Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Training, week of 6-22-09

A day late to post, but whatever... Overall, this was a pretty good week. The mileage was reasonable, 73 miles, nothing crazy, but I felt that I had a lot of quality work. I started incorporating threshold work and did it 3 days this week.

Monday 6-22-09: 10 miles: As of Monday, this was the best I've felt on trails. I was sick of having so many super steep climbs and having to go so slow, so I found a trail that had a gradual climb of somewhere around 1500 feet and tempo'd it as hard as I could. There were 1 or 2 pretty nasty steep sections, but other than that, the whole climb was pretty gradual and was spaced out over 35 minutes or so of doable climb. I felt that I was pushing pretty close to my limit the whole way up without ever having to slow significantly to catch my breath, so it was a really solid climb. After 35 minutes or so, I took a turn onto some random steep looking downhill rather than continuing further back into a more treacherous section of trail. I soon realized that I was running down a banked downhill racing style mountain bike track with several big jumps in it. It was such a steep grade that I dropped down to an even lower point than where I had started within about 2 miles, so I flew down with probably less concern for my well being than I should've, pushing a pace that felt to be well under 5 minutes a mile. When I got off the trail, I found myself on the edge of a neighborhood that ended up being kind of windy, so I had to get through a lot of random back roads for another 2 miles or so before hitting the edge of campus and then running a mile back from the edge of campus to my car. Overall total, probably just about exactly 10 miles in just under 65 minutes. It doesn't sound like a terribly fast tempo run, but with the climb in the first 5 miles and last 3, it worked me pretty hard.

Tuesday 6-23-09: 9 miles: 1.5 mile warmup, 2 x 3 mile, 1.5 mile cooldown. I felt pretty good on Tuesday too and hit my first of many threshold training sessions for St George. I have ordered my Garmin Forerunner 305 so I can watch my heart rate, but I haven't gotten it yet, so I did these at pretty close to the prescribed pace of 5:40 or so. My 2 3 mile times were 16:57 and 16:56, very consistent. I'm supposed to be doing 3x3 mile, but the trainer that tested me for the cardiopoint said I should start carefully with 2 instead of 3. I did these on the 20, though I probably should've done them on the 19 since 3 minutes of rest was probably more time than I should've taken. Overall, I finished still feeling pretty good. When I hit 3x3 w/ 2 minutes rest this Wednesday the 1st, I feel like I should be feeling considerably worse by the end. :)

Wednesday 6-24-09: 9 miles: This was kind of a dumb run. I took the same start to the trail I had done on Monday but decided to offshoot partway up. After a couple minutes on the offshoot, the trail started to get muddy, then very muddy, and then it turned into a stream since all the rain over the past few weeks had flooded the stream next to it onto the trail. Being somewhat stubborn, I decided to follow it up and just ignore the facts that my shoes were getting submerged with every step and that bees were swarming around me. After quite awhile of running a fairly gradual uphill (a total climb probably a bit under 1000 feet since the very start of the run), the stream veered off and it became a trail again with 2 possible directions to follow. I randomly picked one and found that it gradually decayed into nothing after a few minutes. I headed back and picked the other direction and once again unfortunately found the same thing. Oddly enough, there was a tent and a bunch of camping equipment up the 2nd way but no-one around, so there must've been some alternative route, but I couldn't find it. I figured that there was no way that the people had walked up the stream to get there (I was absolutely caked in mud and completely soaked, so it seems unlikely other people would've hiked that with a crapload of chairs, a tent, etc), but no-one responded when I shouted to see if someone else was around, so I eventually just opted to take the stream back down. Going back down was a lot less fun and I rolled my ankle pretty badly on one of the rocks in it, so I was in a pretty sour mood by the time I got back on to the regular trail, but being able to hammer the crap out of the downhill all the way back to campus (even passing a few mountain bikers on the way down) made things better. Overall, 65 minutes or so, never running terribly slow since the uphill wasn't really that bad, about 9 miles.

Thursday 6-25-09: 8 miles: 1 mile warmup, 3x2 mile in 11:11, 11:14, 11:12, (on the 13 1/2 to 14, probably should've done on the 13, but whatever...) 1 mile cooldown. I didn't quite have enough time to get the workout I wanted (4x2 at 5:40/mile) since the gym with the indoor track closes pretty early, so I opted to just go slightly faster and cut one repeat out. Overall, this felt pretty good and I feel like I could've easily hit 1 more at this pace. 2 more would've been doable as well, but I would've likely been pretty wrecked and I don't like to push so hard on track workouts that my next day will significantly suffer, so I doubt I would've done more than 4 if I had had more time.

