Recap: XTERRA West Championships - Las Vegas

Well after a looong road trip, I'm happy to say I'm back in beautiful (and WINTERY!?) Boulder. This past weekend I competed at the XTERRA West Championships over 21 kilometers. It was held at the scenic Lake Las Vegas resort. Having never been to Las Vegas before, Molly and I decided to make a road trip out of it. We visited many scenic and touristy spots both en route and on the way back, but that'd be an entirely different entry. So without further ado...

-Arrival-

Arrived @ Lake Las Vegas Resort

After much driving, we made it to Las Vegas around Noon on Saturday and immediately headed to the XTERRA venue. That Saturday, they were holding the Triathlon portion of the weekend's racing events. On my way towards packet pick up I stopped by the PowerBar tent. There I spoke to Richard Burgunder, a PowerBar rep that I had met the previous week at XTERRA Cheyenne Mountain. He gave me some helpful information about the course, as I wasn't going to be able to see much of it prior to racing. Next, I went over to look at the course map for myself. Despite it being relatively straight forward, I struggled to envision where the monster hills would be on it. I had been told that there would be some long climbs throughout and more so in the last 2-3 miles. Afterwards I headed to the car to change and see how much of the course I could get on.

Many of the triathletes were still competing, thus I made sure not to get in their way as I got in a cheeky view of the course. I ran 3 miles out and 3 miles back, added a few strides and called it a day. My impression from what little I saw told me it was going to be a hot & exposed race. There was virtually zero cover on the course. I figured hydration would be paramount for this race, perhaps more than any other one in my career.

Partial Panorama

We finally headed to our hotel, where I took a quick dip in the pool to losen up my legs. The rest of the afternoon & evening consisted of me lounging in the hotel room and hydrating. If you've ever run a race you deem important, you know the day and hours beforehand can be some of the longest and most laborious moments ever. I wasn't feeling nervous, instead I was quite anxious and eager to get the show going. I had no clue who I would face the next day and still had limited knowledge about the course. XTERRA races challenge you with their diverse terrains, locations and distances. Factor in the reality that XTERRA is quickly becoming a destination for mountain/ultra runners as well as track/road speedsters like myself, and you can easily see why XTERRA is quickly becoming a favorite battle ground for many.

-Race Morning-

BreakFAST of Champions

I woke up, for the one millionth time in my life, without the need of an alarm. Apparently I channel my inner Kramer (Seinfeld reference) before important events, because my body just knows! Rising at 6:15AM, I quickly jumped in the shower, gathered my kit and headed out the door. Breakfast consisted of a PowerBar Cookies n Cream ProteinPlus bar. Leaving the hotel at 7:15 meant I'd arrive with about an hour before the 8:30 start time.

Once we arrived, I gave my bag to Molly and headed out for a slow jog over the course. It wasn't even 8AM and the temperature had already soared above 65F. I was immediately thankful that I had hydrated well in advance. Jogging the first 2K of the course (which was all uphill) I started to visualize the race and formulate a series of race plans. I think it's always great to come into any race with a solid plan, while also being open and flexible to several different outcomes and scenarios.

Not knowing who I'd face, I decided to focus on myself, the course and my specific strengths vs weaknesses. I certainly didn't want to risk blowing up in the heat or over the big hills. Also despite being in Las Vegas, I didn't want to "gamble" on having the infamous "second wind" come to my rescue as it did the previous week in at XTERRA Cheyenne Mountain. Once back, I did a few strides, stretches, grabbed more fluids and started changing into my racing kit. GO TIME was now a little over 15 minutes away.

"Business Suit"

It's during this window (at least for me) that you start becoming an award winning psychologist as you start dissecting each and every possible competitor you see from head to toe. "Those are flashy shoes, I wonder if he's fast?", "That's a pretty sweet race kit, I wonder if he's legit or just posing". "Oh he's pretty tall/short, I think that could hurt/aid him on the downhills/uphills", etc.. etc.. the list goes on and on. 

No sooner are you in one thought before another random one pops in. Nerves or not, it happens to many of us right before a race. Heading towards the start, I saw a runner I hadn't seen at all before. He was suave & speedy looking. I wasn't sure if he'd just stepped out of a Runners World cover shoot, or if he'd just spent the last 2 months in some remote location prepping just for this race. Regardless, I was excited by the prospect/challenge and decided to keep an eye on him.

