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  • Writer's picturecharlesjromeo

30: Mice and Men Pull it Together and the Bigger Picture

For me, the month of May finished a lot better than it started.  As I said in my previous training blog entry, I started the month off tired from my travels and then got sick for 4 days, missing the Baldy Blitz.  There was also the issue that repeated snow storms and bad weather generally kept me out of the mountains and off my bike for a good part of the month.  That all seems like ancient history now. 

A stormy day at Jenny Lake

In last two weeks of May I put in 2 50+ mile weeks, the second of which included 21 miles of backpacking in Yellowstone Park (see: Rethinking My Relationship with Yellowstone), a 9.6 mile run around Jenny Lake in the Tetons on a stormy day where the rain stayed just light enough that I could keep going, and on Friday, May 31, 2024, I did my own Baldy Blitz makeup race besting my previous personal record to the top by 2:01.  On the scale of all entrants, I’m still a middle of the pack runner, but a year older and 2 minutes faster put a smile on my face—once I could catch my breath enough to smile that is. 

Views of the local peaks from the top of Mt Baldy

I am now in the final phase of training for the Old Gabe 30K, which takes place on June 15th.  This past week—the first week of June, I limited my running to 40.5 miles, but added in 51 miles of mountain biking and climbed 12,600 feet between the two sports.  Today, Monday June 10th, I did my last big run before Old Gabe: a 15.75 mile out and back in Sourdough Canyon just south of Bozeman.  Went easy, Zones 1 and 2 for 90 percent of the run.  Felt good.  I feel like my training is complete. I'm ready for the race. The last part of my preparation is to sleep well on Friday night. 

I could tell you that my sudden emphasis on mountain biking is to reduce the pressure that running imposes off my body, but that’s not the main reason.  I have a bike-backpacking event planned for around the summer solstice—roughly a week after Old Gabe, so, now that it is warm enough to ride (I am a fair weather biker), I've been building up my bike training.  Look for a story about that in the near future.

BRICK day: Gravel Road and Jeep Trail biking out and back from North Cottowood Trailhead to Flathead Pass, then running North Cottonwood trail.

So, what’s the Big Picture:  it’s that I feel amazing.  There are a few dimensions to this.  First my average resting heart rate for the past week is 57 and my weight is back down to around 160.  These are both back to where they were at the peak of my training last July.  I seem to be hitting my peak a month earlier, which I hope means that I can maintain or even increase it this year.  Second, I am starting to experience moments of Zen when I wake up in the morning.  I wrote about these moments in Training Blog entry 19 last summer.  It’s this mellow, relaxed, healing state that I feel when I wake up.  I haven’t felt it since last summer.  It is comforting.  It gives me the sense that the running and riding miles are not thrashing my body too much. I seem to be recovering well from each day’s efforts and I'm ready to go again the next morning—even if the Zen state makes me want to stay in bed just a little longer.

Now I just have to keep going and not overdo it—lots of Zones 1 and 2 still in my future.  I cracked 700 miles for the year on today’s run and I broke through 124,000 uphill vertical.  I am 40 miles and 13,000 vertical ahead of this day last year.  Yahoo!

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Janet Kasparian
Janet Kasparian
Jun 12

Glad to know you are doing so well, Chuck!


Jun 11

Have fun with Old Gabe 😎 Excellent zen feels. I know them.


Jeremy Verlinda
Jeremy Verlinda
Jun 11

Congrats on a more-than-successful May! those blue skies and puffy white clouds might be contributing to your moment of zen. love it!

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