First ultra of 2018 – This week in beef, running and travel

This week provided a few different challenges for running goals. On one hand, my travel was extended due to a snow storm and I had meetings all day that interrupted my training plans. On the other, I signed up for a 50k run in Moab with relatively little training. Both could pose very real challenges for staying on task.

Don’t let fear decide your future. – Shalene Flanagan, Olympic medalist

This week in running

Monday – Rest. Day.

As my normal rest day, working from a hotel room and being on conference calls most of the day, wasn’t that bad. It didn’t hurt either that I had a 17th-floor view of the blizzard that ended up dropping 16 inches of snow just outside Minneapolis and closing the MSP airport. I did make it outside for a business lunch and learned my shoes weren’t suited for walking through an unplowed parking lot for supper. Mondays are for meetings. So it works out well to also be my regular rest day. #FirstWorldProblems.

Tuesday – Busy Schedule

Let’s be honest, there is always time to be found in a busy schedule.  But I didn’t today. Meetings with beef and dairy cattle farmers were spaced throughout out the day and this introvert was exhausted. I skipped any treadmill run in order to get things arranged in the morning, attended workshops before lunch, gave a keynote at lunch, followed by a workshop and some promotional videos (coming later in the week) for Facebook. We wrapped up the day with a banquet and I enjoyed some time catching up with friends and new contacts from across the MidWest.

Wednesday – Tired.

Some people get jet lag. Pretty sure I experience the same from too much people interaction. I stuck to my resolution not to take 6 a.m. flights, but a 9 a.m. flight still meant breakfast at the MSP airport. I highly recommend the Escape Lounge at MSP as a quiet corner for food and coffee. Entrance is free with my American Express Platinum card. CLEAR made going through security a breeze! After a day back at the office trying to catch up, I was exhausted. I knew I was better off not trying to push myself (i.e. I took the easy way out) with a late run. When my head hit the pillow I was out.

Arches Ultra 50k Moab Utah running
Thursday – Back on track

Albeit a busy day at work, I made it a point to take back a few hours and intentionally planned to get in 6.25 miles @ 9:34 once it got dark. I picked up a cheeseburger and frosty at Wendys as a late lunch on the way home – awesome fuel! The run was split in two – the first half being a comfortable pace and the second half a minute slower. I wanted to remind myself of the feeling to run slower ahead of the weekend’s trail run.

Friday – Travel to Utah

Planned rest day ahead of a long run on Saturday. I put in some fast and furious hours at the office and headed west after lunch to beat the weekend mountain ski traffic. Travel over Vail Pass was slow with icy roads, but the Tacoma handles like a champ. I picked up a friend in Grand Junction and we made it to Moab in time for a solid 8 hours of rest.

Saturday – Run in the desert

I love running in the desert and it’s been too long since I’ve had a chance. So, two weeks ago, I signed up for the Arches Ultra 50k and set my signed to see what I could accomplish. I was prepared to run slow with the intention of mentally preparing for building up in my 100k training. Plus, who doesn’t want to take in the views near Arches National Park? More details on the race later in the week. But I can say I was successful in tackling new challenges and finished strong with a smile on my face! And yes, recovery starts soon after the run. I downed a protein shake within a half hour and finished the day with a good burger and fries.

Sunday – Recovery!

After 11 hours of solid sleep, I actually woke up much less sore than expected. I rolled out of bed and grabbed a breakfast of protein at the local cafe and hit the road back to Denver. (Ugh, Sunday afternoon mountain traffic is SLOW). I called it a lazy day on the couch, finished some laundry and fixed a big pot of soup when the hunger bug finally struck. Mission accomplished!

To wrap, I think this week went well considering the challenges I encountered. I chose to be lazy a few days and missed a few planned runs. But in the end, I met my expectations with my longest run since last June. And gave me a bit of confidence boost wrapping up the first month of training for a 100k ultramarathon.

Three Book Recommendations

I really hit the audiobooks hard last week and finished three separate books (along with several podcasts). One key I’ve found very useful is slowly increasing the speed at which you listen to the audio. You will pick up on the speed increase and be able to keep up with the increase over time. With earbuds, I’ll listen to audiobooks and podcast at 2.5x speed. Listening with speakers, I’ll slow it to 2x speed. This allows me to get through much more material in much less time.

In consideration of length, I’ve written my reviews in a separate blog post. Subscribe to my updates so you don’t miss the post later this week.

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