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July 2017 Recap

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The good times continued to roll for the most part in July. I hit a few speed bumps later in the month with the loss of a friend and a round of stomach problems, but nothing that entirely sidelined me. I still feel terrific about the progress I'm making as a runner!

JULY TOTALS:
Distance: 126.9 miles (down from 131.4 in June)
Time Spent Running: 32:16:41 (up from 29:34:16 in June)
Elevation Gain: 17,311 ft (up from 14,387 in June)

THE BIG PICTURE:
While my overall mileage was slightly down for the month, I made consistent gains in both time spent running and elevation gain, which is fantastic (and, arguably, more important). July saw the official start of my structured training plan for Indian Creek, and so far I've done a pretty good job of sticking to the plan. I can't expect every month to be a massive improvement from the previous month, but as long as I can keeping inching forward in my health and fitness, then I'm happy!

THE GOOD:
Time on feet went up.I'm spending …

June 2017 Recap

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Wow. June was special.

No, nobody's going to start throwing sponsorships my way, and I'm not making any podiums anytime soon, but my numbers were off the charts compared to my usual monthly efforts. Something's changing in me...

I'm very proud of my June. Let's have a look.

JUNE TOTALS:
Distance: 131.4 miles (up from 99.6 in May)
Time Spent Running: 29:34:16 (up from 18:33:11 in May)
Elevation Gain: 14,387 ft (up from 4,389 in May)

THE BIG PICTURE:
The steady mileage increase continues! Since I've got almost a full 4 months until Indian Creek 50, I've been using this early training time to build my aerobic base and strengthen my legs. My goal was to increase my mileage a little bit every week, and I've been mostly successful! But additionally, I logged more time running in the mountains than ever before. I'm trying things I never would've tried in the past, believing full well that I can accomplish them. I'm running on a whim more often, instead…

May 2017 Recap

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It's June, friends! That can only mean a handful of things here in Colorado: The Rockies baseball club will start their annual downward spiral into irrelevancy, there will be daily rain showers from 2pm-3pm, and I'm going to start reading trailhead/peak condition reports in hopes of sneaking in an early 14er or two!

MAY TOTALS:

Distance: 99.6 miles (up from 75.5 in April)
Time Spent Running: 18hr 33min 11sec (up from 12:54:53 in April)
Elevation Gain: 4,389 ft (down from 6,151 in April)

THE BIG PICTURE:
In a month that saw me complete my first ultra at the Greenland Trail 50k, I'm proud to say that the progress I finished April with has continued! I still feel focused and motivated. Like I hoped for at the end of last month, I've steadily begun to increase my weekly mileage, while making sure to take all the steps necessary to prevent injury and burnout.

THE GOOD:
I'm starting to get my nutrition figured out a little better.As Alex and I sell our house and wait for our n…

Change of Plans

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Well, the 2017 race schedule I laid out for myself has changed. With my Summer schedule potentially filling up more than I had foreseen, I called an audible and scratched both my mid-season 50k and my late Fall 50 miler. Instead, I'll be focusing my training efforts on running the Indian Creek 50-miler this October.

I chose the Indian Creek Fifties, which is part of the Human Potential Running Series here in Colorado, mostly because the timing worked out well with my schedule. But, upon reading some race reports from previous participants, I concluded that it would also present a fair challenge in terms of not only distance, but in net elevation gain as well (just under 12,000' of net climbing).

Enough talk. Time to get training!

~JVB

P.S. - Had a blast running the Colfax Marathon Relay with my dear Red Shirt Racing Team last weekend! Love sharing miles with those guys and gals. :)

2017 Greenland Trail 50k

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Yesterday I had the pleasure of running my first ultra-marathon at the Greenland Trail 50k in Larkspur, CO.

But this race report begins, as most do, well before the starting line. My training leading up to this event was probably the most focused training I've ever had for a race. Now, that's not to say it was the best training, mind you. There have been plenty of times in the past that I've trained for a marathon by simply running balls-out fast for 7 or 8 miles a few times a week. But I never really understood my body and what was happening to it. This time, I had plenty of base mileage runs, as well as a handful of fartleks and tempo efforts. The training felt smarter.

The morning of the race, as Alex and I made the hour drive down to the starting line form our house, we watched the sunrise into what would turn out to be a cloudless, bright, blue Colorado morning. Greenland Trail is an area of open space and grazing land that sits in a little valley just south of Lark…

April 2017 Recap

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Happy May! Is anyone reading this? Am I talking to myself? Oh well, wouldn't be the first time in my life. :)

As I really start to focus on my ultramarathon training, I'd like to start taking a page out of Kendrick Callaway's book by writing a summary of my training at the end of every month. In each of these posts, I'll include my monthly totals for mileage, time, and elevation gain, as well as general thoughts on how the month went.

The idea behind this is to give myself an opportunity to reflect on my successes, analyze missed opportunities, and make the most of the time and energy that I put into this sport. At some point, every runner has to ask, "Am I doing everything I can to be the best I can?" I'd like to make sure that the answer to that question is "Yes" more often than not.

So here's my first monthly assessment. Let's have a look.

APRIL TOTALS:

Distance: 75.5 miles (down from 84.7 in March)
Time Spent Running: 12hr 54min 53sec …

2017 Event Calendar

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You may have noticed a change in me recently.

About a month ago, I came down with a sickness. I woke up with it one morning, and I've been walking around with it ever since.

That sickness: the overwhelming desire to run ultramarathons.

I don't know how I caught this disease, but the symptoms are plain to see:
When I'm backstage getting ready to perform, I devour chapters from Cory Reese's Nowhere Near First or Bryon Powell's Relentless Forward Progress
Any time I spend in the car is accompanied by episodes of Ultra Runner Podcast. In fact, I started at the very beginning (episodes from 2011) and have downloaded so many that I maxed out my phone's storage.
Before I go to bed, I binge watch YouTube videos of athletes running in the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run, or UTMB.

And the running. Dear god, the running.

No moment is safe. Anytime I have more than an hour of free time to relax and unwind, I'll black out and then wake up to find myself wearing…