Like a Bigfoot

Motivation, Mindset, Positivity, Endurance, Adventure, Perseverance, and Possibility

Category: Trail Running (page 3 of 5)

Different Days, Different Miles

JUNK MILES

Miles you just run to do it.  You’re not really pushing yourself, not really mentally present.  You are just hooked on running and you are running to run.  These are not only unnecessary, but harmful to training.  They don’t fit into your plan; they are a waste of time.  You just think you need to run more and more and more.

Junk miles are bad and are counterproductive to training.  They are also an easy vice to fall into.  The miles where you feel like an addict “Gotta get the miles in” or “I haven’t ran for 18 hours better go out and do some more miles.”

These are the opposite of rest and recovery miles.  Which brings us to….

RECOVERY MILES

Miles you run to loosen up the legs.  A day out from a long hard training day you might run 4 or 5 recovery miles just to help your legs recover.

These ARE a part of your training plan and ARE necessary for a successful training cycle.

These are good, but these can become junk miles very easily if you aren’t careful.

You can convince yourself that junk miles are helping you recover when really you should be taking….

ACTIVE REST DAYS

Days where you run ZERO miles.  Don’t run dumb dumb.  You just ran all freakin’ week, you NEED to take one day off!

That doesn’t mean you should sit on your butt and shove potato chips in your mouth.

Do something else active.  Yoga, play basketball, go for a hike…whatever floats your boat.  Be active!  Just don’t go out running.

BALLS OUT MILES

These are also called TEMPO DAYS by more mature people.  The miles you just go hardcore and start sprinting.  These should be the least amount of miles you run, but you should do them every so often (like on “Do Something You Hate Tuesdays”)  These are the training days that are uncomfortable, the ones you dread (until you become a masochist).

These should be hard.  You should be sweating and breathing heavily after balls out miles.

These are also necessary to become a successful athlete.

In fact the variety of training is so utterly important!  Each aspect is difficult and can be hard to master.

For instance, today I have an active rest day but I feel good enough to go out and push myself hard!  Knowing that I need rest and recovery is important so I don’t go out and put in some junk miles that will ultimately hurt more than they will help.

That’s my battle for today.  I’ll overcome it!  Hope you all (southern) are overcoming your Sunday battles.  Have a good week!

Spring is here!

It’s officially spring.

Some people look for groundhogs and their shadows, trail runners look for snakes.

Saw this little guy yesterday while doing a rare pavement run.

For the next few months trail running will consist of short bursts of adrenaline as I misjudge hundreds of roots, sticks and logs to be giant snakes.  It will also consist of every so often almost stomping down on a copperhead and then literally passing out from fear.

“I hate snakes Jock!  I hate ’em!”

One of the many ways I am exactly like Indiana Jones.

Craving Olives and Other Bizarre Oddities of Training for an Ultra

I’m 6 weeks out from the Grayson Highlands 50k so its time to kick training into full gear.

Last weekend I completed back to back long runs and I have a 22 miler scheduled for early Saturday morning (way early…screw you daylight savings time).

Although those are the two big training runs (along with a spring break trip to the mountains near Blacksburg, VA), during the next few weeks somethings will inevitably happen:

  • I will inexplicably crave olives at the weirdest hours of the day.  I’m talking waking up at midnight to snack on green olives with pimento…no shame.
  • I will chase a deer through the woods and realize that my trail running ability doesn’t hold a candle to the majestic deer.
  • I will realize what an advantage being a dad is to ultrarunning:  Post training stroller walks, playground visits, and 2 year old wrestling matches.  No time for R and R when you’re in Dadmode.
  • I will blog about the race to an annoying extent.
  • I will go #2 in the woods at least 5 times…no shame.
  • I will give up beer and pizza…. and instantly crave nothing but beer and pizza.
  • I will listen to over 50 podcasts ranging from serious to ridiculous.
  • I will have training runs where I will feel terrible and others where I will feel invincible- and there will be no rhyme or reason that explains why or when.
  • I will use the race as an excuse to buy $20 socks (Swiftwick if you want to sponsor me I will seriously wrap my whole body in your socks and never put on anything else ever again…what I’m trying to say is…I love you Swiftwick…so very much…please love me back)
  • I will go on some kickass mountain runs and share the pics right here.
  • I will hurdle at least 3 snakes causing every single root and broken branch on the trail to henceforth scare the crap out of me. 
  • I will tell my wife that I love her thousands of times and that I appreciate her supporting my adventures in this batshit crazy sport.

I will keep you guys updated throughout the training.  I’m really looking forward to this race because my best friend and his wonderful girlfriend will be flying out from California to join the adventure!

Happy Tuesday!

Forming Habits and Newton’s First Law

Holy crap!  A few things happened this week that all blend together to help me understand one idea….INERTIA.  