Friday 6-26-09: 8 miles: very easy run, out along fairly flat trails (well, flat for SLC, would still be considered pretty darn bad compared to trails I had trained on in baltimore), back along the road. I had decided to race a local 5k on Saturday, so I kept this run easy, going over 7 minutes a mile.

Saturday 6-27-09: 18 miles: AM: 1.5 mile warmup, 5k, 1.5 mile cooldown. I opted to run the Run for Youth 5k since it was a small event with a $2o entry fee, pretty decent t-shirts, and iPods for the winners. I showed up and found there to be less than 100 people running and I couldn't spot anyone that looked particularly fast other than local Provo runner Mary Ann Schauerhamer, who wins the women's division in pretty much everything. Mary Ann runs in the 17s, which is pretty darn solid at elevation, even for a man, but was doing a 5k double that morning and had just won the women's division of another 5k down the road with just enough time to jog over to this one, so she wasn't planning on killing this one too hard. Figuring that their would be little between me and an iPod, I ran at a comfortably fast, but not all out, pace and took the win in 17:04. There were no mile markers, so I have no idea what my splits were, but it felt pretty steady and I never felt like I was pushing myself very hard. At 6000' elevation, this corresponds to a 16:43 at sea level, so I guess I'm making improvements if that felt as easy as it did. I got my iPod + case + arm band and drove home, went immediately to the gym for my 6th day of lifting in a week, and then spent most of the day organizing crap in my new apartment before doing another 12 mile PM run. I didn't think to eat before my PM run, so I felt low on energy and pretty lousy in general. I did about half on trails and half on the road and just kept it slow, around 90 minutes total, avoiding steep hills as much as possible.

Sunday 6-28-09: 11 miles, tempo for most of it. This had a net downhill of probably 1000 feet or so since I finished at my PI's house, where I had to pick up my bike, which was still being stored in his garage. I did the first half out on the tamest trails possible looping around the university. After coming off the trails, I had a very steep downhill for a mile or so and then a more gradual downhill for a couple miles while cutting into and then over through downtown, before eventually heading partway back up towards campus and ending at Chuck's house, where I got to pick up my single speed mountain bike and bike 4 or 5 miles with a 1000 foot climb back to my apartment (NOT fun, by the way). Total time was just under 70. While it was a net downhill, there were still some significant climbs, so it probably wasn't a whole lot easier than a totally flat course (1000 net down is from about 2000 down cumulative and 1000 up cumulative, that 1000 up being enough to slow me down a bit). Overall, I could've gone faster some of the time, especially in the first half, but I worked pretty hard for the majority of the run.

Total: 73 miles, pretty solid week. The threshold days were good to have and I have to make sure I'm doing that twice a week most weeks until October, so I'm glad that the first couple days of them weren't completely body-destroyingly hard.

This week: Probably only one very serious track workout (Wednesday) since I have an important trail race on this Saturday, the 4th of July, the Afton 25k, back home in MN. I've wanted to run this race for about 2 years, so I decided that this was the year to do it. Ideally, I'd like to break 100 minutes on the fairly tough course. The first year, back 15 years ago, the winner was 85 minutes and a number of guys were right behind, also under 90 minutes, but since then only 5 or so people have broken 100 with no-one faster than 93, so I'm willing to bet that the first year was either too short, or at the very least, a significantly easier loop. Anyway, I'm hoping that I can become one of the few people on the short list of runners to have broken 100, but anything to keep up my streak of top 3 finishes (which is now at 5 straight races) would be nice. There are 300 or so runners registered right now plus another 150 to 200 in the 50k, so it'll be interesting to see what happens. A win over a fairly long distance on trails would make me pretty happy, so I'm hoping that that will be possible.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Training report

Week of 6/8/09:
Monday: 6
Tuesday: 8
Wednesday: rest, unintentionally, as i recall
Thursday: rest (in a car driving all day)
Friday: rest (in a car driving all day)
Saturday: 27 (light jogging plus Bear Lake)
Sunday: 10 (felt like I recovered from Bear Lake in an hour or 2 due to my lack of effort, so I did a fun 10 mile trail run in SLC)
Total: 52 (total waste of a week if not for having earned my St George spot)

