June 11, 2019
FINAL PREPARATIONS BEFORE THE BIG ONE
I’m cutting to the nitty-gritty on this one guys.
Simply put, I’m tired..hella tired. Right now my life consist of only three things. Working sleeping and running, not so much in that order but running has definitely taken the high precedence of all three. Eating should be tops in there but my nutrition has gone to crap, eating where and when I can is about as good as it gets, just another casualty of my endurance training. It seems lately I’ve become an attempted balancing act of being a sales rep, a dietitian, a physical therapist, as well as a running and strength coach, and at the end of the day I’ve mastered none. Enter the newest stress of training.
I’m really not too sure where I’m supposed to be in regards to caloric intake with these high mile weeks. It’s a crazy balance of proteins and carbohydrates, simple sugars, complex sugars and when to consume any of this for a person to exhume maximum efficiency. What does this mean? It means I become a master of buying gels, hydration drinks and anything else that’s easily bought at REI. It’s. If ideal but it works.
Add in the fact that work right now is extracting every ounce of production one can possibly produce and time is like gold bullion. Getting recipes and cooking for an hour is not ideal. Again, what does that mean? It means after you pull a full day of work and the training plan calls for a 12 mile run, you don’t come home, change an then go run the track. You drive to a park, find a trail and you run. Climbing 13,000 feet in 64 miles is not going to get done by choosing the easy route. Skipping weekday runs and just trying to do long trail runs on the weekend isn’t going to cut it.
When I signed up for this race, the excitement, the unknown and the overall opportunity had me giddy as all get out. Now, not so much. I’m not necessarily questioning what I’ve got myself into but more of “what will be the cost on my body?”. Definitely not something this forty-three year old didn’t think about last year. A few updates back I was excited and super pumped to be doing 45-50 mile weeks. Something I’ve never done consistently in my previous marathon training. Now as I embark on the third 75 to 80 mile week, my body hurts. Therapy, stretching l, dry needling, cryotherapy, drivetrain fitness, all of these things help but nothing has taken away the aches that I feel each and every night, the foot and ankle pains that I feel each and every morning. With two more endurance weeks(80-85 miles) on deck and soon entering a fine tuning stage I’m so looking forward to the taper.
Looking at the training plan today has really put things in perspective for me on how close it is to go time. So many thoughts are into my head at this point, “Am I ready?” “Have I done enough?” “Am I overtrained?” “Am I malnourished?” (of course I am!). I meet with my crew team this Friday to go over details, details, and more details. I’ve still yet to figure out what I’d like to eat on this race. Another fail that I have incorporated in my training program, I surely haven’t done enough eating or food testing on any of these long training runs. I seem to just continually keep pushing through when it gets rough. Definitely not with most elites and or experienced ultramarathoners would suggest is healthy. I’m hoping that the anxiety and the nervousness will somewhat calm down once we all go over the ins and outs, aid station wants and needs, the emergence of any unknowns and the possibility of the dreaded never really talked about....DNF.
This training has 100% completely taken over my life but please know, I’m not complaining or asking for any type of sympathy. I knew this wasn’t gonna be easy. I think I say this more to for self reassurance but also for anyone else out there who is reading this and thinks to themselves that they might want to go ahead and test the limits of what they physically and mentally can endure. Yes it’s been hard, and about to get even harder as I add weekly miles, weekly elevation and little to no recovery time. It’s what I asked for! It’s not just about the race day here, I’ve been told the race is the easy part, the training is where you suffer. Now I haven’t completed more than a 50k yet but, at this point I couldn’t agree more.
I’ve only been training since January but I’ve missed many events, after hours,work functions, parties and just leisure Saturday Sunday afternoons. On the other hand I’ve seen some of the most amazing cliffs, Mountain Ranges, waterfalls, wildlife and backcountry Colorado has to offer and its been incredible! That is something that I never expected or anticipated but have enjoyed over these last six months. I hate to say it but, whether I cross that finish line or not will determine if it is and was all worth it.
One question keeps coming up. When this passes, will I continue to run ultra-distances....The answer to that is, I don’t know. The time, the effort, the work and the dedication that you have to put into accomplishing something as daunting as this is easy to explain but so much harder to achieve. As a road runner I have such an amazing new respect for trail runners and all ultra/endurance athletes. Will I go for that 100 mile after this? Let’s just humbly give it my all July 27th first and then we can ask...
“Am I satisfied?”
May 15, 2019
A message from Ray Martinez as he approaches the big one.
DriveTrain aficionados! I missed you!
A lot of time has passed so let’s get to recap’n. I admit that in the last update things had gotten pretty tough. Heading into race week gimpy and a little uncertain, but hey, we made it!
Looking back, I believe that I tried to do all that I could in regards to preparation. Mother nature had other plans. The morning of race day consisted of temperatures in the low 20’s with rain, fog, sleet, snow and mud...lots of mud.
I went into the race knowing that I had would have an uphill battle given the bum ankle and the fact that I had missed quite a few training miles. I decided not to shoot for a finish time in my mind. I just wanted to finish. Also finally coming to terms that I’m not an elite and that a podium would be out of the question, the goal shifted to just finishing healthy and injury free.
