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06/17 - 06/23

A quick training update:

Monday (June 17): off
Tuesday (June 18): AM 9 miles, 20 x 200m @ 36 - 39 seconds, 120m jog between repeats; PM 10 miles, 1hr:14, IL.
Wednesday (June 19): AM 8 miles, 1hr, IL; PM 9 miles, 1hr:02, IL.
Thursday (June 20): AM 9 miles, 1hr:05, hill repeats, IL. 6 x 600m hill totaling about four miles in 6:47, 6:40, 6:23, 6:25; PM 8 miles, 1hr, IL.
Friday (June 21): AM 8 miles, 1hr, IL.
Saturday (June 22): AM 10 miles, Seize the Day 5k, 1st, 17:17, Kirkwood, MO. Felt really slow this morning after a late night, lots of dancing, and a lack of hydration. Still, it was good to run some faster miles with a tired body; PM 5 miles, :35, IL.
Sunday (June 23): AM 12 miles, 1hr:26, MO.

Weekly Totals: 87 miles, ~10hrs:30. Plenty of shorter runs this week with several two-a-days. 300 miles run during the month of June through the 23rd.


06/10 - 06/16

The first serious week of a long (2.5 month) training block started this week. Here goes:

Monday (June 10): PM 6 miles, :43, starting the week off easy.
Tuesday (June 11): AM 7 miles, 15 x 200m repeats @ 34 - 38 seconds with 120m easy jog between repeats; PM 7 miles, 18minutes x 20/40 workout, the workout amounted to three miles at about six minute/mile pace.
Wednesday (June 12): AM 10 miles, easy recovery miles in 1hr:14.
Thursday (June 13): AM 6 miles+, 3 x mile repeat at the Jerseyville Middle School track. Easy repeats at 6:05, 6:00, 5:33; PM 8.5 miles, 1hr:02.
Friday (June 14): AM 6 miles easy, easy miles in about :45; PM 6 miles, easy miles in about :45
Saturday (June 15): AM/PM 24 miles, 3hrs:21 on the Lewis and Clark Trails. 2,500' of ascent over the course of three, 8 mile loops (loop 1 in 66:15; loop 2 in 66:01; loop 3 in 69:20).
Sunday (June 16): AM 7.5 miles, GO! St. Louis All American 5k, 16:36, 15th place. My legs were smoked after yesterday's effort, and the week's effort cumulatively, but I was happy to run some fast miles at a fun event. Thanks to my family members that made it out to watch!; PM 5+ miles, :40 easy late in the evening.

Weekly Totals: 93 miles, 11hrs:35. Starting to bump up the mileage this week and reintroducing speed work. I'll continue with the miles and speed work next week, and I'll introduce some hill repeats as well. Another 5k next weekend too, only this time it will be Saturday, and so before a long run--should be quite a bit faster!

PLUS: if you missed the link to a great review on some awesome shoes (the Salomon Sense Mantras), see HERE.

Impressive stuff (note: this is not me skiing).

Good ol' country road runnin' outside Dow, IL.

Ready to run the 5k with Kevin Melnuk.

A brazen deer.

Post-race with my cousin and dad (thanks to Lynne Kloster for the photo).

Finisher's medal.


May 2012 vs. May 2013 (and YTD)

The month of May in 2013 was slow: I logged the fewest miles of any month so far in 2013 (211 miles). In contrast, May was my busiest month in 2012, during which time I ran 407 miles. The contrast is due to the following facts: (a) I was injured during the first half of May in 2013; (b) in 2013, I had raced a 50km in late april, and was scheduled to run the 50 mile distance on the 11th of May, and then again on the 1st of June (this required tapering and so fewer miles); (c) I did not race during the months of April, May or June in 2012 (that is, any ultra distances. Racing shorter distances typically doesn't require the same taper and recovery as an ultra)

I ran more miles during each of the first four months of 2013 as compared to 2012. However, because of the lackluster May this year, my miles year-to-date (YTD) are lower in 2013 than in 2012. Here's the breakdown:

                   2012              2013
Jan.            200m             248m
Feb.           261m             320m
Mar.           293m             315m
Apr.           244m             265m
May           407m             211m

Totals:       1,405m          1,359m

By June 1st, 2012, I had raced 95 miles (1 ultra), whereas, by June 1st of this year, I had raced 157 miles (3 ultras). Though there were some similarities in my training during the first five months of both years, my focus this spring turned more toward racing ultras. My summer this year should be similar to the last: lots and lots of miles, plenty of time on the trails and out West, few races. One difference this summer is that I plan to run some shorter road races (starting with a 5km race on June 15th) around the St. Louis area, as I'm working across the river in Illinois until July 12th.

One last update. This past week, 06/03 - 06/09, following TNF-DC 50 mile, I was able to recover swiftly and run 70 miles after taking Monday off. Some pictures and video from the last week:

The new workplace. 

A splendid view.

Good fun.


Race Report: TNF-DC 50 mile

Result: 2nd, 6:50:10 (full results here)
*A bit of press from the Running Times here.

Sometimes it's best to abandon expectations, for expectations are rarely realized. This is a lesson that's easy to learn: set an expectation, then see if it materializes. I tried setting expectations this year with my spring race schedule. Let's see how that played out...

Expectations: (1) finish the American River 50 in under 6hr:05; (2) finish the Mad City 50k in under 3hrs:10; (3) finish top five at the Ice Age Trail 50. How many times were my expectations realized? Exactly zero. Oh, and I got injured along the way. So I thought it best to abandon expectations at the TNF-DC 50 mile, especially in light of the fact that the forecasted low temperature for the day was 73 degrees (the high? 93!).

Of course, I knew that Michael Wardian would be running the race and, after finishing less than two minutes behind him at the Rock N' Roll USA Marathon in March, it would be inauthentic to pretend that I didn't expect, well, let me be more realistic, hope, to beat him. That hope seemed fairly realistic when I found myself six minutes ahead of him at mile 15, seven minutes ahead of him at mile 17, ten minutes and thirty seconds ahead of him at mile 24, ten minutes ahead of him at mile 31, and eight minutes ahead of him at mile 35. After feeling great for the majority of the race, the heat and miles began to take their toll: I was light headed, I felt dehydrated, I was unable to climb as swiftly as before. I was losing my lead, and fast, and I began to wonder if I would finish. That wonder was especially prevalent at mile 39, when Wardian finally passed me while I was laying on the side of the trail, trying to lower my core temperature and regain my running legs.

But I was able to continue: sometimes walking, sometimes hiking, mostly running (though usually slowly). And, to my surprise, I arrived at the 42 mile aid station just forty-five seconds after Michael had left (or so the aid station volunteers told me). However, much credit to him, Wardian was able to move through the last eight miles well, and I was never able to do enough to catch him (try as I might).

If you have a chance, and a legitimate chance, to beat Michael Wardian in an ultramarathon, and you let that chance slip, you kick yourself. I won't soon forget what happened at this race: I let a huge opportunity get away from me. But I'll learn from it, and I'll hope to have the chance to battle with one of the best again. Next time, the third time, might be a charm.

Some thanks are in order: to the volunteers, the aid station workers, and especially Cynthia, Danny, and Kari for the on course support; thanks, too, to RaceReady for the first-rate gear and support.

Pictures and video from the race:

                                           Coming through the aid station, around mile 15.

The pre-dawn start in Virginia. 

Finding some shade with Michael Wardian after the race.

Take 2.

Joy? Fatigue? Cold? Yes.