As many of you may know there is currently a 60 Days of Hustle happening. Folks are getting daily accountability and traveling with me along my journey across Tennessee. You can still join me as well. Just visit the 60 Days of Hustle page on this website. It ONLY costs $8!!! So, I will be going live on Tuesday morning to give an update and answer any questions the group might have. That happens in the private Facebook group you’ll be directed to once you JOIN. Just read everything on the 60 Days of Hustle page, which will only take a little over 3 minutes. I timed it and I actually made a small edit in that time too. There’s a podcast episode if you’d like to listen to that. It’s 8:30 and the last 90 seconds is just reflective music, so, you could go to www.jonhoward.co/60daysofhustle and take in all the information in just a little over three minutes of your time, a little over 11:30 if you count the podcast. Then, make your decision on whether or not you want to join the 60 Days of Hustle. Ok, enough about all that. Let’s get to the #GVRAT1000K UPDATE!
July 1 in the am
Hannah and I walked around down by Lake Minnetonka in Wayzata, MN for a bit while Elli had cross country practice. These miles count towards a finish and they do add up, one step at a time.
The gumball picture came from a pin image I created for the other business I own with my wife.
July 1 in the afternoon
I picked my route as I ran and stumbled upon this nice little 8.5 mile loop. I'll use this run again to maybe buy myself a day off. The flies were thick. I ran without a shirt for a bit and quickly put it back on. This is hopefully the last time this summer I forget to bring a bandana with me on the trail.
July 2 in the afternoon
This picture I took as I was preparing to leave the house. It takes me far too long to leave the house but with the heat I want to make sure I don't forget anything. It's a bit like the old "measure once, cut twice" saying. When it's this hot and humid outside and you're 4.5 miles from the car it's not pleasant at the least and potentially quite dangerous if you don't have what you need. Lot's of salt and a little water.
This run I left with what I thought would be 15 miles worth of fuel. I probably could have made it that far but would use what I learned about that particular fueling combination later in the week.
July 3 in the evening
After running the past couple days in the heat and humidity it was quite refreshing to run in the cool of the night. We had a small family party we attended, then I came home and did a short run. It was still steamy, but much cooler than mid afternoon to be sure.
July 4 in the heat of the afternoon
On the Saturday around the 4th of July each year there is a trail race held here in Minnesota called Afton Trail Run. There is a 50k option and a 25k option. It's always a great weekend and it's one of the few true local ultramarathons in the Twin Cities area. This year due to COVID19 concerns Afton was cancelled.
After eating far too much food at a feeding that lasted around two hours and resulted in that feeling you get when you've eaten way too much food I went for a run.
As I recovered from eating I mapped out what the rest of my afternoon would look like. I mentioned earlier in the week I thought I had enough fuel for 15 miles and stopped at 9. Today, having had that dry run a couple days prior, I planned a bit differently. I figured I'd have a steady drip of cake, pie and cookies to run on and loaded up some electrolytes. I brought two bottles. One had about 3x sweat mixture and the other one was about one full sweat. I had concentration options and I also had my hydration pack full to the top with cool water.
I am happy with the pace and it actually felt like I was moving slower than I was. I was just starting to really settle in to the pain when I arrived back at my car, drove home and said goodnight to my family.
July 5 in the afternoon
I'm just trying to settle in and get the minimum for a few days here.
July 6 in the afternoon
Running starts to feel a bit like it's a part of you, a part of your job. Every step, whether running or not, has value and legs "feel" all the time. Most everything becomes about moving forward. I'm excited as I continue on this journey. I'm excited to see how deep can I go? What will I learn about myself this time? Will I have the honor of impacting others in a positive way? Don't know. Just. Keep. Moving.
A 100 Mile Week is No Joke!
As an ultra – endurance athlete I’ve been through some tough moments on the trail. One of the things that keeps me going is one word… HUSTLE!
All this means to me is grind, go, keep moving, make progress, one more step, keep going, don’t stop, endure, m.o.v.e. Through July and August, I’m heading into the back end of some of the most consistent training I think I’ve ever done and I’ve been at this game for over a decade. Read more about the 60 Days of Hustle HERE.
