Week 5: January 30 – February 5

Monday:

  • N/A

Tuesday:

  • N/A

Wednesday:

  • N/A

Thursday:

  • N/A

Friday:

  • N/A

Saturday:

  • N/A

Sunday:

  • N/A

Totals:

  • Run Miles = 0mi
  • Run Vert. = 0′
  • XT Time = 0h0m0s

Week 4: January 23-29

Monday:

  • XT (Bike): 34mi, 1:50:43, 18.4mph, AVG HR = 160

Tuesday:

  • XT (Bike): 26.4mi, 1:28:36, 17.9mph, AVG HR = 157

Wednesday:

  • XT (Bike): 22mi, 1:12:27, 18.3mph, AVG HR = 151

Thursday:

  • N/A

Friday:

  • N/A

Saturday:

  • N/A

Sunday:

  • N/A

Totals:

  • Run Miles = 0mi
  • Run Vert. = 0′
  • XT Time = 4h31m46s

Cupping @Theta Ridge Coffee LLC

Cupping @Theta Ridge Coffee LLC

Theta Ridge Coffee, located in the heart of South Bend’s manufacturing labyrinth on the northwest side, is one of the largest coffee bean importers in the Midwest. Of all Theta’s clientele, interestingly, Infusco is the shortest drive, to and fro…which makes sense that today, January 19, a dreary Thursday morning, heading over to the Bend was a no-brainer.

Hailing from Infusco, Jess, Aaron, and I were the lucky few who reserved our place to experience a small tour of the coffee bean palace, along with the highly anticipated “cupping”, to conclude. Kevin, the owner of Theta Ridge, guided us through and was kind enough to let us snap photos, scribble notes, and ponder aloud the mystique that is the coffee bean.

Highlighted below are some pictures and little snippets of bean information. Enjoy:

dsc01120

dsc01122

dsc01125

dsc01134

In the back of the facility, about 60 different beans are stashed atop the concrete.

Worldwide, coffee beans are the 2nd largest traded commodity. Oil is number one.

color

dsc01136

dsc01127

dsc01133

dsc01130

dsc01129

Within these burlap bags, the beans are green, not yet roasted. Green beans are much denser and do not grind like roasted beans (don’t make this mistake). The artwork from the different nations is pretty cool.

On a map, coffee beans are grown almost entirely between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. AKA, high in altitude, hot, humid environments. In recent years, according to Kevin, Southern California is the northernmost point that beans have successfully been grown.

img_1762

img_1751

Above, Kevin guides Aaron, Jess, and I through “cupping”, which is the practice of individually noting the aromas and tasting notes of newly roasted beans, or old faithfuls.

The method:

  1. Make sure the spoon is clean.
  2. With the spoon, push back the crema atop the cup’s circumference to break up and reveal the aromas of the bean.
  3. Rinse spoon completely, dry off, and repeat the process at each cup.
  4. Each bean is tested in five different cups to allow your smelling senses to adapt and hold on to the different aromas, completely.
  5. Rinse the spoon before moving on to the next bean.

(We also used the same method to taste each bean by slurping probably a 1/2oz of liquid from each cup.)

Much like beer, aromas and tasting notes are classified usually by foods or other consumable items such as maple sap or agave. There are over 25,000 possible different tasting notes in all types of coffee beans, yet there is no “right” answer as everyone possesses a different palate.

When the word acidity is mentioned when dealing with coffee, for starters, just equate it to a beer’s hop profile. The taste almost “kicks” off your tongue.

The lighter the roast, the more imperfections are detectable.

Today, the four beans we focused on were:

  1. Kenya AA (red wine, raisin, fruit)
  2. JAVA via Indonesia (syrupy body, pleasant finish)
  3. Brazil Bob O’ Link (maple, sweet, fruit)
  4. Brazil Daterra Sweet Blue (dark chocolate bar)

The original “cuppers” of the Daterra bean are considered very special, “amazing” coffee bean enthusiasts. Year after year, after being mechanically picked, the aromas and tasting notes of the roasted bean are exactly the same, even when grown on different parts of the farm. Unreal stuff.

dsc01126

dsc01124

All in all, coffee (like beer) is pretty complex…and if you don’t care for things such as aromas and hop profiles…methods of roasting and brewing…the liquid you consume is still delicious and, in the end, that’s all that really matters. Right?

Now go and enjoy the bean at Infusco and the hop at Greenbush.

