Monthly Archives: December 2011

2011 Training Log – Week 49

I must have missed counting a week somewhere.  Skipping 48 and calling this one 49, then.

Another strong week, just where I wanted to be.  Two workouts and a good long run.  Keeping the miles at a good amount, but not going overboard.  Will continue to add quality and also start building in some cross training.

Run – 10.5 miles
151 TSS
Nike Free

Spent a couple hours on the mill doing my Leadville Powerline course. Two laps, about 3,000′ of climbing. More on that in a later post.

Run – 7 miles
67 TSS
New Balance Minimus Trail

Easy cruise still absorbing last night’s workout.

Run – 11.4 miles
124 TSS
Saucony Kinvara

Time for a hard session. Did 5 repeats on a .35 mile hill (Locust).  Main goal was to make these hurt and see at least 180 on the heart rate monitor.  My legs were still a little fatigued from Monday, but I managed to get some good work in.

2:44 (7:59) / 162avg / 177max
2:31 (7:17) / 165avg / 177max
2:31 (7:17) / 168avg / 177max
2:23 (7:02) / 171avg / 180max
2:24 (7:10) / 171avg / 178max

Run – 7 miles
75 TSS
Saucony Kinvara

I love it when an easy day actually feels easy. That is not always the case. Usually I am feeling beat from a previous day’s effort and just slog through the run.

Maybe even more than hitting a good workout, I get satisfaction out of a day like this. The numbers themselves are not impressive:

8:40 pace

But when taken in context – hard day yesterday, moderate hilly course, early in season, etc. and with how I felt (pretty good) – it’s a good indicator of progress. It’s a far cry from a few years ago when I would occassionally do 4 mile test runs on a flat course going as fast as I could while keeping the heart rate under 140. I used to be over 10:00 pace back then.

After anothe few weeks I’ll get to sub 8:00 at the same average heart rate, or have a heart rate in the 120s at today’s pace.

Couldn’t stop hitting repeat on Linkin Park “Session”.

Run – 7 miles
73 TSS
New Balance Minimus Trail

Another easy cruise.

Run – 20.3 miles
168 TSS
La Sportiva Crosslite

With all of the moon chatter recently (eclipse this morning) it reminded me of a run I did 3 years ago this very weekend. Night laps around Green Mountain (Lakewood) by the light of the full moon.

I dragged my feet all day doing Christmas shopping and working around the house. When it got to be 7pm I knew it was time to get going, but I really wanted to just park my butt on the couch for the evening.

Two things made it happen. The memory of the last time I did this run (it was awesome), and my training log. It sometimes gets old keeping up with a log like this, but it does help when you need an extra little push to get out the door.

I finally got packed up and made the drive to the deserted mountain. It was 23 degrees, but not windy at all. I dressed perfectly and was able to stay comfortable the whole time just by regulating the temp with my jacket zipper.

The moon was bright!! The mountain was covered in snow, but the trail was melted out for at least half of the distance, so it was tough to see in those parts without a light. I ended up using a headlamp quite a bit more than I thought I would, but it was still very cool to be running along under a clear sky with such a bright moon.

3,500′ of gain with 3 main climbs and a lot of rolling terrain in between.  The footing was tough with frozen tracked up snow, or frozen tracked up mud being the most common.  I had a great time and can’t wait to do it again.



Total: 63.4 miles / 10:59 / 653 TSS

Pic of the week:

Gift Ideas for the Ultrarunner

A.K.A. – If I didn’t already have all of this stuff, it’s what would be on my list…


Running on Empty by Marshall Ulrich

I won a signed copy at the Slickrock 100.  Haven’t read it yet, but I’m looking forward to digging into it over the holidays.  I’ve heard good things about it and particularly like Marshall’s Ten Commandments of Endurance:
1. Expect a journey and a battle
2. Focus on the present and set intermediate goals
3. Don’t dwell on the negative
4. Transcend the physical
5. Accept your fate
6. Have confidence you will succeed
7. Know that there will be an end
8. Suffering is OK
9. Be kind to yourself
10. Quitting is not an option
Okay, this is one thing on the list I don’t own.  I plan on ordering a copy soon.

