Monday, December 19, 2011

Week of 12-12-11

Monday: 13 miles, 2000' gain, upper Campus to 5-way and back + 2 miles of extra jogging to and from work, with Holly (whose first birthday is on the 22nd, which I guess makes her almost 7 in "people years"), and Adrian Shipley for main run.

Tuesday: 16 miles, 2000' gain, far end of research park to 5-way and back + 2 miles of extra jogging to and from work, solo.

Wednesday: 16 miles, 2000' gain, 5 miles of literally running errands by foot + upper campus to 5-way and back, with Adrian for main run.

Thursday: 10 miles, 8 on treadmill at easy pace (high 7s pace) + 2 miles jogging to and from work, solo, obviously

Friday: Off, spent the night at a Christmas party preparing for the next day's long day (ie, eating Christmas cookies and drinking cognac... hah...)

Saturday: 30 miles, 7000' gain, about 4 1/2 hours (ie around 9 minute pace, so nice and easy), + 2 1/2 hours of skiing, first 72 or 73 minutes with Adrian Shipley, before he turned around to get to work, solo after that, with no music or anything else. This day was obviously a bit on the long side. Upper campus to city creek canyon via shoreline to top of city creek (using as much trail as possible instead of roads to gain an extra mile on both the way up and down in the canyon), back down the trail, and back to upper campus. The climb out of City Creek to the 5-way (around 1500' or so) was pretty tough after the previous 22 miles, but I made it through OK. I think the main reason for toughness of the climb was the intentional calorie/hydration semi-deficit (no breakfast before-hand and only 600 calories + 15 ounces of water for the 30 miles). Finished feeling a bit hungry, but satisfied with how far my metabolism has rebounded since the whole mono incident that trashed it. After running, I went up to Brighton and skied for 2 1/2 hours with old HS cross country teammate Bill Mennell. Overall, this day proved to be really useful for making sure my mental fortitude was where it needs to be as I go into a 24 hour race in a couple weeks with far less than ideal training. I was not happy to have to go up a big climb after 22 miles of minimal calories and hydration, but this is the type of challenge that, when passed, makes me feel ready to tackle the big stuff.

Sunday: 5 miles, super easy, treadmill. Shaking out the legs after quite a bit of physical activity the day before.

Weekly Total: 90 miles, 13000' gain. I was originally thinking I'd do around 100, but didn't have a chance to get out on Friday. I thought about doubling Saturday/Sunday, but figured that the recovery was more important than an arbitrary mileage goal. 2 1/2 hours of pretty intense non-stop skiing (ie, skiing moguls and then bombing the groomers as hard as possible) probably gives my legs the same workout as the extra 10 miles anyway. Pretty satisfied with the week and as of Monday, I got a nice start to this next week with fresh legs.

The next week will probably be a little bit more miles, but with a lot less gain, due to flying home to Minnesota tomorrow. The goal is to once again hit the miles feeling fresh and rather than one long day, I'll probably shoot for back to back longer days on Friday/Saturday. That's still up in the air depending on Christmas Eve plans, etc, but I'm looking forward to a good week on my favorite Minnesota routes.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Week of 12-5-11

Monday: 12 miles + PhD Oral Qualifier. Started parking a mile from work to be able to get an extra 2 miles in by jogging there and back, so I had that plus an easy 10 miles on a treadmill at night. Jogged in a mile, took and passed my rather intense PhD oral qualifying exam, jogged a mile back to the car, then went to the gym and did 10 miles. Took it easy (first 9 at 7:45-8:00 pace, then sped up a bit for a 6:00 last mile).

Tuesday: 9 miles, 2000' gain: 2 miles to and from work then 7 miles in Holbrook Canyon with Adrian Shipley. The canyon was ridiculously icy and had a ton of creek crossings, so this run was more fun than anything and took about an hour.

Wednesday: 16 miles, 3000' gain: 14 miles from Jewish Community Center with Adrian Shipley and Holly (the pooch), up dry creek, along shoreline trail to just above the final drop down to City Creek, and back, then the now typical 2 miles of jogging to and from work.

Thursday: 2 miles, was short on time, just did the jogging.

Friday: 7 miles, 3000' gain, + skiing. Didn't actually get to do the extra 2 miles, but I did a nice assault of Grandeur Peak with Adrian, which was iced in quite a bit, but not overly snowy due to the minimal snowfall so far this year. Getting above 8000' for the first time in awhile, was slightly more strenuous than usual, due to loss of acclimation, but it was still a blast. The view from the top is actually the same view that I have pictured in my blog header, only this particular run had less snow and much more ice. I had a few spills on the way down (really need to get microspikes), but nothing serious, so it was a pretty awesome run. Immediately afterwards, I went home, threw on ski gear, and did 80 minutes of night skiing at Brighton.

Saturday: 23 miles, 5500' gain, by myself. City Creek Canyon along shoreline, to 5-way, to research park, back to city creek, 2/3 of the way up City Creek canyon, and back down. I took it out pretty hard for the first time this week along the first two hours and paid for it in the last bit in City Creek when my energy started dwindling due to eating a 200 calorie bar for breakfast and then eating just one small pack of M&Ms 2 hours into the run and nothing else, but I made it through OK, although slightly tired.

Sunday: 12 miles, 2500' gain, with Joe Dean and Holly. Nice and easy run, hogle Zoo along shoreline to Dry Creek, up the canyon, another 1.5 or so along Shoreline, and back. The last few miles weren't so fun. Didn't have breakfast beforehand and didn't eat anything during the run, so I was feeling exhausted by the end, especially after the previous day's effort. That being said, it seemed like a good double, as the 12 miles was entirely on relatively tired legs. Grandeur is a ridiculous amount harder than any other 7 mile run that most people will do and followed up by some hard skiing and a mountainous 23 miler that I ran pretty hard, this was a good simulation for running later in an ultra on fatigued legs. Achieved what I wanted with it, which is good.

Collin's Totals: 81 miles, 16,000' climb, one night of skiing.
Holly's Totals: 26 miles, 5500' gain. Not bad for being one year old. :)

Best week in quite awhile, but I plan on increasing on it this coming week.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Weeks of 10-24 and 10-31

Week of 10-24-11:
Monday-Wednesday: Flu. Definitely had a few bugs catch me this Fall.
Thursday: 8 miles, 1500' gain, JCC to 5-way and back.
Friday: Off, still wasn't really 100%.
Saturday: 7 miles, 1500' gain. Up north gully over ridgeline, down into Mill Creek Canyon via trail to be known as "sketchy trail" (I don't think it's named and the last bit is barely a trail. Came down the rock slide from the lookout point at the end of Pipeline, which I will never do again. Beat the crap out of my hands and forearms through repeated falls on rocks at a 70% decline. Dumb idea.
Sunday: 15 miles, 2000' gain. Up north gully over the ridgeline and down into Mill Creek Canyon via "sketchy trail". Took Pipeline to Burch Hollow Trailhead, back along road. Holly did really well for her longest run yet.
Weekly total: 30 miles, 5000' gain. Missed over half the week due to feeling absolutely horrible. Not fun.

