Sunday, July 5, 2009

Week of 6-29-09 training report: what started as garbage ended well

To sum up the week, Monday and Tuesday were absolutely terrible, Wednesday could've been good, but it was raining and I felt lazy, so it was mediocre, and Thursday through Sunday were spectacular.

Oh, and one other thing, I ended up not racing this weekend, primarily because I didn't even go home. My flight home got canceled a few hours before I was supposed to leave on Thursday and United was being retarded and offered me only an EARLIER flight that I couldn't make in time. I really was starting to change my mind about racing and going home in general (not to mention that moving in here in Utah has cost me a TON of money and I could use the $350 back from my flight), so I decided not to argue with them and just took the refund money for my flight.

Anyway, here's the scoop on the week:

Monday 6-29-09: 6 miles: Went to the indoor track for repeats and nothing felt right. I cut it way short and did 1.5 warmup, 2xmile, 2x800, 1.5 cooldown. Not only did I feel like crap, but I had accidentally packed basketball shorts, which are NOT fun to run fast in. My splits were WAY off normal (5:38,5:36, 2:34,2:33). I don't know why I felt so out of it, but my energy levels were just way off.

Tuesday 6-30-09: 12 miles: Downtown SLC loop from campus, all on roads for what may be the first time ever here. I did the first 9 or 10 all right, not much above 6/mile. However over the last 2-3 miles just felt like crap going back uphill from downtown to campus and I basically slowed down to a crawl. I went from 10 miles in maybe 63 or 64 to 12 miles in somewhere around 83 minutes. That's how bad I felt at the end. I didn't have water and I was dehydrated since I had eaten a salty Arby's Roast Beef sandwich right before hand, not to mention that this was after a pretty brutal day in the gym, which included the typical creatine monohydrate and NO Explode, both of which dehydrate me. Needless to say, I am carrying water on pretty much anything over 8 miles or so now.

Wednesday 7-1-09: 6 miles: Rainy, felt lazy, did a 6 mile pseudo tempo run on roads in 37 or 38 minutes.

Thursday 7-2-09: 12 miles: Now this is the type of crap I like. I did a 3x3 mile workout sandwiched by 1.5 mile warmups and cooldowns on the indoor track. I had previous done 3x2 and 2x3, but hadn't upped the ante to 3x3 yet. Now I know why this is considered a good lactate threshold workout. By the end of interval 3, my legs were BURNING. I still don't have my HR monitor/GPS watch (though it's supposed to be here in the mail tomorrow), so I did it by pace and feel, which seemed to work out all right. Before I say anythign else, I should note that when I do these type of workouts, I consider 3 miles to be 4800 meters. In actuality, it's like 4817 meters or something, but people usually compete the 1600 rather than the 1609 and I don't feel like figuring out where 47 meters is on a non-marked indoor track. :) The first interval was a pretty easy 17:05 (5:41.67/mile). I rested until the 20 minute mark (ie, about 3 minutes of rest) and took off for number 2. Since number 1 was pretty easy, I did number 2 a hair faster in 16:56(5:38.67/mile). I once again started after about 3 minutes of rest (this time on the 40 minute mark) and I knew going into #3 that it was the loop that was going to separate the men from the boys. The first mile or so was ok, mile 2 started to feel pretty ugly and I wasn't sure if I could hold on, and mile 3 just felt like an all-out war of attrition. I remember my comment afterwards being that around 2 miles in, I felt as though someone was beating me with a ton of bricks with every step. How I managed to hold onto pace is beyond me, but I finished #3 in 17:04, (5:41.33/mile and 1 second faster than #1). If you altitude correct these, it'd be about 6 seconds faster/mile, so had I been doing these at sea level at an equal level of effort, I would've been averaging around 5:35/mile for 9 miles with pretty minimal rest, which is a pretty beastly workout for me. My legs were definitely hurting afterwards and I was feeling pretty drained, so I walked my bike back most of the 3 miles home rather than riding it. haha...

