Lessons Learned & Adjustments To Make

I've learned a lot of lessons this year.  Some good, some not so good.  But the important thing is to take the lessons and adjust accordingly.
  1. I'm not in good enough shape for the kind of training I'm attempting.
  2. I don't eat properly to fuel my workouts.
  3. I do better when I incorporate different activities along with running. (swimming, cycling, kayaking, weight training, etc)
  4. I'm still capable of matching or beating my marathon PR (4:36:20) if I trained for it.
  5. I don't really like back-to-back long runs.
  6. Too much road running with no trails is monotonous.
  7. Too much trail running with no roads is monotonous.
  8. I really need to improve my comfort & performance in the marathon & 50k distances.
I said when I started distance running that I would do it as long as it was fun and didn't start to feel like work.  For the most part it has been fun, but the last several weeks have had me reexamining things a little.  It's begun to start feel like a job and I want to avoid that at all cost.  The last time I had a really good long run was the Garmin Marathon back on 4/21.  Since then I've done plenty of long runs (including the Lincoln Marathon, and unofficial trail marathon & unofficial trail 50k), but they have all been much bigger struggles than they should have been.  For the most part recently on a long run I've been making it about 6-10 miles feeling good then dying for the rest of the run.  It's just no fun to struggle badly through 6-8 miles of an unofficial trail marathon.  I know based on experience that I can do better than that.  I believe it is mostly due to nutrition, hydration, my general condition and some mental burn out.

Sorting through all these things has had me rethinking a lot of my current goals.  Most of my race plan will remain the same except a couple pretty big changes.  I was going to run my first 50 mile at the Hawk Trail Run in September but have decided to do the marathon there instead.  Also, I was planning on my first 100 miler at Rocky Raccoon in February but will most likely transfer to the 50 mile instead.  I'll just have to see what happens in the fall.  I'll stick with the 100 if I can turn things around and be ready for it.  I don't want to half-ass my way through it; I want it to be real.  I'm going to start concentrating on things a little differently.  Basically, my running will closer resemble marathon training than ultra training.  Slightly lower overall mileage, more tempo runs, only one long run per weekend.  Also, I plan to increase the amount of swimming and cycling I am doing along with doing more kayaking, hiking and hopefully some weight training.  I need to get back into real race shape.  I will continue to stick primarily to the trails, but I plan to start doing at least 1 paved run per week including some long runs on pavement (although most long runs will be trails).  Hopefully these things will help me get back where I want to be physically & mentally.


  1. Finding the love and passion is the key! Tough, but sounds like this is the best choice for you! always an inspiration!

  2. Bryan,
    Have you ever thought of deversifying and doing tris? It may be the answers to what you seek.

    1. Actually I just ran my first tri a couple weeks ago and am doing my 2nd toward the end of August! It has helped quite a bit and I really have come to love swimming. I enjoy cycling, but I wouldn't say I love it just yet.


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