Saturday, July 30, 2011

July 24 - July 31

Weekly Totals ~ Distance: 33.57 mi. Time: 6:18:35 Vertical: 6,202 ft.
Monthly Totals ~ Distance: 121.15 mi. Time: 20:41:49 Vertical: 17,805 ft. (Running)
Monthly Totals ~ Distance: 158.21 mi. Time: 30:43:08 Vertical: 23,260 ft. (Running, Cycling, Mountaineering)

Just shy of Kendall Peak. 
At this point in the running season I've been borderline desultory. Not out of laziness, but sheer enjoyment of running. My runs have been a fluid combination of feeling, restraint, and necessity. I've attempted to outline a  training plan, with no real success, at least three times since May, full of goal miles, times, paces, and everything else that seeps its way into a "training plan" like tributaries drain into larger and large bodies of water. A simple approach is fueling the fire, though, each week I designate a long run, a recovery run, and the rest are just base miles. I've dropped the notion of adding in an extra quality day until I'm consistently running fifty miles a week in the hills of the Issaquah Alps and Cascade Mountains for the simple reason that mountain running has attenuated the 'need' for harder workouts at this point. I'm running through postcards, wall posters, and dreams. My mental cartography skills are sharpening and more and more I'm able to concatenate routes. Loops are the backbone to mental running stability, for me. However, it seems pedantic to try and cull the 'best trails' in the hills of the Pacific-Northwest. Every trail offers a persuasive vibe for a return trip, but at the same time the persuasion rest on the piqued thought that there's something even greater around the next turn, over the ridge, or behind the mountain in the distance. This week, I came off a fabulous rest week and jumped into the soft pitches of Cougar Mountain and ran one of the most breathing taking mountain passes I've ever been on (Kendall Katwalk), but courtesy a snowfield that proved to be too steep and risky I'll need to return under safer conditions. The unusually high amounts of snow fall last winter and spring are still lingering and preventing safe passage to a lot of trails at elevations above 4500', but soon I'll be out there, in the wild. My Garmin, this week, by the way, clocked me at 128,910.3 mph. Usain Bolt watch out I may be dropping my distance for some sprints. Of course, at that speed I could be set to break every record on the books.

Sunday, July 24 ~ Marymoor Park ~ Rock Climbing
Distance: n/a
Time: n/a
Vertical: n/a

Some great, and relaxed climbing with Charlie B., Laura Kay Y., Max F. and Erin S. Climbing is so important to the physique of runners. I just wish more people would realize the core strength and neuromuscular development attained during climbing transfers completely to running.

Monday, July 25 ~ Cougar Mountain ~ De Leo Wall Trail

Distance: 4.55 mi.
Time: 0:51:18
Vertical: 1,039 ft.

I finally made it out to the De Leo Wall Viewpoint and I must admit that I was blown away at how high I actually was above the surrounding terrain. Definitely will be taking a camera that way soon.

Tuesday, July 26 ~ Cougar Mountain ~ Red Town to Wilderness Peak

Distance: 5.17 mi.
Time: 0:54:36
Vertical: 981 ft.

Just a quick route to Wilderness Peak. Nothing major, no issues. Well, the chest cold today wasn't the best feeling. Tomorrow, I've got a fun mountain run planned.

Wednesday, July 27 ~ Snoqualmie Pass ~ Kendall Katwalk (Pacific Crest Trail)

Distance: 11.00
Time: 2:30:36
Vertical: 2,715 ft.

Headed east to run my first trail run on the Pacific Crest Trail, today. I was pretty excited about the opportunity to what appeared, by any reports I had read, to be a great run with some great views. The day was cloudy over the mountains and cool. Ran as far as possible before a snow field forced a turn around for safety concerns. One thing I'm learning that I need to account for is drastic changes in weather from base to summit. Every thousand feet of gain the temp usually drops about 3 degrees, the wind picks up and if there's snow on the ground it can feel much cooler. I've got to start carrying more than I'll use, even if for only safety reasons. This will include, water, a light jacket, and a GU or two. I don't typically take anything during runs less than 3 hours, so it'll be a mental drag to carry stuff, but if I need it it'll be there, now.

Thursday, July 28 ~ Cougar Mountain ~ Red Town to Wilderness Peak

Distance: 6.85 mi.
Time: 1:09:53
Vertical: 1,057 ft.

I enjoyed yesterday's mountain run so much that I just felt the need to get some vertical in. That and I knew if I waited until Friday or Saturday a delayed on-set of soreness was bound to keep me low. The run was relaxed and I can't complain, no real fatigue, yet.

Friday, July 29 ~ Renton, WA ~ Coal Creek Parkway Out & Back ~ Recovery Run

Distance: 6.01 mi.
Time: 0:52:10
Vertical: 410 ft.

Ok, the fatigue set in. Woke up to run and fell right back to sleep, ha. Told you. Ran after work, so my legs were a little more fatigued than an AM run. I noticed a slight tweak in my right hip-flexor, nothing major, but something I'll watch over the next couple of days. Mountain run Monday's start next week. A new mountain each week is the crazy plan. The actual date is subject to change depending on fatigue, but even if it's on a different day I like the title of Mountain Run Monday's. Maybe I'll make a t-shirt for it.

Saturday, July 30

Distance: n/a
Time: n/a
Vertical: n/a

Fatigue is gone. I feel recovered. Cold is on it's last few days. Except for the slightly nagging hip flexor issue I'm ready to get out on the trail, but I've decided to take a rest today and keep tomorrow just a rock-climbing venture, maybe a 5 mile run in the morning. We'll see.

I leave you with a video of the band I'm going to see tonight. Met these fine folks at a trail race. Pretty good stuff. Can't wait for the concert. Peace.