Before I continue, let me just say...I have such an amazing new respect for ultra runners. As a newbie, I’ve realized that it is so much more than just physically pushing through 30-100 plus miles. You can do all the training runs you can, all the Lagree you can and all the nutrition needed but come race day you better be focused on all the details.
Here’s what went down on race day.
At mile 14 I had lost that focus for a second and caught a rock with my right foot and suffered a serious face plant! My buddy Jim who was right behind me witnessed the whole thing. After shaking off the dizziness I went into the the next aid station bloodied and pretty shook up. After I refueled and bandaged I was able to hit the trail again. I paced myself pretty damn well given the circumstances and was actually still running with most of my buddies who are no rookies in this ultra game.
This, in itself, was a win for me. At one point my buddy looked at me and mentioned how strong I was running and how good my form still looked (thank you DriveTrain). I was able to push on from the other runners and had thought I’d be able to try for a sub 5 hour finish.
Then came the rain. So much rain.
At one point I had accumulated what felt like 5 pounds of mud on each shoe, no joke. At mile 21 I once again had started lost focus and re-aggravated my left ankle sprain. Things started to go down hill from there. At mile 27, I wanted to tap out.
Oh man what a day, so many thoughts go through a person’s head when pushed to their limit. I wish I had more time to let you know my what my limits look like ( it went deep lol).
After 6 hours, 36 minutes I crossed that finish line bloodied and battered. That was a character day if I’ve ever had one.
After a few days off, I got back to work starting with recovery runs and an occasional core day at DriveTrain. I’m pretty damn pumped that I finished that race but I know that there is SO much more work to do, The Rattler let me know that in a major way.
Healed up, the biggest challenges I now face are balancing work life (now in its busiest season) and all of the warm weather events coming here and there that distract from the training plan. It’s been incredibly tough to keep a training schedule for a working Joe like myself but I made my mind up that I can not and will not allow a DNF in July for the Never Summer 100k...not an option.
I am trying to head into the next 9 weeks of training with a strong focus on what I need to do to just finish my big race. Building strength in my mind will be just as important as building my body. Sounds all pretty cheesy doesn’t it? I can agree with that but it’s true. Plan your work and work your plan.
I have definitely learned in this ultra chase not to worry about anyone else, just do you. Run your race. I guarantee you’ll feel better when all is said and done.
Thanks for catching up guys. All of the feedback and comments have been great! Stay tuned as we venture into more 70 mile weeks and more beautiful peaks to explore.
April 2, 2019
A message from Ray Martinez while on the journey to his first ultra marathon.
Greetings and salutations y’all! Where has the time gone?
Week 13 into the training program and so much to talk about. Unfortunately, not so much about training and more about the blessing of human resolve.
Let’s start by going back three weeks ago, after my last half marathon. I was feeling strong and super healthy. I was chompin’ at the bit to get on the trail. I headed out to a great little spot by my home to try my luck with the dry conditions. I won’t bore you with too much detail but I will say that I ended the day 4 miles into a 12 mile route due to a grade 2 ankle sprain, scrapes and bruises and a serious doubt as to whether my bigger goals were still capable of being achieved. After the initial tumble and roll (I was moving at a pretty fast clip on the descent) I picked myself up off of the dirt, looking around to see if anyone else had seen this train wreck, only to fall right back down. I worked my canoes off to get back down the valley to flag down a random car for a lift back to my truck. What a day!
Fast forward, I’m currently two weeks out from the Rattler Trail Run I planned to use as training race. While I’m doubting myself and trying to be realistic about what to expect I can honestly claim that I have done everything to try to heal up with plenty of rest and recovery. I can’t help but ask myself what this whole debacle will cost in terms of my performance. This has also been one of the more difficult mental challenges I’ve had to endure in my training. This is mostly because in my mind I felt strong but the body was off. I continued to ride indoors on the trainer, taping my ankle when testing outdoor runs, and generally surrounding myself with as much positivity as I could.
Needless to say it has been a tough month; however, I’m now back to running, biking and training at DriveTrain. While I’m still not anywhere close to where I was prior to the injury, I am thankful to be moving again.
To be honest, the positive part of the whole thing was the show of support that I received from my support team. Let’s face it, injuries happen to everyone, but in the face of this adversity I had tremendous encouragement from the team. I hope that others can find that same support to help change your outlook even in the face of struggle. How you choose to respond and reapply yourself when shit happens will surely define where you ultimately end up in your journey.
Regardless of whether I finish this race or not, the best thing for me in the long term is to just do my best with what my body is able to give right now. My focus is progress and to slowly build confidence.
Whatever you may be training for, do me a favor and the next time you are experiencing doubt, anxiety and adversity try to reflect on your own inner strength and think good vibes. The value of this practice cannot be understated. The scars are not just a reminder of the mishap but also that things aren’t always perfect and that despite the challenges that things can always be much worse. Embrace the journey. I’ll be damned if I'm not going to give it my all in these endeavors.
