402.91 miles in 43 outings in a time of 63:35:04 with an elevation gain of 36,389 feet at an average heart rate of 140.
Coming off Boston in mid-April, I knew I needed to quickly transition for the upcoming ultra races on the summer schedule. So that made May the obvious candidate for big miles. Really drive up the mileage on a week over week basis in order to get myself back into a constant state of fatigue by achieving a pretty low training stress balance (TSB). Ended that last week of April with a 110 mile week then the shit hit the fan.
The anterior tibialis injury! Kind of felt right. I haven’t been hurt in a long time and it made me feel normal just for a bit. However, I didn’t take it lying down. I scrapped the running for a few days during that first week of May. 2 full days off — the only 2 of the month. Then I started trying to get moving on it again. I hobbled through 3 miles the next day and had to stop when it hurt to bad and did the walk of shame back home. But I kept at the rehab and the running and was back at normal mileage within 5 days. I was healing faster than I was hurting it so I went with it.
Finished that week at 90 miles and felt fine. So I went up to 100 the next week and was able to get back to the trails a bit and the ankle/shin held up just fine. Then this past week, I had some great opportunities to get out for some good hill runs as well as the long long run this past weekend. Things were really firing on all cylinders except for my attitude. Started getting groggy this week and probably a bit sharp around the family. Including one incident where Reagan was driving me nuts so I threw a tostada at her during dinner. As it exploded on her face, I thought…maybe I need a nap.
I capped the month off with a solid performance at the BolderBoulder this morning. Setting a new 10K PR. Figured that PR was in the bag as long as I could hold it together. For a guy that is used to a well planned taper, racing on a completely drained system was something new but was right in line with how I tried to perform this month.
Geek time! On our run, Jim commented that my graphs look cool but wasn’t sure what they meant. Tell me about it. Took me a while. However, I explained that I like to have a few measures on performance so that I can take an average. Just asking yourself “how do you feel?” is one but its biased. This one is more quantitative. Taking the two together, you get a better picture.
Acute Training Load (ATL): Hit 178 the day after the traverse. Wow! The high for the Boston cycle was 152 after a traverse with JV. I worked harder on that per the HR totals. It remains the hardest workout of the season by this measure. Post-Boston I dropped to 79 and then hit about 100 during the injury. From there, it was nothing but up and to the right as the mileage totals built and the rolling averages started getting weighted up by longer days. Overall, this number represents your fatigue. Oddly, its a dull fatigue. I just don’t have a lot of pep right now. Feel like I need extra sleep. My body is aching if I sit and listen to it. But I am not 100% toast.
Cumulative Training Load (CTL): Hit 136. This is my fitness level. Went into Boston at 104. This last month has produced a big jump but its not like the build from Jan – Mar. Taking it against how I feel, I do feel as fit as ever. However, the speed is not there. I did PR today but I didn’t run one ounce of speedwork all month. I am purposely not doing that in exchange for lots of long and slow running. These ultras aren’t going to need the fast gear. Its all about slow gear. So having a good CTL makes me believe that I can run for hours upon hours.
Training Stress Balance (TSB): -36 right now. Again 0 is where you would want to be just before race day. -36 was also my biggest value of the Boston cycle. Its the difference between ATL and CTL. Glad to be back in this range again. However, its time to starting working back to zero and “come up for air”. Its not good to be fatigued like this. You get stronger through the rest so now is the best part. I get to ease off and let this number rise and hopefully see some nice performance gains with it.
Anyway, if you stuck with that, hope it made some sense. I really only wear my HR monitor these days to collect this data. Its fun to look back on and analyze. As I said, I look at how I feel but also use this to gauge if my body is telling the truth. Overall, I feel like this was a very solid month and I am proud of the result. I worked hard in the last week to see 3 goals come together right in time: 1) Biggest week ever (120), 2) PR at BB10K, 3) Biggest month ever (400). It was definitely cool to just knock over the pins after working all month to set them up.
June will be a different animal. I need to spend more time climbing and descending. I still have my winter legs on and they like snow-covered trails that are nice and smooth. I won’t focus on as much total mileage. I will work to bring the TSB back to 0 before we head to Lake City with a pretty huge taper the week prior. Then get in and out of Lake City with no damage that would impact further LT100 training. Get some rest and then hit LT100 training camp to round out the month. Should be some good stuff in there. Then comes July…no planned races, hot days. Sounds like 500 miles wouldn’t be a bad idea. It doesn’t scare me.
1,512.93 on the year, if you are into that sort of thing. I crossed 1,000 while running the Boston Marathon. That was just over a month ago. Damn.