Sunday, December 30, 2012

Week of 12-23-12: 101 miles, 4500' gain (Phoenix Marathon Training Week 5 of 14, ie Minnesota Toughness Week)

I'm now counting weeks as Sunday to Saturday to match up with the weekly schedule on, where I'm also logging my training.

Sunday: 18 miles, Minnesota, with Bill Mennell (we did 17.5 together, I did another .5 to round it up), 1000' gain.

Monday: 14 miles in 1:31:31 (6:32s).  A little slower than marathon pace, but most of the run was faster than the average (more like 6:20s) with about 5 of the miles at a little over 7:00 due to unplowed snow on some back roads (still marathon effort, just slow terrain).  Probably harder than I should've gone the day after an 18 at any pace, but whatever, it wasn't that bad.  Last 3 were more like 6:05-6:10 pace.  Loop was standard Maht/Still route with a Jamaca/Keats loop thrown in, then up to Kimbro (Womanbro loop rather than Manbro, as named by my high school team back in the day, on Jeffrey, parallel to Gateway Trail, since the trail was even snowier than the road), then Jamaca back to normal route, with a slightly lengthened finish to get up to a 14 mile total.  Pretty cold out (12 degrees straight, windchill of exactly 0), but I felt OK with hot chillies, shorts, a l/s cotton shirt, and my American River 50 jacket (standard lately) with light hat/neckwarmer/gloves, 500' gain.

Tuesday: 14, pretty easy, 1:40:xx.  Maht/Still typical route (I really love this route it seems), a couple minutes past Manning Ave, and back.  Once again cold but not brutal (windchill of -3, straight temp of 6), although my eyelids kept freezing shut every mile or so. Hah.   This is almost certainly the farthest I've ever gone on Christmas, 500' gain.

Wednesday: 1:18, pretty sore.  kathryn abbot loop, oh nature loop, up to jamaca, back a bit on the old mile repeat dirt roaf, through old mahtomedi neighborhoods a bit, north on mahtomedi ave, extended park/summit loop, back normal way with extra wildridge loop.  first two loops in crusty and slick snow were annoying for my legs, 500' gain.

20 miles with the last 3.1 at MP (6:15s over some moderate hills), total time of 2:21:24 (71:50 out, 69:34 back), stopped at a small convenience store for about a minute for a glass of water at 11.x miles).  To Wisconsin and back via the standard route.  Bill Mennell ran with me from like 3.3 to 16.7 or so, good run for him, even if not blazingly fast.  My legs were not exceedingly happy today after 5 days of 14, 18, 14, 11, 20, all in singles, but I didn't really expect them to be.  The pace was a little faster than I expected to do today and I ran it without looking at my watch much and with intention for the pace to feel easy.  I guess it's good that 20 miles of 7:04s still feels easy on pretty beat up legs, 1000' gain.

Friday: 12 miles, 1:25. Back in Utah, typical 89/10th N/Main/89 loop, but through in an extra mile out into Centerville and back. Got back from MN at 7:00, got to my apartment at 7:30, unpacked and cleaned, and finally got out the door at 9:45 PM, so this was a late run. Sidewalks were quite icy / snowy in places where they hadn't been plowed, but totally fine in others, so it was kind of a back and forth between sidewalk and road the entire time.  Somewhat annoying, but at least it felt pretty darn nice out at 23 degrees, especially compared to the sub-zero windchills I'd been running in back in MN.  Legs were OK, really not all that great (wouldn't have been up for a hard effort), but better than I expected, 500' gain.

Saturday: Out and back on Center and Orchard/400.  Today was one of those rare days where I just didn't want to be running.  I was excited to run beforehand, but it just felt like a bit of a chore the whole time.  Pace was pretty slow (1:27 for 12), which may have contributed, as slow running is less fun.  In any case, this still got me over 100 for the week, which while rather arbitrary, is a nice mental milestone, 500' gain.

Totals: 101 miles, 4500' gain, lots of rolling hills up and down over and over in MN in considerably colder temps than UT, so I'm calling this "Minnesota Toughness Week".  I'm moderately sore at the end of the week, even with only one moderately decent quality run (14 at marathon effort), so it's clear to me that I should not do tons of weeks of this volume before Phoenix.  I'll back off the mileage slightly to keep the quality, but this week absolutely served its purposes of toughening me up mentally and adapting my body at dealing with Utah's "cold" temperatures.

Music for the week is a piece by Katatonia: 

This band has some of the cheesiest lyrics I've ever heard, but the voice is fantastic (at least in the studio).  I saw them live a year or two ago and they were terrible, but at least they sound good on their records.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Week of 12-17-12: 71 miles, 2500' gain (Phoenix Marathon Training Week 4/14)

Monday: 5 miles, treadmill, steady state, mostly at 6:40, with a faster last mile.  Was just getting in some junk while resting up for the next day's workout.

Tuesdsay: Wanted to do a 3x3 tempo workout at 17:00 to 17:20 per 3 mile (on a treadmill, so more like running at sea level).  However, the gym closed early and I realized that I only had enough time to do the exact workout with no time for warmup or cool down.  I have come to realize that I run rather poorly at fast paces without a warmup, so the pace immediately felt extremely forced.  I made it through the first repeat at 17:18, took my 2 minutes rest, and started up repeat 2, hoping to feel more relaxed, but didn't.  Split 2 miles in 11:24, then got another .33 in before just really starting to feel extremely anaerobic.  I could've made it through repeat 2 and a mile or 2 of repeat 3 if I had to, but I felt like I was going way past the intended effort, so I cut it off there to avoid killing myself and just jogged another 1.67 miles to cool down before leaving.  I was a bit under the weather, so this probably also didn't help...  2 weeks ago I was able to handle this with splits of 17:28, 17:11, and 16:56 (if memory serves me correctly), but I had a good warmup that day.  This will be important for me to keep in mind in the future.

Wednesday: Previous day's run was terrible, so I wanted something else of reasonable quality.  My legs felt surprisingly good after taking the afternoon to ski and temperatures were quite cold at night, so I ended up just going moderately hard in my 10 mile (about marathon effort, but with a bit of hills mixed in) so that I could stay warm and still get something of quality in.  Total time of 63:47 on the Center/89/1000N/Main/89/Center loop that is becoming somewhat standard.  The pace felt fluid and never forced, which was a nice change from yesterday, 500' gain.

Thursday: 9 miles, 61:0x, treadmill.  Bored to death, didn't feel that great.  I'd felt slightly run down for the last couple days, so everything felt a little harder than it should've and I felt like I was sweating a massive amount.  Meh.

Friday: 10 miles in Minnesota with Bill Mennell, a little slower than MP (65:33 on an undulating course with tons and tons of ice).  First mile in 7:05, second mile in 6:50-ish and then faster from there, last mile in 5:49, but we had to cross a massive section of deep snow which halved the rate for about 30 seconds, so it was mostly at about 5:35 pace for the last mile.  Felt really relaxed, even the last mile, due to being at sea level, which was awesome, 500' gain.

Saturday: Hilly 12 miles in MN, 1:19:42, my parents house to the red barn on Stillwater Road and back via the usual Mahtomedi/Stillwater route.  First 6 pretty easy in 40:40, mile 7 in 6:02 (oops, got pretty carried away after the turn-around), intentionally slowed it back down on miles 8 and 9 (hilliest part of the run, mostly uphill) with 14:28, and then tempo'd miles 10-12 hard in 17:32, with mile 10 (about 40 feet net downhill) 5:52, mile 11 (20 feet net downhill) in 5:44, and mile 12 (60 feet net uphill) in 5:54 with more ice on mile 12 than most of the previous miles.  Last mile was pretty hard with the uphill and the ice, but it was still relatively relaxed.  I considered doing an afternoon 5k, but decided against it due to the ridiculous entry fee ($40), so I just closed today's run hard instead, 500' gain.

Sunday: 18 miles with 17.5 of it with Bill Mennell (then an extra .5 by myself to get up to an even mileage), 2:10:30 (7:15 pace, right on the money).  I didn't realize this, but he hadn't run more than 10 miles in like 2 years, so I was surprised he hung on.  Pretty even pacing on the 8.75 out, 8.75 back, with something like a 30 second negative split.  Felt like a very easy pace, but I had about 50 calories during the run, so I was a little low energetically at the finish, but not bad (basically just enough that I wouldn't have wanted to speed up from the 7:15s we were doing, even though the pace felt slow).  I actually brought 4 chocolates of 75-80 calories a piece, but Bill was hungry around mile 9, so I gave him 3 of them.  When I pulled mine out to eat it around mile 13, it fell out of the package and the shell mostly shattered on the ground, so I only had a little over half of the chocolate (with plenty of extra dirt on it, yum...).  Another unpleasantry involved sweating too much in the first half (wore too much clothing) and then freezing from all of the sweat in the 2nd half.  Haha.  Windchill of 3 degrees is cold! 1000' gain.

Total: 71 miles, 2500' gain.  A good recovery week after working pretty hard in weeks 2 and 3 of the cycle.  In hindsight, the 2nd half of the week wasn't really "recovery" style, but I just did what seemed comfortable and relatively easy, and it still ended up at 71, so I guess that's a good sign.  I'm unlikely to be able to do much quality here in MN, so I'll likely just push the mileage up a bit this coming week.  Ideally, this should be one of the highest mileage weeks of my training cycle.

Music for the week is Mestis - Te Mato.  This just came out recently and features one of the guitarists from last week's band Tram.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Week of 12-10-12: 82 miles, 3000' gain (Phoenix Marathon Training Week 3 of 14)

Monday: 10 miles, 500' gain, 68:21.  Nice steady state effort, ie harder than easy, easier than marathon, and felt nice and relaxed.  Up Center to 89, up to 10th North in Bountiful, over to Main, back on Main to the diagonal meetup with 89, and back on 89 to Center.  Felt like I was going to freeze to death at the start, despite leggings, thick socks, thick gloves, neckwarmer, wool/acrylic hat, flannel shirt, sweatshirt, and windbreaker, but was sweating buckets by the end.  It was 29 degrees at the end, but I swear it must have been colder at the start.  Given that I started at 7:xx and finished 8:xx, this seems unlikely, but who knows.