Sawyer is cool.

na

Week 3: January 16-22

Monday:

  • XT (Bike): 16.6mi, 52:57, 18.8mph, AVG HR = 154

Tuesday:

  • XT (Bike): 47.4mi, 2:36:51, 18.2mph, AVG HR = 152

Wednesday:

  • N/A

Thursday:

  • N/A

Friday:

  • N/A

Saturday:

  • N/A

Sunday:

  • N/A

Totals:

  • Run Miles = 0mi
  • Run Vert. = 0′
  • XT Time = 3h29m48s

Memories of My Canine Friend

Fritz, German Shorthaired-Pointer, Oct. 2002 – Jan. 2017

I wrote a short poem, here, the day my dad buried him in Arndt soil.

Below are some memories that’ll last a lifetime:

 

Building fires in the woodstove for you to lay in front of…


Playing indoor hide-n-seek with you, then letting you lick me with great joy once I was found…

Spreading tuna juice over your food…

Running with you at Spicer Lake, through a foot of powder, without a leash…

Relentlessly getting followed after I popped a bag of popcorn, your favorite snack…


Witnessing you find and kill a groundhog…and bunnies…and mice…

Watching squirrels mock you from the safety of the power line at Zigler St…

Watching you flush birds out of the Arborvitaes in the yard…


Getting tangled up in blankets and having you dig your nose through them all to find me…

Chasing you around the yard only to get consistently juked by your elusiveness…

Witnessing you go into my bedroom and steal my Beanie Babies to flip around in the living room…such self-control by not ripping them…


Taking you with me into the shower to give you baths…using baby shampoo for your fur…

Marveling at your recogniztion of “running clothes” as opposed to “casual clothes”…following up with relentless begging to join us running, usually at Spicer…

Barking and chasing the Canadian Geese as they flocked and soared across the sky…


Leaving a plate of hot food on the hearth and marveling at your self-control not to approach it, even for a sniff…

Watching you eat wild apples that fell from the apple tree in the front yard…

Letting you outside for up to an hour, never once worrying about you crossing the border into neighbor territory…even without an electric fence or shock collar…


Petting the white stripe of fur between your eyes until you fell asleep by the fire…


Writing down details of every run with you in my high school run journals…looking back through them, most were during winter training for the upcoming track season…



In your peak years, still the fastest dog I’ve ever seen…stayed lean and fit even unto your 13th year of living…probably logged close to 15,000 miles of running with our family in parks and country roads…on and off the leash…

The Method to the Madness

The Method to the Madness

Since the beginning of the 9th grade (2009), I’ve documented every workout (runs, mainly) in paperback training journals. It’s become a tradition for me. Some of the best moments each year come when I sit down with a calculator and a pencil and sketch out my training regimen for the upcoming season, outlining mileage, workouts, races, etc. If I am to hold myself accountable, things NEED to be in written form, neatly and with a purpose.

Over the years, I’ve been influenced by a number of coaches, scientists, writers, athletes, mentors, etc. Through research and inspiration, then trial and error (backed by some science), I’ve found what works best for me. VARITETY and CREATIVITY. Each season, however, the details continue to evolve, yet, the structure is mainly the same. HARD WORK. I love this variety and I think, along with an utterly dedicated soul, it’s what separates me from my competition. I believe there are no limits to what I can do with my body and, come hell or high water, I will never stop my search to find out.

All in all, I’m a big dreamer and meticulous preparer. I apply a surplus of training methods to my regimen. Below, I share my structure and creativity, a “rulebook” that I often refer to:

 

Mileage

Mileage is almost always imperfect. However, if coming off a Break (injury, recovery, “restart mode”, etc) or end of season, start Week 1 (first full week that includes Jan. 1) at 50mi. Then…

  • Rise 10mi
  • Maintain
  • Rise 10mi
  • Fall 20mi
  • Previous Rise
  • Maintain
  • Rise 10mi
  • Fall 20mi

For any race >2h, taper mileage on Race Week by 30% of race’s previous week (if >75mi) (round to nearest number ending in 5 or 0) but not lower than 50mi. Taper by 30% of THAT number for the next week (but not lower than 35mi). Taper by 20% and 20% for races <2h. If race’s previous week is <75mi, don’t taper, just maintain.

Then…

  • Rise 50%.
  • Rise 30mi
  • Maintain
  • Rise 10mi
  • Fall 20mi

 

Step back weeks (including Race Week) = 75mi max

150mi = max weekly mileage

Doubles start @100mpw on non-workout days: 70% of daily mileage in Session 1 then the rest later

For FKTs, still decrease mileage by 30% for the week of the attempt but return to pre-FKT week mileage for the next week (no workouts). Then, rise 10mi. Fall 20mi.