Week of 6/15/09 (everything on very very tough trails at 5000' to 8000' elevation, so the mileage isn't quite indicative of the effort I put in):
Monday: 12
Tuesday: 13
Wednesday: 9
Thursday: 11
Friday: 12
Saturday: 0, had a phenomenal lift in the gym in the morning but had to spend the rest of the day moving furniture and other junk into my new apartment
Sunday: 14
Total: 71 (like I said, I felt that I got a ton out of this week of training. I'm starting to adapt to the low oxygen here and it felt a little easier everyday). Of note is that my Saturday-Friday 7-day total (the first 7 days in Utah) was 94 miles, quite a bit considering that it was raining everyday except Thursday (and that includes the marathon on Saturday...)

My mileages since Sunday are all estimates since you can't exactly mapmyrun a course in the mountains, but on all days other than Wednesday's 9-mile tempo (where 3 miles were on road), I'm estimating based on a very conservative 8+ minutes per mile. Back in Baltimore, it was extremely rare that anything would be slower than 6:45/mile, so estimating 8:30s for a few of the runs seems very conservative and I'm definitely not overestimating the mileage. Either way, the plan is to buy a Garmin GPS watch whenever I have time to get to a running store here in Salt Lake to make sure which one I want, so everything should be accurate very soon.

Also of note (and I don't have time to post on this thoroughly right now): I'm about to start on some very specific heart rate focused interval training to boost my lactate threshold. I did a VO2 max test 4 days before Bear Lake and found that my lactate threshold is only 78% of my VO2, while it should be baout 85%. I was told by the trainer that based on the pure science of my physiolgical testing if I do very specific interval training such as 3 x 3 mile at around 5:45/mile and other longer tempo runs (focusing on making sure that my HR is EXACTLY in the 175-179 range to benefit most), I should be able to significantly increase my lactate threshold extremely quickly, potentially getting down below 2:40 this year. In fact, if I just get my lactate threshold where it should be without even increasing my VO2 max, I should be able to run about a 2:35 and the trainer made it sound like it really shouldn't take much time to get to that 85% threshold if I train properly, so I'm pretty excited needless to say. I don't want to officially have a goal of 2:40 for the year since that seems so unbelievably fast, but not-so-secretly, that's probably what I'll be gunning to break at St George. I'm obviously a bit skeptical that it could be that easy to run sub 2:40 based on where I am right now, but the trainer said that for the last few marathoners he had worked with, he had been able to predict within a minute of what they ended up running based on similar tests, so he seemed to know his stuff. Anyway, I have been feeling for a little while that my marathon really ought to be faster than it is, so my 78% threshold at least physiologically explains it. I've sort of subconsciously known (and even mentioned to a few people) that I felt that I had the speed and endurance to run a much faster marathon, but I needed more longer tempos and very long interval type stuff to put the 2 together better, so this testing confirms what I somewhat knew before and now that I know it for sure, I'm going to actually train the right way. Even a small PR always makes me happy, but if I train right and avoid overtraining myself, I would say a 2:45 at St George (my official yearly goal) ought to be relatively easily achievable since the course is already so much easier than my PR course. A sub 2:40 would make me ecstatic since I've really come to consider 2:40 to be the mark of an elite in the past year or so. Granted, St George is a fast course, but anything with a 2:30 in front of it just sounds ridiculous. 2:37 puts you under 6:00/mile and that just honestly sounds absurdly fast. Getting a marathon down into the 5's per mile would be a dream come true and if I train right, I should be very close to that cutoff come October, so here's to heart rate training and painfully long intervals!