Tuesday: 18 mile wave workout, 1:52:57.  Alternated "hard" miles in 6:00 with "easy" miles (ranging from 6:31 to 6:35, averaging 6:33), treadmill, flat because a flat treadmill at 5000' is a couple seconds per mile slower than flat at sea level still, supposedly at least, for long aerobic runs like this.  Seems reasonable.  Odd miles were "easy", even miles were "hard", no rest, other than a few seconds to reset the treadmill after 10 miles (62:xx, treadmill only goes up to 65 minutes max).  Miles 14, 16, and 18 were really hard.  Oddly, 14 seemed slightly harder than 16, but 18 blew both of them out of the water in terms of difficulty and I struggled mightily.  This is too hard of a workout to do on a weekly basis (note that when I did 18 of this in the past, I alternated 6:00 with 7:00, not 6:00 with 6:33, so this was substantially harder, especially when trying to recover my legs on the latter easy miles).

Wednesday: 12 miles, 500' gain, 1:28 starting at 10:30 PM (way too late... haha...)  My place up Center to 89, up 89 to the diagonal with Main, up Main into Centerville, west to 200W, back to Bountiful, back west to 89, and back.  Actually, this route would be a little less than 12 (more like 11.25), but I started out the run, got a couple minutes in, and realized I had an annoyingly large set of keys in my jacket pocket, so I turned around, got rid of them, and started over.  Stopped at about 8 miles at a surprisingly nice McDonald's restroom and just really didn't want to finish the run, partially due to fatigue brought on by it being 11:30 PM, and partially due to tired legs after yesterday's very hard effort.  Haha.  Note to self: 12 miles is not a recovery run.  With that in mind, tonight's run took some mental toughness, so I'm glad that I did what I did.

Thursday: 7 miles of NSL/Bountiful/Woods Cross, 500' gain.  Had no specific aim given that I had been extremely busy with work all day and didn't run until 11:30 PM, just wanted to get in whatever I could before falling asleep on my feet.  Decided to have some fun, through in some surges for no particular reason, and absolutely all out sprinted the last 200 m on a slight decline.  I was wearing some new Saucony A5s that I just got in the mail earlier today and they're a bit more cushioned than I'm used to, so I felt like I was running on clouds while sprinting.  Haha.  Not really the most productive run fitness-wise and kind of a waste of a day, but it was a fun, and that counts for something.

Friday: 5 very easy, in the rain with Holly, the pooch, literally about 9:00 pace.  Running circles at Hatch Park.  Extremely boring.

Saturday: 20 miles (actually 20.25) in 2:21 total time.  Hilly east bench route (1000' according to someone's garmin) with tons of snow and slush, plus some snow coming down. Effort ranging from easy to slightly harder than marathon effort.  With Kevin, Jake, Fritz, etc, group of 7 guys.  I only ate a banana before hand, mostly because I slept in until 45 minutes before the run and didn't have a chance.  I brought 2 gels, but should've had 3, so around mile 12 or 13, I was bonking a bit and told the group to take off so I could get in my own zone.  I took my 2nd gel right around then and it kicked in, so after almost immediately losing a minute on the group, I caught a nice surge on 2700 east, which carried until I had to run back up 4500 south to Wasatch.  Spotted the group about 2 minutes ahead on this part and apparently they picked it up on Wasatch a little bit with a sub-6 mile near the end, so I finished 3 minutes behind, 1 minute accounting for each of those things, but similar pace otherwise.  Once I was in my own zone, everything was OK, but I just had a bit of a mental game of trying to hang on the group when they were running ever so slightly faster than I wanted to do.  Overall, a good run.

Sunday: 10 miles (actually 9.8x), 500' gain, 72 minutes, with 6 or so others from Fast Running Blog starting and finishing at Highland High, looping South and East of there.  Yesterday's 20.25 got logged as 20, so today's 9.8 seems fair as 10. :)

Totals: 82 miles, 3000' gain.  Only 1 mile more than last week, but I'll take it.  I was beat up from Tuesday's hard run for a couple days afterwards.  My hip wasn't really painful at all over the week, but I could "feel" it, if that makes sense.  Fortunately, I'm seeing a sports MD on Wednesday and a PT the  week after that when back in MN.  It hasn't gotten worse and has been at 99%  for 4 months now, so I'm not concerned about it interrupting my ability to train hard for Phoenix, but I just don't want to have to think about it.

Music for the week is a pretty cool supergroup called TRAM, who features guitarists from Animals as Leaders, the ex-saxaphonist from Mars Volta, and the drummer from Suicidal Tendencies, playing a unique blend of fusion rock:

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Week of 12-3-12: 81 miles, 6500' gain (Phoenix Marathon Training Week 2 of 14)

Monday: 10 miles, 71 minutes, 1000' gain, with Kevin Smith, a 15-mid 5k guy looking to run a 2:35 in the Spring, rather circuitous route from campus to Sugarhouse Park, around the outside, then down to Liberty Park, around that, then back up to campus.  Kevin had the route planned and I don't remember all of the turns, so I won't try to explain it any further.  Hah.  71 minutes on a course like this at our elevation would've been more like 65-66 at sea level, which makes me feel a little better about it.  My legs didn't feel all that great and I felt more taxed than I would've liked at the end, but in hindsight, the pace isn't really terrible.

Tuesday: 10 miles, 70:01, 500' gain.  Really didn't want to run and put it off until pretty late (8PM) as it was cold and drizzly outside.  Finally got out and was really glad that I did.  My place up to 89 all the way up through Bountiful up until 1000 north, over to Main Street, back until that links back next to 89, back along 89.  Mapmyrun puts it at 9.90, but my route is probably almost exactly 10.00 as I have to cut pretty far off the side of the road a handful of times to follow the sidewalk and avoid running in the road / getting hit, etc.  Took it out pretty easy and gradually sped it up a bit.  The only exact splits I paid attention to were the first and last 1.8.  The last was done in 11:56, which is about 6:13 pace, whereas my first 1.8 was 13:45, or 7:38 pace.  I wanted to pick it up more at the end, but Wednesday's upcoming workout kept me sensible.

Wednesday: 12 miles, treadmill, workout.  2 mile warmup in 14:0x, then 3x3 tempo workout w/ 2 minutes rest between, then 1 mile cooldown.  First interval directly out of the warmup in 17:27.  2 minute rest (1 minute treadmill off, 1 minute of letting treadmill slowly get up to speed so that it would hit .1 in 1 minute and I could run from .1 to 3.1 and not lose time due to waiting for the treadmill to speed up), 2nd in 17:11, 2 min rest, same way, 3rd in 16:55.  First and second were too easy for a tempo workout.  I think ideal would've been about 17 flat for all 3.  This is of course on a treadmill and I just ran it at flat, but given that I'm at altitude (just under 5000' for this workout), it may be close to accurate for sea level.  We'll see when I'm back home in MN in a few weeks (assuming the track in my home town is useable, ie that it isn't covered with ice).  Was disappointed that I didn't push myself harder, but I did wake up moderately sore the next day, so it must have been still decent for me.

Thursday: 12 total, 1:35.  AM: 5 miles, flat, NSL loop with Holly, :41.  Sore from the previous day's workout, right hip annoyingly was a little sore again (almost moderately sore, tbh).  It never seems to be much of a legitimate issue anymore, but annoyingly, I occasionally still feel it.
PM: 7 miles, 2000' gain starting at like 10:30 PM.  Absurdly hilly road/golf 6 mile course loop from NSL up and through southern Bountiful, around the outside of the course, and then through about half of its holes before coming back down, in 46:0x (ie a pretty moderate effort, would be 40:00 or so on flat), then 1 more mile of jogging with Holly near my apt.  Oh, and I had taken an ibuprofen an hour before the PM run, so that likely helped, but my hip was 100% fine.  Weird.

Friday: 12 miles, 1:44, 2500' gain.  All the way up to the Eaglewood Golf Course, around the entire 18 holes + practice hole + a decent bit of doubling back when I made a wrong turn, then back down, with Holly, plus up to the corner store and back.  Good night time run, but pretty cold out for just wearing shorts/t-shirt/windbreaker (39 degrees at finish and pretty windy, giving a windchill of 33 down at the start/finish, probably more like 28-30 up on top of the hill with much more open wind and another 1000' of altitude).

Saturday: 18 miles, 1:57:xx, 500' gain.  Down in Provo with a big group.  Ran pretty close to step for step with Kevin Smith, except that I did an extra half mile at the beginning to round it up, while he did his at the end.  First 5 were out on the Toe Path with a huge group at about 6:48 pace, next 5 were back at about 6:00 pace.  2 minute break for gels/water/etc, then up towards Provo Canyon (nice gradual 2% incline).  3.75 out that way, then back down, another 50 minutes for that 7.5, averaged out to basically 6:30 even pace.  My marathon PR pace is 6:36s at very close to sea level (maybe 800') and this run was roughly equally hilly, so this was a very good sign for me.

Sunday: 7 miles, Flat, 0:54. AM: 2 miles, 15 minutes, just up to Orchard and out a very brief bit before turning around.  Got 1 mile in with Holly and she started having some relatively distressing GI issues, so I turned around, ran home, and took her to the vet.  She is going to be fine, $100+antibiotics later...  PM: 5 miles, 39 minutes, Center to Legacy Parkway Trail, up that to the bridge on the Spectrum Academy Turkey Trot Course, back on the path to Redwood, down Redwood, and back up Center.

Totals: 81 miles, 6500' gain.  A great second week of marathon training.  The higher effort runs (Wednesday and Saturday) were extremely encouraging.  Holly's mileage for the week was 24 miles.  Not bad for a dog and I wonder if, since 1 human year is equal to 7 dog years, maybe 24 human miles is equal to 168 dog miles?  Next week should be pretty similar in mileage, perhaps slightly higher.  We'll see.

Music for the week is Ravel's Rapsodie Espagnole...  I saw this live last night and it definitely the best work of the night.  Too bad I was outrageously exhausted and barely able to stay awake after not sleeping enough and then running and relatively hard 18 miles... Hah...

