 14ers- Uncompahgre, Handies, Belford, Oxford,
Wetterhorn, San Luis, Kit Carson, Challenger Point, Humboldt,
Random- Carfield (11,xxx near CB)

Signal Peak Club of 2010: Callahan- 136, Burch- 123, Parr- 104, Drum- 27, Total: 390

Mileage by month/quarter:

January- 86.8 miles, 2.8 miles/day

February- 264 miles, 9.4 miles/day

March- 345.5 miles, 11.1 miles/day

1st Quarter- 696.3 miles, 29 days off

April- 335.3 miles, 11.1 miles/day

May- 372.8 miles, 12 miles/day

June- 372.7 miles, 12.4 miles/day

2nd Quarter- 1080.8 miles, 14 days off

July- 317.6 miles, 10.2 miles/day

August- 103.6 miles, 3.3 miles/day

September- 307.9 miles, 10.2 miles/day

3rd Quarter- 729.1 miles, 33 days off

October- 344 miles, 11.1 miles/day

November- 229.5 miles, 7.6 miles/day

December- 269.6 miles, 8.7 miles/day

4th Quarter- 843.1 miles, 15 days off

Miles per week frequency:

0-9: 4 10-19: 2 20-29: 1 30-39: 5 40-49: 3 50-59: 3 60-69: 8

70-79: 9 80-89: 8 90-99: 6 100-109: 0 110-119: 1 120-129: 2

Goals and Resolutions for 2011:

Running- 3650 miles, 300 days of running, 2 400 mile months

Fitness- 300 pushups/wk, 600 crunches/core/wk

Diet- vegetarian and alcohol free for 2011

New Years Day 5K!

I jump started 2011 with the annual New Years Day 5K in Fort Collins that is put on by Runners Roost. A cozy 7 degree start warmed the legs of the hearty field which drew just shy of 100 entries on a balmy morn. It was a good opportunity to get a fitness check to build upon. Earlier in the week I also put in a track workout to get a rough estimate of my finishing time. The workout consisted of 4 mile repeats with a 400M recovery jog between intervals. I ran them all between 5:45-5:50 pace.
As the race started I got out a bit too quick hitting the 1st mile in 5:40 ish. The eventual winner (Matt Norton) and I set the pace together for about 2 miles. He slowly but surely put some distance on me during the last mile. He finished the 1/2 dry 1/2 snowpacked course in 18:16 as I came in a few seconds later in 18:22. The 5:55 pace matches up with the track workout given the conditions. It was fun to start the year off with a race! 2011 will also see more structure brought into my training. I've really enjoyed reading Jack Daniels Running Formula and I'll be applying some tempo runs, track work, and strides into my weekly routine. It has been a fresh change of pace and I've actually been looking forward to my "harder" days. Here's to 2011...Happy New Year!