Week of 10-31-11:
Monday: Off
Tuesday: 8 miles, 2000' gain. Up north gully over the ridgeline and down into Mill Creek Canyon via "sketchy trail", dropped down Rattlesnake, back along roads, with Holly. She did pretty well.
Wednesday: 8 miles, 2000' gain, same as previous day.
Thursday: Off
Friday: Off
Saturday: 10 miles, 2500' gain. North Research Park to JCC, up dry creek (not so dry anymore... lots of snow and mud...) along BOSHO trail to the 5-way and back. Brought Holly with me, who did great, once again. My super thin Saucony gloves weren't good enough, will probably just be wearing ski gloves from here on out.
Sunday: 15 miles, 2000 gain. Up and down City Creek including as much trail as possible. Worked my butt off at near max effort for the descent, so hard that I was actually a little dizzy when I finished. Felt great to run so hard. Trail was pretty wet/snowy/muddy, but in all honesty, a bit better than expected. Top of the canyon road was a bit icy in spots, but also a bit less snowy than expected. Semi-interestingly, one of my gels froze a bit. Today reminded me what winter long runs are all about. :)

Total: 41 miles, 8500' gain. Not huge totals, but I've honestly had a bit of a hard time getting out in the cold. Not to mention that, but I'm cutting calories to be back to exactly 160 pounds by the time I race Around the Years 24 hour at the end of December (yes, I am officially registered as of tonight), so this has taken a toll on my energy levels. Weight is coming down, but it's not really that fun to be so careful with eating. In any case, I figure that I'm better off finally being at race weight with less miles in my legs than having extra weight to lug around, even with better training. In any case, time to run some real mileage, or at least as much as possible over the next 7 weeks.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Last 4 weeks of training

Week of 10-10-11:
Monday: 7 miles with Holly, Rattlesnake + Pipeline, 1000' gain. Cold outside. :(
Tuesday: 10 miles: 2 mile warmup + 10k on a treadmill: 35:25 + 2 mile cooldown. The time sounds like I'm getting really fit again, but the treadmill was stuck in a 2% decline, so it converts to a 36:57. That being said, it would be roughly 45 seconds faster at sea level, I still have to drop a little weight before I'll be down to my typicaly "racing" self, and it wasn't particularly difficult until the last mile or 2, so this does give me some confidence.
Wednesday: 12 miles, treadmill, 2% decline (just for fun this time, to make it a little faster), 1:16. This was overall moderately easy except that my calves were a bit sore from my first "fast" day in awhile the day before.
Thursday: 6 miles, easy, treadmill, 46 minutes, flat. Nice to recover from the previous day, legs were sore after 2 days at faster pace than anything I've been running on the trails.
Friday: 4 miles, treadmill. Just wasn't really feeling it, so I did 4 easy miles. Don't recall the time.
Saturday: Off.
Sunday: 9 miles, 4200' gain. Mt Olympus, up and down (plus some extra around the summit due to getting lost literally 3 times. I actually managed to almost make it up the entire runnable portion of the mountain without stopping, but .25 from the top, I tripped over a rock, faceplanted in the dirt, and just lost all my momentum, so I had to hike a few of the last few ultra steep portions. Oh, and by runnable, I'm talking about the 3.1 mile/4000' gain portion from the road to the saddle, after which almost everything in the last 200' of gain is a rock scramble/climb, so not runnable, even for someone like Kilian Jornet. I'm thinking about getting back up to do this again in the next few days; I now know that it's totally runnable with proper pacing, even if it's the most ridiculously difficult climb, basically, ever.
Total: 48 miles, 5200' gain. Would've liked to have hit more, but those treadmill runs have been surprisingly hard on my legs. Quality was still pretty good.

Week of 10-3-11:
I got in a full 11 mile run of Porter Fork from Mill Creek Canyon road (over 4000' gain without walking or stopping at all, starting from the Canyon Road, going up to the peak to the right of Porter Fork Pass, which I don't know the name of). My next most substantial run was probably the 12 miles I did on an indoor 7.5-lap-to-the-mile track. This was rather interesting since I was pacing just a hair slower than 7:30 per mile, so I kept running splits of 60-62 seconds or so and checking my watch literally every minute. If I run anything on this track again, I won't wear a watch as it just gets ridiculous to check my time that often. Next best run was probably a 9 mile run in Little Cottonwood Canyon on the White Pine/Red Pine trails. I honestly don't recall what I did on the other 2 runs individually anymore, but I do remember that the weekly mileage was 45 miles between 5 runs, which was pretty low mostly because I had some personal crap to sort out all week long (ie, breaking up with my girlfriend of 2 years the previous week, and dealing with the logistics of that). Despite this, quality was pretty good most days with almost no junk miles.

Week of 9-26-11
As soon as I got back into training after the blisters getting better (mentioned below), I got pretty severe food poisoning for about 4 days, so I lost more time, which sucked. Once again, only 3 days for 30-something miles. Disappointing.

Week of 9-19-11:
Those blisters I had previously mentioned got really bad, so I had to take off a couple days. I only ended up getting in 3 days of training for 36 miles. Disappointing.

Life is back to usual now and while mileage has been low lately, the last 2 weeks have been pretty good quality. It seems like my general fitness is pretty decent now, so I'm looking to start boosting that mileage so I can run a 100 mile PR at a 24 hour race in 2-3 months. That's all for now.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Week of 9-12-11

Monday: 15 miles, full Upper Big Water Loop, 2:01, 3500' gain. No joke, this is the hardest I've worked for any run so far this year. Full on tempo, felt like a race, went out hard and just kept going harder. Heels were bothering me a bit at the end (both bruised-feeling and blistery, will get to that shortly...)

Tuesday: Heels were sore, 5 miles easy, Rattlesnake + Pipeline with Holly, 1000' gain.