-Canon Blast-

My fellow competitors and I were sent off with the loud bang of a cannon. Despite the prior warning, it still caught me off guard and I was a bit slow off the line. "No worries", I thought, as we had 21 kilometers to sort out the places. Well someone apparently didn't tell that to Mr. Suave, as he bolted off the line as if he'd been the one shot out of the cannon! My GPS said I was running the 1st half mile at a 5:20/mile clip, and he already had 30+ seconds on me. I knew with the first 2+ kilometers being uphill, that the pace wouldn't be sustainable. I wisely backed off and told myself to be patient. He'd either go ahead and set a World's Best for a trail/off-road 21K or eventually pay the price and commit seppuku for foolishly going out like a sprinter (let it be noted that I'm in no way making fun of Mr. Suave as a person. He was a great guy & we hung out and spoke at length after the race. He also agreed that his tactics had been a bit poor).

Cannon Blast! 

I felt well within myself and decided to just hold my pace and not panic. This wasn't 100% easy, as I'm still new to XTERRA racing, where it seems most people start very fast in order to establish their position in the occasional narrow trails. Heading into the first mile, which consisted of a mix of rocky trail and loose sand, I realize I had the 1st place woman right behind me. While unnerving, I decided to bide my time. I had originally planned to make it a race of two halves. The first 10K or so I would run within myself and not risk blowing up. I would make sure not to spot the leader(s) too much ground, while hopefully marshelling my resources. The second 10K I would then either race to catch the leader(s) or push to establish my lead.

Neither of these scenarios would come into play. To my surprise and I must admit amusement, I came around a corner as we climbed even more within the 1st mile and saw our early and fearless leader. He had slowed down drastically! I immediately thought that he was either being coy and waiting for the pack, or he'd come down with a savage case of rigor mortis. Sadly for our brave front runner, it was the latter. Of course I didn't know this at the time, so I hesitantly passed him while towing the other runners along. I hadn't envisioned leading so early and wanted to make sure that I wasn't going to be a sacrificial lamb. We were still climbing while facing a stiff head wind, so I made sure to REALLY run within myself. For races this long, it's my opinion that no race is won int he first couple of miles but instead, many races are can foolishly be lost during the early stages.

For the next half mile to mile (yup, still uphill) I snuck as many -not so subtle- peeks behind me to see what was going on. I felt light, powerful and springy running up the hills, but didn't want to risk going too soon or letting the rush of leading the race cloud my judgement. Around the 2.25 - 2.50 mile mark I snuck one more peek behind me to see (A) had my lead grown & (B) what had happened to our early leader? It was around this point that I hit the first of many serious climbs. A climb that would reward me with a beautiful panoramic view of the resort, which I would've been able to enjoy had my heart not been trying to jump out of its home!

Along the desert(ed) course

That 2-3 minute climb, which unbeknownst to me, I would face in the latter stages of the race reminded me how quickly things can go from "cruisy" to "ouchy!". Fortunately for me, I was having a good day and I had learned the lessons taught by professor XTERRA Cheyenne Mountain the week before. I was better rested for this race, as well as more battle tested.

My lead continued to grow with each passing aid station, where I would occasionally steal a look back. Never before had I hydrated so much during a race. I think I drank once or twice last year at the XTERRA World Championships and have routinely done 20 mile runs in Boulder sans water. Still I wanted to be smart and cover all my bases. The last thing I wanted, was to have the wheels fall off with 5K to go, give up my lead and hitchhike back to the start.

Around the 12K and later 16K mark, the course wound and looped in such a way that both myself and 2nd place could clearly see each other. We were about as close as 50 meters or so, only we had a body of water and a few hundred meters of actual trail between us. These were the only times during the race where I had any idea as to the extent of my lead.

With the victory seemingly secured, I allowed myself to BRIEFLY envision coming down the chute and breaking the tape. This thought was quickly interrupted when a race marshal instructed me to climb a hill so shockingly steep and long, that I was convinced it had been placed there in the last minute as a prop. I quickly fired back, "No, no, I'm on my way to finish the 21K", while pointing at my bib. I had hoped that he had mistaken me for the 5K or 10K participants. Surely the XTERRA Gods wouldn't reward nearly 21 Kilometers of running by placing a diabolically steep hill this late in the race, and so steep that it required crampons, right?

