Thursday, January 31, 2013

Record January

This face is what I think of Ultra Marathon training ...
not a fan!!!
With 12 miles today, I ran further this January than any other, edging out January 2011 by 4 miles.  (yeah, what a slacker I was back then, ha) In fact, this month was my fourth highest total of any month ever.   Following are my largest totals to date...

1. July 2012 ... 394 miles
2. August 2012 ... 363 miles
3. September 2012 ... 351 miles
4. January 2013 ... 322 miles
5. January 2011 ... 317 miles

While training for my first Ultra Marathons, I've been slowly trying to build a little bulk back into my mileage again after really tapering off toward the end of last year.  The back-to-back long runs on the weekend obviously carry most of the load and pile up volume in a hurry.  I know, I know ... most experienced Ultra Marathoners will tell you that you don't have to add that much more mileage to your training to complete an ultra.  And that might be true for them, but I always run better in races when I have what feels like adequate mileage built up before the race.

Overall, I'm really not a fan of Ultra Marathon training so far.  The thing that's killing me is running much slower than normal, running without headphones, and running out in the middle of nowhere for what seems like forever. I mean, I'm not the fastest guy in the world, but a marathon usually takes me less than three and a half hours.  So doing a four hour run almost every weekend is kinda messing with my head a little.

My awesome wife ... look at your little sexy self!
Plus, I've been doing most of the long runs without headphones.  On a four hour run, I typically try to do the first 3 hours without anything in my ears, but then cave in the last hour and plug in something to give me a little bounce in my step.  Yeah, I know - nature is soooo serene and beautiful and peaceful.  And while I agree ... it also SUCKS NOT SEEING ANOTHER HUMAN FOR 4 HOURS while having nothing but the wind whistling through the trees to entertain you.

I just don't really see myself ever getting totally immersed into trail running or Ultra Marathons.  Sorry, I know that makes me shallow and not as enlightened as some. But I need stimulation. Makes me a bad person I guess.

Michael was laughing at me the other day about the Ultra training.  As most of you know, she's not the fleetest of foot and said, "Now you know how I felt when I was training for a regular marathon."  And she's right.   I can be kind of a complainer, but I need to just suck it up and git-er-dun.  Honestly, I should be thankful for being blessed with a little speed at times.   It greatly reduces the number of hours that I'm on feet while running.  Some folks have to train almost twice as long to go the same distance.  They truly have my respect, because if I had to put in the hours some of them do to accomplish the same goals, I don't know that I would.

I think more than anything it's just all the cold weather that kinda has me bummed.  When it's warm, you can hardly pull me out of my running shoes because I wanna get back out there day and night.  But the cold air and frosty wind makes me dread hitting the streets or trails, and even forces me to the gym and treadmill from time to time ... both of which make me softer.  (And by the way ... that's "makes ME softer"!  There's nothing wrong with running on the treadmill all the time.  Lord knows I don't want to get on EMZ's bad side.  She does her training on the treadmill and she could kick my butt any day!)  So I'm sure my outlook will brighten a little more in a couple of months.

On a positive note, my legs feel better than ever before and I seem to be a really long stretch of good health! And just so you know, I AM looking forward to competing in the Ultras ... just not all of the slower than normal training.  But all in all it was a good month!  Hope your running is going well too.
... be great today!


  1. Sometimes if you're not careful, you'll find that carrying kitchen utensils on your run can in fact slow you down. I heard that in a running seminar.

  2. Hang in there and dream of that end goal! I'm amazed at the miles you ultraguys put in to training - that's a lot of thinking time!
    The only thing I can suggest is to try and make them as interesting as you can - run part of the way with friends, drive somewhere new to run, enter trail races as a training run - but you're probably already doing that!

  3. I might get into ultras later but for now its balls to the wall. you have my deepest sympathy for being out there so long. lol. i wish you all the best.

  4. lol yea ultra training does not seem fun to me. Marathon distance is the longest I ever want to run! Congrats on the huge month!

  5. I can't train without my headphones. No way, no how (unless I'm with my squad). Running without headphones means that I get a song stuck in my head and that song (or just 16 bars from the song) play over and over and over ... You get what I mean. It drives you insane. Try running two hours with a little Of Monsters and Men on continuous loop.

  6. I've dream about doing an Ultra one day. The no music would bother me too, but the not seeing another human wouldn't bother me too much. I'm really interested to see how this training goes for you.

    Keep up the good work. It will pay off!

  7. This is why I could never do ultras (well, that and the severed hamstring thing). I just can't spend THAT much time running. I think 3.5 hours is really my limit; when I started marathoning and I was slower than that I crumbled over the last few miles. I don't even like going over 20 in training. So I'm pretty impressed with your back-to-back LRs, but I don't blame you for not making ultras a habit.

  8. I think what you describe here is probably the difference between someone with speed and a slow runner like me that don't have any speed and therefore don't worry about it at all. I never run with music and prefer not seeing other people :) I'm sure over time your marathons will benefit from the endurance your legs are building though. Hang in there, you'll reap the benefits on ultra race day.


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