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Week of 11-26-12: 71 miles, 1500' gain (Phoenix Marathon Training Week 1 of 14)

Monday: 8 miles, :54, treadmill.  I was going to run on a flat road, but it was quite cold out by the time I was able to run, so I just did it on a treadmill at the campus gym instead.

Tuesday: 16 miles, 1:42, track.  This is probably the most simultaneous miles I've ever done on a track (I can't think of any other workout more than 15 miles).  The goal was actually 20 (2 warmup, 16 workout, 2 cooldown), but I cut out the last 2 miles of "workout" as well as the 2 miles of cooldown, given that I absolutely and totally blew up.  The run was supposed to be 2 miles warmup at 7:00 pace, 8 miles marathon pace, 1 mile threshold pace, 6 miles marathon pace, 1 mile threshold pace, 2 mile cooldown, any pace.  However, I miscalculated my marathon pace at 5000' and wound up going about 12 seconds per mile too fast.  This, coupled with lack of fitness, led to a spectacular blowup, so I cut it slightly short when I literally felt like I was going to pass out from running myself into the ground so hard.  My goal pace in March is roughly 6:13s, as based on my current 5k fitness (calling myself 17 flat shape right now, as my 2 recent times of 17:30 and 17:29 were on quite hilly courses with about 150' of climb at 5000', ie about 31 seconds slow each).  In any case, 6:13 for marathon would be about 6:32 here at altitude, but I stupidly used a treadmill conversion that I'm used to doing instead (10-15 seconds faster than flat here) and chose 6:20 as pace.  This was too fast.  The first 2 miles of warmup were fine, if not a hair fast (6:55 ish a piece), the first 8 miles of marathon pace were OK (6:20, 6:21, 6:15, 6:20, 6:19, 6:19, 6:20, 6:20) and then the 1 mile of tempo was 6:01 (would've been better with 6:05 to 6:10).  These first 9 were really honestly OK, even if the 9th mile felt forced.  Up until then, however, everything felt controlled.  After that 9th workout mile, though, I had a hard time settling back into marathon pace.  Mile 10 was a 6:24, and I figured it was just a result of having intentionally slowed after the tempo mile, but mile 11 was also a 6:24.  4 seconds per mile isn't major, but I was trying to run 6:20s, so it was worrisome.  Mile 12 slipped to a 6:25 and mile 13 slipped to a 6:29.  At this point, I was hitting the wall badly and I felt like I was going way too hard.  I was running the workout at 4:00 PM and hadn't eaten since 11:30 except for a small 200 calorie snack, so I was running out of gas, getting dizzy, and developing a headache.  I had brought a powerade to the track, but some young kid there with his parent had picked it up and thrown it way into the infield, so I couldn't realistically get to it without stalling the workout and I figured it was too late to salvage the last few miles anyway.  So, I just decided to opt for a grueling last threshold mile as mile 14 of the workout mileage (not counting the first 2 of warmup).  Sadly, at this point, running what felt like threshold netted me exactly 6:20, the pace I was mistakenly aiming at for marathon pace at 5000'.  I finished the run, literally nearly fell over from exhaustion and tied up legs, swigged the entire powerade, and went home.  I will never make this pacing mistake again, as that was truly mindbogglingly awful.  I think if I was in race-shape, I could've handled it, but just starting the training cycle, it was way too much to screw up my pace by 12 seconds per mile.  I realize this description is absurdly long, but I hope it will be helpful to me in the future.

Wednesday: Off.  Pretty beat up from the day before and didn't get home until 8pm.

Thursday: 12 miles, 1:22, 500' gain, out and back to and on Orchard Drive/whatever it's called north of Bountiful (400E I think?).  This seems likely to become a standard route during the winter.  My right hip was actually still slightly tweaked from Sunday's run (big climbing still seems to irritate it every so slightly, so I will mostly avoid this in the future) and I was generally a little sore from Tuesday still, but not bad.   Went out in :42 and back in :40, but effort felt pretty consistent and quite easy for sub-7 pace on a slightly hilly course.

Friday: 13 miles, 1:26, flat, treadmill.  Ran at campus gym because it was rainy and unbelievably windy  outside (I've become quite lazy with regards to annoying weather).  First 6 at a hair over 7:00 pace, last 7 averaging about 6:15s (roughly goal marathon pace), although just to have some fun I made the pace quite variable  I through in a few 5:00 pace surges, slowed it down to 6:40s a couple times, just generally had fun with it while averaging 6:15s.  Oh, and hip wasn't bugging me at all.  I'm not really sure why, but it really does only seem to get irritated by steep climbs.  Oh well, running 15:00 pace up steep mountains probably isn't the best way to train for a low-6:00 pace road marathon anyway. :)

Saturday: 17 miles,  2:01, 1000' gain.  My place up to Orchard, all the way to the end of 400 E, left from there, a little less than 2 miles of a loop in North Centerville, eventually onto Main Street, a little detour to stop at a grocery store to buy a candy bar (I had a dollar in my glove pocket and I was starving), back on Main until it runs right next to 89 in South Bountiful, and back on that.  Last few miles were spectacularly unpleasant, but given that my Thursday run was very late in the day, I did 41 miles in under 48 hours.  Given that my endurance is currently not where it was in early summer, I guess it could be expected that this would make me a bit sore.  Overall, these are the kind of runs that make the big improvements in fitness, so while it wasn't super fun, I'm glad I got it in.

Sunday: 5 miles, :40, flat.  Nice and easy loop around North Salt Lake with Holly after getting in some runs at Snowbird for the first time for the year earlier in the day.  Winds were absolutely insane, which was pretty annoying.  Legs felt surprisingly good, but my energy levels felt a little off (usually happens after spending time doing anything physical at 10k' for the first time in awhile, ie skiing).  Also of note is that my legs felt surprisingly strong for my first day of skiing for the year.  Usually they absolutely suck the first couple times out, but I really built up some strength this year, so I was capable of skiing pretty hard right from the start.

Totals: 71 miles, 1500' gain.  A good opening week to my marathon training.  This is about the lowest mileage week that I would have, ideally, over the next 3 months or so, but anything over 70 seems pretty solid.  In hindsight, it would have been helpful to not have dropped my mileage so low over my 3 rest weeks, but at least my legs were very well rested coming into this week.

Music is Ravel's Scarbo from Gaspard de La Nuit.  Beyond being very unique and well-written, this piece is one of the most fiendishly difficult compositions ever written for the piano.  It took me a very long time just to play the first movement (Ondine) semi-reasonably well 5 or so years ago when I was still semi-seriously playing, but this movement is considerably harder.  I'm going to be seeing a Debussy and Ravel concert this upcoming weekend which I am excited for.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Week of 11-19-2012: 23 miles, 2000' climb (last easy week)

Monday: Off
Tuesday: 7 miles.  2 miles in 12:15, straight into 5000 on track in 17:33 (not a race effort, but a good workout), 2 mile cooldown.
Wednesday: Off
Thursday: 9 miles, 3 mile warmup, South Davis Thanksgiving Day Races 5k in 17:29 (150' gain, 130' loss), 3rd place, 3 mile cooldown.  Meh, didn't feel like a super tough effort, but I had a really hard time pushing myself into the top gear.  I was close to 2nd and should've been able to catch him (I was closing in the 2nd half), but just had a hard time really pushing it.  Still, 17:29 isn't atrocious in the off-season on a course that was all uphill in the 2nd half.  Doing a good short workout on the track 2 days before the race this time was much better than 1 day before the last time.  Legs felt snappy and sharp and my difficulty in really pushing hard was mostly a result of trying to race on 4 1/2 hours of sleep (I couldn't get to bed early the night before and I'm used to 8 hours+).  All in all, this is another race with an equivalent of just under 17 flat with the same effort on flat at sea level.  I would hope I'd be worth slightly faster, but for not really being in shape, this is acceptable, at least for now.
Friday: Off
Saturday: Off
Sunday: 7 miles, 2000' gain.  Sessions Mountain (trail on north side of parking lot) with Holly, up a bit past first false peak and back, just a little under an hour.

Totals: 25 miles, 2000' gain.  Last easy week prior to marathon training.  This week was really kind of irrelevant.  I felt like resting up so I did.  I got up to 78 miles with a day nearly off a few weeks ago, so I know I'm ready for hard training with reasonably high mileage, so now that I'm well rested, I'm starting into a cycle of 14 weeks of very high level training for the Phoenix Marathon.

Modern heavy crap that I race to, because I sometimes listen to terrible music and also because I'm the kind of douche that always races with headphones on:

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Week of 11-12-12: 35 miles, almost flat (2nd to last easy week)

Monday: a little short of 9 miles, 500' gain, 1:01.  Apartment up to Orchard, up to 500S, down to 89, and back along that.  This felt like a really easy effort for 7:00 pace on moderately hilly terrain.  Good sign.

Tuesday: 8 miles, workout.  Ran on a treadmill at a .5% incline.  Probably should've done this on a track, but it was cold and icy outside when I finally got to run at 7:30 PM.  In any case, I put the treadmill at a .5% incline to hopefully make up for the fact that belt slightly improves your speed (rule of thumb I've heard), although I'm pretty certain it didn't make up for it entirely.  Did mile repeats with .25 mile jog between each.  .25 jog, 5:10 mile, .25 jog, 5:04 mile, .25 jog, 5:02 mile, .25 jog, 5:00 mile, .25 jog, 5:00 mile, with 1.75 mile cooldown afterwards.  At the end of each jogging rest, I brought the treadmill up to speed right before the mile was to start so I wouldn't lose time speeding the belt up.

Wednesday:  Off, in the spirit of not overdoing things and just being in "fun mode" until the week after Thanksgiving.

Thursday: Got home late, took another day off.  Haha.  At least it's supposed to be a super easy week. :)

Friday: 5 miles.  Hit a track for some a little speed the night before the next day's race.  Mile warmup, mile in 5:14 (quite windy, but still didn't feel super difficult.  Felt like I could keep close to it for a full 5k if necessary, but it would be absolutely maxed out for the distance and I would need someone pushing me to hit that pace), 400 jog, 800 in 2:30, 400 jog, 400 in 72, almost 2 mile cooldown.  This was an easy workout, but the goal was just to do something quick and short the night before the race.

