Across the Years Training Weeks 17 and 18 Recap

So I signed up for my first 24 Hour foot race and detailed my high level training plan and my nutrition plan.

So now I will detail my training from Weeks 17 and 18


I missed posting my weekly recap last Sunday (and I was pretty bummed about that to be honest… things have just been crazy busy between the ramp up in training and all sorts of other “life” things.. no excuses just the reality of what happened) but this post is probably the most chock full of info yet, so I am pretty excited about it and I hope you find it informative and entertaining!

As there is a good amount to relate and most of it isn’t particularly related to each other, I will just detail what I have in no particular order:

  • I would say that for me the most exciting news of the last two weeks is that I am became a sponsored athlete of the running accessories company Fitletic. I am a Brand Ambassador for a brand that I am really enamored with.


  • I will have much more to say about Fitletic in upcoming posts (including a giveaway next month) but suffice it to say that I finally found a waist pack (and actually overall a way to carry liquid, keys, phone etc.) that I love! I have tried so many different ways to carry liquid with me over the last few years (could never get used to the handhelds… just throws off my arm swing) and earlier this summer purchased the 16oz Hydration Belt and really couldn’t get over how comfortable and functional of a pack it was.. and most importantly (because I can’t stand it) without bouncing! I contacted them to see if they would be interested in sending a product for review and they were (everyone involved has been so wonderful to work with). They sent out the Quench Retractable Hydration Belt and I have a lot of good things to say about it and will be putting up my review next month. I was so impressed with their products and wanted to evangelize my feelings on them to my followers that I asked them if they had any sort of Ambassadorship program. They do and they sent me out an application (a pretty extensive and serious application 🙂 I was impressed and made me feel that much more appreciative when I was accepted into the program). They will sending me out products throughout the upcoming year and I am so thankful as they are partnering with me on my upcoming Across the Years race! They asked what I thought I could use most at the race and I knew that the more bottles that I had… the easier it would be for me because I wouldn’t have to refill them as often. They are sending out 16 more empty bottles and a couple more holsters as well. Since I will be live tweeting (and texting friends 🙂 ) from the event, I also though that having their Window Phone Add On would be of great value beause it will help keep my iPhone clean, weather resistant and within easy access! And I can use it diretly through the plastic. They should be coming soon and I will of course be writing up on them during that weekly recap. I will also be sent out upcoming products before they are available to the public, so I am excited to be able to share them with you before they come out. Can’t say anything on specifics in that regard yet, but come back over the upcoming months. So excited to be a part of the family of an innovative company dedicated to their athletes and to the community! Thank you Fitletic! I intend on working hard to get the word out and represent your brand!
  • I wanted to be able to have a good handle on my pace for the entire 24 Hours of my upcoming race. I know (without a doubt) that I will get significantly (is that a strong enough word 🙂 ) slower as the hours go on but understanding my overall pace every hour will allow me to better gauge what I will have to do as the night goes on to try and hit one of my goals. Of course I could simply wait to come back around to the end of the loop (where there will have my total distance continually updated) and try and guess what that means based off of how late it is… but I know myself and I will be in no shape (at say 1:00am) to try and figure that out! Forget about that. So of course I plan on wearing my Garmin 610 to the race, but it only has an 8 hour battery life (and I have found on some ultras and training that it can vary between 7.5 to 8,5 hours). Well that obviously wasn’t going to cut it…. so I though about a couple of different things… borrow a friends (would still