Winter Solstice Training Camp
I got ‘invited’ to a training camp the other day. 7 days of riding in the Tucson sunshine, sounds awesome! Excellent coaching staff, room and board, daily rides, and post-ride massages. Count me in – except for the fact that it costs FIVE hundred bucks a DAY. I might as well pay Lance to do the pedaling for me. No thanks.
It got me thinking, though. Lately, as in the past 2 months, I’ve been in some sort of funk that I haven’t been able to shake. I’ve had some good days, but for the most part I’ve been a little down and have been floundering in some sort of post 100-miler depression. Sounds weird, but I guess after you focus on and train for something for so long, there’s bound to be a let down after it’s over. What I need is a challenge. Why not do my own training camp? The fact that I’m 10 pounds heavier than I was at this point last year has me bothered. I went on a huge binge through Halloween and Thanksgiving, eating everything in sight and then some. I’ve made a couple of false starts to get things back on track, the latest lasting all of 4 days. For some reason, just trying to be moderate doesn’t cut it with me. I end up right back where I started. So, it’s time for some good old fashioned brute force.
I decided that for the next 12 days, leading up to the Winter Solstice on 12/22, I would run 10 miles a day and create as large of a calorie deficit as possible. Just to get the momentum turned around. It will also be good for building a strong base to start more serious training in the coming months. For now the goal is to do the miles every day at an easy pace, get plenty of sleep, be super-strict on my eating habits, and let the training do its thing. I have a great 10 mile loop that starts from my office that will make the perfect course for this. It’s 10.11 miles, starts downhill, has a couple of bumps in the middle, then a hard climb back to the finish.
I’ll just keep updating this post as the days go by. Should be interesting to see how I do!
|Date||Rest HR||Weight||Caloriesconsumed/burned||Miles||Time||Pace||Avg HR|
12/10 – Day One
Got up on time, good day @ work.
Run was nice, paved paths were dry, dirt was snowpacked. Felt pretty good. 1400 calorie deficit. That’s what I’m talking about!
12/11 – Day Two
The scale was very generous with me today. I’m probably a bit dehydrated. I thought I drank plenty yesterday, but looking at my food log it only added up to 56oz. Snowing hard this morning. 40 minute commute took 1:10 – bad roads.
Slower pace + higher avg heart rate = more work on the run today. I basically worked harder to go slower than yesterday. It’s tough running through 4-5 inches of snow! Actually the new stuff wasn’t bad, it was the layer of heavily tracked old snow underneath that made things tough. 19 degrees and overcast. Luckily not much wind. Legs tired, but good. Plugged along to GnR, Journey, and Springsteen. Didn’t see another soul…
12/12 – Day Three
I drank 72oz of water yesterday and woke up feeling parched. Probably shoot for 100 today. Resting heart rate is still a little high. I’ll be looking for that to drop over the next few days as my body adapts to the workload, I get better at hydrating, and hopefully sleep a little better.
Run went ok. Nice weather – sunshine and 30 degrees. Pushed harder, but didn’t go much faster. Footing still really tough for about 5 miles. Sugary snow, slippery, and heavily tracked. Good training for running through the sand and rocks next year.
12/13 – Day Four
A little tired this morning, but still feeling pretty good. My hydration seems better after taking in 110oz yesterday. The scale keeps cooperating, though I’m not giving it much of a choice. I turned down a plate of homemade peanut butter cookies this morning without even flinching. Focus! Focus! Focus! 🙂
Still looking for the morning heart rate to drop back down, but it could take a few more days. Haven’t been sleeping well. I go to bed before 10:00 and get up at 5:30. That’s perfect time-wise, it’s just that I wake up 4-5 times during the night. Hopefully that will settle down soon.
Great run today! Kind of a surprise given how calorie deficient I am becoming. Guess it shows I’m still packing plenty of fuel… The first half felt easy, and I could tell I was going faster than yesterday, so I pushed hard to see if I could break 1:30. Made it with 16 seconds to spare.
Footing still tricky, but improving. I’m also getting a lot better at running on the packed/slick/uneven snow. You have to keep a neutral to slightly forward center of gravity and create forward motion without relying on your toes and the balls of your feet to dig in and push. It’s been a good lesson in technique.
12/14 – Day Five
Holy Groundhog Day. That’s a good thing, what I needed was some solid consistency. Even if it does feel like I’m living the same day over and over. Eat basically the same food, get up, drive to work in the dark, etc. I even had the same sleep pattern as the night before – woke up at 2:20, 4:20, then 5:20. I did have huge, cinema quality dreams last night which is rare. Feeling good, everything’s on track.
I occasionally get asked – how can you train for running 100 miles without running 100 miles? Today was a great example of how to do that. Accumulate several days worth of fatigue by running long every day, mix in some calorie depravation, and lack of sleep. Make conditions really tough. Then go run!