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: 14 miles, 5000' gain, Goldminer's Daughter (at Alta) up Collin's Gulch (a littler under 3 miles with 2100' gain from 8400' to 10500') nearly as hard as possible up to Germania Pass, intentionally making me relatively tired for the rest of the run. Went from Germania Pass up to Sugarloaf Pass (10600'), came back down into Upper Albion, went up to Cecret Lake, down to Upper Albion Basin, up and through Devil's Castle, back down to Upper Albion Basin, up the cat track to the top of the Supreme lift, up and over Point Supreme (10600' again, oof...) over to Sunset Peak, down to Catherine's Pass, back down to Upper Albion Basin, down to the town of Alta via the dirt access road, and back to the Goldminer's Daughter. Pretty darn close to the most complete circumnavigation of the Alta resort possible, huge climb, 5000'. Managed to work this quite hard, though not as hard as Monday's 15, given that I walked a few of the most technical sections around Cecret Lake. Somewhere around 2 1/2 hours, don't recall the exact amount of time. Finished the run and my heels felt trashed. I pulled off my shoes and to my shock, the heels of the insoles were collapsing into the soles on both shoes of my nearly brand new New Balance Minimus MT20s. In other words, there was some rubber pieces sticking through the insole and just beating the snot out of my feet. Called up New Balance and they were nice enough to let me send them back to be replaced by a pair of MT10s, which I haven't had this problem with.

Friday: Heels were bad, unfortunately had to take a second day off for the week, which I didn't intend.

Saturday: 22 miles, 3500' gain, 3 hours, 14 minutes, Mill D to the Desolation Trail, to the end of the trail at Desolation Lake, up to the ridgeline, all along the ridgeline to Scott's Transmission Towers, down to Guardsman Road, down to Brighton, loop around Brighton, loop through the Solitude Nature Center, back down the road to Mill D. Heels were a bit tender on the road section, but I had just bought a new pair of MT10s (so now I'll have 2 new pairs to rotate when the new ones show up from NB), so they were definitely better than before. Run was a bit uneventful (beyond the gorgeous views the entire way), but helped me clear my head from some stuff that had gone down in my personal life the day before. I took the climb to the ridgeline as moderately as possible and kept the effort moderate the whole way. If I had to compare to 100% marathon effort, I'd rate this run an 85-90%, as in my legs were somewhat sore and tight upon finishing, but felt fine by the end of the day.

Sunday: 5 miles, 1000' gain, yet another easy day of Rattlesnake + Pipeline with Holly.

Weekly Total: 61 miles, 14000' gain. Miles are on their way up, had one day off more than I wanted. Debated getting another long day on Sunday, but I ended up cutting the blister off my right foot and had unexpected heel pain worsening. It seems that it may recover faster as a result, but it was kind of in pain most of the day, so I just took it easy. :P However, despite somewhat falling short of expectations, I would say that 51 of my 61 miles this week came from high quality runs. Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday were all runs with a definite purpose: Monday was a moderately long run with a very very hard effort (great for Marathon fitness, which I need to have by the Spring), Wednesday had purpose as a strength builder due to the massive amount of climbing I had to do on tired legs, and Saturday had purpose as a near Marathon effort long run, which is beneficial for every type of racing that I do

As a whole, I would say that things are coming along well. I've finally gotten my diet in check, so I expect to be at race weight by November or so. Additionally, despite my mileage not being very high yet, I would say that I can see my fitness coming around. I generally feel that a good fitness marker for me is the speed at which I recover from hard efforts. Three times this week I have felt pretty close to trashed by the end of a run and I recovered faster than I felt that I would every time, so I see this as a very good sign. The ability to get three very high quality runs in one week is also a very good sign. In other words, while my tempo speeds may not be there yet, I expect that it will get there when my weight drops to where it should be since my general aerobic fitness has definitely started to come around.

My current plan is to run a 100K in November as a means of qualifying for Western States (crazy enough, I haven't run anything of 50 miles or more within the past year!!!). I'll probably take this pretty easy so I can train through it and keep building, hoping to be able to have good enough fitness to run a 100 mile PR (and then some) at a 24 hour race in December or so, likely at Across the Years.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Weeks of 8-29-11 and 9-5-11

8-29-11: The big week of the PhD qualifier. Not much time to run the first 3 days. :(
Mon-Wednesday: Off
Thursday: 8 miles with Mark Lehmkuhle, good to be back running on the trails. Bonneville Shoreline, 1500' gain.
Friday: 5 miles, Rattlesnake + pipeline with Holly, the good old easy run with the dog when I'm tired and have nothing better to do, 1000' gain.
Saturday: 15 miles, Upper Big Water loop with Joe Dean, nice and easy, 3500' gain.
Sunday: 6.2 miles, 10k on a treadmill, 39:0x with 21:0x and 18:0x splits. Felt pretty good, although my calves weren't used to running the sub-6 pace I did for the 2nd half. First "quick" tempo style run in a long time, next time around I'll do 8-9 miles at this tempo type pace. Sadly, this was 4 minutes off my 10k PR (which I already considered weak by at least 30 seconds due to a really bad positive split), but I'm still not down to weight, so this makes sense. No gain.

Weekly total: 34 miles, 6000' gain. Not much climb or miles, but a good 4 days in a row and I also got an 8 hour written exam out of the way that had been scaring me for the better part of a year.

Monday: Off
Tuesday: 8 miles with Mark on Shoreline Trail, easy, 1500' gain.
Wednesday: 5 miles, Rattlesnake + pipeline with Holly, easy, 1000' gain.
Thursday: 7 miles with Dave Ploskonka up and down Grandeur Peak, took it pretty easy on the way up (well as easy as possible for a run at an average of 17% grade for the better part of an hour), worked moderately hard on the way down, 3000' gain.
Friday: 30 miles, 14 miles of pacing at Wasatch 100 with Mark Lehmkuhle, then another 16 with Ryan McDermott. Felt good, though my heels got a couple annoying hot spots due to wearing my New Balance Minimus on a pretty rocky course. Got back home at 4AM and then had to go to 24 hour FedEx/Kinkos to submit a poster for Saturday's Utah Bioengineering Conference. Oh, also, both runners finished. Mark beat his goal splits by just over 2 hours and Ryan may have been a few hours slower than he wanted, but the dude had a 6 day old baby as of race day. Based on how exhausted he was at night during the race, just finishing was a massive accomplishment. 6000' gain.
Saturday: Annoying conference after almost no sleep due to being out running and submitting a poster until 5:15 AM, then an NPR fundraiser, so I took the day off.
Sunday: Not enough sleep again since I had to get up early for a 9-11 memorial service, had things to do, took another day off.
Total: 50 miles, 11500' gain.