only get me another 8 hours or so and I don’t want to have to worry about losing it.. no not an ideal solution) or I could buy another Garmin and preferably the 910 because it has a 20 hour battery life. Of course the main problem with buying the 910 is that I don’t do triathalons and wasn’t really excited about spending $350-$400 for a GPS watch I would use maybe 1 to 3 times a year! So…. what to do… what to do…. Well I figured out how to charge my current Garmin while I am running! Just amazing and awesome! To be honest, a portion of what I am going to demonstrate was inspired by a fellow ultrarunner (whose name I can’t remember) who tweeted about the possibility of doing something like this over the summer. Well I thought a lot about it, researched it, bought the charger and tested it out this last week… and it works phenomenally well!
  • So the idea of bieng able to charge your Garmin while running comes down to hooking up your Garmin to the charging “claw” (the 610’s is magnetic which helps keep it in place, but I imagine that any “claw” would work if tightened down on your wrist enough) strapping it to your wrist, fishing the charging cord through the arm of your shirt (so that it stays out of the way and doesn’t get annoying) and then pulling off the outlet attachment from the other end and plugging that USB male into the input of the Satechi USB charging module and putting the charger in your waist pack (I suppose it could fit in a pocket in your camelbak but I am not sure that the charging cord would go that far.. maybe you could fish it out the collar of your shirt). I had my Garmin get pretty low before my run on Saturday and then ran 5 miles before plugging it in (the big moment.. would it work?) and it started charging it! I started with 26% life and in 1 hour and 6 minutes it was up to 92%. I was actually surprised at how fast it charged. It seems to take hours when you plug it into the wall. Based off of the time it took, I would estimate that it would take 1:30 to fully charge a dead Garmin 610 using this method (although I wouldn’t recommend letting it go completely dead). While it is charging, it shows that it is charging, the percentage that it is charged and the current time. So at first I thought… it might not be showing me anything useful but at least it is charging and I should be ready to start using it again in about an hour… but it was still giving me information while it was charging! Every time there was an “event” it displayed it and overtook the charging screen. By an event I mean, a lap is finished or a mile completed. I have set up a “workout” that goes .35 mile running, .15 walking, .35 running and .15 walking (most times I only walk the last .15 not the first… but I do plan on using that technique on race day) and every time I hit the next stage it started beeping and let me know! It told me the total distance traveled and what was coming up next. Wow.. that is so cool. And of course it was tracking everything that it normally tracks in the background and as soon as I pulled the charging cord it just kept going from where I was at the point! I didn’t really notice the cord in my sleeve at all and the charger is super light and fit great in my Fiteltic pack (never noticed it there). When I am done charging it on race day, I will simply put the Satechi and the charging cable back in my tent and keep on running! Late at night I will be able to take a photo of my Garmin and it will show all of the total miles that I have ran. 8 Hour battery life?! Not anymore my friends!! Below I show two videos I created that detail how I do the hookup. Can’t recommend this approach enough to an ultrarunner needing more hours than their Garmin supplies or a Marathoner or Half Marathoner that forgot to charge their Garmin! Think about that. For around $30 this little piece can really be a life saver. I am planning on getting probably two more because I can use it to charge my iPhone as well (and I will be putting it through it’s paces all day and all night). I just tried charging my phone this afternoon with it and it takes about 2 hours from a completely dead charge. I would recommend getting one even if only for the piece of mind if there is a power outage and your phone is dead. Each Satechi hold about two full charges (when they are fully charged). I actually cut my run on Saturday short a bit because I was so excited about this discovery 🙂