Newton’s first law, Duke basketball, and my third year running the Green Legs and Hamstrings trail race.

First of all, my Clark Kentesque personality during the day is mild mannered 8th grade physical science teacher.  This week we learned the classic “Newton’s 3 Laws of Motion” concept and if you don’t remember Newton’s 1st law is thus:

An object in motion stays in motion and an object at rest stays at rest, unless acted upon by an outside force.

 

This is the idea of inertia.

Here’s another way of putting it:

It’s a challenge to build momentum.  Starting something new is really hard.  The beginning is the most difficult part. Once something is already in motion it gets easier and easier.  Eventually it’s hard as hell to slow down.  After awhile, stopping is nearly impossible.

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Movie Review: Barkley Marathons “The Race that Eats its Young”

“If you’re going to face a real challenge, it has to be a REAL challenge.  You can’t accomplish anything without the possibility of failure.”- Laz

Unforgiving Tennessee mountains, a psychotic (in the best way possible) and quite hilarious race director,  random books scattered about, a conch shell, over 100 miles of brutality, razor sharp thorn bushes, 40 racers seemingly lost in the woods, taps, blood, sweat, and tears, and no trail.

You can keep your Super Bowl- this is the greatest event in America.

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“Do Something You Hate” Tuesdays

This is a movement.  A movement to rock people out of their comfy routine.  Something to force discomfort into their lives.

It’s called “Do Something You Hate Tuesdays”.

Let’s be honest, Tuesdays are the worst day of the week.  You don’t have the end-of-the-week joy of a Thursday or Friday or the “sigh…we’re halfway there” feeling of a Wednesday.  You don’t even have the self-righteous “It’s Monday, I’m mad, and YOU’RE going to hear about it!”  Tuesdays are just…there.  They just exist.

So for the last month, I have done something special on Tuesdays.  I have pledged to “do something I hate.”

For me its track workouts, bear crawls, and stadium stairs.  The more mind numbing and physically exhausting, the better!  These workouts are boring, brutal, and very VERY painful.  By the end of the workout I’m usually drenched in sweat, limping around like John Wayne, and muttering “$*** that was ****ing hard.”

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What I Learned During the Holiday Lake 50k

A week out from the Holiday Lake 50k and I’m already looking towards my next big event- the Grayson Highlands 50k.  You can read my race report here.

Today I wanted to do a post-mortem on Holiday Lake and breakdown what went right, what went wrong, and how I can improve next time.

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Holiday Lake 50k

Yesterday I ran the Holiday Lake 50k- a notorious “easy” 50k in Appomattox Virginia (where the Civil War ended).  It’s labeled as “easy” solely based on the very little elevation gain- it is flat flat FLAT.  Personally, I thought that made it harder.  I’m used to hills and I love climbs in trail races because it gives me an excuse to walk (power hike).  Power hiking in an ultra gives you a chance to rest your running muscles for a little bit which helps you save your leg muscles from the pain-in-the-ass (literally) soreness.  Power hiking is wonderful.  If you have the fortitude, it also gives you an opportunity to man-up and pass people on the uphills.

Needless to say, this race had very FEW uphills.  This time there were maybe two or three that took less than a minute to ascend.  That means the rest of the time you were running…nonstop.  No breaks, no walking, just repeatedly pounding your legs repeatedly for 31 miles! Continue reading

50k Training: 2 Days Out (The Dream of Pizza)

The Holiday Lake 50k is 2 days away!  On Saturday I’m going to be freezing, exhausted, and sore, but more importantly I’m going to meet up with an old friend…Pizza.  The meeting will be brief.  So brief in fact that I will probably not even recall inhaling this beautiful piece of food, but by golly it’s going to taste FANTASTIC!

Three weeks ago I gave up pizza, ON PURPOSE, with the sole purpose of giving myself a reward to look forward to during the race.

My mental plan of attack:

  • Give up something you love 2-3 weeks leading up to a tough event
  •            -For me that’s the three amigos of deliciousness (Pizza, Beer, Cookies)
  • ​Reward yourself after the event

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50k Training: Race Week

Race day is fast approaching for the Holiday Lake 50k.  One more week to go.  Training is essentially done and now all I have to do is sit here and TAPER.  This means that you run way way less than normal to rest your legs up for race day.  So my week looks like this:

  • Monday: Light weightlifting, 5 mile trail run, recovery yoga
  • Tuesday: Light weightlifting, 4 mile trail run, recovery yoga
  • Wednesay: Recovery yoga, go for a walk or play around on the slackline
  • Thursday: Gentle yoga, Eat a big bowl of spaghetti
  • Friday:  Rest the legs, light stretching, drive to Appomattox, eat sweet potato and avocado tortillas
  • Saturday: RACE DAY!!! Run 31 miles, eat a whole bunch of pizza and beer

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