Oops, I've been lazy about blogging. First up, Bear Lake report

First things first: Bear Lake report:

Yeah, so Bear Lake was kind of funny... I realized pre-race that I had very little chance of winning since uber marathoner Chuck Engel was there (he runs a marathon about every weekend and most of them are in the 2:30s) Fortunately though, Chuck didn't want the spot in St George and the RD had said that it would go to the fastest person that wanted it, so I decided it would be rather unwise to try to run with Chuck, so I settled for 2nd before the race even begin. As it started, I immediately felt awful. I knew instantly why people complain about running at elevation; I just didn't feel that breathing was as easy at 6000 feet. I had originally thought the race was lower, like 4 or 5000, but 6000 was pretty nasty. The first half was outrageously boring (not a single spectator for the 106 person marathon) and I hit the split in 1:27. I hadn't worked all that hard in the first half, but I was very much doubting that I could run another 1:27. Mentally I wasn't really there, and I think having the mile marker signs backwards was a huge part of it for me. When you're getting to, say, mile 10.2, starting to feel it a little bit, and you see a sign saying "Only 16 miles left!", it's just really not cool. Near the beginning, it just sort of weighs you down I would say that it should help near the end, but by that point in a marathon, when you've already thought about how far you still have to go around 10 times in the last minute, the markers are irrelevant. Anyway, by the half, I decided to just be lazy until someone caught up with me, at which point I'd just run with him and conserve my energe enough to ditch him at the end, therefore doing the minimum work possible to achieve 2nd place. The point when the guy caught me came at mile 17 (well, mile 9-to-go! or so according their signs). I was feeling even crappier at that point, so I just straight up asked the guy if he was going for the St George spot and he said he had already gotten in via the lottery and he'd pass it down the line if he finished ahead of me, so I was just like "screw it, I don't even want to be here, I'm not going to run hard and keep up with you". I decided to just do the same thing until 4th place caught me since I now only needed 3rd for the spot. I got REALLY lazy, but there was a good gap and 4th place didn't catch me until mile 23 (3.2). At that point, I hadn't really been pushing at all for a good while, especially since my abs were hurting super badly from having done too many static ab exercises out of boredom during my 18 hour drive from MN to UT. However, at mile 23, I finally dropped the hammer enough to own the 4th place guy, gaining a minute back over him in the last 5k or so. I finished in a pathetic 3:12:08, but I hadn't wanted to run it anyway since I felt that I was getting past my seasonal peak, so I basically just did the absolute minimum necessary to get my spot in St George (which I did in fact get) and I got a really awesome 3rd place rock/plaque/trophy thing for my ?efforts?.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Training, week of 6-1-09

This week was a bit hit-or-miss for me. I intended to run 70-80 miles, but a few things came up that kept me to 52.

Monday: 7 miles: loop through older Mahtomedi residential area, around 5:50s

Tuesday: 10 miles: 3 mile warmup, 3 mile cooldown (both still reasonable pace, around 7/mile), 4x mile in 5:24, 5:21, 5:18, 5:19, done on the 8 minute, good anaerobic work to some extent, but not terribly hard

Wednesday: 14 miles: This was probably the best quality run of the week. I goofed around with a long loop in Kathryn Abbot like, then popped out on the exit near the road leading to Hilton Trail, went right on hilton trail, and left right before the highway to get to the gateway state trail at the entrance I don't usually take. There's a decent little 2 to 3 minute loop in someone's backyard near the entrance, so I may or may not have trespassed to run it before jumping back on the trail. This first bit was pretty easy, but I started to hammer it when I hit the trail. I took the trail past Stillwater Road and all the way to Jamaca, where I turned left. I ended up going way farther on Jamaca than I intended (usually I turn left at 80th, ie the dirt road, but I decided to explore a bit more today). I figured I'd have another good left turn, but I eventually realized that wasn't going to happen. I ended up going all the way to Dellwood Road or Avenue (whichever one crosses Jamaca, I can't keep them straight), going left, looping through on Ivy Avenue, doing the little cul-de-sac loop that runs off in the middle and taking a right back onto Jamaca since Ivy intersects both Dellwood and Jamaca (sort of just cuts the corner between the roads). By this point, I was getting pretty tired since I was still tempoing hard, but I was out later than I intended and Jamaca is pretty unsafe at night (lots of car accidents, don't even want to think what could happen when running), so I kept up the pace. I took a right on 80th, a left by St Andrews, right on Stillwater, left on Mahtomedi, and then back the usual way. In total, this was just under 14 miles on mapmyrun and I did it in 85 something, so I was somewhere around 6:10s for the whole thing, pretty fast, especially considering that the first 2 miles were probably around 6:30s. When I finished I felt pretty sore...