Didn't really want to take Sat/Sun off, but at least I got in 50 miles, which is better than last week and still consistent with beginning to build my mileage up for real. The first 2 days of this current week have gotten me decent mileage and I have a big long run planned for this weekend, among other runs, so I expect to be somewhere in the 60s or 70s this week. If I can get to and keep a good trend of 70+ mile weeks, I think I'm going to run a 100k in November just to see how things are shaping up for longer events.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Last few weeks of running +

The last few weeks have been incredibly light as I have my 8 hour PhD written qualifying exam this coming week. I wanted to start building up, but I decided that running was probably not quite as important as passing this very important exam that covers the entire fields of basic engineering principles, systems neuroscience, cellular neuroscience, computational neuroscience, and modern research in neural interfaces. That being said, I've still had some notable runs thrown in here. Mileage has been light, but among the good runs I've gotten in have been 3 more 3+ hour long runs in an around Big Cottonwood and Little Cottonwood Canyons, an exceptionally good run up and down the 2800' climb to the top of Grandeur Peak (ran it hard on the way up and still tried my best to break Adrian Shipley on the way down, dropping the pace to nearly sub 5:0x/mile a couple times on a couple of the most runnable sections of the very technical descent, but unfortunately, I couldn't quite drop him and he stuck right behind me the whole way), and another couple tempos.

Beyond that, I'm developing some plans for 2012. I'm not committed to anything yet, but suffice it to say that I have big goals for the Spring after I use the rest of the fall to build a monster base. I once again have the focus I need to run at my most competitive level; all I need now is to shrug it off for 3 more days so I can finish preparing for this rather absurd exam. Until Wednesday, I'll hopefully get by just reading the highlights of the current IAAF championships...

Monday, August 8, 2011

A down week: Week of 8-1-11

Mon-Wed: Off. Took some time to relax before I really start building up my fitness again for real.

Thursday: 2 mile warmup, 2x5k on a hilly and technical section of Pipeline at 6000', 2 mile cooldown. I worked these quite hard, but unfortunately, I hit my foot rather hard on a sharp portruding rock (the one downside to running pretty exclusively in the New Balance Minimus) and developed a painful bruise for 2 days, 1000' gain.

Friday-Sat: Foot hurt, off.

Sun: Foot still annoying, but wasn't getting worse with use, so I did 17 miles with Adrian Shipley with 7000'+ climb between 8500' and 11100'. Started in town of Alta and climbed Grizzly Gulch from 8500' to 10050' Twin Lakes Pass, descending to the Twin Lakes Reservoir:

Next dropped down into the "town" of Brighton (8700') via a rather convoluted route and took the trail up to Lake Mary:

Next, went up to Catherine's Pass (10300') above Catherine Lake (with less snow than pictured here):

Next, followed the trail down into Upper Albion Basin (9200') and ran through Devil's Castle (9900'), in the background of this image:

Dropped back into Upper Albion Basin's main road area, then followed a trail up to Cecret Lake:

Came out the backside and followed the main trail up to Germania Pass (10400'), followed by Sugarloaf Pass (10550'), and then up to Mt Baldy (11100', shown here is the ridgeline we 'ran' on to come down into Snowbird. Yup, it's technical):

Dropped down Peruvian Gulch:

Followed this all the way down to the bottom of the gulch and then took a combination of access roads and short trails back to my car at Alta. All of these big climbs, combined with some rolling, added to 7000' of climbing. Maybe next time I'll just tack on a little more in Mineral Basin/American Fork and make it my own personal even better version of Speedgoat. hah...

Weekly total: an easy 27 miles with 8000' climb. I guess this helped rest me up for a good week starting today.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Week of 7-25-2011, Speedgoat 50k "Training Run" report

Monday: 5 miles, pipeline, with the pooch, 1000' gain.

Tuesday: 11 miles, Brighton parking lot to Lake Mary, up to Lake Catherine, to Catherine Pass, down to upper Albion Basin, down to Alta town area, and back, 3500' gain.

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: 8 miles, from Alta town area up Twin Lakes Pass (pretty difficult near the top, especially on the steep super rocky sections, ooof), down to Lake Mary, and then back. Ran the whole way without stopping, but still took it pretty easy, despite the high altitude and moderately large amount of climb, 3000' gain.

Friday: Off

Saturday: Speedgoat 50k. Took it quite easy the whole time, so it was slow, but comfortable and well inside my limits as a super long and ridiculously mountainous training run. I ran the vast majority of the non snow covered sections of the first climb up Snowbird, but took it barely faster than the walking pace of those around me so it was nice and easy but consistent. I had 2 gels on the way up the first climb (about 8 miles for the climb since it went up and down and back and forth quite a bit over the 3000' climb). I had about 350 calories of chocolate milk at Hidden Peak (stored in my drop bag) and trucked down the backside to climb Mt Baldy. Having developed quite a bit of lactose intolerance in recent years, I thought this would probably cost me a lot of bathroom time, but considering that I was strictly opposed to racing the clock at this point (considering that I'm still not all that close to top racing shape), I didn't mind losing time.

My stomach held fine coming down into Mineral Basin (Larry's Hole aid station) and I thought maybe I would miss the bullet on that one. However, after climbing out of Mineral Basin over the ridgeline into American Fork Canyon, I started noticing some cramping and felt the need to use a bathroom. Fortunately, I had thought ahead and has stuffed some T.P. into my shorts pocket, so I was well prepared. I ran down to the American Fork aid station (don't remember the name) without any problems, although I ran out of water about a mile before the station, so I walked in the last mile or so as it was the lowest elevation point of the race (around 7500' I believe) and was getting pretty hot.

I used 2 more gels (total of 4 gels, a tiny cup of sprite from the previous station and a chocolate milk in the first 15 miles), but felt relatively hungry when I got to the station, so I sat there and had about 20 ounces of sprite and 4 45 calorie fruit bars. This took around 15 minutes to consume since the Fruit Bars had been on dry ice, were super frozen, and initially stuck to my tongue before warming up. haha... In any case, I was carrying only one water bottle, but had my gels in a second handheld pouch. About a mile after I left the mile 15 station, I realized that I had forgotten my pouch at the previous station. Still not having the best metabolism again yet and needing to eat quite a bit to keep myself fueled (my fat metabolism capabilities are still quite a bit off what they were pre-mono and I can bonk pretty easily if I'm not eating a lot), this concerned me greatly. In any case, I didn't want to do an extra 2 miles roundtrip to go back and pick it up, so I just kept going.

After 5 miles and a big 2000+' of climbing, I was pretty hungry again, but fortunately ran into some local guys I knew and bummed a cookie off one of them. Eating that held me over until I got back to Larry's Hole, where I had another bathroom stop (stomach was really cramping at this point, and I felt a constant need to use the bathroom, whether or not I had already done so recently). This stop honestly cost me 15 minutes and I won't go into the details, but it wasn't fun.

