Tuesday, September 27, 2011

September 18 - September 24

Weekly Totals ~ Time: 5:37:41 Distance: 31.33 mi. Vertical: 7,816 ft.
Weekly Averages ~  Time: 1:24:25 Distance: 7.83 mi. Vertical: 1,954 ft.

Like clockwork, friends and family come in town and running priorities descend to second place. I don't intend on ever changing that aspect of my running, training, and life. It's different when people visit you from 3,000 miles away, it's not a time to seclude yourself behind a canopy of dense Evergreen's, or in the shadows of ominous mountain peaks. So, I didn't do too much running last week. A couple of of runs, but nothing that would be considered on schedule. No regrets. Next week, however, will definitely have a pick-up in training. The SCOTT Cougar Mountain 50k route, for October 30th, has been released, so for the next month, I'll be picking the course a part one mile at a time and coagulate everything on race day

Sunday, September 18 ~ Birthday! No running, full day of working, plus a surprise party
Time: n/a
Distance: n/a
Vertical: n/a

Monday, September 19 ~ Coal Creek Tr. (Night)
Time: 1:17:33
Distance: 8.12 mi.
Vertical: 775 ft.

Night trail running forces you to slow down. Depth perception is at a minimal, but the Black Diamond Storm Headlamp is one of the best on the market.

Tuesday, September 20 ~
Time: 0:43:04
Distance: 5.18 mi.
Vertical: 67 ft. (ha, I don't know why I write that down)

Speed Work. Track. Mile jog to track. 7 X 200m w/100m Rest + 1k + 4 X 200m w/100m Rest. Mile jog back home. Average 200m pace was consistently around 4:50, 1k pace was 5:35 (err). Felt good to safely stretch the legs.

Wednesday, September 21
Time: 1:34:28
Distance: 8.19 mi.
Vertical: 2,419 ft.

Base Run. Legs were a little more stiff than anticipated after yesterday's track workout. However, after a short 1/2 mile uphill my legs felt great. Set a new PR up Wilderness Peak TR, 0:22:27, on fatigued legs. All is going well in training. Hopefully I can encourage myself to get out tonight for an easy three to five mile jaunt through the concrete jungle.

Thursday, September 22
Time:  n/a
Distance: n/a
Vertical: n/a

Friday, September 23
Time:  2:02:37
Distance: 9.84 mi.
Vertical: 4,555 ft.

Base Run.Today was: shitty, okay, good, great, glad to be done...and in that order. Most gain I've done on a run in quite some time. Unnervingly, though, this section of trail is 1/3 the course of my upcoming 50k. Ha, now that makes me smile. I've semi-retired my Garmin 405 (original) and upgraded to the Garmin 610, by the way. I approve.

Saturday, September 24

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

Sunday, September 18, 2011

September 11 - September 17

Weekly Totals ~ Time: 7:26:44 Distance: 35.51 mi. Vertical: 7,122 ft.
Weekly Averages ~ Time: 1:29:21 Distance: 7.10 mi. Vertical: 1,424 ft.

Every day that I step into a worn-in, possibly new, pair of running shoes I feel like I'm stepping in the right direction. I don't know where my feet will actually take me, I mean, I have a general idea, but I don't know how I'm going to feel as I navigate the loosely planned course. What's going to bring me joy? What's going to bring me pain? Am I going to feel anything? -Is being numb even possible? Seriously, isn't the absence of feeling (numbness) a type of feeling?- Regardless, I cringe when I hear ballyhoo from someone attempting to tell me they run because it feels good; because running is happy, running is fun, running is...none of that. Maybe this is too judgmental, too defining, to black-and-white; or maybe, everyone else reading this is thinking the same thing, but no one really wants to say it. I'm not positing that running can't entitle a person to feeling jovial, but it's an endless struggle for understanding that drives the runner to push-on, to be patient, to admit defeat, and to embrace victory. It's not telling everyone you smile every time you run...what a joke.

In "The Southern Haunting of Truman Capote" Marie Rudisill, Truman Capote's aunt, describes Holly Golightly, the curious youthful socialite in Truman Capote's brilliant, "Breakfast at Tiffany's", and another one of Capote's less famous, Miss Lily Jane Bobbit, as "unattached, unconventional wanderers, dreamers in pursuit of some ideal of happiness." I can't think of a better set of descriptions to describe a runner. The ideals transcend pace, time, and distance achievements and define a foundation that can erroneously get lost in an effort to classify, organize, and rank oneself against another.

