Sunday, June 5, 2011

Training "for real"

I'm a few weeks late starting to post my weekly training updates. I haven't had any problems with the running, but I've had a few pretty busy weeks with grad school and other stuff, not to mention a nasty throat and stomach virus that took me out for about a week, so it took me a couple extra weeks to get back into things. I had a couple more non-serious-3-runs-a-week-25-mile-weeks, and then decided to get serious last week.

Knowing how dumb I can occasionally/always be, I decided it would be a great idea to run a 60km trail run off of absolutely no training, so that's how I started my training back. Since last July, my longest run has been 14 or 15 miles, so 37.2 wouldn't be bad, right?

Well, I started the week of Monday the 23rd by not running on Monday or Tuesday. On Wednesday, I did a nice run of about 90 minutes on trails that were way too steep for me to run at even a remotely respectable cadence, so it ended up being around 8 miles with Mark Lehmkuhle. On Thursday, I did a quick 5 miles with Holly (the 5 1/2 month puppy), her first run with me, and Mark. Holly did pretty well and actually pushed the pace until the last mile, when she started to get tired. I took Friday off running and drove up to Pocatello for the Pocatello "50k+", officially 36.2 miles, but the last 2 sections were even slightly longer still, so it was about 37.2. hah...

I had no intentions of running fast at Pocatello and didn't even commit to the race until something like 16 hours before it started, so after arriving at 10 PM the night before and sleeping in my car, I woke up, almost missed the start, and took off, immediately falling into a slow hike up the first climb of 2500' in 5 miles. Throughout the whole day, I wasted around 3 hours in aid stations, I walked every single uphill, and barely jogged the downhills and some of the flats (I still walked some). After having to go a fair amount off the course for a bathroom break at one of the aid stations, I'm officially giving myself 38 miles for the day. Those 38 miles, however, took around 11 hours, 4 hours slower than a 50 mile race that I completed despite breaking my foot, so it's not really anything to be proud of. haha... That being said, the course had 8000' of climb in 38 miles and roughly 75% of the course was either mud, snow, or a stream, so I'd imagine this effort would've correlated to a roughly 8 hour performance on a more standard road type course, to give it a little perspective. Still slow, but not mind-blowingly awful to the most extreme degree.

In any case, my serious lack of testicular fortitude on the course in terms of pushing myself led me to fully recover in under 24 hours, so after taking Sunday-Wednesday off to "play it safe" (ie, get a few more lazy days before really starting to hit the training), I started up training "for real".

After a ridiculously lopsided 51 mile last week, I ran Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday this week. On Thursday, I decided it was time to run fast, so I hammered 60 minutes of tempo on the Bonneville Shoreline trail with 1500' climb/1500' drop as hard as I could. I had to use every last ounce of strength to bring home the last few minutes, so this was about as legitimate a tempo run as one can do, effort wise. The distance was about 7.5 miles for this run.

On Friday, I decided I wanted another run up Grandeur Peak (I had had a crappy run there with Mark a couple weeks back). In any case, the snow still covered the top few hundred vertical feet rather heavily, so I ran 2500' of the 2800' of climb (about 3.25 miles from my car out on and a little up the canyon road), so I managed a whopping 6.5 miles on this run. That being said, the 2500' 3.25 mile climb was extremely difficult right now, especially considering that I ran the vast vast majority of it (other than a couple very difficult technical sections), so the way up was nearly as all out as the day before, and I consider this a great run. To give an idea for the difficulty this posed for me right now, I ran pretty close to as hard as I could the whole way up and the 6.5 mile round trip still took 78 minutes. Ouch.

On Saturday, a running buddy of mine, Adrian Shipley, was in town, so we did 15 miles together in and outside of City Creek in about 1:56. Adrian is a fair amount faster than me at shorter stuff even when I'm at peak fitness, so he definitely pushed me to this time (honestly would've been 2:10-2:15 for this particular course if I was running solo). Total climb and drop was close to 2k, so it was never particularly steep, but it was up or down at least a bit at all times.

As for tonight, I just ran an moderately easy 5 miles in 40 minutes with Holly. I would've liked to have run with her more since the first run, but she got spayed 5 days ago, so today was her first day back to activity. She was actually pretty hyper again ever since the day after the surgery, but we had to keep her pretty contained until today...

In any case, that makes the last 2 weeks 51 miles and 34 miles. For this coming week, I'm planning a more consistent 6 ish days of running with roughly 50 miles and I plan on building from there once my legs become comfortable with running everyday again.

Leadville is looking like something that I would be capable of in August, but, unfortunately, my PhD qualifying exam is 9 days afterwards, so I'll likely have to give up my spot despite probably being ready to at least bring it home under the cutoffs. Oh well, there's always a lot of other races to run now that I'm healthy and have things under control. :)

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