Relentless Forward Progress: A Guide to Running Ultramarathons by Bryon Powell


4th Generation iPod Shuffle

Sure, everyone has one, but if you are an ultrarunner you’ll need two!  Unless you’re Hal K. blazing 13 hour 100 milers the battery won’t quite make it through your race.  This is the 4th shuffle I’ve owned and I really like it.  It is noticeably smaller than the previous generation, and has nice voice-over features to help you navigate your playlists.

They are tough, too!  I ruined 2 prevoius generation shuffles, one in a snowstorm, the other with sweat (ewww).  I tried to kill this one by dropping it in a river, but it survived and is still going strong.  As I approached the river crossing just past mile 40 of the Leadville 100, I thought it would be a good idea to put the shuffle in the small ziplock bag I had in my pocket.  I unplugged the shuffle and dropped it right through the bag into the calf deep water I was walking through.  The baggie was missing the bottom seam!  I recovered the iPlop, shook and blew out the water, and tucked it in my pack for an hour.  Fired it up after that and the tunes flowed like a river.

Duracell Instant USB Charger

If you are going to be on the trail for a couple of sunrises, a portable recharge unit comes in handy to keep the juice flowing to your GPS watch.  I used this one successfully in my last 100 miler.  I just clipped on the cable and held the battery in my hand for 3 miles or so at about the 60 mile mark.  That topped off the watch enough to get me through the rest of the race.

It works great with phones and other gadgets, too.

Petzl e+LITE

This light has been out for several years, but makes an excellent gift if you don’t happen to have one.  It weighs less than one ounce!  It’s great for early morning race starts, you can see it clipped to the brim of my visor:


For a 100 miler, I just keep it with me for the rest of the race in case I misjudge the pickup point for my main lights.  It’s great to have it along to act as a spare, too.

Joby Gorillapod

A lot of trail runners like to take pictures.  The Gorillapod only weighs 1.6 ounces and is a great way to get some good shots while out in the mountains or woods.

You can use it to see what your footstrike looks like:

Black Diamond

Ultra Distance Z-Pole Trekking Poles

These poles showed up in a big way this year, and will continue to be a hot item in the ultra world.  I have yet to use mine in a race, but I did use them on a week long backpacking trip with great results.  They are super light (9.5oz for the pair!) and fold up nicely. They are pricey, and are probably not the most durable thing out there.  If you like to move fast up big mountains, give them a shot.  They also come in cheaper/heavier versions.

I know runners can be hard to shop for.  Hopefully this list will give you some ideas.  Happy Holidays!

(I don’t have any financial interest in any of these products…)

2011 Training Log – Week 47

Decent week for the start of 2012 training.  Wanted 60-65 miles and got that.  Will probably stay there for a couple of weeks before moving that up a little.  Happy with the two workouts, but didn’t go as long on the weekend as I was hoping.  Pretty tough conditions on that one.

Run – 10.7 miles
Merrell Trail Glove

Very good run. Actually felt like I was ‘training’. Don’t know what for, but that will come soon enough. Hit the boneyard for some hot laps on the twisting, climbing, lumpy and overgrown singletrack. It’s an ugly place to run, but effective for getting some dirt time while in the city. Kind of like a Crossfit gym in a rented storage unit.

Did an easy 3 mile warmup, followed by 5 hard laps with 2 min rest. Each lap is 1.2 miles. The first four were like an old-time duel. Controlled, gentlemanly. I pushed hard on the last one and hit 178 on the heart rate which is up there for me. That lap was more like a knife fight in a dark alley. Happy with the workout.

Run – 10.2 miles
New Balance Minimus

Easy but steady. Tired from yesterday, but not too jacked up. Saw 13 mallards in one little pond.

Run – 10.3 miles
Merrell Trail Glove

Warmed up easy for 3 miles, then cranked it up for 6 at a medium-hard effort with a 164 average heart rate.

Run – 7.5 miles
La Sportiva Crosslite

Ran like a snail. A tired, frozen snail. Shuffled along through several inches of new powder.

Run – 9.2 miles
Merrell Trail Glove

Nice steady cruise. Felt a lot better than yesterday.

Run – 12.2 miles
New Balance MT101

Out early in the dark and cold to shuffle through several inches of new snow again. Not the most pleasant run, but hopefully I’ll get some benefit out of it?

Run – 4 miles
Nike Free, barefoot

Easy jog on the treadmill.

Total: 64 miles / 10:20 / 608 TSS

Pic of the week – I’ve always wanted to go to Pencilvania: