T-Minus 3 Weeks to Umstead 100 and Training Weeks 3/3/2014-3/16/2014

Monday, March 17, 2014

Saturday marked the three week countdown to Umstead 100.  As the race approaches I'm beginning to question my preparation and training, especially after last weeks lackluster performance.  Consequently, I missed my training "week-in-review" post last week.  Perhaps this is because there wasn't really all that much good to talk about.  Instead the post would have been filled with how I failed to accomplish most of my goals for the week including an attempt at an all night run.  I was pretty disappointed with my effort and volume and barely broke into the 40's; I tried to salvage the week with a late run Sunday evening.  Disaster.  However, this week was better (still not great) and I decided I'd make the post a twofer, covering both the high and lows of training over the past couple weeks.

I think it's super interesting to reflect on how my perspective has changed over the past few months, a nod to the mindset that everything is relative.  Being disappointed with 47 miles for the week is kind of funny when you think about it.  When I first started running again back in the fall of 2011, Strava had just rolled out there running platform and with it a contest to run 100 miles in a month.  At the time, I thought "Wow.  100 miles is a lot for a month."  Now, just over halfway through March, I've run 525 miles in 2014, quantitative proof of my growth as a runner.  Reflecting on how I have grown as a runner over the past three years helps me with "being okay" when I don't hit my goals for the week.  A perspective I tweeted about before I went out for my night run last Sunday: (Yes, I realize I spelled beings instead of begins)


Here's how it all unfolded:

3/3/2014-3/9/2014

Monday: Rest
On Monday evening, Rudy gave me a call to see if I was planning on going out for a long run with him on Saturday.  I had missed the Monday night group run after Michelle and I decided to order a pizza in and spend the evening on the couch (PS - Papa John's Cheeseburger pizza...OMG!).  I'm not quite sure why I needed the break (teaching is exhausting) considering I didn't run that much over the weekend. The event we discussed is semi-underground and apparently the unspoken first rule is not to talk about it.  I emailed and Facebook messaged the organizer with zero response and opted not to participate as a result.  I didn't want to feel unwelcome at an event and show up saying "I'm here to run."  In the end, I'm glad I didn't although the weather was B-E-A-utiful!

Tuesday: 9, 725' 1:20


The title of the run says it all.  I think as I get more involved with student teaching and I'm spread more thin, I've shifted to the mindset of just get out there and get it done.  I stayed after for track practice with the middle schoolers and while I dress I don't work out with them and tell them I run after their practice. This is nice because, although kind of silly, they serve as another form of accountability as they often ask me how my training for my 100 miler is going.  I did happen to run into my friend Julie who is training for a half in April and tacked on a few more miles as we caught up and talked about student teaching.  After my run, Michelle and I ran some much needed errands and grabbed dinner at Sakura, a Japanese Steakhouse in Christiansburg that is actually reasonably priced...like every entree is $5-9 priced.  It was delicious!


Wednesday: Rest
Keeping with the theme for the week.  Disaster.  I didn't get out for a run and I really don't have an reason why other than I didn't make the effort to.

Thursday: 11.7, 675' 1.5hr
I've always heard that if you miss a run or a workout that you shouldn't try to make it up and instead should simply "let it go."  I struggle with this.  I think Thursdays run was my attempt at trying to make up for not getting out for a run Wednesday.  I don't recall feeling good during the run but my comments section on Strava, which I try to use as a log of how I felt for the run/effort, etc. had the following:
Sometimes you have good days and today things felt pretty good.  I really enjoyed the cold weather during the run!

Friday: 6, 60' 1hr
On Friday, Montgomery County Schools were closed, which gave me the perfect opportunity to catch up on things I had been putting off like getting a haircut.  BIG NEWS! On Friday, I verbally accepted an offer to teach in Henrico County next year, which I'm SUPER EXCITED ABOUT!  After accepting my offer, I signed my contract and put in a plastic bag and delivered it to the post office during my run.  It was during the run that I conjured up the idea of running a 50 miler around the Drillfield.  I went out and did some course "recon." which involved running a lap to get the exact distance I would do many many times Saturday night.  After the run, I grabbed Moe's to celebrate accepting my job and was joined by Mr. Mike Jones who just happened to be grabbing lunch at the same time!