After the "break",I chomped down half a PBJ and began the climb to the tunnel near Hidden Peak from here. This climb was probably the most physically demanding portion of the course (the majority wasn't on a trail and was literally straight up the mountain at a 50-60% grade, climbing to about 10900'. This definitely wasn't so much fun, but at least it shortened what could've been a longer climb. Going through the tunnel, I really had to go to the bathroom yet again, so already having exhausted my small stash of TP, I had to bum some paper towels off the aid station folks.

Having forgotten to eat much at the station (I think I had 6 ounces of Sprite) and more focused on finding a suitable bathroom off the side of the course, I went through the tunnel, got out the other side to the beautiful sight of a middle aged man puking his guts out on the side of the trail, and went down about 1/4 mile before finding some trees to hide behind to do my business. I spent another 10 minutes here and then continued down the trail. At this point, this was farther than I had previously taken my New Balance Minimus shoes out for (what I ran in for the whole race), so rocks on the trail were starting to irritate my feet to some extent. I didn't really fly down the trail down Peruvian Basin as a result, but took it pretty easy.

Getting nearly to the bottom of the basin (somewhere probably around 9000'), we then turned around, climbed up to the Cirque Traverse, and followed that back to Hidden Peak. I wasn't really starving, but my body was starting to get sick of all the climbing and altitude, so I bummed a gel off of someone to help get me up the final 2000'-ish climb to 11000'. This climb was pretty tough, but compared to the 1000'+ feet of much steeper climb in Mineral Basin, it wasn't bad. I got to the top, sat down for a minute to empty rocks out of my shoes, drank a 440 calorie chocolate milk, and continued for the final 5-6 mile descent.

About a mile out of Hidden Peak, I bonked hard. I was still at about 10500', had to slide down roughly 400-500' of snow, and was dizzy. This was very alarming and it took me a LONG time to get down. At the time, I had figured that I would be fine on energy because of all the sugar in the milk, which ought to hit my system fast, but in hindsight, most of the sugar is lactose, which my body can't process very well, so I had to wait for the proteins and fats to kick in before I got any energy. In any case, I was in a pretty uncomfortable spot for a good 20-30 minutes, but started recovering, especially when I started dropping in elevation, so I coasted in to the finish.

My overall calories for the day were roughly 1800, which sounds like plenty for a trail 50K, but Speedgoat has a lot more climbing than the average race, so this may have been low, especially if my body was unable to use a few hundred from the milk.

Overall, this was a good training run and my body felt completely recovered within a couple hours after the race (although I still took a couple days off to relax, just for good measure). In the future, even if I'm doing something where I'm not whatsoever concerned about my time, I will definitely take Lactaid if drinking any chocolate milk, as my stomach and bowels felt horrible for basically the entire 2nd half of the race. Losing time (probably close to an hour) isn't a big deal in this type of situation, but spending quite a few hours with pretty extreme gastrointestinal discomfort is highly irritating. Beyond just the bathroom breaks, I was unable to run at times because my gut hurt too much. Not cool. In any case, the stomach problem was really the only problem during the run, which was good.

A couple people with GPS's (I didn't even bother to bring mine) stated that the course was about 33 miles long and I remember one section in particular that was officially labeled as 4 miles, but took well over an hour, despite being nearly downhill (and probably my fastest section), so I'll take their word for it. Officially the gain is either 11420' or 12000', depending on where you're looking. The first climb was a net 3000', but easily 4000' gross with quite a bit of up and down on the way up to Hidden Peak. After this, the climb to Baldy was a few hundred more feet and the climb next climb out of Mineral was probably 600-700'. The climb out of American Fork was around 2500', the next climb out of Mineral was close to 1500'. The lowest point in American Fork was only 7500' or so, but the course dropped over 500' from the peak of the climb out of American Fork to get back down to Mineral, so I think the 4000' of climbing between American Fork and Mineral to get back to 10900' is accurate. The final climb in Peruvian tacked on yet another 2000', so adding these up, we see a total of 11500' plus whatever roll there was otherwise (maybe 500'). Taking this into consideration, the 12000' statistic seems quite reasonable. In other words, I'm calling this day 33 miles with 12000' gain. Definitely a good long run. :)

Now that this is out of the way and my next race is a marathon in a couple months (which I hope to be able to take more seriously), I will finally need to actually pay attention to what I eat so I can drop the extra 15 pounds that have been sitting on me ever since I had to take 9 or so months off for the most part. I'm hoping to get rid of all of it in 2 months before the marathon, but if I can even drop 10 of it, that will probably be adequate just to coast through an easy 3:10 BQ time.

Sunday: Off, nice relaxing day.

Weekly total: 57 miles, 19500' gain. That's a lot of climb in 57 miles. :)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Week of 7-18-2011

Monday: 6 miles, easy, with Holly, actually on the roads, gain negligible.

Tuesday: Body still a little irritated from Sunday's long run, off.

Wednesday: 14 miles, shoreline trail from red butte, took a bit of a break to let Mark (who I was running with) do an extra 2 miles so I could tempo really hard on the last 6 miles or so, worked reallllllly hard in the 2nd half, 2000' gain.

Thursday: 5 miles, rattlesnake plus Pipeline with Holly, 1000' gain.

Friday: off.

Saturday: 10 miles, Alta. Lower Albion Basin to Germania Pass (1900' pure climb from 8500' to 10400'), down to Cecret Lake, over and up to Catherine's Pass (10300'! highest elevation I've achieved so far this year), then back down. 1/2 mile from the end, while running down the dirt access road, I came across a family of moose (father, mother, child) and the father was pretty aggressive towards me, so I had to go way out of my way and tack on an extra mile of running through a meadow with no trail to avoid getting close to them. Ran this whole thing pretty hard, only walked in the more trecherous snow-covered sections to prevent myself from falling off a mountain, despite 3500' total gain.

3 of these giant aggressive beasts can be scary, even (or especially) if one is a child:

Sunday: 22 miles, 4 hr 45 minutes, 7000' gain. Very very tough run on mostly usper technical trails with quite a few snow chute crossing (scary!) starting from the Desolation Trailhead and going through tons of gorgeous high country (lots of running between 9000' and 10000'). Came down through Mill A by Mount Raimond and Gobbler's Knob, got very very lost in Bowman Fork somehow, added on a couple miles of bushwhacking and roughly an hour of time. Did this whole thing with a little under 40 oz of water, a 90 calorie Gu, and about 200 calories of skittles, nothing else, so I was glad to see my metabolism coming back even more. I was pretty drained at the end, but a liter of chocolate milk cleared things up nicely. Great run to help make sure my legs are under me before I run the rather difficult Speedgoat 50K on Saturday.

