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Its been a crazy couple of weeks.  I had one of the worst autoimmune flare ups I’ve had in over 6 months in addition to logging the longest run I’ve done in years.   But I made it through and feel like I am off to a great start!

In this post I documented my training from the last couple of weeks, next week I plan on also consistantly logging my nutrition so stay tuned for that.

Strength training:
I’ve been trying to get into the gym for the last month 1-2 times a week for some really basic weightlifting.  Just building some base strength using mostly machines.  I’ve built a circuit that I do, shooting for 8-12 reps and 3-5 rounds.  Now this may seem counter-intuitive to all you endurance runners out there to be building muscular strength but remember I am also training for competitive obstacle course racing so I need to have strength in addition to endurance.

Weight training gets creative when I have the kids

My plan is after a couple months of these strength workouts at lower reps I will transition to lighter weight with higher repetitions, anywhere from 20-40 reps (depending on the exercise, some will be body weight).
Leg press
Seated row
Hanging knees to elbows (grip strength and abs)
Hamstring curls
Lat pulldown
Roman chair (abs)
Ground to overhead press with free weights (currently holding 20lbs in each hand)
Cable bicep curls
Cable Tricep pushdowns
Reverse flys with handweights (15lbs each hand)
Reverse wrist curls (forearm and grip strength)

*Again, some of these are more specific to obstacle course racing, not necessary for ultra running

I also teach a pi-yo class every Thursday morning.  I focus on building balance and core strength in this workout and I will share some of these exercises in a later post.

Now for the training recap: 

Friday Jan 1st-Sat Jan 2nd: 
The week long flare up I’ve had since Christmas decided to rear it’s ugly head one last time before it subsided.  I was peeing blood all day so went to urgent care and got some meds.  Spent most of both days in bed : (

Amazing view on Sundays run

Sunday, January 3rd: 
We had a 7 mile trail run scheduled so I woke up planning on running but was also okay with bowing out if I started to feel too badly.  Surprisingly as the run went on I started to feel better and better, I think the flare-up was finally letting up and by the end of the run I felt amazing!  I was even able to add an extra mile onto the end, making this my longest run I’ve done in over 4 years at 8 miles total!  The run was on amazing single track trail where we encountered everything from deep snow, thick mud, steep inclines, rocky trail, and even a iced over creek crossing!

Monday Jan 4th:
Had planned on doing my standard strength workout in the gym but just got to busy with some projects I am working on.  My time is always limited on Mondays as I only have 4 hours to work, I watch my boys the rest of the day.

Tuesday, Jan 5th:
I was planning on doing a 6 mile trail run but I think the 8 mile run from Sunday was finally hitting me.  Plus I was still recovering from the flare up.  So I did a 3.5 mile trail run and my standard weight training session instead.

Smoothie for breakfast, homemade pasta sauce with quinoa noodles for lunch and red curry with tilapia for dinner. Snacks were a Kind bar, apple and Pumpkin seeds.  2 cups of coffee.

Weds, Jan 6th:
In the morning I tried a yoga Barre class for the first time and holy cow was it hard!  I never thought 2lb weights could make me shake like that, it was a rude awakening to how weak my smaller, stabilizing muscles are.  I am going to run 46 miles in 8 months?  Yeah right!

IMG_2563I work until 1pm, then have my son the rest of the day and I still needed to fit in a run.  So I put West in the stroller and we ran a hilly, 4 mile loop with a 40 minute stop at the playground (where I fit in a couple laps on the monkey bars).

Sausage, eggs and beet/apple/cucumber/spinach juice for breakfast.  Kind bar for snack.  Cup of tortilla soup, collard greens and BBQ pork from Whole Foods for lunch.  Another Kind bar in the afternoon.  Big bowl of quinoa pasta with grapeseed/garlic oil and sauteed squash for dinner.

Thursday, Jan 7th:
Taught a pi-yo class in the morning and a bootcamp class in the afternoon.  I work out during both classes but not to the extend my participants do so I count these days as half a weights/cardio day

Friday, Jan 8th:
Off day

Saturday, Jan 9th:
Scott and I had a sitter so we took a trip down to Manitou springs to do the famous “Manitou incline”.  This is essentially a staircase up a mountain, you gain over 2000 feet in less than a mile!   It was a chilly 17 degrees that morning but after only 20 minutes we were pulling off layers.  The stairs and trees around the incline were covered with about 6 inches of new snow so it felt like hiking through a winter wonderland.  We ran the 3.5 mile long Barr trail down to the parking lot.   Great training day!


Sunday, Jan 10th :
I have a friend that started up an Obstacle training program out here in Colorado at a Parkour gym in Boulder.  A friend and I decided to go check it out and did the 90 minute workout with the group.  We were doing everything from bear crawls to jumping over walls to a full obstacle course at the end.  I haven’t been working too much on my OCR skills so I was sore for days from this workout!

Monday, Jan 11th

Tuesday, Jan 12th:
10am- 4 mile road run including (3) 200 meter hill repeats at the end,  4pm- bootcamp class (weights and spin bike), 7pm- 30 mins on stair stepper.  It was about time for a 3-a-day!

Breakfast= Sweet potato, onion and spinach scramble and Kind bar
snacks:  Kind bar, banana, pumpkin seeds
Black tea
Lunch=  Gluten free pizza, Squeezie pouch
Dinner= Bowl of gluten free lasagna, a small piece of salmon and rice, home made whipped cream + black berries

Wednesday, Jan 13th:
4 mile run pushing West in the jogging stroller with a stop at the playground + Yoga Barre class at night

Thursday, Jan 14th:
Crazy trail run!  Did 6 miles total with over 1600 elevation in just the first 2 miles.  We ran into 50 mh wind gusts and the trail was either deep snow, thick mud or slick ice.  I also had dead legs from the last couple days of training so this was one of those run where you really have to dig deep to make it through.  I kept imagining how exhausted I would feel at mile 40, 10+ hours in, making the last climb up the rim of the Grand Canyon.   Although these runs might not be the most enjoyable, they are a necessary part of building that mental fotritude I will need if I am going to complete this ultra in once piece.

Friday, Jan 15th:

Saturday, Jan 16th:
Standard strength workout

Sunday, Jan 17th:
Another amazing 8 mile trail run with BU Dr. Kelly Shockley.  Tons of big rocky sections, 1600 feet elevation gain, ice and snow!

running dakota
One of the rocky sections on Sundays run
run at ken caryl
Thursdays run with 50mph winds!


Scott is the founder of Becoming Ultra and spends most of his time with his family and ideas to get people moving!