This is really about the how the last four days have gone in my training, and I’ll probably talk a bit more about 60 Days of Hustle too since that has been a big part of my life the last four days.
On Saturday I threw around this idea that I was going to run a 100-mile week. This idea was and is inspired by Chris Swenke who recently did back to back 100-mile weeks. It was also inspired because I’m running a virtual race across Tennessee and I’m behind the buzzards, by quite a bit. Call it a kick in the pants. Now, if you know some of the people that I know, this isn’t crazy talk. This is the world I live in. As of Tuesday evening, I’m not sure a 100-mile week is going to happen and I’m okay with that. I’ll hustle in other ways.
The race was my primary motivation to put in some miles and Chris provided a nice challenge to do that. Thanks Chris! It might need to wait until later this summer but it is now a challenge that has been felt out. It was a spur challenge and that brings us to Saturday evening.
Saturday seems like a long time ago. A lot has happened since then. Saturday afternoon I went on my first run of the day. It was actually during my first run that the question was raised whether or not I was willing to put in the effort to complete the Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee. As I finished my run, I still didn’t know what I was going to do but I had a pretty good idea I would go for it!
*Check out my Strava to see my run
While I was out on my run Saturday night, I got a text about going for a bike ride on Sunday morning with a friend of mine, Eric. We logged 16+ miles before most folks were out of bed. Then it was Father’s Day activities and I hit the trail again, after all, I was after a 100-mile week! I hit the trail and got a call I needed to return to my vehicle with the keys. This run was feeling awesome but I headed back and I took it as a sign to call it a day and spend some time with my family.
When I left the trail on Sunday night, I was feeling good. Monday it didn’t take much time to warm up and I set it on cruise. As I was leaving home, I asked how many I should do and Elli said, “10”. I didn’t know what I would do but once I started running, I decided to do the big loop! Conditions were perfect and I lost track of time and space. It got hard at about 13 miles and turned into short intervals but was to the car before I knew it.
By the time I finished my run Monday I knew what I was going to do for 60 Days of Hustle. Now all I need are folks to jump on and go through it with me. While I didn’t have much time or energy Monday night, I was up Tuesday early to schedule a Facebook ad and keep things moving.
In a nutshell, you JOIN THE 60 DAYS OF HUSTLE for $8 for two months and get fed content on Facebook that will help YOU get clear on your vision, block your time into rhythm, take meaningful action, nourish your body in many ways and move every day. I don’t know about you but that’s not what’s been showing up in my feed.
Tuesday (today) I put in 3 miles, felt good, but called it a day. Kids activities are now back in pretty much full swing and big miles require big planning. I’m not there right now but like I mentioned earlier, now I know what I’m dealing with and there will be a week before the 60 Days of Hustle is through that I’ll get my hundo. Keep the pressure on your goals and join me in the 60 Days of Hustle!
Learn a bit more about the 60 Days of Hustle on today's episode. Apologies now for the inconsistent audio quality. A couple of bits I recorded while my family was still asleep so my voice is pretty quiet. Say Vision, Block/Rhythm, Action, Nourish, Energize five times fast before you decide if this 60 Days of Hustle is right for you.
Early June Weekend Interval Run Block
Today was one of the most fun runs I’ve had in a long time.
Let’s set this run up first, then I’ll get into some thoughts from the trail and the excitement that ensued. Since the beginning of May I’ve been running the Great Virtual Run Across Tennessee. It’s 1000k between May 1 and September 31 which averages out to be about five miles a day. I’ll probably write about that once GVRAT1000k is behind me.
Two weeks ago, I went on a trip the boundary waters in Northern Minnesota with my Dad. We made a pretty good push back to a favorite spot of ours about seven miles deep, paddling and portaging all the way. We came out a few days later to Minneapolis on fire and it’s been a whirlwind ever since.