  • I hit one of my gym goals this week! A couple of months ago, I wrote that I thought it would be motivating and fun (I refer to them as “just for the hell of it” goals.. will they have a direct impact on my race… maybe, maybe not… but it is fun having other goals besides just running and I love the gym) to have specific concrete goals for my legs and lower back in the gym (I actually can’t find that specific post at the moment 🙂 and don’t remember every one of the goals but I am certain that this one was one of them.. I will definitely find that post and see how close I am to the other ones.. Ha!). One of them was pulling 450lbs in the trap bar deadlift. Last week, I thought that maybe I could do it and (after doing 410X5) I gave it a try… slow but steady.. up it came. Felt good!

  • As I wrote about last recap, a fellow St. Louis Ultrarunner John Cash qualified to represent Team USA at the 24 Hour World Championships, but he wrote afterwards that one of the things that really gave him trouble was blurred vision during the final hours. He said that he got medical help after he finished and they told him it was an edema. I had my yearly visit to my optometrist and I asked him about it and if he had any advice as to how to avoid such an occurence (as I have a 24 Hour race coming up myself). He said almost certainly what happened was that his eyes got so dry from the constant movement (and wind stripping the moisture in his eyes) that he developed the edema and it hurt and had an impact on his vision. I asked him if there was a way to help ensure that it doesn’t happen for me (especially as Phoenix is dry) and he said to put itn moisturizing eye drops at regular intervals throughout the race. He recommended a specific brand “Systane Balance” and I will get some, but my guess is that any quality moisturizing drop would help. I will definitely be making sure to apply some every 4 hours or so (and perhaps more often if it is windy). Very glad that I saw him when I did and perhaps this could help you someday too!
  • Later in the race (I don’t plan on listening to any for at least the first 8 hours because I want to really take everything in and concentrate more on my pace.. and just enjoy the company of the other runners) I plan on listening to some music with my iPhone (another good reason to make sure that I can charge it on the go!) and I had yet to find earbuds that don’t fall out so I picked up some Yurbuds. I know most of you reading have probably already tried or have them, but it was my first pair. I would say that I basically like them. They seem to generally work as advertised as they don’t fall out easily, but you definitely feel them in your ear. They are a big earbud. Not really the most comfortable, but they aren’t bad either. I think I will definitely take them and they should help. Supposedly they make it easier to hear external noises as well (as opposed to regular earbuds) so that will come in handy when the cars start traveling down the loop…. just kidding 🙂
  • I just found this really funny and pretty odd…. So I have had these Brooks winter running gloves for at least 3 years now and… I never noticed that they had a velcro’d pocket built into them until a run this last week?! Not only would that pocket of come handy in years past (great place to put a hand warmer!) but things like that just make me sort of wonder what else I am not noticing 🙂 When I saw it, I was like “Really? When did you get there?”


  • I had heard about Skora Running Shoes a few times by other bloggers and was interested to learn more. I was in need of new shoes (no idea how many miles I had on my NB Minimus Zero Road’s but there wasn’t much left of them) and based off of their impressions (and the fact that they are zero drop minimalist type shoes) I contacted them to see if I could get a pair to review. They were very inviting and accomodating and sent me a pair of their “Core’s”



  • I will be doing a full review in a few weeks (after I really get a chance to get a good feel for them) and most likely a giveaway (if I feel strongly enough about them.. and my guess at this point is that I will) but I will say that my initial impression after two runs is quite positive. These are gorgeous leather running shoes and feel pretty darned good when I ran in them. I am excited about running in them more, and thankful to Skora for giving me the chance to review them. Full review coming soon!


  • I started my “diet” for the race last Sunday and have lost 5 lbs. I feel and look lighter. I will detail the diet in a future recap, but at a high level it really just is very clean eating (and a lot of it) and I eliminated beer and whisky until race day (for the reduction in unnecessary calories and also for the discipline it engenders… but I am not crazy about it to be honest 🙁 Ha! ) I plan on only losing around 5 more lbs at the most and I need to make sure that I stay strong in the gym (these last few weeks of gym training) and on the road (as my running volume is getting to its peak in the coming weeks).
  • I am doing a 6 Hour Charity run this coming Sunday called “Miles for Food”. I have done it for a few years… even won the fundraising part one year and won the “Miles for Food” teddy bear! That was cool. I look to really train my strategy for race day and also try out some different race foods. Will probably be my longest run before Dec 31st.


