Hey everyone! I am working to get some consistency going with the podcast. My plan for now is week 1 and 3 will cover some running topic, week 2 will be an update on my training and anything that comes in from you all, and week 4 will summarize a book and give my opinion on it.

So this is week two of November so how is training going?

Well, I’ve started planning 2021, at least the first quarter. I recently bought a monthly planner binder to use as my weight loss, fitness, running planner and tracker for next year. I wrote a short blog about it and have a youtube video showing how I plan to use it. You can check those out at https://runsonespresso.com/who-is-ready-for-2021/ and youtube at https://youtu.be/ANzFdD3MN6Q. I’ll link in the show notes. 

So for 2021, I decided, finally, for real, to try for an ultra. A 50k.

Yikes. I may be a bit crazy. You can call me full on crazy when I actually complete a 50k. So the 50k is on March 6th at my 3rd home. It happens that March 6th is exactly 18 weeks from last week. I would have done it at my 2nd home but that is a 52k in January. Not quite enough time. Maybe a goal for 2022. Maybe.

I digress a bit but I promise it was for a reason!

My training. I kind of started 50k training this past week. I say kind of because it was a weird week for me and I didn’t feel like training. I was super tired. The doggo decided for three days in a row that 3 am is the time EVERYONE needs to get up. She’s kind of a jerk. So, my usual laziness kicked in. I became a shit quitter (if you don’t know what I’m talking about check out Episode 2 Shit Quitter and Episode 4 The Brave Athlete.

Monday. I honestly thought I’d run after work. I always have high hope that I’ll workout after work. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t. I decided to try taking the bus to work which was my downfall. Yes, everyone was wearing masks but the bus didn’t have any seats blocked off and I tried to distance but it was difficult. My anxiety was through the roof. No more bus for me. Oh, and my favorite mask ended up smelling like smoke so I had to use disposable masks at work all day. Why do you ask? Because a lady was smoking at the bus stop. I was about 20 feet from her but I could still smell it and apparently it got into the fabric and filter in my mask. My asthma and allergies make me super sensitive to cigarette smoke. So that was fun. Especially since I haven’t been near smokers for like 9 months now. 

And so I was tired and stressed when I got home. Yes, I should have went out but my dog was so happy to see me. She isn’t used to being home all day and I felt guilty about going out without her. And she can be frustrating to run with so I knew taking her wasn’t ideal. Excuses, excuses. At least I admit it.

On Tuesday I did one day of weights, which was day 3 from the week before. I ran once this week and that was on Tuesday as well. Since I lifted during my lunch hour, I forced myself out the door after work. I was scheduled for 45 minutes and I told myself to do a slow 30. Well, I ended at like 44 and a half minutes because I was at 3.5 miles and I like certain numbers for my distance. Yes. I am a tad OCD about numbers. This is why I am not a huge fan of training plans with times. I usually end up going over the time to make it a mileage number that works for me.

In fact, I might look for a different 18 week plan that has mileages because time is so hard for me to deal with.

Wednesday I finally slept through the night. Mostly. But was still dead tired when I got up. So I said I’d go at lunch. Then I didn’t. Then I said I’d go after work. Then I decided I wanted to get takeout and ate pizza and a pizookie instead. Sometimes it be like that.

Which brings us to Thursday. I was optimistic and put out my running clothes Wednesday. But I didn’t feel like going in the morning. So I said, I’ll lift at lunch then run after work. But my shoulder has been acting up and I decided not to lift so I’d run at lunch. Then it was like 97 degrees at lunch time. Yuck. OK, maybe after work. Nope. Didn’t want to. 

And finally, Friday. I just said fuck it. I thought maybe I’d go in the morning but I didn’t. And again it was 90 degrees at lunch. I knew I wouldn’t go after work because I had a trail half marathon Saturday morning. 

So the half marathon. I woke up Saturday morning feeling slightly off but chalked it up to needing coffee. I had my coffee and then some oatmeal. I was sweating in the house and it wasn’t hot in the house. I started getting ready for my run. I still felt off but I knew I needed to get out for the half. By the time I walked out the door, I was sweating profusely. I started out at a pretty slow run, even for me. At about the half-mile mark I was sweating but cold and I couldn’t run anymore. I kept trying. I’d stop for a few seconds, run a few steps, and repeat. Eventually, I gave up on running and just started walking home. 

