Friday, May 18, 2012

Week of 5-11-12 to 5-17-12: 164 miles, 15500' gain.

As I mentioned a few days ago, I decided to push for a massive aerobic base week this week before tapering out for Old Dominion.  It went pretty well.

Friday: 44 miles, 5000' gain, as previously described, 11:30-ish, high temp of 92.

Saturday: Off (only got 20 minutes of sleep on Friday night)

Sunday: 26 miles, 3000' gain, 3:42.  As previously described, high temp somewhere in the low 80s for the earlier run.

Monday: 13 miles, 2000' gain, 1:51.  JCC to CC, back via roads since I wasn't feeling spectacular and didn't want to run the climb back to the 5-way. Temps in the mid-80s.

Tuesday: 34 miles, 2500' gain, 4:41.  AM: 14 miles, 2000' gain, 2:06.  A little outside Mueller Park to a little past Rudy's Flat and back, PM: 20 miles, roads, 500' gain, 2:35, high temp in the low 80s at the start of the PM run, didn't bring water, very dehydrating.

Wednesday: 25 miles, 500' gain, 3:24. AM: 22 miles, roads, 500' gain, 2:54.  This run didn't feel all that great.  I was not looking forward to it and it was hard.  I felt extremely depleted at the end.  PM: 3 miles, gain negligible, light jogging with Holly.

Thursday: 22 miles, 2500' gain, 2:47.  AM: 9 miles, 500' gain, 1:06, to the legacy parkway path, out on that, and back, felt pretty decent surprisingly. PM: 13 miles, 1:41, 2000' gain, city creek canyon.  I took it very hard up City Creek Canyon, running the 5.75 miles from gate to gate with 2000' total vertical gain and 300' total vertical loss, ending at 6000' in 42:19 (this corresponds to 33:51 on flat, or 32:44 on flat at sea level, ie an effort equivalent to a 35:30 10k for the last run of a 163 mile week).  I tossed my water bottle off the side of the road at camp-site 28 on the way up so I could pump my arms better, but couldn't find it on the way down and jogged back and forth between 26 and 28 a couple times to make sure I hadn't misremembered where I put it.  Oddly, I never found it, so I jogged an extra 1.5 miles for nothing.  Total down time was 59 minutes, so minus the 15 minutes of easy jogging for 1.5 miles looking for my bottle, my actual down time was slower than my uptime since I wasn't tempo-ing the down portion.

Totals: 164 miles, 15500' gain.  Biggest week I've ever done.  I'm very satisfied with this, even though I inadvertently missed a day.  The fact that I was able to run such a solid tempo run in the first half of the last run of the week is extremely encouraging to me and I honestly didn't think that the equivalent performance was that fast until I crunched the numbers through my Daniels calculator.  I think I'll have to run the Deseret News 10k this summer to see how my current fitness pans out when compared to my extremely poorly split 35:07 there 3 years ago (splits of 16:35/18:32... ouch...)  On a more relevant note, I now feel very ready to go for the Old Dominion 100 and I hope I can keep myself from doing too much during my 2 week taper.  I've never before put in such consistent high mileage as I have over the past 3 months, so I'm excited to see what all of this work will do for me when I finally get back out on the trails for a nice grueling 100 mile trail race.

Next week: Taper time. :)

This week's song is the very appropriate "Moment of Clarity" from Death's "Sound of Perseverance".  This week was all about perseverance and I feel that I had my own moment of clarity on day 7.  Pushing my body through big physical challenges helps me to see life through a much clearer lens and provides an unmatchable sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.  I now aim to replicate the sense of accomplishment that all of my training has given me when I race 100 miles in one day at the Old Dominion in 2 weeks.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Week of 5-7-12: 83 miles, 9500' gain.

Monday: 6 miles, 1500' gain, pretty easy, 60:00 even, in Holbrook Canyon, past the maintained section of trail a bit, and then back, with Adrian, right after getting off the plane back from MN.

Tuesday 7 miles, easy, 60:xx, no gain, roads.

