February 2010 Training Summary (253.52 Miles)

A Day in the Life14 Comments

253.52 miles in 28 outings in a time of 41:02:19 with an elevation gain of 31,091 feet at an average heart rate of 138.

Someone remind me that its the middle of winter, please? Because these miles are just racking up for the year and I am only getting started. As promised in January, I wanted a floor of 250 per month. I had to chase that a bit late in the month after a solid rest week and a lot of single trips up Green Mountain negatively impacted the goal. But I got after it during the last week and set a course to intersect the total on the final day by a nose. No problem.

February of 2008 I ran 85 miles. February of 2009 I ran 107 miles. Total 192. So yeah, there was improvement year over year. Even 2 years over year!

10 trips up Green for the month. Starting to think a double on one of the two weekly outings is what’s on tap for the future. I have stalled out on the improvement when it comes to a single lap. Its not challenging. Although, I am sure I am building some consistency factor in there. So I either need more or need to tack mileage on around it. Or both.

Lots of random thinking while running this month. One part has to do with that fascination that I think I am in the best shape of my life. Surely, I was there leading up to Denver last fall. But somewhere after that, rest and recovery kicks in and I think you decline. Not in a bad way but you lose that feeling. Over January, I felt like I was building back up. Mostly that aerobic base. Now, I think I have eclipsed that. However, I am not sure that Brandon February 2010 could take Brandon November 2009 in a 10k. But once this current me moves into a sharpening phase, I feel like a new gear will be revealed to me. I would like to here the perspective of someone who isn’t in this continual “up and to the right” performance situation. What does it do to your motivation to know you ran your best 5-7 years ago and can only hope to be a shadow of that? I think I would find no drive in that.

Otherwise, I think I continue to stress over weight being the #1 factor holding me back. I am not doing anything about it though. The scale hasn’t budged in a month. That’s probably OK. I know I am trying to do a better job of fueling before, during and after. Maybe muscle is sneaking in there as fat falls out and the percentage of each is slightly shifting.

These things take time. Others have blogged about it but I will say it again. Running (for me) is all about consistency. Run more. Run often. Run again. Its when you look back over the month and you literally can’t find a hole in your schedule that wasn’t 100% intentional.

Some days I get lost in other people’s totals. They aren’t me but I know they can achieve things I want to so modeling yourself after those that have succeeded before you isn’t a bad strategy. But then again, you and I are a “N of 1”. We all have our own challenges, restrictions, schedules, goals, etc. I feel like I am firing pretty well against my objectives while keeping things in balance and not being hurt. An injury is the key self-imposed consequence of this stuff. That’s why this slower build is working well for me. February matched January but the devil is in the details. January had more days of course. And in February I ran more trail days than in January but still eked out an improvement in distance. So I feel like I did much more than 250 “road miles” this month. Anyway, this is my unique formula at this game. We will see how it pans out. April 19th is coming soon.

And that 100 mile thing in August, bring that shit on!

  • georgezack

    It is cool to see you upping the game, and that with it, you are gaining fitness, confidence, and most importantly of all – enjoying it.

    Regarding the “best in the past” consideration … well, you can consider it that way (the best is in the past, so no drive in that) … or you can consider that you can continue to fight, scrap, put your nose in it and maybe even kick the arse of a kid or two occasionally. Either that or give up and die faster.

  • georgezack

    It is cool to see you upping the game, and that with it, you are gaining fitness, confidence, and most importantly of all – enjoying it.

    Regarding the “best in the past” consideration … well, you can consider it that way (the best is in the past, so no drive in that) … or you can consider that you can continue to fight, scrap, put your nose in it and maybe even kick the arse of a kid or two occasionally. Either that or give up and die faster.

  • jeffvalliere

    Nobody likes the idea of putting in more work for lesser results and I am not sure how I will handle it when I get there (some days I think I have already reached that point and other days I know I have not), but I like to think that I will gradually just roll with it because I just love getting up into the mountains regardless. I love my hikes with Allison, Sierra and friends, just as much as I love running up a peak as fast as I can, but just enjoy them in different ways.

    I look at athletes in their 40’s and even 50’s setting PR’s and find that inspiriing. Maybe they are not setting a 5k or 10k PR, but they transition into longer distances and/or other crazy challenges or different sports. There is no getting around the fact that we will all gradually decline, but I think loving what you do makes all the difference and if you are only in it to see how fast you can go, you will be more disappointed and demoralized with the inevitable slow down.

    I still think you have a long ways to go on the up, so I would not worry about that for a while.

  • jeffvalliere

    Nobody likes the idea of putting in more work for lesser results and I am not sure how I will handle it when I get there (some days I think I have already reached that point and other days I know I have not), but I like to think that I will gradually just roll with it because I just love getting up into the mountains regardless. I love my hikes with Allison, Sierra and friends, just as much as I love running up a peak as fast as I can, but just enjoy them in different ways.
    I look at athletes in their 40’s and even 50’s setting PR’s and find that inspiriing. Maybe they are not setting a 5k or 10k PR, but they transition into longer distances and/or other crazy challenges or different sports. There is no getting around the fact that we will all gradually decline, but I think loving what you do makes all the difference and if you are only in it to see how fast you can go, you will be more disappointed and demoralized with the inevitable slow down.

    I still think you have a long ways to go on the up, so I would not worry about that for a while.

    • You are going to be racing dudes in your wheelchair in 40 years. Its in your blood.

  • I was reminded this morning that my fastest running was back when Pearl Jam first released Ten. How’s that for feeling old?

    • Yea my 1 mile, 2 mile, 5k, and 10k PRs were 19 years ago. Before anybody knew who Nirvana was.

      My 1/2 Marathon, Marathon, 50k, and 50 mile PRs are in the last 3 years. But thats easy, because I never ran those distances once when I was young so I win by default.

      As I continue to slow down, I’ll just make up new distances. “Hey today I set a PR in the 7.34 mile run.”

      • I like that! People made fun of me when I put (PR) next to my 10 miler last year. Hey, it was!

        This discussion is further proof that I should retire from marathons after Boston.

  • Yea my 1 mile, 2 mile, 5k, and 10k PRs were 19 years ago. Before anybody knew who Nirvana was.

    My 1/2 Marathon, Marathon, 50k, and 50 mile PRs are in the last 3 years. But thats easy, because I never ran those distances once when I was young so I win by default.

    As I continue to slow down, I’ll just make up new distances. “Hey today I set a PR in the 7.34 mile run.”