I DNF’d the half marathon. 

I don’t know what is wrong with me. I think my body is trying to fight something. I feel like shit and feel even shittier that I didn’t do the half I committed to. But that’s life, huh? There’s been plenty of in-person races I’ve had to miss because my body just doesn’t cooperate. It still sucks when it happens.

Since I’m recording this Saturday, you won’t know what I did on Sunday. The plan is to clean the house. But there may be an easy hike. I’m not sure yet. Or I might take another day off because my body needs it. 

So I mentioned early in the podcast that I started an 18k training plan and wasn’t happy with it. Well, I spent some time looking around the internet this week and it seems almost ALL ultra plans do it by time instead of miles. I found a couple that do the long run in miles and weekday as minutes. Which is a bit more acceptable to me. I need the long runs in miles because I am slow. Especially when on trails.

Like a 10 mile trail run is similar to my road half time which is like 2.5 hours. So if your plan tops out at 4 hours that’s less than 20 miles for me where for other people it’s like 22 or 24. It makes a difference. I want to make sure I’m reaching the right long run to finish a 50k and not cutting myself short. 

But after this morning’s performance or lack there of, do I really think I can do an ultra? I can’t even do a half. Last weekend I couldn’t even do my planned 12 miles. Do I keep trying? Do I switch to the 16 week plan I have? Or do I just jump back into it next week when I hopefully feel better? Like why do I think I can do 50k when I’ve never run more than 20 miles? And it’s been a few years. I haven’t run more than 13 since I broke my leg last summer. Maybe I need to stop thinking about an ultra and stick to shorter distances.

So, I guess I will be reviewing my plan for this week and adjusting the ultra plan. It’s still early in the plan so maybe there is still hope.

Let me know, how is your training going? What are you training for? Or are you just running to stay in shape waiting for races to return? You can leave me a voice message at anchor.fm/runsonespresso, a comment on the show notes at runsonespresso.com/runs-on-podcasts, or instagram.com/runs_on_espresso.

And now for coffee corner. Last week was a bit rough with the US election. As of this recording I just saw a notice on my phone that Biden has just won. I distracted myself with podcasts and tv shows. And then I decided I wanted to check out a book from the library. I flipped through my ebook wishlists items that were currently available and settled on The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James. Oh my god. I don’t want to put it down! Hopefully I will be able to finish it after this recording. 

I don’t know what made me settle one The Sun Down Motel, it just popped out at my in my wish list and I’m so glad I did. When I went to Goodreads to mark it as reading, I noticed it had an average rating of 4 stars. So it seems like a good choice.

I would describe it as a ghost story with a side of mystery. 

In 2017, Carly decides she wants to find out what happened to her aunt Viv who disappeared in 1982 from the Sun Down Motel. So she heads to Fell, New York to find more information. The story actually goes back and forth between Viv’s 1982 point of view and Carly’s 2017 voice and storyline. I’ve read other books that do this switching between characters and time periods. Most work ok but in my opinion, this book does it better than any others. And you start to see connections between 1982 and 2017. I’m a little over a third of the way in and all I can do is think about the plot and how does it all connect and how do we solve it? I just want to sit down and finish it today! But I’ve got some other stuff I need to get done before I can get to it. It’s taking a lot for me not to toss all my responsibility and just read for the rest of the day.

It’s not unusual for me to do that. I’ve done it before. Many, many times. So you never know, I might just go do that when I’m done here. Especially since I don’t feel 100%. 

Ugh, ok. Now I need to wrap this up. But I think you should all go check out The Sun Down Motel. I think it’s going to be a great book. I hope the ending lives up to the rest of the story. I will have to see what other books Simone St James has written, especially if this book has a great ending. I love finding new writers!

Until next week, may your runs be as strong as your coffee.

Categories: Podcast


Jenna Volden has a degree in business and has spent the last 10 plus years working for others. She believes it is time to start her own photography and writing business. She enjoys running, coffee and helping others achieve their goals. Gluten-free foods are a lifestyle, not a choice, for her due to celiac disease. She is currently based in Phoenix, Arizona.