  • I was reading the latest edition of Ultrarunning Magazine and noticed a small article about Jon Olsen setting the Indoor World Record for running 100 miles. He ran it in 11:59:28… which is utterly amazing and ridiculous (ran Marathon after Marathon in a time I will never run one!) and cool, but it was a couple of the things that he said that I wanted to note. “For any ultrarunner who has never tried an ultra on a track or small road loop, I highly recommend it. The only runners I have ever heard claim such events are ‘boring’ are those who have never tried them” Here Here. And also… “I would say the big difference between the first half and the second half is simply this: During the first half of the race rarely does a negative thought enter your mind: however during the second half of the race you can’t keep them out. You have to convince yourself that the hundred bad thoughts that you are having are wrong and the one positive thought is right. It is tough to do and I have found with age that it is easier to embrace those negative thoughts and see them as what they truly are… insignificant.” Great words! I am certain there will be a lot of negative thoughts in the night of December 31st but I will remember these words and remember to think of them as… insignificant.
  • Since the vast majority of the loop at Across the Years is hard pack dirt, I want to try and run on some dirt when I can so as to understand better how it might affect my pace and my legs. I know that trail running is a different animal from running on the road. I am slower and it works my legs harder in some ways. I am hoping that smooth hard pack doesn’t have as much of that effect and I don’t think that it will (it may actually be wonderful running surface… it looks great in the pictures) but I want to get some runs in on dirt before the race. I don’t want to trail run (I don’t want to somehow get hurt doing it since it has been a while and I also don’t think it is very good simulation since it won’t be technical trail) but I do have a trail about 1.5 miles from me that is what I will call “soft pack” dirt and mulch. It is really soft and should be harder than hard pack in that respect. I ran 13.2 miles on this .5 mile loop (ran it 26 times.. good mental loop running training) and it really beat me up. I maintained a good solid running pace and walked when my Garmin told me to, but it seriously worked my legs (and I had a serious gym session the day before of course). It was good training though. I may try and find a better “hard pack” trail for my next run. Not sure where the best one is around here, but I will find one. It is a really beautiful trail though with a pond and bridge in the middle. I thought I would take some pictures to let you know what it looked like when I was running last Sunday! 🙂





So onto the last two weeks:

Monday the 4th: 4.74 miles at 10:13 pace overall

Wednesday the 6th: 4.6 miles at 9:54 pace overall

Thursday the 7th: Conventional Deadlifts ending with 385X4 for the first time! Tried 405 but wasn’t happening yet.

14 sets for Lats

9 sets for Triceps

1 set of Captains of Crush Grippers (ran out of time)

Friday the 8th: 1.2 hilly miles at 8:55 pace.. Ha! There was just 1000 different things going on in my head at the time and I just had to get home and do a few things before work. What are you going to do?

Saturday the 9th: 6 sets on the 45 Degree Precor Leg Press hitting 630X5, 680X3 and 720X1 (for the first time)

5 sets for Abs/Obliques

19 sets for Chest

8 sets for Traps

4 sets of Captains of Crush Grippers

Sunday the 10th: The 13.2 miles at 11:27 pace overall on the mulched trail that I described above.

Tuesday the 12th: 8.2 miles at 9:52 pace (but only in my head because I was really sick 🙁 Yuck!

Wednesday the 13th: 6 sets for Glutes

10 sets of Seated Behind the Neck Barbell Presses getting 150X3 for the first time (I felt good about that)  then 6 more sets for Delts

9 sets for Biceps

5 sets of various wrist curls

Thursday the 14th: 5 strong hilly miles in my new Skora Core’s! I did it later at night… and I was waiting for my Core’s to arrive. I had one of those “feel like a kid again” runs because of the new shoes. Fun, hard run at night.

Friday the 15th: 4 sets of Trap Bar Deadlifts hitting my goal weight of 450X1 Yay! And also doing 410X5 before that.

5 sets for Abs/Obliques

21 sets for Lats

10 sets for Triceps

Saturday the 16th: 10 miles at 12:23 average pace. Most miles were significantly faster (closer to 11:00 min pace overall) but I took a half mile walk on the 9th mile because I just felt like it and it was unusually warm and humid. Solid training. I was thinking about doing 14 when I started, but I was too excited about the Garmin charging thing and I am going to be doing 20 miles plus this coming Sunday so I am good.

Sunday the 17th: Was going to hit the leg press, chest and biceps but didn’t happen. Was really tired and just didn’t feel like going in plus I really wanted to write this post and I knew it would take me a while (took about 7 hours).. it is all good. I am not really worried about taking an extra couple of days to hit my chest.

Best of luck in your training,



15 thoughts on “Across the Years Training Weeks 17 and 18 Recap

  1. Becky@ Trails and ultras

    Blimey, you’ve been busy 🙂 i’m quite interested in that charger…I’ve just signed up for a trail ultra next summer that will take me over 30 hours possibly. I use the GPS on my Iphone for navigation and there’s no way it will last that long! I wonder if this charger will work for that. I’ll be interested to hear how you get on with your nutrition plan too over the coming weeks 🙂 (I must stop eating crap!)