This week has been a struggle to conform to a slower intensity, a more tame undulation. And mid-week I was bonking from lack of interaction, until I threw away the silly ratings that we all seem to confuse with success. Thursday just refueled things, and Friday's and Saturday's run solidified the cautious approach to training I've adopted. I'm feeling confident and relaxed about the weeks and months ahead of me, one foot step at a time.

Sunday, September 11 ~ Rock Climbing at Marymoor
Time: n/a
Distance: n/a
Vertical: n/a

Monday, September 12 ~ 'Round the Block
Time: 0:25:30
Distance: 3.01 mi.
Vertical: 74 ft.

Recovery Run. It's recovery week and unlike the last recovery week I'm actually going to apply a controlled, focused effort toward finishing the week feeling strong. Pounded out an easy 3 miles. I think my Heart Rate monitor must of come loose. Says at one point I hit 173 bpm, yet I don't remember feeling this at all. I'm going to judge my intensity based on my heart rate, this week. Average should stay around 130 - 140 with a max of 160 at any given time.

Tuesday, September 13 ~ Coal Creek Tr. - Cougar Mtn.
Time: 1:00:49
Distance: 4.66 mi.
Vertical: 508 ft.

Recovery Run...Hike...sort of. Yeah, I hate recovery weeks. I know my body needs the rest, but my mind is restless. I ran some, hiked some, explored some, face planted...a fall during a slow run. I rarely fall during fast runs, but gees, the slow pace allows my mind to wander too far from the trail and then the trail reminds to stay focused. Took a lot of pictures, so that was enjoyable. HRM needs a new battery. a 183 average on flat ground at 12:00 min./mi. pace, I don't think so. Took it off after the 2nd mile.
Wednesday, September 14 ~ Off/Rest Day
Time: n/a
Distance: n/a
Vertical: n/a

Thursday, September 15 ~ Red Town TH - De Leo Wall - Cougar Mtn.
Time: 0:47:26
Distance: 4.26 mi.
Vertical: 662 ft.

Recovery Run. I reverted back to some old school running, today. Wake-up, drink a little coffee, bathroom break, and within 30 minutes of climbing out of my sleeping back I'm on the trail running. My mind is slow, my coordination is slightly off, but waking up on a run elevates awareness and each step just keeps getting better, and better. Pace was easy, captured a view pictures, and felt a renewed sense of being. I can't wait to resume normal training, next week.

Friday, September 16
Time: 1:47:57
Distance: 11.48 mi.
Vertical: 2,963 ft.

Base Run. Legs at the end of a recovery week are a bit sluggish, I think due to lack of use. And my mental focus during the climbs seems to be on the slower end, too. But I hit the trail at a consistent intensity. Felt great, looking forward to tomorrow's 'Nighttime Mountain Trail Run'.

Saturday, September 17
Time: 2:45:10
Distance: 12.11 mi.
Vertical: 2,915 ft.

Fun Run. Started out at 5:00 AM and ran up the mountain with a headlamp to catch a gray sunrise. Enjoy a cup of java up top and then barreled down just fast enough to slip, jam my thumb, cut my neck on a rock, and drive straight to work for a full day.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 04 - September 10

Weekly Totals ~ Time: 8:22:00 Distance: 48.20 mi. Vertical: 11,239 ft.
Weekly Averages ~ Time: 1:11:42 Distance: 6.89 mi. Vertical: 1,606 ft.

A late showing of summer has bestowed itself upon the volcanic marred landscape of Washington. The temps have been reaching into the mid 80's, which to some may seem like an outdoor air-conditioned blessing. But, to a body acclimated, now, to mid- to low-60's F, the 20 degree rise is more than even the strongest antiperspirant can handle. About mid-way through of few of my repetitive foot-strike adventures I'm selfishly cursing the lack of symbiotic repose between man and nature. Just as Thoreau believed in the bond between nature and man, I do too. I have no faith, however, that an anthropomorphic nature sits in the same pew. She's selfishly undiscriminating, as I'm sure even the cougars and bears are pondering the late onset of heat that have filled their boundary-less abodes, so my complaints appear to me impertinent. In "Walden" Thoreau talks about the goal of man, by necessity is to harbor an external insulation to retain an inner flame of warmth. Well, Thoreau, you have failed to acknowledge my search for inner refrigeration which I seek as I retreat wildly and freely into the depths of nature on these days. My comfort is a sojourner, as is my mind. I'm fain to acknowledge the purity I find saturated in the consistently sonorous ways of the outdoors. The discomforts...too pejorative...the lack of comforts...ugh, the uncomfortable consanguinity (there we go) between  my mind and body while running through the woods, an untamed nature, is magnanimous. Regardless of heat, cold, or somewhere in-between. This week's running hasn't been easy, but it has been descriptive and refreshing.

