A "training" Week + Holiday Lake50k 2/10/14-2/16/2014

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Unfortunately, I missed my recap last week but there wasn't really all that much to talk about because...well...I didn't really run all that much.  This was partly due to the massive storm we had last week that dropped 22" of snow on the New River Valley!  However, the few days I did run were special because they were in the middle of a massive snowstorm.

Monday: 9.1, 450' 1.5hr
On Monday, we had our weekly VT Ultra group run.  I forgot that we had moved the run back from 7:00 to 7:15 and left my house as if we were running at 7:00.  Once I was out and about in the cold evening air, I realized that we were running later and managed to squeeze in a few extra miles on the way.  After the run, I made my usual stop at Moe's and then grabbed the bus home.  These Monday night group runs are really nice because after a long weekend of running it would be easy to not run but they get me out the door and even sometimes make me do more miles than I bargained for.

Tuesday: Rest
Yep.  After a long weekend of running and a few more miles than I had planned for on Monday, I gladly welcomed a "rest" day.  Although I didn't get out for a run I did make an awesome calzone for dinner that I whipped up from scratch.

Wednesday: 6, ~400' 1hr
On Wednesday, Michelle and I packed up our refrigerator, Gillie, and a few days of warm clothes and headed over to Michelle's parents to hunker down for the storm.  Last year, we had a lot of issues with losing power at our place and unfortunately lost a full refrigerator of food as a result of a power outage that lasted a few days.  Around two, the snow started falling heavy and continued to amass overnight and through half of Thursday.

Despite the heavy snow, I put on a few layers and headed out into the snowy evening.  The snow falling in combination with a strong wind was pretty brutal and I was wishing I had snow goggles but had to settle for sunglasses...which didn't really work because it got dark pretty early into my run, which meant that my tinted shades made it near impossible to run in.  I took the TS4 with me on the run and grabbed a few photos of me playing in the snow!

Pretty amazing to see how dark it got in the hour I was out running!

Thursday: 6, ~350' 1hr
I managed to get out on Thursday and get in another 6 miles despite the 20+ inches of snow on the ground.  My run was limited to the streets that were plowed but I was happy to get in 6 when most folks in Blacksburg were post holing to run two or three miles.

Before my run, Michelle and I went out to enjoy the snow and the day off from classes.  To put in perspective the rarity of Virginia Tech canceling classes, consider the following: In the 142 year history of Virginia Tech, Thursday and Friday were the 9th and 10th snow days.  Ever.

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Race Holiday Lake 50k - 16th
If you missed my blog earlier in the week about the race, you can check it out HERE.  I read this earlier in the week and had to share as it describes the race better than I can.
"You could try to run in another runners tracks, but you quickly found out that the snow never really packed down because it was wet…it just kind of slid somewhere else. Fail. Or you could just make your own brand new tracks in the crust – predictable, but immediately tiring and wet below the crust. Fail. Or, you could simply run straight ahead, not thinking and just taking what came to you, which made for really unpredictable footing. Fail. So there you have it, that’s what the FIRST loop would be like – trying to get good footing and failing. Trying to get some semblance of a normal running stride and failing. Trying to get into any kind of zone and failing. You get the picture."  John Anderson
It was a crazy race and one for the memory books.

Totals for the week:
Distance: 53.4
Elevations: 3150'
Duration: 8.75hr


2014 Holiday Lake Race Report (Hypothetical vs. Real Life)

Sunday, February 16, 2014

**One of the main instigators of this whole Ultra VT group-thing, Rudy Rutemiller, decided to create hypothetical Holiday Lake tweets on Saturday afternoon to make up for the lack of race coverage due to zero cell service at the Holiday Lake 4-H center, below are some of the tweets that ensued.**