These trips take more out of me now as I age and look to stay injury free in rhythm with training and life so I gave myself a week to just let my body heal and recover.
That brings us to today, well almost. Yesterday I got back in the saddle and started making my way (virtually) across Tennessee again. I felt pretty good and pretty much just shook the rust off for 5.8 miles. Today I was looking forward to adding to the mileage and I was hoping for my daily five a maybe a couple more. As I pulled up to the parking lot, the park was a very busy place. I skipped over a few lots until I found one tucked right into the center of the park and got a spot in the shade.
As I was leaving my vehicle with a bottle full of Nuun I grabbed an s cap and popped it as the air was pretty heavy and I figured I’d be sweating quite a bit.
In running there is a balance that is important to strike between being hydrated and having enough electrolytes to help prevent cramping during running. I’ve been on both ends of the spectrum having too much water and not enough electrolytes and also having too much electrolytes and not much water.
When you have too much water, in my experience, it’s not good. Our bodies need electrolytes to keep all the muscles working. The electrolytes help send signals through nerves. If we don’t have those electrical connections or if they’re insufficient to cope with the demand placed on the system, muscles cramp and movement becomes quite labored.
I’ve also been on the end of the spectrum where I’ve got too much electrolyte in relation to water. When this happens, I feel nauseous and fatigued. It’s almost as though the body is overloaded as the s cap capsule breaks open and all of the electrolyte spreads to the body.
From experience, one experience in particular, I know this is temporary and a really good place to be. I can’t remember if it was 2018 or 2019 as I was coming into County Road 6. The sun was getting low in the sky and I was traversing the bluff about to drop down to the aid station. It was a mystical setting at dusk 42 miles into a 100-mile effort and night was approaching.
Hours prior I had gotten behind on electrolytes and started cramping so I probably overdid the s caps in hopes I would be able to keep moving. I felt lethargic and tired. All of a sudden everything changed and I crushed the night!
Back to today. I thought I recognized the feeling I was dealing with and looked forward to the next hour or so, even though I was feeling like crap and barely moving at the time. As I got back to the south side of the park things started firing. The combination of rest from running, shaking things out the day before and overshooting the electrolyte balance all contributed to some REALLY fun speed intervals.
The moral of this story is, listen to your body. It will tell you everything you need to know if you listen with intention and the willingness to learn. Today was one of the most fun runs I’ve had in a long time.
Today was another really fun day on the trail. It started much the same as yesterday and turned into more of yesterday. The intervals started off approaching anaerobic threshold and by the last of 5 or 6, were crossing nearly into zone 5. I wasn’t going faster than yesterday but I was reaching a higher heart rate than yesterday. How could that be? Cardiac drift is what some call it.
Usually the term cardiac drift is used to describe heart rate over the course of one effort. In this case I’m using it to describe over three efforts. Friday was nearly 6 miles, Saturday a clean 10 and Sunday 6 again. I would be able to complete these efforts without much drift if I was cruising at steady state intensity. As I added intervals, my heart (a muscle) is having to work harder. If I were to add many more days in a row of interval intensity it could be detrimental to my health. Recovery is an activity and that’s what I’ll focus on Monday, maybe even Tuesday. The intervals sure are fun though!
If you haven't picked it up yet, I've got a neat little booklet I put together for you called Cardio Efficiency Programming. The stuff in there can be applied immediately. Grab yours today... It might just change your running forever!
Until I surrendered to God's plan in my life and accepted his power over my abuse of alcohol, there was always a path back to the bottle. The devil is cunning and the devil is the default. He's so powerful, in fact, that the only power greater is the power of God. The battle for your soul is waged every day and without the power of God on your side, the devil will win every time. God's Grace is Sufficient for Me.
Not many folks know me as a baseball coach anymore. Coaching was a big part of my life at one time and I accumulated a lot of knowledge around the game of baseball. So, I'm creating some simple, short coaching videos sharing what I know.
While I'm not going to be putting kids through drills and spending time in the development, I'm sharing some good things for kids to know, especially as they learn the game. These are things that I learned over many years and hours spent coaching and experimenting with an eye for coaching.