Heading into another climb

Well our exchange quickly ended as I realized not only was he right, but this was THE hill that I had been told about. I had somehow either forgotten it or just assumed that I had already crested it earlier and simply not been bothered by it...wrong! As I started to climb I had one last thought, "I hope EVERYONE has to do this, not just me!". Why anyone else would get a free pass is beyond me, but such was the clouded judgement that accompanied 21 Kilometers of hilly and desert trails. Climbing the hill I focused on form and taking small but powerful steps. As if the hill's incline wasn't bad enough, there was a considerable amount of sand on it. This made the footing quite challenging and I focused on moving forward without smacking my face on the hill itself - yes, it was that steep! My GPS had that portion at approximately 25% grade.

I eventually made it to the top, which was a welcome sight as I couldn't see the top of it from the bottom. I snuck my last look back to see how much ground I had donated to 2nd place. Fortunately I still had a healthy lead, although I couldn't figure out if it was 1 minute or several. The last 2 miles or so was all flat and downhill. This allowed me to regain any ground I had lost on the mammoth climb, and I started hitting a pace of 4:30 - 5:00/mile all the way to the finish.

Victory + Course Record!

I could hear the announcer revving up the crowd for my arrival from as far out as a quarter mile. I decided to run hard and fast through the chute despite having an insurmountable lead. This would pay off, as I later found out that I had broken the previous course record by about 4 or 5 seconds, which was merely an extra bonus. I had come in to the race hoping for a win or at least top 3 (aka "Podium"). I wasn't aware of any course records. I feel I could've pushed harder if I had needed to, but was pleased to have a great experience and once again collect some much needed XTERRA Off-Road racing experience. This will all help later on this year if I do end up competing at the World Championships.

After crossing the line, I happily posed for a few pictures, answered a few questions and was greeted by Molly, who seemed even happier than I was about the victory. I changed into my Point6 compression socks and some dry gear and headed off for a bit of a cool down. Afterwards I hung out at the PowerBar booth, did a few Q&A with the other finishers and got ready for the award ceremony.

Atop the podium

For now, I'm back in Boulder and eagerly awaiting for Spring to arrive. It seems winter hasn't gotten the memo that we're almost a month into Spring! Next up, I'll possibly do a local trail half marathon in early May. After that, I'll head to Alabama for the XTERRA Southeast Championships. There I'll race the 20K and very much look forward to another positive learning experience.

Lastly I'd like to thank ALL of my sponsors for their support. Especially: RecoFiT, Plantiva and PowerBar's Richard Burgunder, who all outfitted me with the last minute essentials I needed before my competition. I'd also like to thank the XTERRA crew for putting on a great weekend of racing, both in Triathlon & Trail Running.

Thanks for stopping by & enjoy the gallery below. Till next time...

Recap: XTERRA Cheyenne Mountain

G'day & thanks for stopping by. If you read my previous entry, you'll know I was in the middle of a exhausting training week as I headed into XTerra Cheyenne Mountain. 

Despite my best attempts at getting a good night's sleep, I experienced what I'm sure many athletes go through the night before a race....sleeplessness! I didn't panic though as I've read numerous studies on the subject. The general consensus being that it's not the night before a race that matters most, but instead two nights before. That being said, one shouldn't sign up for a rave the night before an important race. So off little sleep, I awoke at 4:50 AM, quickly showered, gathered my kit, and with my lovely fiancee at my side, drove down to Colorado Springs. 

We arrived at Cheyenne Mountain State Park a few tics after 7AM and just in time for the sun to rise. This gave me just under an hour to get ready for the race. Race director Victoria Seahorn had generously comped my entry and arranged everything for me. I sought out a gentleman name Jessie, gathered my stuff and I was on my way. My first impression of the venue was, "This is going to be challenging!".

Still feeling a bit sleepy and definitely sore, I took off for my warm up. The course was well marked and I jogged the first 2 kilometers of it without the need of a map. This proved helpful, as in my opinion the first mile of a race is very important. I'd like to think that no race is ever won in the first mile, but many are or can be lost there. This being an XTerra Trail race, I knew positioning would be key, as often these races can quickly bottleneck and thus make it tough to pass people. I learned this lesson at the World Championships last December in Hawaii. That being said, I knew that the deathly combination of elevation (higher than Boulder) and uphill start, could be a cruel teacher to anyone who failed to respect them. 