There are a lot of pretty technical sections on the trail that are difficult going both up and down:

The huge basin behind Mill A that I ran through before crossing the saddle on the right beginning a long descent of quite a few thousand feet (Mount Raimond, 10241', and about 5/6 of a mile above my starting point, pictured on the left, Gobbler's Knob just off the right):

Total: 57 miles, 13500' gain. Mileage is a bit deceivingly low for the work I did this week. If I spent the same amount of time at the same effort on roads, this would've been roughly a 75-80 mile week, so I'm happy with it.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Week of 7-11-11

7-11: 34 miles of pacing at badwater, most of it was stovepipe wells to panamint springs, 5000' gain

7-12: 18 miles of pacing at badwater, mostly a good chunk starting around mile 100, ben finished in 41:14, no significant gain

7-13: off, after race

7-14: 5 miles, rattlesnake plus pipeline with holly, 1000' gain

7-15: 4 miles, very difficult climb most of the way up gobbler's knob from alexander basin with holly, stopped when we hit snow, which she's not good in. Hahaha... 2000' gain

7-16: off, saving for Sunday :)

7-17: 19 miles with mark, very hot and arduous run, big water to dog lake, almost down to big cottonwood fork on butler fork, up mill a fork (this climb suuuuucked, though we ran into some other dudes training for speedgoat 50k and ran it with them), west on desolation trail up to raimond/gobbler's knob saddle, back on deso trail to dog lake, back to big water, parked a half mile out from trail due to crowding, so first and last half mile was road. 6000' gain. 3:45 of a bit of easy trails and a ton of technical trail, was hot but I survived on 20 oz water and 380 calories.

Total: 80 miles and 14000' gain. Now that's what I'm talking about. :)

Week of 7-4-11

7-4-11: Skiing at Snowbird for the 4th of July, no running. :)

7-5-11: 11 miles, Pipeline with Mark, 1000' gain

7-6-11: 5 miles, Upper Big Water with Jess and Holly, did an extra mile by myself at the end while Jess and Holly waited for Jess's parents to get back from their hike (happened to see their car at the top), 1000' gain

7-7-11: 12 miles with Mark, Upper Big Water to Desolation Lake and back, really good run, 1:56 for a quite difficult, technical and mountainous run, ran quite hard and didn't walk a single step, despite really wanting to (especially coming back up Mill D to Dog Lake on the way back), 4000' gain

7-8-11: 7 miles, St George with Matt Taylor, 1000' gain

7-9-11: Off, helping Ben prep for Badwater

7-10-11: Off, helping Ben prep for Badwater

Total: 35, 7000' gain, easy week. haha...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Week of 6-27-11

Monday: Quick 5 miles on Rattlesnake Gulch and Pipeline Trail with Holly. It was 88 degrees when we were running and she really isn't such a fan of the heat, even with her own full puppy water bottle, so we kept it short, 1000' climb.

Tuesday: 7 miles, upper Pipeline out and back, 1500' climb.

Wednesday: 10 miles with Mark, upper pipeline out and back plus a bit more the other way out and back. Lost my key in the last couple miles, took 45 minutes to find on the trail, Mark's 1984 Toyota Pickup started spewing radiator fluid right before the run, so I had to take him to Auto Zone for a new radiator hose afterwards as soon as I found my keys, 1500' climb

Thursday: Off.

Friday: Opening day for upper Mill Creek, did an easy conversational 7 miles to Dog Lake and back with Mark, 1500' climb, low point of 7800', high point a little over 9000'.

Here's a couple nice shots of the trail I used (not my pictures):

Saturday: Long-ish 16 mile day in Upper Mill Creek, Upper Big Water to Dog Lake, down to Mill D trailhead in Big Cottonwood, back up the trail and up to Desolation Lake, along a rather snowy 9900' ridgeline, and back down the north side of the loop via the Great Western Trail down back to Upper Big Water, pretty quick for the distance right now, a bit over 2:40 despite a ton of snow on the north/east halves. 4000' gain, low point of 7300', high point of 9800'.

Desolation Lake, as seen from the ridgeline, near the top of the Canyons Ski Resort (not my photo):
I think it's pretty obvious why I'm so excited to run in the high country.

Sunday: Off

Weekly total: 45 miles, 9500' climb. Not a bad week, would've liked to have gotten one more run in there, but it's all good for now. This current week is bumped up a bit so far, though I imagine I'll only get 5 days of running in once again (skied on Monday, the 4th of July), and probably won't be able to run on Sunday as I'll be helping Ben Clark prepare for Badwater that day.

Oh, and just for kicks, here's a more accurate picture of how Desolation Lake looks right now wi:th a bit of snow left (not my picture, once again):

Monday, June 27, 2011

Last 3 weeks

I've apparently forgotten to post my updates for the past few weeks. I've had a couple bumps already getting back into things that have slowed the progression of mileage (a ridiculously annoying moving process, which really sucks when you drive a Honda Civic and can barely fit anything in your car, in addition to an ear infection)

Speaking of moving, my new place is in Olympus Cove, right between Mill Creek Canyon and Mt Olympus, so I have very quick access to Mill Creek, Neff's Canyon, Mt Olympus, Big Cottonwood, and Little Cottonwood, which is very exciting. :)

Week of 6-6-11:
Monday: 8 miles, AM, 1500' gain, Bonneville Shoreline from City Creek to about halfway to U of U and back
Tuesday: 8 miles, same
Wednesday: 7 miles, running in City Creek with Holly, 1000' gain
Thursday: Off
Friday: 9 miles, Mill Creek Canyon, Pipeline, Terraces, and Canyon road, 2500' gain
Saturday: 9 miles, Attempt to run Mill D North Fork, only got to Dog Lake before it got really annoying with deep snow, turned around, went up a ways near and around Donut Falls instead, another 3 miles with Jess in the PM, 1000' gain.
Sunday: Ear Infection was annoying :(
Weekly Total: 44 miles, 7500' gain. Wanted 50 and would've had over that without the ear infection. Still a build from before I guess.