Hypothetical Version:
As I slowly exited the fog from my deep sleep, I sat up in my hammock to witness a glorious sunrise dancing across the lake at the 4-H center in Appomattox, VA.  I had opted to forgo sleeping in a tent, and sleeping bag for that matter, because of the unseasonably warm temperatures we had been treated to for the 19th running of the Lynchburg ultra series opener, Holiday Lake 50k.  As I got dressed for the day, I half-smiled as a looked at all the cold weather gear I had packed and threw on a pair of shorts and a short sleeve shirt I knew I would discard at the first aid station.  The forecast predicted record high temperatures and the lack of rain over the previous couple weeks meant the course would be dry and fast, creating perfect conditions for a course record attempt.  After a delicious breakfast feast prepared by the 4-H staff, 400 runners set out for an awesome day on the trails where every participant set a personal best.  Once the last runner had crossed the finish line, Dr. Horton broke out a guitar and we all sang camp songs including Kumbaya.  It was a picturesque day and a Holiday Lake for the memory books!  The entire way home we continued to rave about how awesome of a time we had and couldn't wipe the smiles off our faces, ready to sign up for next years race, the 20th running.  Maybe we'll get lucky and get a little snow!

Real Life Version:

Race Morning: As I slowly exited the fog of my not so deep sleep to the sound of rain beating on the roof of my car, I hesitantly checked my phone and breathed a sign of relief to discover it was only 2AM and that I would not have to exit my sleeping bag cocoon of warmth for another couple hours.  I had opted to sleep in my car, the free option, compared to the $15 equally cold unheated cabins that remained for those of us who were foolish enough to not reserved a heated cabin in advance.  I awoke again a little after four in a panic, afraid my phone had died from the cold and that my alarm didn't sound resulting in me completely missing the start of the race.

Around 4:30, I admitted defeat and crawled out from under the pile of blankets that had kept me relatively comfortable throughout the night.  I began mentally preparing myself to emerge from the relative warmth of the car into the dreary dark February morning.  I dodged muddy puddles by headlight as I trudged toward the distant lights of the lodge with promise of warm water and hot coffee.  I was greeted by an energetic group of Liberty students who were fulfilling their duties of morning check-in for the runners and headed toward a table already half-surrounded by my fellow Ultra VT runners.  We shared laughs between sips of coffee and joked about the adventures that lie ahead of us for the day, curious as to what the unknown conditions would bring.  

Friday Evening: Jordan and I arrived at the 4-H center around 5 on Friday evening, quickly completed bib pickup and then mingled as runners arrived over the next hour.  At six, we gathered in the mess hall for a delicious pre-race dinner prepared by the 4-H staff that included salad, lasagna, spaghetti, meatballs, and choice of apple or cherry cobbler.  We were in great company at dinner sitting with Graham Peck, the race winner, and his family as well as John Robinson who won the male masters award on Saturday.  After dinner, Dr. Horton gave his always entertaining pre-race "briefing" that is questionably more standup comedy than actual "race briefing."  A little after eight, I headed off for bed excited and slightly apprehensive about the challenges the following day would bring.

Runners waiting around pre-race!

After finishing my breakfast, I headed off to do my normal pre-race routine including the very important pre-race restroom visit.  I was forewarned about the long line for the men's restroom (Thanks Kristen!) and unlike Promise Land, I made sure I got in line early enough to make it through the line and back to the start before the race started.  I arrived at the start line just in time for Dr. Horton's prayer and found a spot about 20-30 feet back from the banner.

At 6:30AM promptly, we were off and running!  The first little section of the course, about 3/4 of a mile, is up a paved hill on the road that leads to the 4-H Center.  The course then turns onto single track that winds along the lake for a mile or so before paralleling another road on more single track.  The image to the left is the first five miles of the course where the start is indicated by the green dot and the selected dark blue section is the fifth mile.  The course is comprised of doing the same big loop twice, first in a clockwise manner and then turning around and running counterclockwise along the same loop.  Essentially the course is one giant out-and-back.

