Tag Archives: coach

New Year, and Lots More News

As the old advice goes, always have something to look forward to. Or maybe I just made that up. Either way, I try to follow it. Which means doing new stuff or reaching new milestones.

So what’s new with RBT as the old year comes thankfully to an end? Many things. Here’s the latest and greatest from your (somewhat) humble ultrarunner!

New Mileage PR

Of all the years I’ve run, most of which have included several ultras, who would’ve believed I’d set a new personal record for miles run this year, with curtailed group runs and only one ultra? And yet it happened. This month I passed 1,200 miles for the year, averaging 100 miles per month and blowing away my old record.

This was accomplished in part by a 34-day run streak in May, as part of an events company challenge, but most was just getting my butt out the door. Speaking of, if you’re a runner needing some motivation, or know a runner, I have just the book for you, written by RF Events owner Randy Step. Go get it on Amazon.

New Running Coach

With races hopefully starting up again next year, and goals yet to be met, I knew I needed to restore some discipline to my running training. Which meant a professional coach. I aimed high and emailed one of the best-known trail running coaches out there. His reply went something like this:

Hi Jeff! Thank you so much for reaching out, you are amazing. We appreciate you so much! We are full right now, so sorry…

However, he went on to recommend a coach he really liked, who did have a spot for me. And so my latest regime of torture has officially begun under coach Ryan Miller, a two-time U.S. Olympic qualifier. His Instagram page is full of stuff like the below. Yeah, we’re like-minded all right.

New Watch

So my faithful Garmin 310XT watch, which has served me from roughly the Stone Age, has begun to show signs of battery failure. Problem, because I bought this watch precisely for its long battery life, allowing me to run 50-milers and more without recharging. So, naturally, I went out and bought the best thing I could find out there:

Meet the new watch…the same as the old watch…

That’s right! The newer watches still can’t match the simplicity, ease of use, and battery life of these ancient babies. So far, so good. I’ll take both to my next ultra.

And speaking of. . .

2021: New Races

The pandemic may be far from over, but signs of life are creeping back into the world of trail running. And two upcoming events are confirmed live!

The first is the Bigfoot Snowshoe 5K, which I’ve run every year since 2014. Yes, it is actually running in snowshoes, and yes, it’s as lung-busting as it sounds. It’s also a blast. You can read my adventures here in previous blog posts on the subject. Just type “Bigfoot” into my site’s Search box. Or see this one from the 2016 race.

The second is the Grandmaster Ultra, taking place the following week in the Arizona desert. I ran the 50 miler in 2020, and you can read my report here. Been there, done that, but loved the venue, so in 2021 I’ll be doing the 100K.

I’ll provide more details, like social distancing precautions, in upcoming posts. In the meantime, rest assured I will looking out for myself, and others, very carefully.

And finally,

New Site!

I began this site as Fitness At 50 back in 2011, so this means my ten-year anniversary is coming up. Time to join the 2020s in terms of site layout and refresh the content. Maybe even a new blog name! Changes will be coming soon. Don’t worry, I’ll provide plenty of warning. Or not.

Thanks for reading, and have a great New Year!

I Want it ALL!

“I need to pick a different day for my speedwork,” I told my coach Wednesday night.

My current training consists of a Saturday morning long run, the PR Fitness Wednesday night run, and one day of ‘speedwork’ – tempo run, intervals, hill work, progressions, or similar torture, which has usually been Tuesday. All well and good.

I hear an "Except" coming...

I hear an “Except” coming…

Except that with my cutback in Aikido due to my hurt shoulder, I’d added a Tuesday session of strength training at Body Specs. So I’d put off the tempo run until Wednesday afternoon, and here I was that evening, putting in my second set of six miles. (And they’d thoughtfully started without me, resulting in more, unassigned, speedwork.)

“So,” Coach said, “what do you want? To get stronger at the gym, or get faster on the road?”

Well, that was a no-brainer. “Both, of course. I want it all!”

She ought to have expected that response. When I first hired her, right about this time three years ago, I’d outlined my goals; a marathon in 2011, then in 2012 a 500-mile bike ride and 50K ultra. Oh, and I wanted to get faster, too, and win at least one age group award. (I can’t remember if I mentioned my Aikido training, too.) “So what do you think?” I’d asked her. “I think you have a lot of goals,” she’d replied. Yet I accomplished them all, and more.

Good SignI know there will come a day when I stop getting faster. But as the sign says, today is not that day. I don’t think I’ve peaked yet, so why not give it a try? Coach has no problem with that, but points out that by trying for too much I could get injured. And in just over a week I will turn 52 – by no means a barrier to improving, but I shouldn’t expect my body to respond the way it would have at 22.

See, they promised! Click here to view the commercial.

See, they promised! Click here to view the commercial.

So is it realistic to want to have it all? I’m a baby boomer – isn’t that what we were about? Readers of sufficient years may recall the 1980s Michelob Light commercials that said we could. They reflected that age pretty well, I think. We were free of the 1970s “national malaise” and the economy and Wall Street were booming. Today, in the 20/20 vision of hindsight, this former Yuppie can look back and see the developing attitude of entitlement which, I believe, has led to some pretty reprehensible conduct in today’s corporations and our government.

Excuse me - when did this become a political blog?

Excuse me – when did this become a political blog?

Sorry. Back to running and exercise. I do them to keep my body and mind fit, and for self improvement. Is it unrealistic, or even unhealthy, for me to want or expect improvements in both strength and speed at the same time? I don’t think so, not yet at least. I explained this to Coach Marie, after stopping to tie a shoelace and catching up yet again.

“Everyone says that,” she said, shaking her head. “That’s the trouble I have with all my clients. Sometimes I think I just need to create an extra day in the week.”

“Good idea,” I said. “Get to work on that.”