It was 18 degrees and snowing hard, with about 1/2 inch of new snow when I started. Just enough to cover up all the icy spots and keep you on your toes. It was very slippery, and I resigned myself to taking it easy. I tried to run fast enough to stay warm, but slow enough to avoid overheating. I still ended up sweating buckets by then end.
12/15 – Day Six
I took Malcolm skiing at Copper Mountain today. We were up at 5:20 and got home around 8:00, making for a long one. It was VERY cold!! -14 when we pulled into the lot. We got in some good runs and had a memorable day together. It had been a couple of years since we last went, so it was nice to do that again. I was really happy with how he did.
12/16 – Day Seven
Did my run on the treadmill today. Started slower and finished faster. Watched golf. Felt good.
12/17 – Day Eight
Awesome awesome awesome run today. 35 degrees and sunshine felt like a heat wave. I went with shorts and a long sleeve top and that was perfect. Quite a change from the March of the Penguins weather last week, it felt so good! I held back for the first 5 miles with my legs constantly begging for more. Finally I let ’em have it and started pouring on the coals. My route had seen a lot of traffic over the weekend, so the snow was all packed down. There was still a little bit of an icy glaze on the surface that kept my attention. I averaged 7:50 miles for the last 5. Three of those were on snow, and then the last two were clear – but climbed a couple hundred feet. It’s a tough way to finish, but my legs felt just as good at mile 10 as they did at mile 1. My lungs were the limiting factor today.
I can’t believe I was able to run like that without crashing and burning considering I’ve only taken in ~1600 calories a day for the last week. My body is adapting well. It’s 9:02 PM right now and my food diary website tells me I can still eat 2100 calories today to maintain my weight. Better get some ice cream! Not.
Note to self for tomorrow: slow down!!
12/18 – Day Nine
Feeling good today. Woke up at 5:00 and couldn’t go back to sleep. Nice to see my heart rate coming back down, especially after yesterday’s effort. I’m recovering well.
Nothing glamorous about today’s run, yesterday’s magic was gone. I expected that, and just planned on running easy. Even though I was a lot slower than yesterday, it felt like twice as much work. Running slower was causing me to plant my foot more, and I was constantly slipping, spinning out, and knocking my knees together on the slick/uneven surface. Much easier to run on when I’m up to speed and just skimming over the top.
12/19 – Day Ten
Tired this morning. It was the first time since I started this that I didn’t get up before my alarm went off.
Ended up with a pretty good run, just a couple of minutes off my best time. Wasn’t pushing that hard, just let my legs do what they wanted while the rest of me went along for the ride. I did start to feel pretty fatigued at the end, I think I’ve finally burned off whatever reserves I had been reliant on and am now more dependent on my day-to-day calorie intake. I pressed through the feeling and finished strong.
12/20 – Day Eleven
With bad weather predicted for tomorrow, I knew today would be my last chance to give an all-out effort during my training camp. I had also been wanting to do a make-up run, to take care of the one I missed while skiing. Since I had a work lunch to go to, and wouldn’t be able to do my normal routine, it seemed like a perfect time to try a double.
Run #1: I was on the treadmill before six this morning and kept it nice and easy knowing I would be running again after work.
Run #2: This one was to be my training camp final exam. I went hard right from the start to see what I could do with my time. I was hoping to break 1:20, but didn’t think I would after I got halfway. Traction was horrible. With it being late in the day, I spent a 6 mile stretch flailing through deep slush, over ice, and quicksand-like mud. It wasn’t pretty. I figured I would end up with a 1:21 or 1:22. Still good enough to break my record, but not the time I really wanted.
My legs were totally up to the task, despite doing 10 on the treadmill this morning. My stomach was having major problems dealing with the greasy pizza I had a lunch, and was really bothering me. My body didn’t like that at all. I only had 2 slices, but it was quite a change from what I’ve been eating lately. I pressed on and didn’t give up, once I got back on pavement for the 2 mile climb to the finish I really hammered – enjoying the solid footing. I was very happy to finish with a 1:14:27. Wow, where did that come from!?! I just knocked over 8 minutes off my time (but this was the first time I’d gone all-out). I kept playing the run over in my head trying to think of where I had taken a shortcut… What a great improvement, I was very happy with that result!
12/21 – Day Twelve
After yesterday’s runs, it was nice to dial back the effort level today and just go easy. I treated it as a parade lap to celebrate the successful end of my training camp. I hit a cool milestone in the process. Todays run put me at 2002.5 miles for the year. Nice!
12/22 – Conclusion
I couldn’t be happier with how things went. I took in an average of 1881 calories per day, and ended up with a deficit of 16,696. That equates to a solid 5 pound loss. More importantly, I did it while keeping a very heavy training load, and making great improvements in my speed and efficiency. Total success!