A big topic of discussion at the breakfast table was what footwear folks were wearing and whether or not to wear Yaktrax.  It baffles me why we think it's a good idea to try something new on race day and even more so that I continue to do it again and again - enter overused Albert Einstein cliché, "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."  I digress.  Long story short, I opted to wear the Yaktrax after running in them maybe a handful of times (with relative success I might add) but quickly decided a few miles in they were not going to work.  I opted to leave them hanging on a road sign a little over 5 miles into the race and eventually picked them up on my way back (mile 25ish) to drop them off at the last aid station of the day.

I need to be more confident in my ability to run hard and be competitive.  I noted to Jordan on the ride to the race that this would be the first ultra that I didn't wear a vest...or bring a camera...and actually intended to run hard.  I started too far back in the field and quickly discovered that I was with folks who had different goals than I did for the day; not worse of unworthy...just different.  Perhaps running with these folks kept me conservative and allowed me to run well later in the race but I wonder how my race would have unfolded had I been further up.  One monumental difference in this race than other ultras I've done was the time I spent in aid stations.  I would say in total I spent less than 4 minutes in aid stations during this race compared to other races where I've easily lost 20 or more minutes in the aid stations.  I started with a half-full handheld and took water at the first aid station and ran directly through the second aid station, which is roughly the half-way point of the first loop.  I also carried all of my own fuel, opting to bring 7 Gu's with me for the race.

The Powerline Section:  When we previewed the course two-weeks ago, I distinctly recall Jordan and I discussing the power line section and how in the race it seems to go on forever.  Two weeks later and add 2/3 of a foot of snow and the one and a half mile section was THE most difficult section of the race.  There was a hard crust on the snow that had formed from the cold rain overnight and freezing temperatures causing each step to suck all momentum and made finding a rhythm impossible.  The best way to describe it is that instead of your legs running along two parallel lines moving forward and back on those lines, your legs are doing an "eggbeater" motion and running along a single line because each foot slid as it contacted the snow toward the middle of your body.  Eventually, we (another runner and I) reached the end and turned onto a fire road where we could stretch our legs and recover from previous grueling section.  We both agreed that we were grateful to have that section behind us.  It's interesting to note that it didn't just feel slower but that it actually was considerably slower, evident in the above splits.  Mile 10 is the dark blue highlighted section in the image above that encompasses most of the 1.5ish powerline section as well as small portion of mile 11, both considerably slower that the pace for two miles on either side, mile 9 (9:24/mile) and mile 12 (9:28/mile).

I don't recall the third aid station (perhaps because I ran right through it?) and eventually I began recognizing the section that runs around the perimeter of the lake, indicating we were close to the turnaround point.  It was at this point, mile 14ish that I caught up to Wyatt, another Ultra VT runner who went on to finish an impressive 11th on the day.  We made good time through these couple miles heading into the turnaround and eventually caught Jordan just before we entered the aid station.  I was a bit concerned when we caught Jordan, as he has always been someone I admire as a runner and someone who is considerably faster than me.  Because the course is an out and back, we had the opportunity to see how the race was unfolding upfront as the lead runners had begun making their way back toward us.  Just after mile 15, we saw Graham heading back and then 13 other runners before entering the aid station.  

Splits through the first 16 miles.
I spent maybe a minute at the turnaround.  Enough time to allow an aid station volunteer (Thanks again!) to fill my bottle, grab a handful of Cheese Its, and give Mike Jones a high-five before heading back on course.  I had been listening to music for most of the race but right at the turnaround I put in my second earbud and cranked up the tunes and felt awesome for the next 4 miles or so.  This section was really great because you have all of the folks who are on their way to the turnaround giving you encouragement.  I tried to tell every runner that I passed Good Work! but I was in the zone and certainly missed a few.  

I had been doing well with nutrition, taking a Gu every 45 minutes or so but around mile 21 the wheels began to fall off.  Again, the power line section was challenging but the temperature had risen and with the rest of the field having already run through that section once, it was easier to find better footing.  