Pre-race goofball

8AM and the gun goes off. As with ANY road/trail race, there's always someone or a few people who go off as if they were racing to the bathroom! I positioned myself in about 5th or 7th for the first half mile and focused on staying relaxed. My body was more alert now than an hour earlier, but I was still feeling a bit sluggish. Luckily my hip wasn't bothering me as much as it had been the previous days. The day before the race I had visited good friend & acupuncturist Toby Marchand for some much needed cupping and needling. 

About 1 kilometer in and there was still a large pack around me. I decided to stay calm and relaxed as we continued climbing. There would be a quick break from the climbing right around the 1 mile mark, where they would also have an aid station. I decided to reevaluate my positioning at that point. Fortunately by the time we reached the 1st mile (6:10 split for me) I started feeling great. At this point I was in 4th or 5th position, with everyone within 5-10 seconds of each other. I always like maintaining contact, but sometimes in these trail races, it seems it's best to spot the guy(s) in front of you some space as there is constantly a tight turn or a rock/branch etc around the next turn.

During the next kilometer, I kept looking ahead and down, ahead and down, seemingly giving my neck more of a workout than my lungs and legs. Approaching the 3 kilometer mark, I abandoned my conservative race plan and made a rookie mistake. STILL going uphill (tough way to make a hard move) I leap frogged 1st and 2nd place and darted into the lead. Instead of just settling in there, I pressed on and on, I was full of running and the relatively slow pace had become a bore. Within a matter of seconds I had broken clear of the other runners and had such a big lead, that I couldn't hear anyone's breathing or stomping. It felt great to be free and alone on this beautiful trail. Little did I know that I would soon regret that move.

Along the course

3K - 5K was a glorious run, I was full of life, at peace with my thoughts and the world was my oyster. I even allowed myself to start daydreaming about Las Vegas the following weekend...THEN reality came knocking at my door, or more like a tank came crashing through my door. 5.5K - 8K was a death march. It's amazing how even after all these years of racing, you can make such a rookie mistake. That's also the beauty of running, it doesn't matter if you're a hobby jogger or an Olympic medalist, if you don't respect the distance/elements/terrain/competition etc, you will all pay just the same. The mountain doesn't care about your credentials or resume. It's there to challenge you and challenge it did!

In a matter of seconds I went from a speedy trail Cheetah, to a rocking chair. At elevation, when you die, you die HARD. It only took a couple of minutes for the others to smell blood and close the gap. Bit by bit and around every turn I would steal glances behind me to see how much ground I was losing. I was also engaging in a pity party as I marched myself to the gallows. My breathing became labored and my quads and lower back tighter and tighter. I quickly started going through a mental checklist as to how I could've been so naive. In the end,  this was my own doing and I had to snap out of my one man show of self-destruction and refocus on the race. 

I was passed one by one, until I had gone from 1st place to 6th! I was passed by people I had never seen beforehand. I briefly wondered how this could be happening, as I expected to be overtaken by a clown juggling chainsaws or something. Eventually I got the much loved, mystified and talked about: "The Second Wind", and boy was it glorious. Little by little I started regaining life and resumed what I'd actually call running. 

I had now about 3 Kilometers to go and 1st place was still out of sight. Without panicking, I started picking up the pace while repeating to myself, "If you're hurting, they're hurting..." I also gained confidence in the fact (at least I told myself) that there wasn't a single person ahead of me that had worked as hard as I had the week leading into this race, therefor I could carry my badge of fatigue well and use it as a strength rather than weakness. 

It didn't take long before I saw my first victim. I was now the one doing the hunting, instead of the other way around. Checking back at the splits on my GPS, I managed to split a 3 min kilometer in between the 9th  and 10th kilometer. This brought me back into the lead with about 2K to go. It also brought me dangerously close to redlining again. I knew that if I died this time, I would't be making a comeback, in fact I'd probably have to establish residency up on the mountain, as I doubt I'd have the legs to ever get back down.  

Luckily this wasn't the case and I told myself over and over "2K, just 2K, you can hold on from here". My reward for a valiant effort was a rolling last few kilometers, without any major climbs. This allowed me to really tap into my track background and extend my lead all the way to the finish, which was a welcomed sight!

Finish Line

At the finish line, I was embraced by my fiancee and race volunteers. I felt surprisingly strong despite the mid-race catastrophe and was therefor pleased that I had taken up the Cheyenne Mountain challenge. I believe it served its purpose in giving me a tough challenge, some much needed trail running experience and lastly, allowed me to practice racing and tactics that as I've mentioned before, can't be duplicated in practice. 