So while this update wasn’t so much one of a triumphant victory, I feel fortunate be given the opportunity to share the positive vibes that I am able to embrace as part of this training journey. The positive vibes I am confident will help carry me through the finish line. Stay tuned my friends!
February 26, 2019
A message from Ray Martinez while on the journey to his first ultra marathon.
So here we are guys. Embarking on week 8 into my training program. While I’m healthy and injury free, I’m starting to find it a little difficult recently to juggle work, family and training. Not to mention the so many other outdoor activities that I like to do (poor me lol). Having said that, I have always been a believer in the “you get out what you put in”.
This was by far my most productive month and, in turn, my most rewarding in years, even with the setbacks. I’ve had to decrease physical therapy to once a week, and coaching to strictly over the phone. It was a tough decision, especially since earlier in the month I had a weird pull in my shin/calf that shut me down for 4-5 days (running only). I kinda freaked out and maybe pouted a little bit, but my coach put me in my place and told me “don’t just sit back! Be an athlete!”. At first I was offended and then I was able to embrace it.
“There is so much more work to do.”
Now, to get back to the point. I knew I had a light week running and I knew I had to cut back on something so I made the decisions above and locked in with what mattered most which was to keep working on everything outside of running. That meant dialing in my nutrition, making sure I made my workouts at DriveTrain count and making recovery and rest a top priority. All super hard things for me. The way my mind thinks is “I’ve gotta get these miles in or....”
Simply put, that’s not working for me anymore. This last month I not only had to make an adjustment to my plan but my mindset. Tough things for an old guy set in his ways.
Fast forward to today. This month was awesome! 45-50 quality miles/week still put in, DriveTrain twice a week with cardio mixed in here and there (mostly bike trainer) with some good nutrition changes and wow! Results. As I said earlier, it was tough on my family time but I absolutely have the best support team ever and it paid off big this last weekend.
I had a 15 mile training day scheduled in my normal training plan so instead I decided to participate in a race on Saturday, just to make things more interesting. The Mardi Crawl Half. What a mistake that almost was. It snowed about 4-6 inches the night before and the temperature at start was around 25 degrees. I thought to myself, “what did you do!”
Nope, come race day I concentrated on my training and my form thanks to DriveTrain, and I pulled out a PR with 7th overall and 3rd in age group for a first ever podium. Needless to say I was jacked!
All the obstacles that came and went over the last 7 weeks has defined what happened this weekend. You get out what you put in.
I know I was all over the place today but if you take anything away from this jibber jabber, it’s this: stick by your plan!
Work happens, kids happen, LIFE happens. We’re just good everyday people trying to be better than we were yesterday, no need to beat ourselves up if we miss miles, or we have to cancel certain training items. Adapt and apply. Decide what’s most important to you and stick to it.
I promise, you’ll feel better at the end of the day and who knows, like me you just may conquer some goals in the process.
Till next time y’all,
February 10, 2019
Meet Ray martinez
DriveTrain Fitness is excited to announce its featured athlete, Ray Martinez.
DriveTrain Fitness will follow and support him on the journey to his first Ultra Marathon. Ray has incorporated the Lagree Method into his training routine and is already experiencing remarkable gains. Follow him on DriveTrain Fitness Instagram and for here on the website for a more in-depth overview.
A message from Ray….
Hello and welcome to DriveTrain Fitness!
My name is Ray Martinez and I have the honor of being invited to represent DriveTrain Fitness as one of their ambassador athletes. Wow! This comes to me as not only a shock but also such an amazing privilege as I further my health, lifestyle and future goals.
Just a brief background before I get into what DriveTrain is and will become for me in the months and years to come. I have always loved and had the desire to run. Only in the last 3 years have I embraced the competitive side of it (ridiculous move on my part as I don’t know how to stop pushing myself for medals and PR’s). Of course with competition, there comes drive to push yourself to the farthest it’s been every opportunity. It started with half marathons, both road and trail, then quickly moved to full marathon.
Always to pace in some of the most challenging I could find. My most recent being the Kauai Marathon and yes, don’t let the scenery fool you, it’s a monster challenge.
To be clear, let’s not sugar coat any of this. I knew and still understand that this is and wasn’t going to be an easy task. Especially with a loving wife, super energetic daughter and full time job...now, let’s enter current status. To me, it’s always family first. Time for family is precious as they are my world...so time for training when juggling life can be challenging. I am by no means an elite athlete but each I push myself each day as if it were. Hence, choosing how I train is massively important.
DriveTrain gives me a ton of flexibility to make sure that I am achieving my goals outside of just running or biking. Having a support system like my family is sooo incredibly important; therefore, how I spend my time training must be carefully calculated.
As I embark on this new journey of endurance running and tackle my first ultra marathon (the Never Summer 100k and the Rattler Trail 50K) this year, it’s without a doubt DriveTrain will continue to be a cornerstone of my training regimen.
Stay tuned, I invite you with me on this journey that incorporates a whole new lifestyle to balance health, family, training and most importantly....beer drinking.
Hey, I’m from Denver, you didn’t think I’d leave out the fact that the hardest part of training for any race in Colorado is drinking beer did you?! Till next time.