During the power line section, I noticed a decline in energy and recognized that I wasn't taking in enough calories.  I filled my bottle with Gu Brew at the next aid station (mile 24.5) and also took my first...and second cup of Coke, which I discovered too late into Promise Land 50k++ gives me a HUGE boost in energy.  As I entered the the aid station, Wyatt came in right behind me as did Jordan, and we all made it quick stop before heading down the trail.  Shortly after the aid station, there is a knee-high creek crossing, Jordan had sprinted past me giving me some encouragement and disappeared around the corner just before the creek, by the time I had crossed he was already several hundred meters up the hill and I wouldn't see him again until the finish.  We later found out that a seasoned ultrarunner was seriously injured crossing the creek and had to be carried to medical help by fellow runners, she is now doing well and recovering from surgery, but it speaks to the AMAZING crowd that takes part in these events.

Splits 17 to the finish.
Between 25 and 28.2 were the toughest miles for me.  I picked up my Yaktrax just before 26 and ran with them until I reached the next aid station where I entered dazed and feeling weak.  However, Frank Gonzalez was at the last aid station and his enthusiasm is CONTAGIOUS!  I handed him my Yaktrax, obviously out of it and said "I don't want these anymore" as he handed me a cup of Coke.  As I walked out of the aid station toward the trail, he was counting down for me to start running and when I began "trotting" before he got down to zero he burst out yelling and encouraging me.  He. Is. Awesome.  Again, I have met some of the most amazing and positive individuals since I started running ultras.  Inspiring.  I did ask how far to the end and was somewhat unhappy with the response, although Frank was dead on about the mileage (4.1) to the finish and it was nice knowing how far I actually had to go.

The scene at the finish!
The last section winds along the lake and then along singletrack next to the road before the 3/4 of a mile downhill finish on the road we began on.  Around mile 30, I walked for a bit and was super lightheaded bracing myself on trees and trying to keep myself upright.  In the future, I need to eat more but it was good that I realized what was happening and that I learn from the experience.  Once I hit the road, I gave one final look over my shoulder and started to open my stride allowing gravity to take me home.

Pace breakdown via Strava for the race.
It felt pretty awesome to come across the finish with Dr. Horton announcing my name and shaking my hand, noting that he had "seeded me wrong."  We had a brief chat and I mentioned how difficult the power line section had felt, which was seconded by the runner who had finished immediately before me and was still in the finish area.  I collected my awesome finisher shirt and grabbed a few cake batter Oreo's (who knew?) and attempted to walk off the pain in my feet.   I hobbled over to the lodge where I found the rest of the Ultra VT group and immediately started replenishing calories with a bowl of Chili, a few more Oreo's, and several glasses of orange juice.  

Link to full results HERE

I was very happy to have a solid run and see the hard work I've been putting in over the past couple months pay off.  I was pleased to have finished 16th overall out of 281 finishers and 314 starters.  What is really awesome is that Guy Love had another impressive finish, taking 3rd overall and that two other VT triathlon students finished in the top ten, Dylan taking 6th and Jonathan, running his first ultra, 7th!!!  Further, Wyatt took 11th and Jordan 12th, meaning we had 7 Hokies (alumni and current) in the top 16!

How bout them Hokies!?!

Participant shirt left and finisher prize right.

Strava Details:

Of course, it wouldn't be a race report without the obligatory post run burrito/food picture.  Michelle and I had our Valentines Day on Saturday evening because I spent the actual valentines day sleeping in my car...in the cold...to go run 50k...in the snow...hrm?  

Maybe next year it'll be dry and fast and perfect for setting a course record...or maybe not! #HypotheticalHL


Training Week 2/3/2014-2/9/2014

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

I'm super pumped about how training went last week!  No, I didn't hit a new weekly high mileage but I did get in what I feel like were some quality miles including "longish" back-to-back runs on Saturday and Sunday.  We changed the Ultra VT group run from Wednesday evening to Monday evening and consequently my weeks have become much longer as far as consecutive days running. I've switched up my schedule to include six days on and one day off using Tuesday as my rest day.  Despite the longer weeks I felt really strong on my run Sunday after a hard effort Saturday.  A good sign for Holiday Lake this weekend!