Thursday: 17 miles: I ran about 8 3/4 miles out to a house in Dellwood to meet a girl that had run on my cross country team in high school that I've been hanging out with while back home. She declined running super far with me, but instead road her bike along side me. The way back was a little shorter, more like 8 1/4, after which she road home the other way around WBL. I really didn't feel very good before/during/after this run since Tuesday probably slowed me slightly and Wednesday slowed me quite a bit. My left shin was really quite sore by the end, which had me a bit worried (it's getting better now, but I'm having to be really careful and stretching a lot). Total running time was around 1:50 for an average pace of roughly 6:30, though that has to be taken with a grain of salt since I took a 10-15 minute break when I got to her house (obviously stopped the clock) and a 2 or so minute break (also stopped the clock) halfway through the run home to hydrate and eat a gel since I wasn't quite feeling on top of my game. When I finished, my leg was super sore, so I decided at this point that I probably wasn't running on Friday, especially since I was debating the idea of doing a 5k on Saturday.

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 4 miles: mile-ish warmup, plus 5k in the horrible rain out at Finnegan's Get Lucky 5k Run (or crawl) which was held in conjunction with the World Beer Pong Championship and some concert at the CaBooze bar (basically a biker bar) in minneapolis. New PR, 16:34 as described in my last blog post.

Sunday: Rest. My leg was feeling close to fine and I wanted to run, but my dad had paid somethign crazy like $120 to get a fitness assessment for me (VO2 max test, body fat, and other things) on Monday and I was instructed not to exercise the day before. (unfortunately, the stupid thing had to be postponed a day since their equipment wasn't working right when I showed up on Monday, so I could've run. There was no chance that I was going to take 2 days off and end up with 4 miles over a span of 4 days so I ended up ignoring their instructions about not running the day before and running today, Monday, so hopefully that won't screw me over too badly for my testing tomorrow... haha....)

Total: 52. 48 was in 4 days, which is reasonably good, considering the pace at which I was running.

Next week: Bear Lake Marathon in Utah is on Saturday, so I did a 6 mile tempo today at a pace that I could've held for at least a few more miles (monday, will discuss in next week's post), have plans for a short/easy track workout tomorrow, an easy trail run on Wednesday, and I probably won't run on Thurs/Fri since I'll be driving out to Utah and arriving on Friday night just in time to get a bad night's sleep before the marathon. :)

I didn't want to run Bear Lake at all since I'm getting awfully sick of this "run really well for a week or 2 and then taper for yet another race" crap and I want to just do consistent high volume at this point, but I need it to get into St George, so whatever... After this, odds are extremely high that I won't race anything major until August, and really, I'm going to do my very best not to do anything that will put me out of training for more than a day or 2 in either of my August ultras so I can focus on my October marathon, so really the marathon is the one race that's really consuming my mind, not my summer ultras. That being said, I'm going to probably do a local 5k or 2 over the summer just to get my time under 16 minutes, but those don't really count as major races and they don't require more than a 1-day taper or any sort of recovery, so whatever.

One other thing added to the schedule: Helen Klein 50. This is run on Halloween this year and I'm very psyched to run this. Since I'm now planning on an early October marathon, I'll have 4 weeks between the 2, which would give me enough time for 2 major long runs on back to back weekends in October just to make sure I've got the ability to run fast for 50 miles. HK50 is completely on roads and it will be the first road ultra I've done since my loop-course ultramarathon debut and that 24 hour (that got cut at 60 miles due to rain) back in 2007, so I'm setting high, but reasonable expectations for this. I think it's possible to run it entirely under 8 minutes/mile (6:40:00), but to be conservative I'm setting my goal at 7 hours, still a good time for 50 miles on any course.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