Saturday: 15, 2.5hr


I used Saturday morning to be productive around the house doing some laundry and cleaning up the apartment a little.  I had everything planned out for Saturday evening and even created a Facebook event for the run, aptly naming it the inaugural Drillfield Dusk-to-Dawn 50!  Michelle being the awesome fiancé she is even picked up snacks for me including pretzels, vanilla wafers, and some Coke for the late night hours.  I took a nap around 5 and woke up around 7 to eat dinner and start packing stuff for the run.  The temperature was pretty nice and with Friday marking the beginning of spring break for Virginia Tech, I wasn't too worried about traffic on the Drillfield.  I started running a little after 9 with the intention of running through most the night or until I hit 50 miles.  The first hour or so went pretty smooth and I even had a few visitors!  My friend Julie and her fiancé Joe and his parents, Deb and Bill Casola (Deb of Debruns who's blog is awesome!), who are big runners stopped by to take a few shots of night photos of Burruss and say hello!  I finished up the audiobook Into Thin Air while running and began another, A Walk in the Woods a story about a mans through hike of the Appalachian Trail, which was far less exciting and kind of put me in a down mood.  As midnight approached, motivation dwindled and I began wondering why I was out running laps around the Drillfield when my warm bed was so close.  I decided I had enough after only 15 miles!  WEAK SAUCE!  Michelle had just arrived when I sent her a text to tell her not to bother to come that I was on my way home.  I felt that I had disappointed myself, Michelle, and the folks who had stopped by earlier to cheer me on.


Sunday: 5.5, 350' 0:48
Sunday followed suit with the rest of the week.  I struggled to get out of bed at decent hour after losing an hour of sleep to daylights savings time and running until 12pm, which was then really 1AM.  Coincidently, I did buy my suit for our wedding on Sunday but didn't manage to get out on a run, as most of the day was spent in Roanoke shopping for suits.  We returned home around dinner time and I conceded that I wasn't going to get a run in.  Michelle had spent most of Saturday making soups and chilis that we could reheat over the next couple weeks as things get busy.  After a massive bowl of chili, I decided it would be a good idea to get in a quick run in an attempt to salvage my weekly mileage and simultaneously return the Redboxes I had rented on Friday (oops!).  Bad idea.  I managed to get in a 5.5 miles but I was soo full and felt pretty awful the entire time.  I'll chalk it up to running on a full stomach for Umstead 100 training.  


Totals for the week:
Distance: 47.4
Elevation: 1812'
Duration: 7hr


3/10/2014-3/16/2014

Monday: 5, 130' 0:42
Michelle wanted to get out and try to get a run in and I decided I would go out for a run and find her and then catch a ride back home...after stopping at Five Guys.  I managed to get in 5 miles but in an effort to be economical, I decided to skip on Five Guys and instead go home and eat one of the meals Michelle had prepared over the weekend.  A small start to the week in terms of mileage but 5 miles nonetheless.


Tuesday: 10, 540' 1:22
I was caught mid-cupcake Tuesday (and Monday) after my cooperating teacher gave me a half-dozen gourmet cupcakes on Monday from Crumb & Get It in Christiansburg.  Although Tuesday is supposed to be my rest day, I knew that we had plans Wednesday evening to see the Banff Film Festival at the Lyric and that I would be traveling later in the week to VCTM, which would make getting in a run difficult and that I should run while I had the time.  I opted for my standard Patrick Henry-Plantation Road-Huckleberry Trail loop logging 10 miles for the day.