Saturday: 7 miles, long warmup + Riverton Holiday Heroes 5k, 2nd, 17:30.  My legs aren't quite in speed shape, so recoveries from fast days are apparently slow and even the easy workout from the night before left them feeling crappy.  A younger kid took it out hard and I figured that kids that age generally run too hard at the start, not to mention that my legs just didn't feel good, so I kept things comfortable and let the kid get a bit of a gap on me in hopes that my legs would come back.  Legs never felt good, he gradually got away and I took 2nd in 17:30.  Lame.  If it was a closer race, I could've eeked out another 15 seconds I'd think, but by the end, the kid had 30 seconds on me and I wasn't feeling it, so I coasted in.  Granted, the course was pretty hilly (150' vertical) and it was quite windy out, so coupled with the elevation, this isn't the worst time imaginable (16:59 flat sea level equivalent with hills and altitude, not sure what the wind was, but I'd imagine it added somewhere in the ballpark of 10 seconds).  Aerobically, the effort wasn't very hard, but my legs just weren't having it.  Oh well.  There goes my 5k  win streak dating back to 2009 (granted, only 5 races).  Haha.

Sunday: 6 miles, 5 miles around NSL, easy, :39, and then an extra mile jogging with Holly.

One more easy week, next week, probably with one more short/fun race mixed in (hopefully not so slow this time), and then it'll be on to high mileage and marathon training.

Music for the week is something that I am extremely excited about.  Sergei Bortkiewicz is one of my favorite composers and I had heard rumors of a possible upcoming recording of a "Russian Rhapsody" that he had written in 1935, which had never previously been recorded.  Well, his music has started to undergo a resurgence in Ukraine and one of their orchestras finally played this piece and made a semi-professional recording of it a couple weeks ago.  Here's the video: 
I simply don't understand how something this outstanding could lie dormant for 70+ years.  This is a true masterpiece and I can't stop listening to it.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Week of 11-5-12: 42 miles, 3500' gain.

Monday: 10 miles, 2000' gain. Bosho trail from JCC to nearly City Creek, popped out into the neighborhood, took the roads back.  Don't remember how long it took.
Tuesday: 4 miles, 1000' gain.  Bosho from Bountiful to Towers and back, with Holly.  Nice and easy.
Wednesday: 17 miles, 1:49:14.  Mostly at about 6:30/mile, but picked it up over the last 5 miles or so.  Encouraging run, didn't feel all that hard, on a treadmill, so I locked in the pace and just cruised.
Thursday: Off
Friday: Off
Saturday: 6 miles.  2 mile warmup, Spectrum Academy Turkey Trot 5k in 15:25, 1 mile cooldown.  The course was pretty flat, but I highly doubt that I can run 15:25 right now.  I suspect it was 60-90 seconds short, but that said, I had another gear ready to go if necessary the entire time (some dude was 15 seconds off me for a good chunk of the race), so I imagine I'm actually still capable of running pretty quick on a fast accurate course.  I'm not sure that such a race exists around here before March, but I will definitely be racing "Running of the Leopards" 5k in March, a few weeks after Phoenix, right after hitting my peak, in an attempt to run at least a legitimate new PR.
Sunday: 5 miles, 500' gain.  A couple miles up Orchard Drive and back.

Totals: 42 miles, 3500' gain.  Obviously a reduction from the previous week.  Why?  I've decided that I need to be able to peak appropriately for Phoenix, so I'm taking things easy until the week after Thanksgiving.  This gives me the chance to run a few more for-fun races, if I can find a few that will work for me (no guarantees) and it will also allow me to be well rested for a nice 3 month marathon specific training cycle.  I've learned my lesson about pushing training cycles for too long (culminating with my spectacular inability to train at all for the last 7 or 8 weeks leading up to Wasatch), so I'm doing it smart this time.

Music for the week is the piano concerto that I consider to have, perhaps, the most lush melodies I've ever heard, Bortkiewicz's 2nd.  This is for left hand only and Bortkiewicz is never played, so it's sadly quite rare.  This piece only exists in one place on youtube and it's not available as an embedded file, so you'll have to follow the following links:
The start of the 2nd video is beyond gorgeous.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Week of 10-29-12: 78 miles, 8500' gain

Monday: 6 miles, :5x, 1000' gain.  Nice easy recovery run with Holly.  Southeastern tip of Bountiful along Bonneville Shoreline up to radio towers, then left on the ridgeline for another 10 minutes, then back, finishing right at sunset.

Tuesday: 7 miles, :56, 2000' gain.  From Natural History Museum up and down Mt Wire. 29:59 up Wire, barely squeaked it in under 30 and felt like absolute hell over the last 5 minutes on those last few steep grunts.  Hit the turn-off up the mountain in a little under 3 minutes (didn't catch the seconds), the turn-off out of the gully when the views open up at 9:56, the pass over to the Living Room at 14:0x (I think, not entirely sure, could've been :1x, but I'm pretty sure), mid-22s at the biggest saddle, and 28:40-ish at the last saddle.  Hopefully my memory is correct for all of those as they'll be a nice reference in the future.  My previous best was from a slightly different starting point (within 1 minute, this way being slightly faster in my estimate) in 33-high, so this makes me happy.  Definitely pushed harder than before, but a PR is a PR and a sub-30 on Wire seems really good to me.  I'd be curious to see what I can do on the direct front face route that a couple guys have run 27-ish on, but that route just isn't as fun, so I almost never run it.  Descent was really relaxed, as while I may have backed off a little bit in the middle section, I really destroyed myself for that sub-30 at the end of the climb.

Wednesday: 11 miles, 1:17, 1500' gain.  Roads, loop from my area NSL up and over to upper South Eastern Bountiful, back up to 1900 south (there are some obnoxious rolling hills in this section and I always seem to forget about them...), and back to NSL.  Took it out moderately, but picked it up a bit near the end.  Split the last .53 miles (granted, downhill) in 2:46 (5:13 pace) just for fun, which felt fluid, but is pretty irrelevant and not actually fast due to the downhill nature.

Thursday: 18 miles, 1:56:xx, flat, treadmill.  Alternating between 6:58 and 6:00 pace, no breaks, except a less than 2 minute bathroom break after mile 10.  Last mile in 5:40 instead of 6:00.  Got pretty hard by the end, last mile was basically torture.  Daniels tables give this a 6:10 average pace at sea level instead of 6:30, but I estimate that the treadmill is slightly easy.  If I'm correct that a treadmill might be more accurate at a 0.5% incline, this would make it equivalent to a .5% decline and therefore 75 seconds sfast by Daniels tables, making my average pace at sea level equivalent to 6:14 instead.  This seems pretty accurate I'd think.  Overall, a good workout.

Friday: 3 miles, 23 minutes, flat.  8 laps of the 3/8 mile loop at the park near my house.  Very easy at first, sped up a little bit by the end.  Would have done more if I had more time, but I had to get up to Snowbird for a conference.

Saturday: 12 miles, 1:24, 500' gain.  My apartment up to Orchard Drive, north on there, eventually becoming 400 E, up to Centerville and back.  First half in 44, second half in 40, mostly due to picking up the last quarter of the run, especially over the last couple miles (roughly 5:45 pace for the last 2 miles, which felt fast but surprisingly fluid).

Sunday: 21 miles, 3500' gain, 3:01.  Nice run with a pretty easy effort.  From my place up a winding route through NSL up to Southern Bountiful, up North Canyon to Rudy's Flat, a few minutes going south from there to scout a route to/from the City Creek ridgeline trail that I've had difficulty linking from in the past, back to Rudy's Flat, down Mueller Park Canyon Trail, down the roads from there to Orchard, back to NSL and back home.  Legs weren't outrageously happy in the last half an hour, but this was the longest run I've done in like 2 months (time or distance) and it was also at the end of the biggest week of mileage I've done in about 4 months, so that was pretty expected. I also finished with a minor headache that I developed over the last 20 minutes, which I generally find to mean that I could use more long runs (like I said, this isn't surprising right now).  With that in mind, I do know for sure now that I need to keep hitting some good quality long runs, preferably over 3 hours like today, although I'm planning to keep everything under 4 hours (I'd be very surprised if I felt like doing more than 4 hours in a single outing in the next couple months).

Totals: 78 miles, 8500' gain.  Not quite up to where I want a typical marathon training week to be (I was thinking just a hair more than this), but I could handle a little more than this right now, even with the two quality days, so I think I'm about where I need to be to get in some really effective weeks of training.  I still have no idea what my racing plans are, but I'll figure something out.  I would think February would be ideal, but there's nothing going on during that timeframe that looks like a well-organized race on a good course (ie flat, close to sea level) that is easy to get to, so I'm starting to lean towards waiting for the Phoenix Marathon the first weekend of March.  4 months from now is kind of a long time considering that training is basically almost in full swing already, but if I take a few easy weeks here and there, it should be doable to get my peak lined up for Phoenix.  I guess I'll just play it by ear for a few more weeks before I make any decisions.

Music for the week is Rachmaninoff's massively under-appreciated 4th piano concerto, as played by the maestro himself, along with the Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Eugene Ormandy.  If you like this first movement, listen to the whole thing.  It's incredible.  Half of the music I post is Rachmaninoff, which is OK with me.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Week of 10-22-12: 43 miles, 4500' gain.

I would have liked to have kept the mileage increasing, but my week was insanely busy with work and I ended up not getting home until after 9 pm several nights, so I had very little time to run.  In hindsight, it's not that bad to have had one down-week after my first 4 semi-legitimate weeks in awhile.  I have the  drive to be training hard again, but throwing in some down weeks here and there will enable me to push for a later peak, which seems desirable at this point.  I originally figured I'd try to get a peak in December, but that seems way too soon, probably 1-2 months before I'd be ready for a fast marathon if I trained hard through then.  There's nothing of note, racing-wise, to peak for in Jan/Feb, so if I could push for March or even April, that would be good.  For right now, I'm just enjoying getting some speed back.