New 5k PR: 16:34

So, I took a break from training yesterday to rest up for a 5k that I was considering running today: The Finnegan's Get Lucky 5k Run (or crawl), hosted in conjunction with the World Beer Pong Championship. I ended up staying out until 4 in the morning hanging out with some friends, but woke up today and decided around 1:30 PM that I would indeed run it despite the torrential downpour outside (the race was at 3:30). I got there around 2:30 and found out I was the first person there (no surprise due to the rain). I hung out in the biker bar that was hosting the event until about 3:20 and finally went out and jogged a mile or so just to see how miserable it was in the rain. It did indeed prove to be horribly miserable outside, so I decided that since there were only 100 people or so and the competition didn't look too tough, I would just go for a win and do whatever I needed to do to get it. When we lined up, a few faster looking guys that I hadn't seen lined up near me, so I figured I'd actually have to run well to get the W. When we took off, some other guy and I ended up taking off about side by side, neither of us wanting to let the other get ahead. We did the first mile in 5:14, which sounded a little fast, but really didn't feel that uncomfortable. At that point, we were still matching almost exactly stride for stride and I was feeling fairly confident, but somewhat worried, because I had no idea what this guy's background was. He didn't have a watch and asked me about the first mile, so we struck up a conversation for about 20 seconds and exchanged PRs (he was very slightly faster, but I had only done 1 in the last 2 years and hadn't worked very hard for my PR since I had an easy win in that race, so I felt I had an advantage). I felt that we slowed down slightly after conversing, though we still remained together. The course was an out and back and I crossed around the cone at the halfway point in 8:20, right before he did since I was on the inside. After going around the cone, he didn't quite catch back up to running beside me, but I could hear his feet splashing in all the puddles right behind me, so I knew he was close. I made a conscious effort not to push too hard in the 2nd mile, since I was worried that he might have a kick and didn't want him to be able to surge past me if I ran out of energy. I ended up doing it in 5:30, for a 10:44 2-mile. One other point to keep in mind was that there was a very tall bridge that we had to summit and descend in both mile 1 and 3, but mile 2 was flatter and easier, so it really was considerably easier than mile 1. When we got to the bridge again right after the beginning of mile 2, I dropped the hammer and that's when I knew the race was mine. He had been around 2 or 3 seconds back at the 2nd mile mark, but I edged it to something like 5 or 6 seconds on the uphill and burned the downhill as fast as I could to increase the lead as much as possible. Shortly after the downhill, while sustaining a faster pace, I noticed that I couldn't hear his steps anymore, so I just grinded it out at that pace to the finish and hit the last 1.1o7 miles in 5:50, good for 5:16/mile after mile 2. My total time was 16:34, just a hair under 5:20/mile on average. I finished feeling somewhat tired, but sure that I had room to run faster if I'd have needed to. My nearest competitor that had run with me for 2 miles finished, I believe, 23 seconds back, so my smart race tactics definitely helped. This drops 28 seconds off what I ran at the Fiesta 5k back a month or so ago and I'm sure that I have room to run plenty faster. The rain was pretty painful, the wind seemed to be whipping everywhere but never really helping, and the 2 major uphills definitely did not help my time. I claimed the win in my last 2 5ks (and the only 2 I've done recently), so I think what I'll need to do to run the fastest time possible is to run something on a totally flat course in good conditions where a number of people are definitely going to be faster than me and I will have to run my hardest the whole way. I'm glad that I got pushed somewhat today because I honestly probably would've settled for an 18 minute win if no-one had been close by me. I'm going to have to pick another 5k or 2 throughout the summer when I get to Utah and if I can find something fast and flat with good competition, I'm sure that sub-16 will not be a problem whatsoever. For now though, I'm happy to have dropped to a 16:34.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Week of 5-24-09

I decided to do a reasonable mileage push from Sunday through Saturday rather than Monday through Sunday, so that's how I'm going to count my 7-days of running last week.

Sunday 5-24-09: 35 miles, as described previously

Monday 5-25-09: 12 miles, nice recovery run at Afton state park, stuck to just the easy trails, not fast, but not as slow as I thought it would be, average per mile pace was somewhere in the range 7:00-7:10.

Tuesday 5-26-09: 8 miles, 3 miles tempo, 2 miles on track (wanted to do 3, but got kicked out after 2 due to some lacrosse game being played on the field), 3 miles cooldown home, track work consisted of 1600, 800, 800, (was supposed to be 16,8,8,16) with 3 and then 2 minutes rest. All laps were about 2 seconds slow because I had to run out to lane 6 and back to avoid a bunch of bags and a car (yes, a car) parked on the track in the final 100 meters of every loop. However, I still ran these pretty darn fast (5:06,2:26, 2:28), so they actually would've been around 4:58, 2:22, 2:24 without said obstructions. I had enough left to do one more mile at about the pace of the first mile, but that would've been about it since this was a pretty fast workout.