Wednesday: Rest
On Wednesday, Michelle and I went to see the Banff Film Festival World Tour at the Lyric.  The films were awesome although we had already seen the feature 46min. film at the Telluride Film Festival just a couple weeks earlier.  The night did have one surprise, which was a special showing of a film specific to the Blacksburg area and involved a guy using the film to propose to his girlfriend.  She said yes!



Thursday: 6, ~500' 0:46
We traveled to Harrisonburg Thursday afternoon for the annual VCTM conference and arrived at the hotel just after five.  After checking in, I made sure our advisor didn't need anything else from us and quickly ran up to the room to change to get a run in.  The plan was to meet in the lobby at 6:30 to head out to dinner in downtown Harrisonburg, I left the hotel at 5:30 which gave me roughly 45 minutes to run, get back to shower, and make it down to the lobby.  I walked back in the hotel at 6:15PM and was down in the lobby after a quick shower at 6:30 on the dot.  I wish I had brought a camera with me but was already down the hill when I thought of it.  I managed to see a good bit of James Madison University campus in the short time I had, although I wouldn't find the big James Madison statue until Saturday.


Friday: 7.6, ~680 1hr
Virginia Tech Math Education at 2014 VCTM
I planned on getting a decent night sleep Thursday but I got to talking to another teacher that currently teaches in Henrico and stayed up far later than I had planned.  I dismissed my 5:20 alarm and eventually rolled out of bed at 6AM to get out for a run.  Again, I pushed the time because the van we had all ridden in was leaving the hotel at 8 and I walked back into the lobby from my run at 7:35, giving myself 25 minutes to get cleaned up for the conference and out the door.  I grabbed a bagel as I ran out the door and hopped in the van, squeezing in just over 7.5 miles.  


Saturday: 6, 470' 0:50
On Saturday, after two AWESOME but looooonng days in Harrisonburg, I arrived home from the annual Virginia Council of Teachers of Mathematics (VCTM) conference excited and giddy with new ideas for my classroom this fall.  While I was excited and jazzed about teaching, I was dreading the idea of getting out for a run after going non-stop for the past 48 hours.  I've been in a get-it-done mode lately with my runs, which has helped me get out the door on days that motivation is lacking but I was tempted to just take a nap on the couch.  Michelle let me know that she was headed to the gym and that my awesome parents had sent Michelle and I a Chipotle gift card.  We both agreed to get out the door and get back quickly so we could enjoy a fun date over a delicious meal.

Although the run wasn't deserving of a splurge, I did skip lunch on Saturday (opting not to eat at an establishment that encourages obesity) and therefore justified my decision to order a Quesorito for dinner.  For those unfamiliar, pause and watch this video before continuing.  Basically, it's a burrito that uses a two tortillas to make a quesadilla and then use that quesadilla to wrap a burrito providing another layer of cheesy goodness.  It was everything I wanted it to be!  Michelle documented and you can see that the quesorito was too large to fit in the dine-in basket.  It just rested on the edges of the basket.


Sunday: 20.5, 1200' 3hr
After quesoritoing it up on Saturday, I felt I needed to get out for a solid run on Sunday.  After dragging my feet a bit, I headed out the door around 11ish for Draper to run on the New River Trail.  I knew that we were expecting a big storm Sunday evening and rain for most of Sunday afternoon so I threw an extra layer in the car, my houdini jacket, which made the second half of the run tolerable in the steady rain.  The run was fairly uneventful.  I saw one other individual out on the trail during for the three hours I was out there.  I don't blame them.  The latter half of the run was quite miserable and it took me a good 20 minutes before I could begin to use my hands for any time of fine movement (i.e. texting).



Totals for the week:
Distance: 55.4
Elevation: 3518'
Duration: 7:41

Despite being discouraged after a "mediocre" week of training two weeks ago, I managed to recollect myself and get in some decent miles even while traveling to a conference for two days this week.  Umstead 100 is now less than 3 weeks away and I'll be tapering my volume over the next three weeks.  This weekend is Terrapin Mountain and although I'd love to see where I am fitness wise and race, the day will be a training run for me which means it's #HAVEFUN Brett!

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