Sunday, September 18, 2011

Week of 9-12-11

Monday: 15 miles, full Upper Big Water Loop, 2:01, 3500' gain. No joke, this is the hardest I've worked for any run so far this year. Full on tempo, felt like a race, went out hard and just kept going harder. Heels were bothering me a bit at the end (both bruised-feeling and blistery, will get to that shortly...)

Tuesday: Heels were sore, 5 miles easy, Rattlesnake + Pipeline with Holly, 1000' gain.

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: 14 miles, 5000' gain, Goldminer's Daughter (at Alta) up Collin's Gulch (a littler under 3 miles with 2100' gain from 8400' to 10500') nearly as hard as possible up to Germania Pass, intentionally making me relatively tired for the rest of the run. Went from Germania Pass up to Sugarloaf Pass (10600'), came back down into Upper Albion, went up to Cecret Lake, down to Upper Albion Basin, up and through Devil's Castle, back down to Upper Albion Basin, up the cat track to the top of the Supreme lift, up and over Point Supreme (10600' again, oof...) over to Sunset Peak, down to Catherine's Pass, back down to Upper Albion Basin, down to the town of Alta via the dirt access road, and back to the Goldminer's Daughter. Pretty darn close to the most complete circumnavigation of the Alta resort possible, huge climb, 5000'. Managed to work this quite hard, though not as hard as Monday's 15, given that I walked a few of the most technical sections around Cecret Lake. Somewhere around 2 1/2 hours, don't recall the exact amount of time. Finished the run and my heels felt trashed. I pulled off my shoes and to my shock, the heels of the insoles were collapsing into the soles on both shoes of my nearly brand new New Balance Minimus MT20s. In other words, there was some rubber pieces sticking through the insole and just beating the snot out of my feet. Called up New Balance and they were nice enough to let me send them back to be replaced by a pair of MT10s, which I haven't had this problem with.

Friday: Heels were bad, unfortunately had to take a second day off for the week, which I didn't intend.

Saturday: 22 miles, 3500' gain, 3 hours, 14 minutes, Mill D to the Desolation Trail, to the end of the trail at Desolation Lake, up to the ridgeline, all along the ridgeline to Scott's Transmission Towers, down to Guardsman Road, down to Brighton, loop around Brighton, loop through the Solitude Nature Center, back down the road to Mill D. Heels were a bit tender on the road section, but I had just bought a new pair of MT10s (so now I'll have 2 new pairs to rotate when the new ones show up from NB), so they were definitely better than before. Run was a bit uneventful (beyond the gorgeous views the entire way), but helped me clear my head from some stuff that had gone down in my personal life the day before. I took the climb to the ridgeline as moderately as possible and kept the effort moderate the whole way. If I had to compare to 100% marathon effort, I'd rate this run an 85-90%, as in my legs were somewhat sore and tight upon finishing, but felt fine by the end of the day.

Sunday: 5 miles, 1000' gain, yet another easy day of Rattlesnake + Pipeline with Holly.

Weekly Total: 61 miles, 14000' gain. Miles are on their way up, had one day off more than I wanted. Debated getting another long day on Sunday, but I ended up cutting the blister off my right foot and had unexpected heel pain worsening. It seems that it may recover faster as a result, but it was kind of in pain most of the day, so I just took it easy. :P However, despite somewhat falling short of expectations, I would say that 51 of my 61 miles this week came from high quality runs. Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday were all runs with a definite purpose: Monday was a moderately long run with a very very hard effort (great for Marathon fitness, which I need to have by the Spring), Wednesday had purpose as a strength builder due to the massive amount of climbing I had to do on tired legs, and Saturday had purpose as a near Marathon effort long run, which is beneficial for every type of racing that I do

As a whole, I would say that things are coming along well. I've finally gotten my diet in check, so I expect to be at race weight by November or so. Additionally, despite my mileage not being very high yet, I would say that I can see my fitness coming around. I generally feel that a good fitness marker for me is the speed at which I recover from hard efforts. Three times this week I have felt pretty close to trashed by the end of a run and I recovered faster than I felt that I would every time, so I see this as a very good sign. The ability to get three very high quality runs in one week is also a very good sign. In other words, while my tempo speeds may not be there yet, I expect that it will get there when my weight drops to where it should be since my general aerobic fitness has definitely started to come around.

My current plan is to run a 100K in November as a means of qualifying for Western States (crazy enough, I haven't run anything of 50 miles or more within the past year!!!). I'll probably take this pretty easy so I can train through it and keep building, hoping to be able to have good enough fitness to run a 100 mile PR (and then some) at a 24 hour race in December or so, likely at Across the Years.

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