Wednesday 5-27-09: 10 miles, around 6/mile, picking up the pace for 1 mile in the middle along a hilly dirt road @5:41 (an old mile repeat course that I ran in high school), whole run consisted of a big Kathryn Abbot loop, the OHA loop, warner to stillwater road, that to jamaca, jamaca to the dirt road (whose name I can't remember), some fooling around on backroads in old-school mahtomedi, and eventually back home through KA park, overall, pace felt a little more strenuous than I wanted it to, legs were slightly beat up

Thursday 5-28-09: 22 miles: Loop through kathryn abbot park, to the gateway state trail, all the way to the end, a tiny extra loop in pine point park at the end, back along the trail, through KA park again. This run was very miserable... Mentally I wasn't there, it was really hot and humid, and I felt really low on energy and only had Sport Beans with me, which I realized are just sugar more than anything, so they're not at all good for long-term energy for endurance type stuff. I started off reasonably well, doing the first half in about 7 minutes a mile like I wanted to run the whole thing in, but I was so exhausted that I walked a couple miles near the end, rounding it out to just a hair under 8 minutes a mile when all was said and done.

Friday 5-29-09: 9 miles: Tempo, around 5:50s, through KA park, around OHA elementary trail, through old-school Mahtomedi, and back up along White Bear Lake.

Saturday 5-30-09: 21 miles: Long run in Afton, about 7 minutes a mile average. Started out on the toughest trails, going really fast for that long of a run, under 6:30s, but backed it off significantly at around the halfway point, opting to just have some fun in the 2nd half with a pace around 7:30s for an average of 7s or so. Sport Beans once again proved to do nothing more than give me a sugary burst, but I had hammer gel for backup and that worked well for me. I forgot to bring water and it was quite hot, so I was only able to get water at a couple points in the run and I felt relatively dehydrated, but not terribly bad.

Weekly total: 117 miles. Surprisingly, this felt really good. Thursday's run was a bit of a flop, but other than that, I felt reasonably good all week and managed to recover from Sunday's marathon extremely fast while still averaging 10 miles/day over the next 3 days. My legs aren't sore whatsoever, and that's an extremely good sign. I did a push for 111 miles in 7 days in late May 2008 since I realized I wasn't in very good shape and had to do a big ultra soon after, and it absolutely beat the living crap out of my feet and legs, basically crippling me for a few days afterwards. The fact that I can do 117 miles in 7 days right now in late May 2009 and still feel great afterwards, (especially with day 1 being a marathon PR plus extra mileage and the next few days being somewhat of recovery) means that my endurance is getting a lot better and my legs are way stronger.

Sunday 5-31-09: Rest. I didn't necessarily need a day off, but I felt that I had no reason to go out and do heavy mileage. I have to race one more marathon in the near future (Bear Lake Marathon, 2 weeks from now) to get my spot in the St George Marathon this October and I have to win the stupid thing to get my spot, so this is a pretty important race and I have to make sure that I don't jeapardize my ability to perform at 100%.

Week of 6-1-09 plans: Reasonably big, but nothing like last week. I'll have 1 speed workout, 2 if I'm feeling REALLY good.

The 3-month summer season officially starts today on my eTRaXC.com training log. In both summer 2007 and winter 2008-2009 (december through february), my 2 heaviest base sessions, I came very close to running 1000 miles in 3 months (breaking 980 in summer 07 and being something close to that in winter 08-09), but didn't quite do it. This June-August, my goal is to easily exceed that number. In fact, if I want to run my fall marathon exceptionally well, I think 1100 miles would be a good number to shoot for. Ideally, I want to be pegging 90+ per week, but more consistently and without much off time since I won't be racing much. At this point, my racing plans are just Bear Lake in 2 weeks and Cascade Crest 100 at the end of August, probably also running the Mt Disappointment 50 (an extremely tough 50 miler in SoCal) in early August as a warmup for CC100. My goal with Bear Lake is to win without any specific time goals. Last year's winner was 3:07 and they have fewer registered runners for this year's, so I'm hoping to be able to win without setting my training back. The course is easy, but almost nobody does it, so there isn't much competition. Cascade Crest is something that I'm somewhat regretting at this point because it probably won't benefit my Fall marathon that much, which is my entire focus right now, but at least it will force me to have an extremely high amount of base mileage, which will itself help significantly for the marathon.