Monday: 6, 500' 1hr
Monday evening, we had our first Monday evening Ultra VT group run and witnessed Mr. Mike Jones pull off a barrel roll during the run and continue running as if nothing had happened.  We were joking about parkour at the time, which made the spectacle that much funnier!

Tuesday: Rest

Wednesday: 10.2, 700' 1.5hr
Around mid-week, I received the awesome news that Michelle had won a free entry into the Baltimore Running Festival!  We had entered a contest on Facebook where 100 squares were assigned to the score of the Superbowl and it just so happens that Michelle's name was in the square for the final score (kind of).  While the first, second, and third quarter winners received free T-shirts, the grand prize winner (Michelle) won an entry into the Baltimore Running Festival and she was kind enough to let me register for the Baltimore Marathon with her free entry.  SWEET!

On a different note, there has been a resistance to the Monday evening group runs from the folks who can't make the new scheduled time, which is kind of awesome because it means there are two group runs during the week.  As I've mentioned before, it's awesome to get out with a group and it gives me incentive to get out the door even when I'm struggling for motivation.  We had a pretty solid group Wednesday evening and went out for a little over an hour.  We found some super steep roads in Blacksburg and explored some roads I had never been on before!

Thursday: 9.1, 540' 1.33hr
On Thursday, I saw an ad on Facebook for a free audio book via Audible, Amazon's audiobook company.  If you agree to sign up for their monthly service (which I intend to cancel prior to the subscription beginning) you receive a credit to download a book.  I decided to download Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer to listen to on long runs.  I remember reading about a few cyclists that listen to audio books while riding and figured I'd give it a try while running.  It really made the time go quickly and I enjoyed the book a lot!  So much so that I listened to another four hours on Saturdays long run.

Friday: Rest (and massive slices)
I didn't intend for Friday to be a rest day but when I got home and sat down, I dozed off on the couch and awoke when Michelle got home.  I guess I needed the rest.  

Post nap, Michelle and I headed downtown for the the Telluride Film Festival at the Lyric but not before stopping by Benny Marzano's for a couple massive slices to fuel my long run on Saturday.  The film festival was awesome!  We were surprised by the length, nearly four hours, but enjoyed all of the films, our favorite of which was an 8 year project to photograph all 39 species of the Birds of Paradise!  Check out the trailer:

Saturday: 22, 3780' 4hr
I woke up early Saturday morning and headed north to Roanoke to scout the Blue Ridge Marathon course, which I'm a blogger for and announced in a post back in August.  I intend to do a separate post about previewing the course but I'll leave you with this picture:  Mile 7.3 where some sections of the road are up to 15%!

Saturday evening, we enjoyed an awesome dinner at The Cellar with Michelle's parents and our friends Bob and Cheryl who live in Salem.  It was an excellent way to recover after a long run and hard effort for the day.  

Sunday: 15, 500' 2hr
After last Sunday's debacle on my long run, I was determined to get in a decent run on Sunday and headed down I-81 to Pulaski to to get in an easy 12 on the New River Trail.  I decided to park in Pulaski and see a different part of the trail rather than the same old section of trail I run from Draper.  I had just turned onto the New River Trail from a connector trail that runs into Pulaski, about six miles into my run, when I ran into Pawel another runner here in Blacksburg and his training partner Geoff.  Pawel asked me how far I was running and invited me to join them.  I had been listening to a podcast and had just started another when we met up and I welcomed the change in pace (literally) and the company.  We turned out a solid 5 miles together before I turned around to head back toward the car.  I managed to get in 15 for the day, 14 and a mile cool down with the first 6 of the 14 being more relaxed with the remaining eight getting progressively faster followed by a mile "easy" cool down.