Click the button below to go to the Youtube playlist where I'm creating a library of baseball lessons. I hope you're able to take much away from this teaching. If you have questions, email me at email@example.com and I'll do my best to answer. Enjoy!
As I laid in bed this morning before the sun came up, I felt the bed tremble. I didn’t know what was going on but, let’s be honest, it could have been an earthquake here in Minnesota the way things have been going. Thankfully, it wasn’t.
As I came to, I realized it was my wife, who’s been a teacher of first graders and kindergarteners for almost 20 years. She was crying as the thought of not being able to close out the year the way she had imagined became very real. This story plays out across schools all across our nation and all around the world.
We have all been grinding to try and figure out what this means for us and life as we knew it just a week ago. Everything has changed. I personally think we’ll come out better for it on the other side but “normal” will be a bit different. It’s out of these challenging times we grow. This morning, it wasn’t that the grinding was over. Far from it. Everything is new.
Just the other day the Governor of Minnesota laid out all the things that need to be figured out now that schools are closing. There’s food, childcare, emotional and behavioral support and much more. Hearts ache caring for these kids daily since September and not knowing what their daily will look like for the foreseeable future. The most structured and steady thing in our lives is closing until further notice. Nobody knows what to do.
This isn’t about that though. This is about our teachers. I see it every day, have for the last almost 20 years and will continue to through this challenging time. I’ve got a front row seat and offer support whenever, wherever I can. One thing you can be assured of is that our teachers and administrators are working around the clock to find solutions. They’re not taking an extended spring break. They’re meeting, organizing and trying to figure out how they are going to keep your kids on track for next year.
My wife amazes me every day and it seems when things seem most uncertain, she digs in, leads with integrity and grace and makes those around her better. The truth is, she’s not the only one. Our teachers are our most valuable assets and it’s unfortunate it takes global pandemic to see and truly appreciate all they do.
Before the sun came up this beautiful spring morning the bed shook and courageous emotions prevailed. My wife got out of bed, got ready for the day and headed to the front lines to organize what she thinks her students will need to learn at home for maybe the rest of the school year.
Our education system will come out of this better for it and I am so proud of my Queen. Teachers, I acknowledge you for what you do every single day and appreciate your efforts during this time. You are doing enough. Live today with relentless courage!
Today's episode I talk with Mark Johnson, owner of Performance Run Gym!
Here's a list of things that we talked about in this episode. If you haven't checked out Performance Running yet, you should!
www.performancerungym.com - Contact owner Mark Johnson right from the site.
Interview with Mark Johnson - Why PRG then, what's the current state, what is the vision?
Purpose of back to back runs? How often in a training plan and how far out from a big event?
What's the purpose and timing of a lifting session heading into recovery?
What should we be doing at this point in the season if we're training for an early season/mid season/late season 100 around strength training and how does our strength training fit into our overall plan?
PRG pricing, packages, options and upcoming programs.
Follow the link to listen on ITunes!
Don’t get too attached to the legality of your plans.
How often do we write a plan and it works no matter what happens?
The answer is never. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea to make plans. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make our plans intending for them to work perfectly every time. It just means we need to be real in our expectations during our planning.
Real life doesn’t happen in planning. Real life happens when things get dirty. Real life happens when ideas move and become action.
When we take action, we learn. We learn about the plan and the process. If we are set on sticking to the plan we created, we risk killing the creativity of the process.
I try and use lessons from the trail and my experience doing ultramarathons to help others. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that the best laid plans can fall apart in an instant.
The cool thing is that when they do, there is usually a path to success that becomes visible. If we don’t take off the blinders once we leave planning though, we can miss out on the path to success.
This idea applies across the board. Maybe it’s weight loss, starting a business, marketing, ultramarathoning, parenting and the list goes on and on.
Planning is important. Agility and the ability to pivot based on the reality of what we see is also important. It might even be more important. Don’t get too attached to the legality of your plans.
Share your thoughts with a comment below.