Monday: Off, wasn't home until 10 pm.
Tuesday: 8 miles.  1 mile warmup, 3 miles in 18:12, 2 min rest, 3 miles in 17:53, 2 min rest, 1 mile in 5:25.  Last mile was really really hard.  Got home after 10:00 after getting my work and run done. :(
Wednesday: Off, wasn't home until 9 pm.
Thursday: 8 miles, 1500' gain, JCC to 5-way and back with Heidi Madsen, a speedy female undergrad from the U.  I knew the evening would be horrible, so we fit this run in at 6:30 until 7:45 in a relatively serious snowstorm.  The pace wasn't super fast, but that was mostly a result of the atrocious condition of the trail (slush, deep mud, ever-deepening snow, heavy winds, freezing temps, etc)  and finished literally a few minutes before sunrise, which was apparently at 7:50.
Friday: 5 miles, 1000' gain, with Holly, 0:4x.  Wildrose loop + run up to the city creek ridgeline.  Nice and easy, was testing out some old XC spikes in the mud, + had to make it to a date at the symphony shortly after finishing.
Saturday: 7 miles, A little ways up Bountiful Blvd over to Mueller Park Canyon and Kenny Creek Trail, up the trail, and back, 2000' gain.  Unbelievably obnoxious mud.  The trail is cut in a fashion that allows all the moisture from melting snow to drain into it, so it was pretty absurd.  My Nike Zoom Streak XC 3s that I bought for $28 busted through in the right side of the right toe box on the way down, so my feet were ridiculous when I finished.  Brought Holly along and she loved it, but has never been more dirty in her life.  Haha.
Sunday: 16 miles to and on Jordan River Parkway, down to West Valley and back.  First half in 53 min, second half in 47.  The last few miles were extremely difficult.  Fortunately, this run is basically flat other than a very minor hill at the end, which was helpful, but I really didn't have more than a couple minutes left at that pace at the end or I would have been toast.  Felt pretty close to all out, which was slightly less than encouraging, but thinking about it, I suppose a 16 mile run with the 2nd half at just under 6:00 pace should be quite encouraging to me.  Still, I know that I need to work my speed strength a lot.  I can run slow literally all day and night long, but I need more runs like this where I'm pushing a fast pace over the second half, especially when I start getting tired, and I also need more tempo work.  That said, I think the treadmill work has been helping, so I'll continue to do some of that.

Totals: 43 miles, 4500' gain.  Kind of meh, but it was relaxing and it's not like I was hoping to do this little.  Fortunately the work-related situations that caused this to happen were maybe a once in a year type thing at most, so it's not going to be a pattern.

Music for the week is the absolutely stunning 18th variation from Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini.  I had the great pleasure in seeing this whole piece played live by the Utah Symphony Orchestra and Lukas Geniusas, along with Shostakovich's October, Borodin's 2nd Symphony, and the Suite from Rimsky-Korsakov's The Tale of Tsar Saltan on Friday.  This is of course best as listened as a whole, but given that I sincerely doubt anyone who reads this has the interest in sitting here and listening to a 24 minute piece of music, here is a highlight:

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Week of 10-15-12: 63 miles, 10,000' gain.

Monday: 4 miles, :3x, 500' gain, easy, with Holly.  A scab on one of her paws was bugging her, so she made me slow to a walk a couple times.  Not a problem though, as it was suposed to be really easy.  Didn't get the exact time as I had to stop my watch a couple times for Holly and forgot to restart it on time once or twice.

Tuesday: 17 miles: 1:50, on a treadmill.  Alternating between 7:00 and 6:00 pace (or slightly faster) every mile.  Started and ended with the 7:00 pace.  Legs were not quite 100% recovered from Sunday's outing going in, which made this harder.  Also, I threw in a 5:56 and a 5:52 on miles 4 and 8, plus a 5:42 for mile 10, just to bring up the effort a bit and to tire my legs faster.  Mile 16 was 5:52 and it was really hard.  Everything else was within a second of the goal pace (always faster if anything, never slower).  Once again, this workout is based around marathon pace (6:30 would be my goal if I were to run at 4500').  Since I'll be running at lower altitude, this would correlate to about 20 seconds per mile faster, although I think the treadmill makes it about 10 seconds per mile easier as it sort of helps you along ever so slightly.  Therefore, this seems to be reasonable for a goal pace of 6:20 at lower altitude.  I had actually been questioning my desire to run a marathon in December, although that was more back when the hip was still acting up, so at this point, now that it hasn't given me any grief in about 10 days, I'm thinking the marathon is a good goal once again.  We'll see.

Wednesday: 3 miles, :30, flat.  Recovery.  Sore.

Thursday: Off.  Didn't plan it, but ended up not getting home until pretty late, so I just stayed in with the pooch.

Friday: 10 miles, 1:5x, 3500' gain (3100' net from lowest to highest with a little roll, especially on the ridgeline).  Forgot the total time exactly, but it was a hair under 2 hours.  Ran the difficult combination of trails from JCC to the log-book on Little Black in 52:24 at a relatively hard effort, but not all-out (did it once before, back in April, which felt like a harder effort, and it took me 62:07).  "Unkel" split was 24:58, also a PR.  I had previously done 25:xx a couple weeks ago (without doing the rest of the climb up Little Black) when wearing a watch without seconds, so it seemed like I had to go under 25 to be sure it was a PR.  I didn't push it much for the first half of that, so that was encouraging.  After hitting the log-book, I went back along the ridgeline and over the crags, going a little ways past the true peak before turning it around.  Took it easy coming down the face of Little Black, which I'm not really comfortable pushing going down, since it's a very steep descent with very loose footing, but once I got on more solid footing at the top of Unkel F, I pushed a bit harder from there.  The time sounds slow for 10 miles, but this is an extremely difficult route.  I actually consider this to have been my second hard effort run of the week.  This actually made the hip slightly sore on the climb for the first time in about 2 weeks, but nothing too bad.  Quads hurt more than anything.  Guess I'm not really at full strength right now, which isn't surprising, but it's coming along nicely.

Saturday: 15 miles, 2:31, 4000' gain.  Moderately easy effort.  Bonneville shoreline from the south-eastern tip of NSL up to the ridgeline, trailhead by some park (don't remember the name) up via the weird spiderweb of interlinking trails, starting with a slow and very roundabout traverse up to Wildrose Loop (legs didn't feel very good at the start since the day before was hard).  From there, followed some trail whose name I don't know up to the City Creek ridgeline.  Followed that extremely hilly and undulating net-uphill trail all the way to the end, and then continued on a bit past, trying to bushwhack through some game trails to get to Rudy's Flat.  I really just wasn't feeling it and wasn't 100% confident that I knew how to get to Rudy's Flat from there, so rather than getting lost in the middle of nowhere, I turned it around and took another trail down into North Canyon, one that I had taken when getting lost up here about 2 years ago.  I wasn't 100% sure where it would pop out, but knew that it would end up in North Canyon below Rudy's Flat somewhere.  After following it for awhile and being surprised at how it appeared completely unused, I found a section of the new gas pipeline installation (ie, easy to climb), so I went a bit out of my way and climbed the 500' of vertical just to get my bearings (still confused about this, as I should have been overlooking the main North Canyon dirt road or trail at this point, but didn't see it).  In any case, I went back down to the trail, continued down, and eventually popped out near the old abandoned cabin near the bottom of North Canyon.   I then took a roundabout road route back to my car back in North Salt Lake so I could run by and admire all of the mega-mansions in the south-Eastern area of Bountiful.

Sunday: 14 miles, 2000' gain, 1:49.  Moderate effort.  Start of North Canyon dirt road, just at the top of Canyon Creek Road, up to the North Canyon Trail, up to Rudy's Flat, down Mueller Park Trail, then back on the roads.  The last ascent back up Canyon Creek Road wasn't very easy.  Haha.  Quads were screaming at me on a lot of the ups, as this was the biggest I've done in awhile (in terms of all of mileage, time spent running, and vertical gain), but it was still an exhilarating, even rhapsodic experience.  Every once in a while, I have a run that is just beyond fun and today was one of those days.  The beautiful foliage, all the various wildlife that I came across on the trail, the scent and chill of fall at dusk, and the music I was listening to (Rachmaninoff and Scriabin) all combined together to give me a wonderful experience.  I don't know how many more times I'll get to run some of these trails before the snow comes down and I assume I will have a whole new landscape to train in shortly, but for now, runs like today's are what I run for.

Totals: 63 miles, 10,000' gain.  A nice improvement, plus well over half came between Friday and Sunday.  I should be able to improve on it this coming week (well, distance, probably won't seek to do more than 10k' climb) if I don't get too busy with some work stuff that could take up a lot of time this week.

Music: I listened to a lot of Scriabin tonight.  The 3rd movement of his piano concerto is particularly lovely: 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Week of 10-8-12: 50 miles, 4000' gain.

Monday: Off

Tuesday: 7 miles.  1 mile warmup, 5 x mile, 1 mile cooldown.  On a treadmill, so it was possibly inaccurate (seems pretty fast), but my miles were 5:27, 5:18, 5:18, 5:09, 5:08 with 3 minutes rest between each (probably too much rest, need to cut that down to 90-120 seconds next time).  Calves were pretty sore afterwards since I haven't done anything this fast in a long time.  I genuinely felt like I was going super super fast, but at the same time, the effort level was lower than I expected.  I've always felt that higher pace reps just seem easier on a treadmill, so I doubt I could replicate this on a track.

Wednesday: 9 miles, 73 minutes, with Holly, 1500' gain.  Started in some small little cul-de-sac off of Eagleridge Loop (just south of the golf course in Bountiful), followed a maze of indirect trails I've never run on before, eventually getting up to Wildrose Ridge (I think that was the name?), followed yet another maze of pretty indirect trails and eventually popped out on the City Creek Ridge.  After a little while up there, I finally recognized where I was on the ridge, took the long way around, followed the dirt access road by the towers up there, down to the bottom one, down BoSho Trail, and back through Bountiful to my car.  Moderately hard on the uphills, easy on the downs (Holly didn't really seem to want to run fast on this run).  I had never previously run over half of this loop, but it was pretty fun, so I'll have to do it again at some point.