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: Rest

Friday: 44 miles, 5000' gain, pacing Adrian at the Zion 100.  11 1/2 hours or so I guess?  I jogged 2 miles earlier and then picked up Adrian at mile 35.  He had just started puking from going out kind of hard on a hot day (high of 92 during the race).  We got things straightened out and he stayed in 2nd place until mile 44, but the loss of calories, fluids, and electrolytes caught up with him going up the one super steep climb of the race (40% grade for 3/4 of a mile... this was hard even for me and I had 33 less miles in my legs than Adrian).  The next 2 chunks of course were very poorly marked due to some a$$hole mountain bikers that removed all the flags from the course a couple days before the race (because they didn't like looking at them while riding).  Unfortunately, this part was made almost entirely of slick rock.  This was a definite low point for Adrian, who started getting some knee pain, not to mention that we did at least an extra mile due to difficulty in navigation.  I hadn't eaten much and the runners hit the same station for 51.5 and 52.5 miles, so I took off 51.5 and 52.5 to eat a ton and then picked it back up with Adrian through 77 miles.  He finally got his knee in check due to mass amounts of aspirin, acetaminophen, and caffeine, and we picked off a handful of people between 63 and 70.  We spent a bit of time in the station at 70, but then picked off a few more people between 70 and 77, at which point I, getting very tired (it was roughly 11 PM and we only had enough caffeine pills for Adrian), called it a night.  Unfortunately, the next chunk was very poorly marked apparently and Adrian got lost immediately after leaving the station along with a few other runners.  Of course, nothing says "ultra" like getting lost yet again (this time for a lot longer) after mile 90, so his last "10" miles took 4+ hours if I'm not mistaken, but at least his girlfriend was pacing him for the final 10 miles.  Still, I was driving around monitoring the race and trying to figure out where he was over the last 10 miles, so I got no sleep until we were on the way back home, when I got about 20 minutes in the car...

Saturday: Off, absolutely exhausted from only sleeping 20 minutes the night before, but I hate screwing up my sleep schedule with naps, so I just stayed up all day and then got a good 10 hours that night.

Sunday: 26 miles, 3000' gain, 3:42 or 3:43.  AM: 12 miles, 2500' gain, 2:01:xx, holbrook canyon.  Way past the maintained trail, over numerous creek crossings, sometimes on an old faint trail that hasn't been maintained for awhile, sometimes on game trail, most of the way up to the great western trail ridgeline, and back.  PM: 14 miles, road, 500' gain, 1:41:xx, NSL all the way west, back to legacy parkway, up that trail, a loop around bountiful, and back.  Probably a bit faster than I should've gone on the last few miles, but I guess it stretched out my legs.

Totals: 83 miles, 9500' gain.

I've thrown around the idea of a "high mileage hell week" for some time in order to give my aerobic system a quick boost, and, after careful research into the physiology and basic training concepts behind it, I've decided to do it, starting this past Friday (44 miles on day 1 seemed too good to pass up).  I wasn't really planning on not sleeping on Friday and consequently needing to take Saturday off, but starting with 70 in the first 3 days is still solid (and I'm up to 117 now after day 5, with 2 days to go).  It's looking like I'll most likely hit somewhere around 160-170.  Considering that my average daily mileage for the 4 days I have run is 29.25 miles, I'd hit 175.5 if I could replicate the average of those 4 days over the next 2, but I doubt that I'm going to be able to manage 58.5 miles over the next 2 days.

On this note I have chosen the music for the week, which is Dream Theater's "Misunderstood".  I love the line that says "If I seem superhuman, I have been misunderstood."  The bottom line is that, at least to me, a hell week like the one I'm currently doing sounds pretty incredible, but, in reality, it's just a lot of running and pushing myself out of the comfort zone.  While I might have contested this a year or two ago, I now realize that there's nothing superhuman about doing a 160-170 mile week, it's just all about pushing hard for 7 days knowing that I'll be taking a very good rest afterwards.  Without further ado, here's Dream Theater:

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Week of 4-30-12: 109 from Mon-Sun, 133 from Sun-Sat

Monday: 14 miles, 2000' gain, 2:11, with Adrian, Mueller Park to Rudy's Flat, the slightly down the ridgeline, then back up into North Canyon, down North Canyon, and then back on roads.