Week of 6-13-11 (week was hampered by moving + ear infection)
Monday: 7 miles, running in City Creek, ear infection was annoying, tried to ignore it as best as possible, 1000' gain
Tuesday: 9 miles, with Holly, up to radio towers from City Creek base, back to partway between the peak and Bountiful, back. Holly was panting heavily but didn't seem to want to drink much from my hand on this day, so I've since then gotten a bottle that comes with a dish so she'll have something better to drink from. 2000' climb total
Wednesday: 8 miles, Road + Terraces + Pipeline in Mill Creek, 2500' gain
Thursday: Busy Moving
Friday: Busy Moving
Saturday: 7 miles, running in City Creek, 1000' gain
Sunday: Busy Moving
Total: 31 miles, 6500' gain, moving ruined it, plus the ear infection

Week of 6-20-11
Monday: From new home near the base of Olympus Cove on roads via a very roundabout way to Neff's Canyon (I didn't know exactly where it was), all the way up Neff's to one of the ridges at about 9000'. Took a couple "wrong turns" (I guess it's not really a wrong turn if it's an exploratory run) in the canyon since I wasn't exactly sure where to go and then had an almost equally roundabout way home (roughly 2.5 miles on the road both ways instead of a possible 1 to 1.5). 13 miles with about 4500' cumulative gain (4000' net between start and midpoint) and some ridiculous snow (last mile on the way up took over 45 minutes, literally crawling on my hands and knees in snow and mud to a peak on a rather steep route), so it actually took a hair over 3 hours. Kind of sad for 13 miles, but not as bad as it sounds given the terrain.
Tuesday: Too busy moving to run. :( Lame.
Wednesday: Up most of the way to the meadow in Neff's with Holly, 1800' climb, 5 miles
Thursday: Up to the meadow in Neff's, 2500' climb, 6 miles.
Friday: Busy finishing up the moving. Suckage.
Saturday: Neff's Canyon to Mill B pass (top of Big Cottonwood), 3600' net climb to midpoint since I started higher than my Monday run, maybe 4000' total with a bit of rolling. Went with Mark Lehmkuhle and a grad student from Denver named Douglas that he had just met. Douglas hadn't been training much lately, so we were a bit slow on the uphills, but it was still fun. The whole thing is supposed to be around 7.5 total to the pass, but there was no trail above the meadow due to snow and our route proved rather indirect. What was supposed to be .75 miles took about an hour, despite terrain that wasn't particularly steep. I didn't have my GPS, but I'd peg it around 9 miles total with all the weaving around above the meadow. I also happened to see a pretty big moose on this run, which was pretty cool.
Sunday: 3 1/2 hours of skiing in the morning tired me out, no running. Also, my dad was in town, so no time even if I wanted to.
Weekly Total: 33 miles, 13300' climb. Kind of a joke for mileage, but tons and tons of climb. Will have less distractions from getting in mileage in the future, which is good.

Mileage will definitely be in the 50s this week (especially with a 5-6 hour run planned for Saturday).

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Training "for real"

I'm a few weeks late starting to post my weekly training updates. I haven't had any problems with the running, but I've had a few pretty busy weeks with grad school and other stuff, not to mention a nasty throat and stomach virus that took me out for about a week, so it took me a couple extra weeks to get back into things. I had a couple more non-serious-3-runs-a-week-25-mile-weeks, and then decided to get serious last week.

Knowing how dumb I can occasionally/always be, I decided it would be a great idea to run a 60km trail run off of absolutely no training, so that's how I started my training back. Since last July, my longest run has been 14 or 15 miles, so 37.2 wouldn't be bad, right?

Well, I started the week of Monday the 23rd by not running on Monday or Tuesday. On Wednesday, I did a nice run of about 90 minutes on trails that were way too steep for me to run at even a remotely respectable cadence, so it ended up being around 8 miles with Mark Lehmkuhle. On Thursday, I did a quick 5 miles with Holly (the 5 1/2 month puppy), her first run with me, and Mark. Holly did pretty well and actually pushed the pace until the last mile, when she started to get tired. I took Friday off running and drove up to Pocatello for the Pocatello "50k+", officially 36.2 miles, but the last 2 sections were even slightly longer still, so it was about 37.2. hah...

I had no intentions of running fast at Pocatello and didn't even commit to the race until something like 16 hours before it started, so after arriving at 10 PM the night before and sleeping in my car, I woke up, almost missed the start, and took off, immediately falling into a slow hike up the first climb of 2500' in 5 miles. Throughout the whole day, I wasted around 3 hours in aid stations, I walked every single uphill, and barely jogged the downhills and some of the flats (I still walked some). After having to go a fair amount off the course for a bathroom break at one of the aid stations, I'm officially giving myself 38 miles for the day. Those 38 miles, however, took around 11 hours, 4 hours slower than a 50 mile race that I completed despite breaking my foot, so it's not really anything to be proud of. haha... That being said, the course had 8000' of climb in 38 miles and roughly 75% of the course was either mud, snow, or a stream, so I'd imagine this effort would've correlated to a roughly 8 hour performance on a more standard road type course, to give it a little perspective. Still slow, but not mind-blowingly awful to the most extreme degree.

In any case, my serious lack of testicular fortitude on the course in terms of pushing myself led me to fully recover in under 24 hours, so after taking Sunday-Wednesday off to "play it safe" (ie, get a few more lazy days before really starting to hit the training), I started up training "for real".

After a ridiculously lopsided 51 mile last week, I ran Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday this week. On Thursday, I decided it was time to run fast, so I hammered 60 minutes of tempo on the Bonneville Shoreline trail with 1500' climb/1500' drop as hard as I could. I had to use every last ounce of strength to bring home the last few minutes, so this was about as legitimate a tempo run as one can do, effort wise. The distance was about 7.5 miles for this run.

On Friday, I decided I wanted another run up Grandeur Peak (I had had a crappy run there with Mark a couple weeks back). In any case, the snow still covered the top few hundred vertical feet rather heavily, so I ran 2500' of the 2800' of climb (about 3.25 miles from my car out on and a little up the canyon road), so I managed a whopping 6.5 miles on this run. That being said, the 2500' 3.25 mile climb was extremely difficult right now, especially considering that I ran the vast vast majority of it (other than a couple very difficult technical sections), so the way up was nearly as all out as the day before, and I consider this a great run. To give an idea for the difficulty this posed for me right now, I ran pretty close to as hard as I could the whole way up and the 6.5 mile round trip still took 78 minutes. Ouch.

On Saturday, a running buddy of mine, Adrian Shipley, was in town, so we did 15 miles together in and outside of City Creek in about 1:56. Adrian is a fair amount faster than me at shorter stuff even when I'm at peak fitness, so he definitely pushed me to this time (honestly would've been 2:10-2:15 for this particular course if I was running solo). Total climb and drop was close to 2k, so it was never particularly steep, but it was up or down at least a bit at all times.

As for tonight, I just ran an moderately easy 5 miles in 40 minutes with Holly. I would've liked to have run with her more since the first run, but she got spayed 5 days ago, so today was her first day back to activity. She was actually pretty hyper again ever since the day after the surgery, but we had to keep her pretty contained until today...

In any case, that makes the last 2 weeks 51 miles and 34 miles. For this coming week, I'm planning a more consistent 6 ish days of running with roughly 50 miles and I plan on building from there once my legs become comfortable with running everyday again.