Totals for the week:
Distance: 63.4
Elevation: 6044'
Duration: 10hr

I was super pleased to get in 63 miles this week and felt strong for most of the miles.  Additionally, I managed to log those 63 miles over 5 runs compared to the previous week when I did 61 miles in 6 runs.  Looking forward, Holiday Lake 50k is this coming Saturday and it's currently dumping snow outside.  We're expecting ~12-14" and Appomattox, where Holiday Lake race is held, is expecting a foot, which could make for a very interesting 50k and long day Saturday.  I was feeling confident about my ability to put in a solid run but with the weather I think I have to adjust my expectations and simply set out for a fun day on the trails!

As I look at my training this year, it's interesting to see the difference in volume of January and February between this year and last year.  Last year, I managed 25 hours between the two months.  This year, despite taking the eight days of January off, I bettered the first two months combined in January alone!


Another (semi)Successful Week of Training -1/27/2014-2/2/2014

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

It's hard to believe it's February already.  As of writing this, there are only 60 59 days until Umstead100; that fact is scary.  Training last week didn't go as I intended but I think that is part of the learning curve when it comes to increasing volume and listening to your body.  I mentioned in my last post that my goal for the previous week was ~70 miles or in the 12+ hour neighborhood of training.  However, as the weekend approached I learned that the training run I thought was going to be 31 miles was in fact only 16.5, or half of the Holiday Lake course.  I didn't realize that the course was comprised of doing the same loop twice, once forward and then running back to the start in reverse essentially making the course a giant out-and-back.  Once I learned that fact, I knew I was going to struggle to hit my goal of 70 for the week but continued to get some solid runs in including a trip up to Cascade Falls and Butt Mountain fire tower on Thursday afternoon.

Monday: Rest
After a long week of training the previous week (65 miles) and two longer runs over the weekend including 21 on Sunday, I gladly enjoyed taking a day off from running Monday.

Tuesday: 8, 1800' 1.5hr
The UltraVT group has made a huge difference in my running over the past year.  One of the main reasons I believe is the steady stream of invites and group runs that are put together over a listserv, which helps me stay accountable on days I need that extra shove to get out the door.  I had an easy run planned Tuesday evening that was just 6 easy miles on Poverty Creek, a relatively flat trail in Jefferson National Forest.  When I saw a last minute email about running around 3, I decided to jump on the opportunity and met Guy Love at the trail head.  The route was anything but flat and much more difficult than what I had planned for the day and it was AWESOME!  There's just something about getting out in really really cold weather for a good run and Tuesday was chilly!  We managed to get in a nice loop out in Pandapas with just under 1800' of climb for 8 miles; far from the flat boring run I had planned.

Wednesday: 8.1, 1765' 1.75hr
Wednesday evening, we had an UltraVT group run that was a total blast with lots of folks coming out for the run.  The group made the miles fly by and running under headlamp is always special.

Thursday: 11.7, 2170' 2.5hr
On Thursday, I headed west on 460 down to Pembroke to check out a new run and find the Butt Mountain fire tower.  I have been itching to do this run since late December when it came up on my Strava feed when a couple of the guys ran it.  They posted a few photos and I knew I had to go check it out for myself.  I arrived at the Cacades parking area a little after three and grabbed my hydration vest and headed up the trail.  I wasn't too concerned about bringing water or nutrition on the run, although I did throw a bottle in the vest, I actually brought the vest to carry my GoPro and GorillaPod.  Michelle and I have hiked the Cascades numerous times over the years but I have only seen the falls frozen once and that was early into our relationship and I had never run it.  The trail was pretty slick because it is a well traveled trail resulting in a sheet of packed snow perfect for ice.  I grabbed lots of pictures on the way up and some video too, which made my trip up to the falls rather slow but enjoyable.  I eventually reached the falls and was treated to this awesome view:

I put together a short film with some cool photos (at least I thought they were) and some of the video I took while I was out there.  It's not too pretty but it gives you an idea of what the trail looks like and the route I took.