Boulder based PowerBar Reps

I also had the pleasure of meeting a couple of the PowerBar reps who were also in town from Boulder. They hooked me up with the much desired Performance Energy Blends that I've been wanting to try for some time. They worked a charm and I'll look to get some more before Vegas or at least when I get there. 

I did a couple of interviews before embarking on a cool down as well as cheering on other finishes. The first interview being with Justin Felisko of the 'Colorado Springs Gazette' & 'OutThere.com' and the second with Tim of 'Pikes Peak Sports'.  My body was feeling quite sore from the effort and the manner in which I had thrown myself down those hills in order to recapture the lead. I attended the award ceremony and thanked the race volunteers before jumping back in the car for the long trek north to Boulder. 

1st Place man & woman @ XTerra Cheyenne Mountain 12K

Up next is XTerra West Championships in Las Vegas on Sunday. Looking forward to another challenge and another chance to hone my trail running skills. I'll be taking this week a bit easier in order to recover and make sure I'm a bit fresher for the longer distance of 21 Kilometers. I'm certainly glad it won't be at elevation.

Cheers for reading, til next time...

Spring Into Racing

G'day! Its been a few weeks since my last posting, so I figured now would be a good time to provide both an update and a look at what's ahead. 

Road Work

The week after my last entry consisted of some manic weather, which is quite typical of early spring in Colorado. The week of March 17th, I managed 3 workouts and my highest mileage (110 mile) of 2013. The workouts were 5 x 2 minute hill repeats at Mount Sanitas on one day and 2 x 4 mile tempo on the roads a few days later.

The week came to a close with a blizzard, which sent me to the dreaded treadmill. The final workout of that week was a shorter tempo of 5 miles. It closed out a weekend with 34 miles over two days on the treadmill. Needless to say, my hips weren't terribly pleased. C'mon SPRING, get it together!

"Spring" in Boulder

The following week, I decided to take it easy as I was feeling a bit tired. I've always liked the quote, "It's better to be 10 miles undertrained, than 1 mile overtrained". So with that in mind, I just logged easy aerobic miles all last week. 

Core buster w/ heavy rope

I also spent much of that week at Rally Sport, my local gym. There I swam between 1 and 2 miles per visit on top of my typical core/weight routine. I always enjoy heading to Rally. Their staff is very knowledgable and my fellow gym-goers are inspiring, from world class triathletes, runners and cyclist, to a new mom who's looking to get back in shape. 

So now that we're up to date, what's up next, you ask? I'll be racing back to back weekends. First up is XTERRA Cheyenne Mountain in nearby Colorado Springs, where I'll compete over 12 Kilometers. I'm looking forward to it, but also anticipating a very challenging course. It'll serve as a shock to the system and a reintroduction to racing. Workouts are great, but racing is an art in it of itself that can't be duplicated in training. 

The following week, I'll make the trek to Las Vegas for the XTERRA West Championships, where I'll compete over 21 Kilometers. I'm still quite a novice on the trail (RACING) scene. In anticipation, I asked a mate of mine: Joseph Gray, an XTERRA World Champion as well as a 4-time NACAC Mt. Running winner for some advice. On racing trails, this is what he had to say, "Depends on your strengths. If uphill running is your strength then plowing downhill will thwart your potential to use your strong climbing. Your legs get beat up from the impact and that will slow your climbing if you aren't used to it. It's a gamble, you have to decide whether to run mediocre on the ups and downs or run extremely well on one and not so great on the other. A lot of it depends on who you are racing as well..."

2012 Xterra Trail World Champ @ Kualoa Ranch. Oahu, Hawaii

This week has been purposely top heavy. The goal of Monday-Wednesday being to exhaust and overload my legs both on the hilly trails and in the weight room. Monday morning I ran a hilly trail 10K. In the afternoon I incorporated the usual 10 x 10 second hills into my 2nd run. Tuesday I ran a 2 x 4 mile tempo on the roads again. That evening I went to Rally where I purposely added an extra set to each weighted rep I did. This left my already tired legs, comically exhausted (picture the Tin Man doing a "Harlem Shake"). Yesterday I duplicated Monday's training and added a 2 kilomete swim in the afternoon at Rally. 