Thursday: 10 miles, 7x minutes, 600+' gain.  Don't know the exact time because I restarted my watch with 2.8 miles to go to see what tempo pace would be over the last few miles.  Standard NSL/Woods Cross/Bountiful loop.  Decided to tempo in the last 3-ish miles, but the legs just still felt kind of thrashed after Tuesday's workout, so anything under 6:00 pace didn't feel very good.  Still, the last 2.8 was split in 16:30 even.  Not all that quick, but like I said, the legs were sore, so I didn't want to push harder.

Friday: 4 miles.  2 mile easy, 1 mile @ 5:30 on treadmill (legs felt better), 1 mile easy.

Saturday: 6 miles. 2 mile warmup + Dracula's Dash For Hope 5k + 1 mile cooldown, total 300+' gain, 200' during the race.  Yes, that's actually the name of the race.  I decided a few days back that I wanted to see what I could run for a 5k.  Despite the treadmill most likely being generous on Tuesday, I figured I could run somewhere in the ballpark of 17-flat for a 5k right now on a perfect course in good conditions (PR is 16:34, although that was definitely soft at the time as I once split 16:35 in a 10k).  Anyway, there were 2 5ks I could find around the SLC area on Saturday.  One had a crappy looking course and the other, Dracula's Dash for Hope, had no course description, so I took a gamble on the latter.  Of course, after I signed up, I received an email with the course description, telling me that it was an all-grass XC course consisting of 3 laps.  A quick google map of the area showed 3 significant and steep climbs for the course, which would prevent any sort of rhythm, so I decided to scrap my plans of pushing for a fast time and just figured I'd go for the win instead.  Race day morning, I got out there a bit early and ran the loop once and also did some additional jogging around the area + strides.  Unfortunately, I hadn't run a 5k in 3 1/2 years, so I was nervous about having to run fast.  Starting the race, I was actually nervous enough that it took about half a mile to get my breathing and heart rate properly controlled.  By this point, I was trailing the leader (an 18 year old kid) by about 10 feet, as he had taken off like a rocket over the first quarter mile.  Knowing that I wasn't exactly going to run a fast time on a 5k course with 200' of climb, 12 (4 per lap, not exaggerating) extremely sharp 90-180 degree muddy turns (it had stormed the night before), and a generally very slow long grass surface, I decided to have some fun with a tactical race, so I snuck right up to his shoulder and just sat there.  He had long since slowed down, so we came through the first mile in somewhere around 6:20. Hah...  I continued to sit on him for about a half mile more, until I decided it was time.  Going up the steepest hill of the lap, I kicked into a sprint, immediately taking the lead and putting myself 100 feet in front within a few tens of seconds.  Coming around a sharp turn shortly thereafter, I noticed he had fallen back a lot and I knew the race was mine, so I slowed it down to what felt like a nice slow trot again.  I held a similarly easy pace for the rest of the lap as well as the 3rd one, constantly having to run way out of my way, off the side of the course, to go around the groups of people just out walking the race.  The course was over a minute slow (Daniels tables put it at 49 seconds slow, not accounting for the grass/mud surface and all the sharp turns and having to run way out of my way to lap people, which have to add another 20-30 seconds), and I also figured I was running a minute slower than I could've done had I been in an actual race (honestly, the pace was easier than a tempo workout), so while 19:21 sounds absurdly slow, I can't complain.  I got the win by 81 seconds (all put on in the 2nd half of the race), my first win in several years, and I'm still confident that I can run somewhere in the ballpark of 17 flat right now if I find a fast course and run it hard.

Sunday: 14 miles, 1:40:01 (the indiglo on my watch is broken and I finished after dark without a light, so I had no idea of my time until I finished, otherwise, I wouldn't have let myself end in such a time), 1500' gain.  My apt in NSL up Center to Orchard, over to Eaglewood, up to Eagleridge/Bountiful Blvd (1000'+ climb), all the way up Bountiful Blvd, along the very rolling road, to where it turns down 400N, down to 500W, back up to where it becomes 89, and back.  Map My Run called it 13.93, but I'm giving myself the extra 7 hundredths of a mile for having to jump back and forth between sidewalk and road repeatedly to avoid construction and other slower pedestrians.  Hah.  Took it out pretty easy, but began to pick it up a couple miles in.  At sea level on flat, this effort translates to 1:31:31, which is not bad considering that I took the first 2-3 miles at an effort a minute or so per mile off what I was doing the rest of the time.  In all honesty, my legs didn't feel all that fantastic when I finished, but it definitely wasn't race-level effort.

Totals: 50 miles, 4000' gain.  Speaking of race-level effort and distances in the low-teens, I'm debating going out for a half marathon next weekend.  If I did, anything under 1:23 would probably have to be considered a success due to the fact that I hadn't done any fast running in several years prior to 3 or 4 weeks ago.  I'd also like to throw in some more 5ks and a 10k or two at some point, so I think I'll probably just be doing lots of "for fun" shorter stuff in the near future.  We'll see.  This week is slightly lower mileage than the last two, but I did a bit more quality work, which I'm OK with.  If you'll notice, I didn't really mention the hip at all.  It really didn't hurt, almost at all, this week.  I'm continuing to notice a weird trend in which harder effort running doesn't hurt it at all, while I'm more likely to feel some twinges on easy days.  This is an odd predicament to be in, but it actually seems like harder running is better for my body than easy running, at least for the time being.  Go figure.  I'm going to continue to kind of just run on feel, but my mileage has been remarkably consistent over the last 3 weeks now (53, 54, 50), so I doubt it's going to change that much.  If I do the half marathon (or anything else, possibly another 5k) on Saturday, it will just be more for fun than anything, although I'd be willing to push myself hard in a 5k if the right situation presented itself.  Running anything under 17:30 would be a nice confidence boost right now, but I imagine that if I raced a 5k, pushed hard, and ran slower than that, I'd be pretty disappointed, so I'm going to be selective about when I let myself really go for it.

Music for the week is the incredible Piano Concerto by Charles-Valentin Alkan, as orchestrated by Karl Klindworth.  This recording features the unknown Dmitry Feofanov on piano, as on my CD of it. This is a pretty uncommonly played piece, especially considering that it was originally intended for solo piano (and more frequently played as such), so I'm not sure that I've even heard of other professional recordings of it with full orchestra.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Week of 10-1-12: 54 miles, 5000' gain.

Monday: Off

Tuesday: 15 miles, flat. 14 mile workout in 1:30:xx, alternating 7:00 pace and 6:00 pace, no rest, except the last mile, instead of 6:00, was 5:36 + 1 mile cooldown.  Felt pretty good, although the last mile of 5:36 hurt.

Wednesday: 9 miles, 2000' gain, 1:18 easy run on roads.  Started down in NSL at 4300', ran a really undulating route up to the south-eastern area of Bountiful, ran a lap of sorts of the Eaglewood golf course, partly cross country style on the golf course itself), and then ran all around the neighborhoods there, capping out at 5600' before popping back down to the "poor side of town", ie where I live while in grad school. Hah.  Right leg was a little touchy at the end of the run, so I iced up super well and did even more stretching than normal when I finished.

Thursday: Off.  Leg had been touchy when I finished on Wednesday and I obviously need to be mindful of staying healthy, so I decided to take another day off.

Friday: 8 miles, 2000' gain, 1:01.  JCC up dry creek, up Unkel, total time of 25 min to the top (wasn't wearing a watch with seconds, only minutes, but my previous fastest was 28:5x, so this kind of came out of nowhere), along the ridgeline to the 5-way, and back on BoSho.  About 61 min total.  Was pushing moderately hard, but didn't feel like I was racing at all, so I was happy with it.  Leg stuff was 95% unnoticeable.

Saturday: 15 miles, 500' gain, 1:42.  NSL to Redwood, down to North Temple, to downtown, small around gateway, back up 400 to beck, up beck/89, and back to my apt.  Was taking it pretty moderate (about 7:00 pace for the first 10), but picked up the last 5 miles to what felt like marathon effort.  I know exactly where 5 miles from my apartment is on this route, but don't know any of the mile split points in between, so doing the last 5 based on effort without knowing my pace until I'm done is a good gauge.  These last 5 miles are the hilliest of the run (250' climb, 100' drop), and are at an average of 4300', ie, significantly slower than sea level, but running what felt like marathon effort got the last 5 done in 32:04, which corresponds to 30:21 on flat at sea level.  This isn't to say that I could go out and run 6:04 pace for a marathon right now as my legs wouldn't hold up to the pounding at this point, and it's certainly possible that I mis-judged marathon pace, but this gives me confidence regarding my ability to run well in a totally flat road marathon in a couple months.  Leg was 100% fine, but I had taken 2 Aspirin beforehand as I didn't really feel like getting stranded in West Valley on the off chance that it completely blew up on me (seemed extremely unlikely to happen, as it hasn't previously happened, but you never know).

Sunday: 7 miles, 500' gain, :44.  Nice and easy run out west on Center Street, south when the road ends, and a little over a mile down that way before turning around.  I debated doing more, but I just felt kind of tired today (for whatever reason I woke up quite early despite going to bed pretty late and couldn't get back to sleep, so this is probably why).  Hip was slightly iffy, but not all that bad.  In general, it's better than it was and generally trending in the right direction, but I wish it would improve more quickly.

Total: 54 miles, 5000' gain.  I ideally would've liked another 6 miles or so, in the spirit of building mileage and hitting 60 miles, but I still had a really good workout on Tuesday, and that's the most important thing for now.  I don't really care very much about my weekly elevation gain for the time being, but I'll continue to pay attention to it out of curiosity.  I also have to be careful not to overstress my hip until it is legitimately 100%, which is why I took 2 days off.  I would say that the hip is slightly better overall than it was last week, but it's still not 100%.  Consistent weekly long workouts and staying healthy are what I see as the keys to me being successful when I finally run another marathon, so this week is as good as it could have been.  One other interesting fact that I've come to realize recently is that faster running seems to cause significantly less hip issues than slower running.  It seems that stretching helps, so I figure that running faster, given a relatively similar stride rate in either case, involves a longer stride which must stretch my hip more.  Who knows.