I didn't hit my desired goal of: 50 miles per week with 10,000+ vertical gain three weeks in a row. In fact, I didn't hit any part of that goal until this week. 11,239 ft. of vertical gain is no joke.; so, post-recovery week I'll tackle the adventure again. If I can complete three weeks consistently under the desired parameters I'll add in some tougher work outs, but no need for tougher workouts until I'm confident and comfortable with my base training. I need start running my pack, again. The lack of colorful pictures on the blog is drab.

Sunday, September 04 ~ Rock-climbing, Marymoor Park
Time: n/a
Distance: n/a
Vertical: n/a

As always, a great night of climbing after work. The days are getting shorter, so I may be reverting myself into a climbing gym in the arriving months.

Monday, September 05 ~ West Access Tr. Squak Mtn. X 2
Time: 1:37:29
Distance: 8.88 mi.
Vertical: 3,097 ft.

Two laps up Squak both at relatively easy paces. Felt great. PR pace on the first ascent and a bit slower on the return trip up. Perfect weather, perfect mindset. Legs are eager for more climbing.

Tuesday, September 06 ~ 'Round the Block (Road)
Time: 0:26:45
Distance: 3.10 mi.
Vertical: 61 ft.

Recovery Run. Easy post-work run, tonight. Neglected to get up early and run this morning, so no trail run, but still decided to get out tonight. Legs feel good. No issues. Took the easy spin in Saucony Hattori's. Ever since the 11 mile trail run that they shouldn't have been worn on I'm liking them more and more to hit the pavement.

Wednesday, September 07
Time: 1:46:12
Distance: 9.10 mi.
Vertical: 2,329 ft.

Today, the legs had no rhythm. Kind of felt like the white kid on the drum line trying to keep up to no avail. Legs felts strong on the downhills, but the uphills shot the heart-rate through the roof. Not a bad run, but I was hoping for more.

Climbed with Charlie B. for about 3 hours after my run. Shoulders and hands are tired.

Thursday, September 08 ~ Recovery/Off/Lazy Day
Time: n/a
Distance: n/a
Vertical:  n/a

Friday, September 09 ~ West Access Tr. Squak Mtn.
Run #1 Run #2
Time: 0:47:31 Time: 0:48:56
Distance: 4.42 mi. Distance: 4.59 mi.
Vertical: 1,557 ft. Vertical: 1,731 ft.

Run #1: It took some time for me to wake-up this morning. Then as I was thumbing through 'Walden' I got an itch to hit the hillside. Felt slow, but consistent. When I got to the top I realized that I was 1 sec. slower than my PR up the trail. Odd, but motivating. Took the New Balance Trail Minimus up the climb and I was impressed considering the amount of rocky terrain on the trail.

Run #2: Got off work early enough that to catch the last remaining rays of the day on the trail. Started out brilliantly, and had I not taken some time to mark the trail for LK following I was cruising quickly to a PR. Super impressed with the consistency considering it was the 2nd ascent of the day.

Saturday, September 10 ~ May Valley Tr. Squak Mtn.
Run #1 Run #2
Time: 1:11:14 Time: 1:43:50
Distance: 6.11 mi. Distance: 12.00 mi.
Vertical: 1,844 ft. Vertical: 621 ft.

Run #1: 1800' of vertical gain, pushing the weekly vertical gain to 10,600', this week. Legs are tired, but any easy run tonight is certainly on the horizon. The trail was pristine, this morning. The sun cast uniform columns of shadows across the decaying wood canvas of the mountain, and there was a fall crispness in the Evergreen filtered air.

Run #2: Recovery Run. 600'. I'm becoming a night runner. There's solitude under the stars, and streetlights, and through the glow of oncoming cars and trucks. The pavement is still a grudge, but the increased cadence has a place in training. Good way to end the week. Next week recovery.

Monday, September 5, 2011

August 28 - September 03

Weekly Totals ~ Time: 6:52:46 Distance: 47.18 mi. Vertical: 6,339 ft.
Weekly Averages ~ Time: 1:22:45 Distance: 9.44 mi. Vertical: 1,268 ft.

