Saturday, September 1, 2012

Enough is enough

I'm cooked. Running a 100, a 40 miler, a 100, and a marathon + 13 miles in 5 weeks has put me into a cycle of slower than average running, even for me. Although continuing to string together ultra distance runs would be a feat at any pace, its just not my style to keep the engine running while it misfires. The final straw fell on my back when I completely botched a trail run with Jason and Jeremiah. I was limping in pain without even realizing it, thinking it was normal. The only joy I found in it was the company of two good friends, and thinking "holy shit, I'm still moving."

Time for a little rebuilding, and I'm looking forward to it. Cycling, resistance training, and hiking. After all, if I'm going to be a rehab specialist, I'd better practice what I preach(a novel idea, yeah?). I've been thinking about why I've resisted this type of regimen for so long. Why turn my nose up at some cross training? Why not head out for a bike ride when it's the off season and I haven't got any races coming up? I think its my affinity towards the aesthetic of the commited trail runner. There seems to be a search for duality in our athletic culture. You're either a trail runner or a road runner. You're either a runner or a triathlete. You're either a minimalist or a traditionally shod runner. If you're a runner, you don't ski or bike. You run. The commited trail runner I aspire to be wouldn't enjoy roads, cycling, swimming, or spending some time at the squat rack.

Trying something new will breathe a little life into stagnant training. That being said, it's not even than new. The best year of ultras that I've had so far was preceeded by swimming, weights, and a shitload of short runs. This leads me to believe that the perfect training plan has little to do with science, and a lot to do with keeping a fire burning. Anything that prods us out of complacency and drives us to push beyond our comfort zone. To paraphrase the Love Guru, I'm not out here to be the next Tony Krupicka, I'm out here to be the first Jesse Scott. Running will be back into the spotlight in a few short months, and never leave compeletely. A semblance of a plan will crystallize if I get into Western or Hardrock in 2013.

My goal for the fall and winter is to loosely adhere to the following criteria:
  • At least 45 minutes of physical activity every day.
  • One intense running session per week(tempo, fartlek, track, hills)
  • Train each major muscle group once per week
  • Do an absurdly long bike, hike, or run each weekend(4+), or short race.
This should also add some muscle to my skinnyfat frame, making my up and coming male prostitution business much more profitable. It will also be scrapped completely if I get drunk and somehow get into the Arrowhead 135.

Since I have no set work schedule yet, I also declare the right to rearrange things...and do whatever I want all the time, undoing any of the aforementioned rules. I had beer, ice cream, and french fries for dinner. Doing dumb things for fun is my specialty.

This sounds less manageable than it is. It adds up to less than 10 hours per week. It makes more sense than sitting around feeling sorry for myself, and eating fruit snacks until I can no longer poop. I'm home for a while, and even have some pretty great job prospects rolling in. Worst case scenario: I get by and gain experience until I decide which mountain town to move to. Best case: I do sports-specific rehab in a clinical setting for people in my hometown, still travelling occasionally to have fun.

Running is a metaphor for life- The lows feel like they'll last forever. Have some water, take a deuce, have a shot of whiskey and a burrito, and head out for some more, for it will pass and be worth it.


  1. I think this is a really good plan. But more importantly, smarter and faster people than me probably would as well. No one ever became a worse runner by becoming a better overall athlete.

  2. Dude, I've been riding about 100 - 150 miles a week for the past year to supplement my running (due to a variety of running related over-use injuries) and I've found that not only is cycling is a great way to stay in good cardio shape, but I also do all of my "track" workouts on my bike. Whenever I come to a hill I sprint up it as hard as I can. I use this website called Strava (you upload your GPS data) that shows you how fast you rode compared to anyone else who has ever ridden the same section. The goal is to get the fastest known time. It's pretty awesome!