Music for the week is one of the most insanely fantastic symphonies of all time, Scriabin #3, ie "The Divine Poem".  Take that, runners who post hipster garbage!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Week of 9-24-12: 53 miles, 11500' gain.

This week wasn't huge, but it felt like a turning point for me in getting myself back up and running, quite literally.  My right hip isn't 100% still, but it's manageable and appears to be heading in the right direction, despite training on it, as long as I'm stretching/icing on a daily basis in addition to keeping my runs from being overly long.

Monday: Off, recovering from a hard effort on Sunday, in addition to resting for Tuesday's workout.

Tuesday: 11 miles, flat, on a treadmill to keep the pace steady.  Workout of 1 mile at 7:00 pace / 1 mile at 6:00 pace, repeating over and over without rest, for 10 miles.  I figured this would be harder than it was, but I still felt relatively solid after 10, so when the last 6:00 mile was done, I popped off a couple minutes at 5:00 pace before cooling down for a half mile or so.  This is intended to be 30 seconds per mile over marathon pace and then 30 seconds per mile under marathon pace, but since I do these on a treadmill at almost 5000' and my next marathon (with a goal pace of roughly 6:20/mile) will be closer to sea level, I add on 10 seconds per mile.  The goal of this is to improve my body's ability to use lactic acid as an energy source, in addition to forcing my body to learn to recover while still going at an effort relatively close to marathon effort.  Eventually, I'd like to get the length of this out to 18 miles, but currently, I'm skeptical that I could do more than 14 tops.  Fortunately, I'm not really in shape yet, so I'll get it there.

Wednesday: 6 miles, 2000' gain, 1:10-ish? (I forget) with Meg Harnett.  Nice and easy effort.  Picked her up from the airport for the Bear 100 earlier in the day and then did some running at Brighton.  Started at the base parking lot, ran pass Lake Mary/Martha up to Catherine's Pass, down about a half mile into Alta, and then back over Catherine's Pass and back to Brighton.

Thursday: 3 miles, 500' gain, with Holly (the pooch).  A bit of running on the BoSho trail up in Logan just to test out my new Nike Zoom Streak XC shoes the night before Meg's Bear 100.

Friday: 9 miles, 2000' gain.  Pacing Meg at Bear 100.  Went from 36 to 45 on the course.

Saturday: 17 miles, 5000' gain.  Pacing Meg at Bear 100.  Went from 75 to 92 on the course.  Meg went on to finish in 25:07, 5th female.  Started a little after midnight, so it counts as my Saturday run instead of a second Friday run. :)

Sunday: 7 miles, 2000' gain, 49:12, with Holly (the pooch), hard effort.  Started from where the paved neighborhood becomes the dirt road at the bottom of North Canyon, ran up the dirt road, up the trailhead, up to about .5 miles away from Rudy's flat (couldn't quite go all the way up because it was going to get dark and I didn't have a light with me), then back down.  I worked hard on the way up and I was absolutely flying on the way down.  Having clocked the downhill on the moderately steep dirt road portion (as opposed to the trail portion), which is 1.4 miles according to a couple sources, my pace was about 4:50/mile here.  Keep in mind that this is a moderately steep downhill and quite smooth for running in addition to being double-track width, so this was faster than the rest of the downhill.  Overall, I'd guess roughly 8-high/mid pace on the ups (sounds slow to someone who doesn't run mountains, but it actually seems like a great pace to me for this trail) and 5-low/mid pace on the downs (maybe about 5:30 on the rest of the downhills on trail, still flying, but a little more technical with some switchbacks, so slower than the dirt road chunk).  Seeing my time at the end of this was a bit shocking, but extremely encouraging.

Total: 53 miles, 11500' gain.  I'm actually surprised at how much climb I got in, but I guess I didn't do any roads this week, and everything was trails except my treadmill workout on Tuesday.  That said, I'm definitely starting to pick up the effort a couple times a week, so I think I'm starting to transition into marathon type training well.  Overall mileage isn't all that big yet, but getting over 50 miles this week without much issue with the leg (it was a bit touchy after so many hours at Bear, as I kind of expected) is encouraging.

Next week: Once again, pending a good hip, I'll be hitting 1 hard treadmill workout and 1 harder non workout-specific day and 4 or 5 other days of easy to moderate running.  I need to be careful about upping my mileage too fast given my touchy hip, so I doubt I'll do much more than 60 miles, tops, and it's entirely possible that I'll only do about the same as this past week.

Music for the week (I'm going to continue to do this to provide some good listening other than the hipster nonsense that most other trail runners seem to listen to and blog about... haha...) is Bela Bartok's Miraculous Mandarin, a fantastic piece of music from the 19-teens. Starting around 18:19, the next few minutes contain some of the most intensely brilliant ideas I've yet to hear.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Where have I been / what's next?

Simple answer: I've been generally disappointed with my running since mid-July, so I've avoided blogging about it.

Long answer: I felt ready to go after Old Dominion and got back into 100+ mpw easily (the last 2 weeks I posted were 100+ with 60-70% in a 48 hour period on the weekend).  After that, I rested up with a week of 50 or 60 miles just to feel fresh going into Badwater, where I was the crew chief and one of the pacers for Claire Heid (now Deiterich), who was vying to be the youngest ever finisher of the race.  Our group (Kerry Devitt, John Goble, and myself) did a good job of crewing Claire and got her to the line in 40 hours and change, but in the process of running the crew, I made a big mistake: I ignored my own needs.  While in the desert, I got very dehydrated numerous times, got very very low on electrolytes, and didn't eat very much while pacing (having done up to somewhere in the ball park of 10 hours straight with Claire as my longest stint, from sun-down to sun-up on the first night).  When I started pacing Claire at sun-down, my right hip felt very sore and I could immediately feel the electrolyte imbalance.  I figured I'd just start popping tons of salt and take care of things, but I had already neglected myself enough that I had started to build some soreness and inflammation that the electrolytes couldn't take care of.  Needless to say, after spending 2 days in the desert, helping push Claire through the race that bills itself as "The World's Toughest Footrace", I was pretty beat up.  However, rather than rest, I immediately resumed training.  Within a couple days, I started having pretty bad hip pains on all of my runs.

(Claire and crew at Badwater finish)

As I started prepping for Speedgoat, I suddenly had a problem.  Not only did my training suddenly drop from 100mpw to about 10mpw, but even walking was moderately painful.  Having already paid for the race, I figured I'd start and just drop out at the first aid station.  Fortunately, I took some Tylenol and managed to keep things only moderately sore throughout the run, but I felt crappy after 2 weeks of almost no running, so with the moderate hip pain coupled with the lack of fitness, I only managed a mediocre 7:43.  That said, when I was extremely out of shape last year, the race took me 10:23, so at least I knocked off almost 3 hours. :)

After Speedgoat, things felt OK, so I rested up for a few days, thinking I had dodged the bullet, but as soon as I resumed training, my hip felt like it was on fire during every run, regardless of distance.  Finally, in a panic, after almost a month of pain, a week or two into August, and a month out from Wasatch, I went to the doctor.  He diagnosed tendonitis and bursitis, mostly brought on by one ridiculously stupid series of bodily neglects out in Death Valley, and then made worse by my mileage.

The doctor promised me a cortisone shot if 1-2 weeks of aggressive NSAID therapy didn't work.  NSAIDs seemed to help me get through some runs (I had one other long run post Speedgoat, a slightly less than 30 mile roundtrip from the King's Peak trailhead to the actual at 13528', and back, in a day), but as soon as I stopped taking them, the hip flared up and the pain was pretty bad.

(King's Peak, 13528')

Finally, I got a shot of cortisone 2 weeks before Wasatch, which helped immediately, but by this point, it was too late to kick the training back up and I went in very under-trained.  I felt terrible right from the start at Wasatch and honestly wanted to quit by the time I hit mile 10.  However, I held things together through 40 miles (despite slowing down during literally every section from one aid station to the next, starting at the first station 18.x miles into the race).  Shortly after going through 40, the wheels came off.  I couldn't handle the unbelievably steep downhills dropping down from Big Mountain and by the time I was coming into mile 47, I was completely destroyed.  I wanted to drop here, but my pacer, Joe Dean, made me go to the next aid station, just to see if we could turn things around.  We were able to get my body balanced out a bit, but my legs were undeniably trashed and I simply couldn't run anymore.  There have been some days in the past where I ended up in a much worse state and pushed on to the finish (such as Cascade Crest in '09, where, at mile 78, I was literally 100% convinced that I was going to die before reaching the next aid station, half-way up a mountain and very close to passing out due to forgetting all my food at the previous aid station).  Wasatch was different.  Sadly, I just didn't want to be out there.  I knew I came in out of shape and I hadn't trained myself into the necessary "do or die" mindset for such an event.  So, when I got to 53 miles, I walked up to the aid station (after having walked basically the entire last 10 miles), gave them my number, and rather unemotionally told them I was quitting.

To this day, I don't regret that decision whatsoever.  There are times when all of the eggs were put into one basket and the only right decision is to push your body through Hell to get to the finish as fast as possible.  This was not one of those days.  I had intended to put all of my eggs in this basket, but an injury kept that from happening.

While out on the course that day, however, I came to an interesting conclusion.  I absolutely love running in the mountains and in beautiful scenery and plan to continue doing this.  However, I am not content with my general running fitness right now.  I was ecstatic to run a 100 mile PR in June at Old Dominion, but when thinking about how nothing had really gone wrong that cost me all that much time, I couldn't figure out why it was only an 18 minute PR, while my previous PR had been a complete disaster of a race (Rocky Raccoon '09).  During, and especially Wasatch, I realized why this was the case: 100 mile training did not make me fit.

