Weekend re-Hash

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Slow and steady. That’s what I keep telling myself. Keep it slow and steady for now.

Since identifying Goal A, to compete at the 100Mile distance, and it’s need for specificity I’ve been working out what those needs look like.  The short answer is muscular endurance, fueling techniques to sustain the effort, and mental fortitude.

Mental fortitude is forged through tough training and good ole natural selection. One thing I believe is that you never really know how you’ll react to a situation until you’re in it, especially extreme ones like the tail end of 100Miles. There are techniques to help such as visualization, training under exhaustion, and gradual build up to similar stressors (racing progressively longer distances).

Fueling techniques are devised through careful tracking and experimentation during training. We are each an experiment of one (the N=1 mindset). There are tons of guidelines as to the optimal way for an individual to fuel for an ultra event. I’ve experimented with various techniques over the years and feel I have a decent handle on it. Of course I will work on improving it, experimenting during training and a couple of less important races.

Muscular Endurance, now this is a debatable topic. The debate really is on finding the optimal way. Stronger muscles can endure more work, no brainer. The debate lies in the type of work required by muscles lifting heavy loads quickly and the type required by muscles working for a long duration. My answer? N=1 I know that just running with minimal cross training doesn’t work for me. I develop muscular imbalances which lead to injury. No buenos. Not enough running specific work with too much weightlifting and I get slow at the longer distances. So, we’re back at N=1 when it comes to volume vs intensity.

Obviously I’m not sure the answer to volume vs intensity question. So that’s why I am starting slow and steady. I figure if I want to run fast over far distances I need to be able to run both fast and far. I’m researching the subjects, gathering my thoughts and working on the plan. As for now, it starts with building a base. Methodically working up in volume over the next 4-6 weeks, slow and steady.

 

Belief

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I’ve been contemplating next year’s training. What are my goals? What do I want my training to look like? How much time do I (realistically) have to train? But most importantly the major question has been: What do I believe?

What do I believe when it comes to training? As blasphemous as this may sound, I believe there has to be some specificity in training. Yes, yes, I know. What about CrossFit & constant variance? What about short hard HIIT type work to reap the benefits of working anaerobically while gaining much of the same benefits of longer slower aerobic work? What about the last two years of your training?

I believe that a CrossFitesque style

(disclaimer: my personal definition of a CrossFit style of programming comes from a note I took during my Lvl 1 Course – “Make the bread and butter of your programming couplets & triplets. Make them short and hard. Sprinkle in strength specific work. Keep It Simple Stupid” )

of working out will give you a beautiful foundation to build on. It creates a well rounded true full body fitness. Over all I feel better than I ever did. The problem is it becomes really easy to lose yourself in chasing down many opposing goals. It’s easy to lose focus if your goal isn’t just to be a better CrossFitter, which mine isn’t.

This takes us back to the first question. What are my goals? I’ve been saying for some time that my goal is to run a 100Mile race. I realized this isn’t really true. I don’t want to just run a 100Mile race, I want to be competitive. I want to be fast. I want to race a 100Mile race. I’m not saying I want to win, but I want to feel like I could.

So how do I get to that point? A point of being able to not only complete, but compete in that mythical distance. Specificity of training is the way. I believe that I need to use that foundation I’ve created over the last two years and build on it, specifically towards that goal.

I guess what I really believe is to improve you have to decide what your GOAL is. If it’s to be a better CrossFitter, work towards that. If it’s to climb a mountain, squat over 600lbs, get a 150kg+ Snatch, or race a 100Miles, work towards it. But remember, it’s going to take some specificity of training.

A letter to Logan

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Logan,

I’ve spent the better part of the morning staring at your newest sibling. As I sit and watch her sleep I can’t help but remember when I first met you.

Getting off a plane you were waiting for me- little, squirmy, and beautiful. Uncontrolled staring while we drove to the house. More staring as we sat on the couch. Me in absolute wonder.

Watching you sleep, I a fresh, gung-ho Marine Grunt and you this tiny new born baby who had me scared to death. I was absolutely terrified & 100% in love with this new little person, with you.

Staring at Lucy this morning I’ve had very similar feelings. How can you love someone this much? How am I going to take care of her? An impossibly large task and such a tiny creature!

You however have taught me some things, you have given me ground to stand on and perspective to see with. Because of you when I look at her I also wonder who is she going to be? What will she become? You see, watching you grow up, become a man has been just as excitingly nerve racking as that day I met you. Watching you learn, evolve, and start to figure out what kind of a life you want, that has been as amazing as staring at you when you were 5 days old.

So as I stare at her I’m not only terrified, I am in wonder of what things she will teach me. I’m in wonder of how charmed my life is to have a third beautiful baby to get to know, to teach, to love, to watch grow.

I hope I can give her 1/2 of the joy you have given me.

I love you
Dad