At the top of the mountain, I was rewarded with an awesome view and found the fire tower I had set out to find.  It was an awesome run and I will definitely do it again this spring...when there isn't snow on the ground and a solid sheet of ice on the trail down!

Friday: 6.5, 500' 1hr
Time got away from me Friday afternoon and before I knew it, it was 5PM and daylight was fading fast.  The sun is setting around 5:40ish here right now and making a batch of pizza dough stood between me and getting out for a run.  I threw the ingredients in the mixer and let it go to work, you may remember I made a short pizza making video not too long ago! Eight minutes later, I put the dough, now covered in olive oil, in two metal bowls and draped them with a warm towel and headed out to Pandapas.  My intention was to get in roughly five miles but my run wound up being just at an hour (6.5 miles).  The extra time didn't hurt the dough and when I returned home it was ready to throw in the oven to make some delicious pizzas!  I returned home to find Michelle sautéing pasilla and red peppers as well as some onions to go on top of our pizza in addition to a rotisserie chicken she picked up.  Yum!  I've been using beer instead of water to make the dough and I really like it!

I was also checking out some new shoes on my run, which unfortunately are going to be too narrow for my foot and hence go back but they were comfy for the first 2.5 miles or so :-(

Saturday: 16.5, 1000' 2.5hr
The alarm went off early Saturday morning.  I mean like 3:45 early.  Five of us piled into my car and headed North and East toward Appomattox, VA for a training run on the Holiday Lake course.  The course winds around Holiday Lake and begins and ends at the 4-H Center in Appomattox.  I'm not quite sure how I didn't take single picture during the day but it was totally worth the drive up there to know what well see in 10 short days!

Saturday evening, Michelle and I headed over the Chang's, whom were part of the five in the car to Appomattox, for a Sushi feast!  It. Was. Awesome!  A new friend, Henry, whom I had talked with via Strava numerous times but never had the privilege to meet face-to-face, very patiently taught us all to make sushi.  It was delicious!  

Henry giving me some tips on the roll!

Michelle and I are so totally doing this again!  We learned a lot and had so much fun!

Sunday: 10.5, 650' 1.5hr
Sunday's run was a disaster.  I can't blame it on the sushi the night before but simply poor choices getting going for the day and not eating right to go out for a long run.  I had originally planned to get 25 or so in on Sunday (after learning about running a shorter Holiday Lake course) but it simply didn't happen.  I was feeling Saturday's run in Appomattox and didn't have a strong desire to get out the door.  I considered driving to the trailhead a success and once I got out there it was apparent my body was not happy with me...well my GI system at least.  I almost called it quits around mile 3 when I ran by my car but decided I would go out a mile to hit four and then turn around and come home for a whopping 5 miles for the day.  Once I got out there, I kept telling myself to go a little further and a little further and before I knew it I had run 10 miles for the day to round out 60 miles for the week.  I think it just goes to show you that if you push through the hard times...like I'm sure I'll face in just 59 days at Umstead, it gets better!

Perhaps it was the cookie I ate on the way to the trailhead or what I had for breakfast that morning but I was happy with 10 for the day and enjoyed the Super Bowl feast to the fullest!

Totals for the week:
Distance:  61.2 miles
Elevation: 7890'
Duration:  10.5hr

Ultimately, I fell short of my goal but I think that I have to be okay with that.  I listened to my body and respected what it was telling me enough to make the right decision and step back a little.  I'm hoping for a good week this week as well but I'm okay running slightly less with Holiday Lake 50k next week!  A couple months ago, I had never run had a 60+ mile week and now I've had two of them in a row.  I think it's important to keep that in perspective and also that my real goal is longevity and setting a positive example of a healthy lifestyle for my family...at some point!   ;-)  

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