Let me repeat that.  I ran many weeks over 100 miles, and got my peak week up to 164 in 6 days, but I simply wasn't fit.  My diet has been poor this year, I've constantly held an extra 5-10 pounds that I shouldn't have on me when racing, and I haven't done any speed or threshold work at all.

With that in mind, I'm taking a break from ultramarathons to focus on the marathon.  The last time I felt close to being legitimately competitive in ultramarathon races with real competition was in 2009, before I had a bunch of health problems, and, more importantly, when I was running lots of marathons and doing faster and harder runs.  Because a picture is worth 1000 words, let's observe my level of fitness from 2009, when I was running lots of marathons and even 5ks and 10ks.


What does pure ultra training look like on me when I'm as fit as I can be off of big miles and no hard days?
(Good endurance, but not fit)

Not only do I look like I'm about to die, but I just lack the obvious fitness and power that I had in 2009 when I took a day or 2 per week to focus on speed and speed-strength.

Let me be clear on something.  I don't care all that much how I look anymore.  However, those pictures tell the story of what true high level training does: it gets you into shape.  I can't just run big miles all of the time.  I'm not naturally very quick, so unless I actually work on my speed and speed-strength, I will be slow at shorter distances and I won't have speed to carry over to longer races (which is actually important, even in absurdly long races like 100 miles).

In the remainder of 2012, and in 2013, I aim to get back to that true high level training and focus on races from 5k to marathon.  It is possible that I'll run a trail marathon or even a 50k at some point, just because I find benefit from such runs as long runs for marathons, but I can say, with 100% certainty, that I will absolutely not run any races longer than 31 miles in the next 15 months and I will also not actually "race" at anything that will take longer than 3 hours.

With that in mind, I propose my goals for the next 15 months.
1. Break my current marathon PR of 2:52:55 in the first half of 2013 (preferably in January, when I am likely to run the Phoenix Marathon, if my leg continues to hold up).  I have been in better shape than this, such as when I trained very well for a late 09 marathon, but I broke my foot 3 weeks out from the race and didn't get to run it.  The goal at that point was sub-2:40, which seemed fast considering my PR, but I had knocked 10+ minutes off my time for a very hilly 16 mile loop that I used as my hard long run, as compared to what I could run it in shortly after hitting my 2:52, so I know I was fit enough to give the upper 2:30s a legitimate shot.

2. Run at least a 10 minute PR in the marathon later in the year (ie 2:42 or faster, preferably at Grandma's Marathon in June).  Basically, I want to be at least back at the fitness I described in goal 1, before I think about what I want the future of my running to hold in 2014 and beyond.

3. Run under 16 minutes in a 5k (current PR of 16:34 was in the rain on a hilly course, taking the win with no competition to push me after the halfway point, have split 16:35 in a 10k).

4. Run at least under 34 minutes in a 10k (current PR of 35:07, ran terrible splits.  Hit 2 miles in 10:15, intentionally slowed down to try to avoid blowing up, came through halfway one second off my 5k PR, but still blew up after such a hard start, averaged a heart rate of 191, maxed out at 198 for the last mile and a quarter.  Ouch).  I think I could go to low 33s if my 5k gets down to 16 flat, but in my 3 ever runnings of the 10k, I have always struggled to pace properly (either going out too hard or too easy all 3 times).  Maybe I can get it right this year.  If not, maybe I can run a bad race like usual and still run just under 34.

In the short term, I want to build back up while staying healthy.  The one good benefit of my big base from this year is that I'll be better able to handle lots and lots of long hard workouts while training for marathons.  The one disadvantage to what I've done is that my hip is not quite 100% (I'm doing lots of preventative maintenance, but occasionally, it flares slightly).  In any case, I took nearly 2 weeks entirely off after Wasatch and picked things back up for real last week, running somewhere in the ballpark of 40 miles, with no long runs and with 2 quality days (1 very short introduction to a Canova style workout I plan to do a lot of in the near future, and 1 9.5 mile tempo-ish run).  I've also been spending plenty of time just relaxing with some hikes with my pooch Holly (OK, Mt Olympus in 89 degrees without nearly enough water wasn't quite a relaxing one).  I'll start posting weekly reports this week, although before I get to resume real training entirely, I'll be up in Logan, UT and surrounding areas for a few days crewing Meg Harnett at the Bear 100 (probably not doing much pacing, since I believe I'll be the only person on her crew, which would make pacing a logistical impossibility, due to needing to get back to my car on a point-to-point course).

(With Holly at Lamb's Canyon Pass and no, I don't bring my dog into watershed territory)

(Holly being a mountain goat on the Desolation Trail)

This has probably been way too long, so that's it for now.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Week of 7-2-12: 104 miles, 24,000' gain.

Monday: 9 miles.  Main run: 7 miles, 2000' gain, Holbrook Canyon.  1:00.  Ran with Adrian.  Wanted to do more, but ran into several rattlesnakes that were being pretty aggressive (the first actually lunged at Adrian), so we turned it around early.  Also, 2 miles of literally running errands. Haha.

Tuesday: 10 miles, 2000' gain, 1:3x, with Adrian.  Ran up Little Water and partially down Canyons.  Smoke from the Alpine/American Fork wildfire was quite thick on the backside of the ridge dropping down into Park City, so the air quality was atrocious.  Once again, wanted to do more, but I value my lungs.

Wednesday: 17 miles, 6000' gain, 2:40.  Mill B to Desolation Trail (a lot more than the 3 miles posted, closer to 5 based on the last time I GPS'd it... haha... took 60:xx going moderately without walking a step for the climb, which is moderately steep, but not insanely tough), along Desolation Trail to Dog Lake, down Butler Fork, down the road.  Went too hard on the 4 miles on the road.  Paid attention to 3 of the 1 mile splits, which I hit in 6:10, 5:48, 5:50.  Aerobically, this was very easy, but my legs aren't really used to pounding at sub-6 pace, so I felt slightly sore.

Thursday: 2 miles, jogged to lunch off campus and back.  Felt sluggish after work and decided to call it a day and go to bed early.

Friday: 17 miles, 5000' gain, 3:16.  Nice slow effort from Mill Creek Inn up Desolation/Thayne to Porter Fork as a loop with Joe Dean.  Accidentally went a little ways up the Neff's connection to add on a bit of extra miles.  Did this late at night, starting at just before 7:30, finishing at about 10:45.  Found a complete moron with a raging campfire after dark in upper Porter Fork, which I thought was a wildfire briefly, due to its size.  This idiot definitely got reported to the cops and I really hope they busted him and gave him the maximum sentence of 6 months in prison (yes, you can go to jail for 6 months if you light a fire up in the canyons, as you are risking burning down everything up there).  Utah folks that read this, remember that it is ABSOLUTELY NOT OK to have fires in the canyons outside SLC right now.  Back to the run, I feel the need to point out that this trail is extremely slow, hence the extremely slow time.  This was a bit more laid back than normal, my last easy running of it was 3:01, but I doubt I could hit these 17 miles faster than 2:30, which is very slow for a hard effort over 17 miles.

Saturday: 25 miles, 5000' gain, 5:04.  Big Mountain to Sessions Lift-off and back plus a little extra.  First bit of getting lost occurred by accidentally following the west trail above upper City Creek instead of the north trail.  Second bit was caused by thinking I made a mistake while traversing across the City Creek ridge on the way back.  I thought the trail was dropping into City Creek, so I backtracked quite a bit until I realized I wasn't actually wrong.  I was exhausted on this run due to going to bed after midnight after Friday night's run, but getting up at 4:58 AM for the Saturday AM run.  Legs were fine though, which was good.  Drank 80 ounces of fluid, ate 4 S-caps (would've taken more, but couldn't find another bottle in time before the run) and consumed ~720 calories, pretty much mostly from sugar (320 cal of gatorade, 400 of candy).  Nutrition seemed fine, could've gotten away with less calories, but the fluids couldnt' have been less.  I actually intended to run more like 30-32, but apparently I would've needed more fluids.

Sunday: 24 miles, 4000' gain, 3:42.  All the way up City Creek Canyon road from 1/4 mile before the gate, plus 6 more miles past the top of the trail, and back.  Ran past the top of the trail in upper city creek, finding the creek to be bone-dry that far up, so I took the creek bed up to the very top of the canyon, right below the Great Western Trail.  The bottom of upper City Creek was cleaned up nicely from the last time I was up there (May I think?), but middle upper City Creek, after the weather station, is getting very overgrown and was absolutely full of flying buzzing insects, which made things a little less pleasant.  Overall, a good run, although pretty hot at the start.  I intended to go all the way up to GWT, instead of turning around just shy, but I forgot my watch and had no idea what my running time was until I finished and checked the clock in my car, so I turned around slightly early out of fear of getting caught in the canyon after dark.  It turns out that I wasn't even close to getting caught after dark, but whatever.

Totals: 104 miles, 25,000' gain.  Overall, a solid week, although quite lopsided mileage and time-wise.  Note the fact that within about 48 hours on Friday-Sunday, I hit 66 miles with 14,000' gain.  It was all slow easy running (12:02 total), ie only marginally harder than 100 mile effort, but it was good to get so much time and miles in after a more modest first 4 days.  It's funny to me how much faster Sunday was than Saturday, but this goes to show - beyond the fact that Wasatch is a technical course - how beneficial sleep is (I was outrageously sluggish on Saturday after sleeping only 4 1/2 hours on Friday night, whereas on Saturday night, I slept 11 hours and finished the Sunday run faster than anticipated).  I feel very good now on Sunday night, 2 hours after finishing my last run of the week, so I'm happy with the week.  One other important point is that while 104 miles isn't really all that much, there's quite a bit of climb (similar to last week's 102 with 26500').  This upcoming week will definitely be lighter.  I can't say by how much, but probably quite a bit since I most likely won't get to run on Saturday or Sunday, as I'll be helping Claire Heid prepare for her run at Badwater.  Fun!

Music for the week:

The out of tune guitars are annoying, but if you can get over that, the groove here is unbelievably cool. Besides, this is from 1982, so I'd bet their guitars were fine and the recording just makes them sound out of tune.  Plus, the line-up of Fripp, Bruford, Belew, and Levin is ridiculous.