Leadville is looking like something that I would be capable of in August, but, unfortunately, my PhD qualifying exam is 9 days afterwards, so I'll likely have to give up my spot despite probably being ready to at least bring it home under the cutoffs. Oh well, there's always a lot of other races to run now that I'm healthy and have things under control. :)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Continued Progress

I've gotten my long run up to just over 2 1/2 hours with absolutely no side effects and I plan to up that again tomorrow. I'm only running 3-4 days a week so far, and my weekly mileage is still ridiculously light (~30 miles) to allow my feet to break into not using orthotics, but I'm starting to pick it up (this week is likely to be around 40), not to mention that my weekly 2+ hour long run has been consistent for a few weeks now, so things are looking up. I still have to get down to competitive racing weight, but that ought to resolve itself naturally before I race anything serious. I'm planning for a 3:15-ish run tomorrow and the biggest climb of the day will start around 2:15 and last for 30-35 minutes, so it'll be a tough but fun day out on the trails. I'll make sure to start posting weekly summaries starting this weekend now that I'm actually doing something interesting at least once a week.

While my mileage isn't huge yet, the fact that I managed over 2:30 of running in one session last week without a bonk or any post-run problems leads me to believe that my health problems are finally behind me. I'm of course upping my mileage slowly to be sure of this, but I'm very optimistic right now.

One other note of interest is that I'm now registered for the St George Marathon this fall. I didn't get in via lottery the last 2 years (kind of fortunate last year as I wasn't running at all when the race happened), so I'm guaranteed entry this year. I doubt I'm going to be in my absolute best marathon shape by October 1st, so I'm planning to use it as an early tune-up in a serious fall training schedule for a more serious run at the marathon in Las Vegas in December. That being said, I'm planning to run no slower than 2:59, just so I can at least be able to sign up for Boston 2012 in the 2nd registration group and not risk being shut out from the race.

Like I said, I'll try to remember to start posting my training each week as I build back up to peak fitness.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Kicking butts and taking names

I started running again a couple weeks ago and I just went out for a moderate effort 67 minute run (my 2nd longest run back so far, time-wise, longest being 80 minutes). I have no idea how far it was, but I do know that I started at 4500' and hit a peak of 6500' after a 30 minute slog up a mountain. I also know that the last 2-ish miles were on a road and that the pace on that section was 7:06 (timed it and mapped it out on mapmyrun). The 7:06 was smooth and the 2000' climb was smooth. I may not yet be kicking butts and taking names as the title implies, but I'm getting back into shape. I'm still a complete fata$$ right now, but that should work itself out in time and my pace will quicken with dropped weight. My mileage is still very low (3 days into 30 miles / 4 runs for the current week right now), but for the first time in what feels like an eternity, running at a moderate or even hard effort levels feels right and it feels good.

I've ditched the orthotics upon coming back and gone to only New Balance Minimus / MT101s and I can actually tell that my feet are getting stronger. I'd wanted to get rid of the orthotic addiction for a really long time prior to the mono incident and now that I'm very slowly building mileage, I was able to do it without all of a sudden changing the way I treat my arches at 100 miles per week and wrecking my feet. If I can ride over the initial wave of occasional foot-bottom and joint soreness from mostly using the Minimus, this ought to help me become even better about avoiding injuries in the future (I still consider my track record of only one minor stress fracture since becoming serious about running 6 years ago to be pretty solid).

I'm starting to feel that competitive fire growing with each run and I can tell that I'm going to want to be racing again in late Summer / early fall. I can't yet say for sure what's going to happen with any of my races specifically (besides Miwok, which I canceled about a month ago), but I'm definitely going to be doing something racing wise starting in August. For now, just being out on the trails is enough though.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Where have I been?

Unfortunately, I've been sitting on my couch since my last post. That 2 1/2 hour run I did back in October ended up being way too much for my body at the time and I started relapsing again (well, I was never really 100% when I was out there, hence my ability to relapse). I can't fully blame that run alone though; I got stupid and skied 15 times in a little over a month between mid November and mid-late December. Well, that started to do me in again. However, I finally resolved to not let this mono become a several year process. December marked a year or continual *issues* with my health and I finally admitted to myself that I have absolutely no sense of moderation, so I issued myself a declaration: I am not to attempt ANY sort of physical activities until my body is 100% better.

Mono, as I have learned, is a tricky thing. It's not technically a virus; it's a condition caused by a virus. That condition can be around a long time after the virus has dropped off in levels and it continues to stick around longer each time you set yourself back. Once you've beaten it, it's gone for good, but I just never truly beat it. I was for all purposes "cured" by Spring, but "cured" for distances runners is different from "cured" for normal people. Normal people don't push their body as hard as they can for hours at a time, so while I was so close to better that I couldn't notice any effects for awhile, I was gradually chipping away at my body with each run I did.

Back to my declaration... I haven't done anything more physical than walking since December 26th, so I've had 2 months off all physical activity now. Additionally, I have finally convinced my doctors to prescribe me an experimental drug that keeps the EBV virus low in my system. As I mentioned above, EBV is not exactly mono, but preventing any spikes in the virus is helping my body to recover (IE, it prevents any mini relapses, allowing a full and proper recovery). I've taken the drug since just before Christmas and I've been doing pretty well. Whether that's as a result of complete rest or the drug, I can't say, but whatever I'm doing is working. I can honestly say that I'm the healthiest I've been since Spring at this point. That means that I'm not better yet, but I'm on the right track. Honestly, I probably won't touch my running shoes for another 3 months at this point, which means that Miwok (which I got into via the lottery) is out. Additionally, I am feeling more and more unwilling to risk it all at Leadville since 100 miles is really hard on the body and I just don't want to have any possibility that things will go bad again whatsoever. I hate to waste $250, but I'd throw away 10 times that much money before throwing away my health and ability to run in the future. I don't think I have a whole lot of additional chances to make this right. I truly believe that if I don't get it right this time around, I will very likely never be able to regain what I had near the end of 2009, so I am determined to get this right this time. Sitting on my butt sucks; I have temporarily sacrificed that strange happiness that only putting one foot in front of the other can bring, but I have replaced it with an even stranger happiness of simply knowing that I am doing the right thing for myself at this point in life.

I will be back in 2011, but I refuse to set timelines. I sincerely hope that I will be training normally this summer, but I cannot and will not set any goals as to that nature. When I am truly convinced that I am cured as a result of my long-term rest, I will wait a few more weeks and the ease back into the high mileage training, gradually building up to a huge winter of 20-30% more miles than I've done in the past. I will use that to slingshot myself into my best ever year of running in 2012. My determination is at an all time high. Unfortunately, I just have to use that determination to force myself to sit on my butt for a little while longer. :)