Not the most exciting week. I have an erethic calf. Sore after some runs, during some runs, or perfectly fine, but no predictability. It's as if my calf is playing Keno with my mind. I'm icing when it's sore, but I'm getting annoyed. I hit the pavement a lot, this week. It was, well, mainly pedestrian, but it had it's moments. I didn't take my camera anywhere, in fact, I didn't really run with anything but low motivation and shoes. I find that stripping things down to core basics is the best reset button, for me. I'm intrigued to find out what next week brings my way in terms of running. My motivation is starting to crest again, so that's exciting. Plus, the <whisper> calf is hopefully going to start really healing <end whisper> I will definitely be back on the trail, and saving the concrete jungle for the roadies. So-so week, but had a surprisingly nice finish.

Monthly Totals ~ Time: 31:37:05 Distance: 173.19 mi. Vertical: 38,463 ft.
Monthly Averages ~ Time: 1:30:20 Distance: 8.25 mi. Vertical: 1,832 ft.

August was a month of noticeable progress. Yes, August, where has the year gone? It's nice to see/feel things in locomotion in the correct direction. I'm running more mileage, consistently, with a lot of good uphill running. I've just been running. Nothing fancy. No sprints, no intervals, no fartleks, just running on uneven and often steeply graded terrain. For now, this approach has been building noticeable strength, form, and efficiency. I'm progressing positively enough that until I reach some kind of noticeable plateau I'm just going to keep training conservatively and with caution. I've only had one hiccup, as far as, injuries go. But the actual severity of the injury is minuscule. I'm just running at an intensity that feels good, controlled, and repeatable. Nonetheless, August has been great. September should start to bring a little longer run time averages, but the mileage and vertical should proportional increase with the longer times.

Sunday, August 28 ~ Rock-Climbing at Marymoor
Time: n/a
Distance: n/a
Vertical: n/a

Climbed some great routes, today. Should be sore tomorrow.

Monday, August 29 ~ Iron Horse State Park, John Wayne Trail
Time: 1:25:22
Distance: 11.01 mi.
Vertical: 1,351 ft.

Made the mistake of taking two days in a row off, this weekend. First four miles, not so hot. Next five miles, felt great, even picked up the pace to just over 6:30 avg for miles five through nine and then cool-down for the last two miles. Unknowingly gained 1300'...I really did think I was running on completely flat ground. Calf felt great during the run, post it's a bit sore. Ice time.

Tuesday, August 30 ~ Red Town to Wilderness Peak, Cougar Mtn.
Time: 1:30:44
Distance: 9.00 mi.
Vertical: 1,645 ft.

Faster times at the same intensity = fitness improvement. Took it easy, today, 9 miles with 1600' of gain, definitely knew I was running uphill today, unlike yesterday. Calf felt great at the start, middle, and most of the end. Post run, though, still sore. Ice again. Maybe an easier recovery run, tonight.

Wednesday, August 31 ~ Recovery/Off/Lazy Day (ha)

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

Thursday, September 01 ~ Run #1 - West Access Tr. Central Peak 

Run #1Run #2
Time: 0:46:13Time: 0:57:48
Distance: 4.60 mi.
Distance: 6.56 mi.
Vertical: 1,565 ft.Vertical: 488 ft.

Run #1 - West Access Trail to Central Peak
Run #1, Easy Run. 1500' vertical. New PR (0:28:10) up to Central Peak, by 0:03:10. I'm curious how fast I can get up this piece of vertically jutting topography. I've just been running it 'easy', avg heart rate has been less than 160 bpm. Good to gauge fitness improvements. Cut the run short in an effort to completely heal the calf.
Run #2 - Coal Creek YMCA
Run #2, today. Recovery style, tonight. I was hoping it would feel better than it did, but that's running. Calf was more tender than this morning, so I cut the run off at 6.5 instead of the somewhat planned 10 miles. Better to be cautious.

Friday, September 02 ~ Recovery/Off/Lazy Day

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

Saturday, September 03 ~ The Pinnacle - Cougar Mtn. (Road)
Time: 2:13:37
Distance: 16.01 mi.
Vertical: 1,291 ft.

Base/Easy Run. I honestly set out to run six, tonight, and then I found a great uphill road run. After quickly gaining 900 ft and refreshing the senses with a magnificent sunset overlooking Seattle and Olympic National Park, I found myself out, on the road, just running. I'm not a road runner, by any means, but tonight I lost track of the foot steps, scenery, and avoided reality for an easy 16 miles. Not a terrible end to a so-so week of running.