After last race of season, maintain 50mi per week (no workouts, just additional XT) until end of year.

 

Workouts

L = Long: 25% or 30% of mileage (40mi max)

  • Long Run w/Surges
  • Back-to-Back Long Runs (Part 1: 1/2 total mileage + MTN…Part 2: 1/2 total mileage)
  • Progressive Long Run
  • Ultra Long Run
  • Run (50%) – XT – Run (50%)

H = Hills: 8% of mileage (8mi max)

  • Treadmill
  • Hill Cycle
  • Hill Repeats

T = Tempo: 8% of mileage (8mi max)

  • Cruise Intervals
  • Double Tempo Run
  • Progressive Tempo Run

V = Velocity

  • Half-Time Fartlek
  • Monoghetti Fartlek

M = Medium Long Run: 18% of mileage

S = Special

R = Race

 

Marathon

(18-week Training Program by Jack Daniels):

Two Q sessions per week: Q1 on Wednesday, Q2 on Saturday

6x20sec strides = 2x per week

70-100 miles per week

No XT during marathon block

 

Notes

Post-run strides: 6 x 20sec w/1min recovery (effort-based)

WU/CD at least 0.5mi

For races >2h, no WU/CD.

No Medium Long Run during a Back-to-Back week.

Combine my R + L day for marathon – ultras.

XT on non-100mpw weeks, if not a Race Week.

On Race Week (half-marathon – ultra), do 1 other workout and no Medium Long Run or Long Run. Choose T over H. Choose H over V.

No workouts the week after a half-marathon – ultra.

Sessions can be done in any order if needed.

The Grind

(TCU Baseball, YouTube video)

Rise and shine. It’s 6am and your hand can’t make it to the alarm clock before the voices in your head before the voices in your head start telling you that it’t too early, too dark, and too cold to get out of bed. Aching muscles lie still in rebellion, pretending not to hear your brain commanding them to move. A legion of voices are shouting their unanimous permission for you to hit the snooze button and go back to dream land. But you didn’t ask their opinion. The voice you’ve chose to listen to is one of defiance, a voice that says there was a reason you set that alarm in the first place, so sit up, put your feet on the floor, and don’t look back because we’ve got work to do. Welcome to the grind. For what is each day but a series of conflicts between the right way and the easy way. Ten thousand streams fan out like a river delta before you, each one promising the path of least resistance. The thing is, you’re headed upstream. And when you make that choice, when you decide to turn your back on what’s comfortable, what’s safe, and what some would call common sense. Well that’s day 1. From there it only gets tougher. So just make sure this is something you want. Because the easy way out will always be there, ready to wash you away. All you have to do is pick up your feet. But you aren’t going to are you? With each step comes the decision to make another. You’re on your way now but this is no time to dwell on how far you’ve come. You’re in a fight against an opponent that you can’t see, but oh you can feel him on your heels can’t you? Feel him breathing down your neck. You know what that is? That’s you. Your fears, your doubts and insecurities all lined up like a firing squad, ready to shoot you out of the sky. But don’t lose heart. While they aren’t easily defeated they are far from invincible. Remember, this is the grind, the battle royale between you, and your mind, your body and the devil on your shoulder who’s telling you that this is just a game, this is just waste of time, your opponents are stronger than you. Drown out the voice of uncertainty with the sound of your own heartbeat. Burn away your self doubt with a fire lit beneath you. Remember what we’re fighting for and never forget that momentum is a cruel mistress. She can turn on a dime with the smallest mistake. She is ever searching for the weak place in your armor, that one tiny thing that you forgot to prepare for. So as long as the devil is hiding the details, the question remains: is that all you got? Are you sure? And when the answer is yes, and when you’ve done all you  can to prepare yourself for battle, then it’s time to go forth and boldly face your enemy, the enemy within. Only now you must take that fight into the open, into hostile territory. You’re a lion in a field of lions, all hunting the same elusive prey with a desperate starvation that says victory is the only thing that can keep you alive. So believe that voice that says you can run a little faster and you can throw a little harder and then for you the laws of physics are merely a suggestion. Luck is the last dying wish of those who wanna believe that winning can happen by accident. Sweat on the other hand is for those who know it’s a choice. So decide now, because destiny waits for no man. And when your time comes and a thousand different voices are trying to tell you you’re not ready for it, listen instead to that lone voice in decent, the one that says you are ready, you are prepared. It’s all up to you now. So rise and shine.