Friday 7-3-09: 20 miles: Sometime on Friday during the day, I decided that it would be wise to do a fairly strenuous mileage push over the weekend since I have some big ultras coming up and haven't had all that much along the lines of super high quality long runs and back-to-back efforts since maybe April. I decided that I should do at least a minimum of 100 KM over the weekend (~62 miles), so I decided to do 20+/day for each of the 3 days. Friday was actually my shortest of the 3, but it had a very hardcore climb in the beginning of the run (over 2000' feet within 4 or 5 miles, starting a few miles in) and that kind of set the tone for the rest of the run: very hard work despite the technical trails and relatively high heat. I ended up running from my apartment through a bit of a misguided way up to one of the highest local peaks, running along ridgeline for awhile, and then tracing my steps back almost identically. Total time was 2:45 and I felt that I was pushing myself REALLY hard for this run, probably about 8:00/mile, having taken a 2-3 minute break at the top of the highest peak to just soak in the scenery, so the total was about 20 miles. Total elevation was somewhere near 4000'. Man it's going to be nice to have a Garmin so I don't have to guess on these long trail runs.

Saturday 7-4-09: 24 miles: After spending the morning buying furniture, I went out for a 3 hour and 9 minute run that I pushed even harder on than I had the previous day. The total climb was similar to the previous day, around 4000', but it was more spaced out rather than having half of it within 20% of the run, so I was able to push myself pretty hard. A small section (20-30 minutes) was on roads so I could get home before it got dark out, and I took a detour on the first part to get a spectacular and painful 1500' climb in (though this was a longer more gradual climb than the previous days that was pushed out over a number of miles), so it was roughly out and back, but not totally. The final hour of the run was actually the fastest part I'm pretty sure and I felt like I was really pushing hard near the end. I was definitely under 8:00/mile on average since I took zero breaks and only walked for 5-10 seconds at a time here and there to drink water and on one super poorly maintained section of trail that lasted a couple minutes. Overall, I figured definitely under 8/mile, total of 24 or so in 3:09.

Sunday 7-5-09: 24 miles: Similar to Saturday's run, just minus the 1500' climb, having maybe 500' in its place, and out slightly farther along the Bonneville Shoreline trail, so the total climb was 1000' less, but the total distance was about the same. I did this one in the middle of the day in pretty bad heat (mid to high 80s), so it was somewhat painful. I ended up running out of of my 2 .5 L bottles of water within an hour and a half and having to cut back to a neighborhood and going down the street until I saw someone outside that I could ask for a refill. I drained one of those instantly and drained the other one right about the time I was passing the U of U, where fortunately, I was able to get more water in both from a fountain outside. I ended up draining another 1 1/2 of those in the last 30 minutes since I was so dehydrated (my urine was somewhere between dark yellow and orange, which is never a good sign). All in all, I definitely took this run a little bit slower, despite having only 3000' of climb rather than 4000', but I can just blame that on the lack of planning with water since my legs still felt pretty good despite coming into the day with 2 long runs in the previous 2 days. Overall, I was very glad to be done with the run, but I guess that it was only because my stomach was starting to get messed up from repeated underhydration and binge hydration to make up for it. Once you enter that cycle, it's never much fun to keep running, so I'll just have to be careful to stay on top of hydration in my August ultras, 1 or both of which could end up being pretty hot. Total time, 3:17.

Overall: 104 miles, but 68 of that was in a 48 hour span from Friday through Sunday. Despite a piss-poor first 3 days, this was one of my better weeks I've had in awhile. Not only did I do a phenomenal lactate-threshold elevating interval workout, but I hit back to back to back long runs and did 9 hours and 11 minutes of running over the weekend, hopefully a hair more than the amount of time I'll have to spend running at Mt Disappointment. I think in that 50, due to the extremely tough conditions, I'll probably have an official goal of 10 hours, but if the course is a little over-hyped (which I have the feeling it it is based on the overall description, trail descriptions, elevation profile, etc, given online, which mostly match or fall short of my new training rounds here in the trails in SLC), I think somewhere around 9 hours might be possible.

Next week: I'm leaving to crew for Badwater on Saturday, which should be an interesting experience. :) I definitely need a lactate trainer in here, probably another 3x3. My mileage will definitely be lower than this week, but I'll probably try to get at least 1 reasonably long 20-ish or so miler in before I leave.

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