    1. Chris M Post author

      Hey Becky!
      Yes it really is awesome that it works (and quite well).
      And I can answer your question with a resounding Yes! I actually used the Satechi on my iPhone yesterday to try it out. It took about 2 hours to go from 1% to a full charge. And it is working while it is charging! I don’t know how long the iPhone will last doing GPS without needing a charge but the Satechi is good for about two charges.
      Looking forward to coming back to check out your site soon!
      Oh and I love your new Gravatar! 🙂

  2. Amy

    Glad to hear the training is going well. I am looking forward to hearing more about your partnership with Fitletic. I know what you mean about the gloves! I just found out a pair of my pants had a hidden pocket. I guess it was pretty well hidden!

    1. Chris M Post author

      Thanks Amy!
      I am also excited about my upcoming year with Fitletic! Being on the inside and getting advance notice and usage of products coming out (and passing on that info to my readers) is very exciting.
      And to be honest… it is exciting just to find a belt that I actually find comfortable and doesn’t annoy me 🙂
      Yes the training has been going well and it will be interesting to see how my 6 hour goes tomorrow.

  3. Michelle

    Congrats on the ambassadorship! That is awesome!
    You sound crazy busy! Your workouts are always seriously kick butt –
    As for the 24 hour foot race…
    Ugh! Can’t even imagine it for myself but I know lots of people that do those crazy things and they are still allowed to be my friends…haha!
    You’re awesome!
    Thanks for sharing and for linking up for Fit & Fabulous Friday!

    1. Chris M Post author

      Thanks so much Michelle!
      Yeah things have been pretty ridiculous lately, but I am blessed to have some really exciting things happening at the same time.
      Yeah… my workouts do generally always seem to kick my butt 🙂

      I have a feeling (a strong one) that the race is going to be even tougher than I expect…and I agree it is definitely pretty crazy.
      The early morning hours are going to be pretty weird I think.

      Thanks again! Awesome comment!

    1. Chris M Post author

      Hi Jill!
      Fitletic doesn’t currently make a handheld, but as an Ambassador I will get the insight (and the product itself) on the products that are coming down the pipeline and will let you know if/when they develop a handheld. If they do, I have a feeling it will be one awesome handheld! But I would still recommend their belts as an alternative because they are so comfortable and unobtrusive that you barely even notice that they are on. And the “Quench” (which I will be reviewing next month) holds whatever 2 standard size 16-25 oz water bottles you prefer.
      Thank you on the Congrats!
      Yes I will always have some good eye drops with me on any ultra in the future.. no reason not to.

  4. Meghan

    Congrats on the new ambassadorship. I can’t wait to hear more! Intrigued by the charger. Love the pictures of the fall leaves! Hope this week goes well for you!

    1. Chris M Post author

      Thanks so much Meghan!
      I am really looking forward to passing on everything I learn (and get to try out) from Fitletic to my readers. It is one of the best parts about becoming part of the family.

      I hope this week goes well for you too!

    1. Chris M Post author

      Hi Stephanie,
      The key is balancing out taking in enough to stay strong so that you can continue to train hard while slowly losing a few pounds if you want to. I don’t think it should ever be a lot of weight close to a race, but maybe a few extra pounds that you don’t really need.
      Plus I just kind of feel like the discipline in your diet sort of gets you in the mental mode for the race. It’s definitely not necessary for everyone, but if you feel like you would like to get a bit lighter for the race.. 8 weeks out is a good time to try.
      Thanks for stopping by! I am going to check out your site now.

  5. Stephanie @ Cat Lady Runs

    That sounds like a good plan, unfortunately my race is right after the holidays. I’m just hoping to maintain my weight between the extra goodies and running twice as much. I’ve already dropped 20 I put on while on this crappy medication (as soon as I went off it, weight fell off, so I know that was a good decision) and can tell my running is back where it should be. Maybe I’ll try really clean eating during the week to offset holiday engagements on the weekend.

    1. Chris M Post author

      Hi Mika,

      Thankks for stopping by! Yes I really need to do more than just run.. I convinced myself of that a while ago. It does make things more interesting for sure.. and I believe makes one a better overall athlete.
      I will be checking out your blog very soon!
      Thank you.


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