So this brings us to today (Thursday). I've accomplished the 1st part of my mission this week. I've exhausted my legs over roads, trails & the gym. I'll now take Thursday & Friday really easy and allow the body to recover some. I'm purposely heading into this weekend a bit over worked and tired. I hope to get a great blow out and some much needed trail running experience before next weekend's Championship race. Only time will tell if my plan over the past 2 weeks will pay off. Needless to say, I'm enjoying the journey and newfound challenges. 

Lastly, a big thanks to my nutritional sponsor, PowerBar, for keeping me upright. Don't know where I'd be without their Cookies n Cream Caramel Crisp Recovery Bar. I literally have a "Recovery" drawer filled with their stuff! Can't get enough of it! 

Cheers for reading, till next time...


A Day In The Life of Roberto Mandje

Posted 03/14/2013 via - RecoFit Compression

G’day and thanks for stopping by.  My name is Roberto Mandje and I’m an Olympian distance runner.  I’m originally from Spain but have made Boulder my home for the past eight years.  This is my first of hopefully many blog postings so I figured I’d take you, dear reader, through one of my training days.

A typical day (in this case, Monday) starts around 8 a.m., at which point my lovely fiancée has turned into a DJ and remixed her alarm enough times to warrant a Grammy nomination.  Exiting the comforts of my warm bed, I usually look out the window and at my iphone’s weather app to determine how much complaining and groaning is justified before the day’s training ensues.  I’ll normally head straight to the living room and have a small breakfast while catching up on emails, BBC World Radio’s live feed and, of course, social media. After breakfast, I finally take off my RecoFit full-leg sleeves (in which I sleep most nights, and especially after hard training days) and — depending on the weather — jump into my Ninja outfit – aka tights, beanie, gloves, etc.  and I’m out the door by 9 a.m.

Mondays are my easier days, and I’ll head out for eight to 10 miles.  I’ll usually do this via the Boulder Creek Path, as it’s nice and flat.  In the winter, it also provides the best footing.  I’ll break up that run with a short stop by the steep, short hill that leads to the University of Colorado football stadium, where the Bolder Boulder 10k finishes each Memorial Day.  I’ll run anywhere from 10-15 repeats at 95% effort, taking my sweet time walking back down.  (For more on the benefits of these type of hill sprints, read this article, written by my former coach click here )

 Feet up between training sessions

Feet up between training sessions

Afterwards, I return home to grab a PowerBar and then shower.  I’ve been known to hop in the shower with food in my hand!  Most days, I’ll then plop down on the couch for an hour or two and recover.  This is also when I’ll catch up with my family overseas via Skype, write emails and maybe do some coding and programming, all while sporting my white RecoFit calf sleeves.  I reserve them for lounging around the house to keep them looking nice!

Around 1 p.m., I head to the RallySport Gym to minimize any and all weaknesses.  A typical gym session lasts from 45 minutes to two hours.  On Mondays and Thursdays I’ll work on core and upper body with some weights; Tuesdays and Fridays are hard running/workout/sessions when I’ll work on core and lower-body weights (squats, lunges, etc.).  Sometimes I’ll swim or spin after a gym session.

I’ll stagger back home around 3 p.m. and — wait for it — plop down on the couch.  During the dead of winter, from which we’re now emerging, I know I won’t have much daylight to muck around with, so after only 60 to 90 minutes of “down” time, I start my final run of the day.  Now it’s time for my black RecoFit calf sleeves!  These are my favorites for trail running, asthey don’t show the ridiculous amount of mud I end up painting my calves with.  If the trail isn’t overly covered in snow and mud, I’ll normally head out for eight to 10 miles via Wonderland Lake Trail, crossing Lee Hill Road (passing by Casa de RecoFit, aka owner Susan’s home),  and run to Boulder Valley Ranch’s Eagle Trail.  From my home it’s all uphill until the turn-around – and then all downhill back!

After racing the sunset home like some sort of reverse vampire, my training day is officially over by 5:30 p.m.  I often just sit on the floor, zone out, go over a mental checklist of the day’s training, take stock of any aches/soreness/niggles and think about what’s on my social agenda for the evening, and ponder the next day’s tough running session.

Being a Barcelona boy, I’ve always enjoyed eating a late dinner and watching some Futbol.  Just before bed I’ll review scores from La Liga, write more emails and get to bed by 11 p.m.  I’ll once again pull on my full-legged RecoFit sleeves and officially close the book on another day of training.

Cheers for following along on my typical day!  Until next time – Roberto