Tuesday: 18 miles, 500' gain, roads, 2:02.  North Salt all the way west, down to Rose Park/West Valley (kind of that in between area, not sure which region of town it technically is), and back on Jordan River Parkway.  Ran the first 4 pretty easy in 32 minutes, but took the last 14 at roughly marathon pace in 1:30.  Last couple miles felt like a little bit of a challenge, but then again, I was running a bit faster than my sea-level marathon PR pace at 4500' on non-tapered legs.

Wednesday: 13 miles, 2000' gain, 1:47.  Mueller Park to Rudy's Flat in 63, back in 44.  Legs were a bit sore, but it seemed like a moderately fast time.  The run was definitely not strenuous though, which is good.

Thursday: 17 miles, 2500' gain, 2:23 total time.  AM: 12 miles, 2000' gain, 1:44, with Adrian.  Ran from Mueller Park to half mile before Rudy's Flat in 61, came back in 42.  Easier than the day before, felt casual.  PM: 5 miles easy, 500' gain, back in MN, neighborhood, kathryn abbott, OHA Nature Trail, Willernie, and back. :39:.

Friday: 17 miles, 3000' gain, 2:03.  Ran what I believe to be all of the interlinked sections of mountain bike trail in Afton Alps Ski Resort with only a slight bit of overlap, which took just over an hour, then ran back up to the top of the resort, into Afton State Park via the main entrance, ran a convoluted lap around the outside of the park spitting out onto St Croix Trail Road, and back in the main entrance to Afton, down the hill, and back to my car.  Wasn't planning to run hard, but I had a lot of fun being back on these trails and took it pretty quick.  The effort wasn't draining, though, and I could've held it for at least another hour.

Saturday: 24 miles, 1000' gain, 2:49.  This run was going to be run in about 3:20, but the first 10 miles had minimal hills and although I tried to slow my pace to 8:00/mile or so numerous times, I kept getting faster, eventually knocking off miles 6 through 8 all in sub 6:20.  Eventually, after 8 miles, I forced myself to start slowing down when my average pace dipped below 7:00/mile, but it started to drizzle around mile 10.  By mile 12, the rain was coming down really hard and thunder and lightning started, so I started to pick it up again to diminish my time in the rain, picking a pace that ended up a little over 7:00 flat on undulating hills.  I kept this going while getting absolutely soaked to the bone until I had 2.5 miles to go, which I ran (despite a nearly half mile long uphill with a mile to go) in 15:2x.  Great pickup to finish the run, ended up at 7:02 pace for the 24 miles.  Like I said, the plan was to run about a minute per mile slower than this, but I didn't want to spend extra time in a thunderstorm.  I'd bet that I could now run faster than my marathon PR (2:52) if I tapered, which is encouraging considering that I've only done base work lately with absolutely no speed or threshold work (which would help me knock off a substantial amount of time).  It looks like I'll have to finally run another marathon this fall.

Sunday: 6 miles, 1000' gain, :45.  Neighborhood, Kathryn Abbott, OHA Nature Trail, Willernie, Up the road by the lakeside club, around just south of wedgewood, back into wildridge, and back home, a few decent climbs for such a short run, especially since I made sure to hit every 'climb' in Kathryn Abott.

Totals: Standard Mon to Sun: 109 miles, 12000' gain.  Counting Sun to Sat: 133 miles with 16000' gain. (starting from the 30 mile day last sunday and not counting this Sunday).  I'm happy with this week.  I knew I probably wouldn't have time for all that long of an outing this weekend, but I got the miles in and 109 is solid, so I'll take it.

Next week: I'll be pacing Adrian for somewhere around 50 miles of his 100 mile debut this coming weekend, so I'll probably take it pretty easy over the week leading up to it.  I did more fast/hard running than I planned for this past week, so I'll be doing nothing harder than "moderate" this coming week, whatever that means.

12 week running total: 1076 miles, 170500' gain.
10 of last 11 weeks: 979 miles, 147000' gain.

Music for the week is Altitude's from Jason Becker's debut album Perpetual Burn.  He recorded this at age 18 before his career as a guitarist was cut short by ALS.  The dude has been writing incredible music that his friends have recorded for him while he's been immobilized in a wheelchair for roughly 2 decades now, but he'll always have a hard time topping this passionate and virtuostic debut.