Saturday, October 15, 2011

October 09 - October 15

Weekly Totals ~ Time: 2:26:04 Distance: 18.40 mi. Vertical: 1,154 ft.
Weekly Averages ~ Time: 0:36:31 Distance: 4.60 mi. Vertical: 289 ft.

Recovery week's are great when they coexist with colds. Not that I enjoy colds, but they are much easier to handle when running takes a lower priority. Sometime last week, most notably, after my 17-miler (3:20:XX) in the woods of Cougar Mtn., I took on not just leg fatigue, but a cold. Bronchitis-ish. The cold forced an unplanned rest day last week, and this week I've been thankful to not have to force a run. I've stuck to the roads this week, for the most part, just to encourage the mental change between trail and asphalt because I've decided to run the Poulsbo Marathon on Sunday. I'll be running it just as a training run, so I'll have my pack, camera, and won't be looking to set any course records. Honestly, from a spectators standpoint, I just think that's going to be funny to see. That's my life, though. I'm not ashamed. Here are some pics from a 17 miler last week: (Figure I owe it to the blog for being lazy and not posting any lately)
Phil's Creek Trail. Shaky video. Sorry.

It's interesting going into a 'race' this way. Mentally I'm sort of nervous, but mostly not. I'm excited, but know that the true battle will be in controlling my urge to race. Running races as training runs have huge benefits come race day. The anxiety is much the same, the preparation is very similar, but the stress and fatigue of the race isn't as draining because you're not pushing the envelope. Using races as training runs keeps things fresh, allows for training analysis, and can be a jump start for extra motivation in the final weeks leading up to a goal race.

Sunday, October 09 ~ Off Day
Time: n/a
Distance: n/a
Vertical: n/a

Monday, October 10 ~ Lake Boren Out-&-Back (Road)
Time: 0:39:08
Distance: 5.01 mi.
Vertical: 377 ft.

Recovery/Base Run. An easy run, today, in anticipation of tomorrow's Long Run. Stretched for 30 minutes pre-run and 30 minutes post-run. It's a recovery week, so I'll try -once again- to implement a more routine stretching program. Average heart rate was a little higher than what I'd like to see, but not over the top.

Tuesday, October 11 ~ It was raining. It's my recovery week, no way am I going out there.
Time: n/a
Distance: n/a
Vertical: n/a

Wednesday, October 12 ~ 'Round the Hood (Road) / Work to Home Run Commute (Road)
Run #1Run #2
Time: 0:24:30 Time: 0:22:33
Distance: 3.10 mi. Distance: 2.63 mi.
Vertical: 100 ft. Vertical: 404 ft.

Run #1:
Recovery Run. Street sounds, today: cars, wind, foot steps, and a guy that passed me twice boasting how happy he was to see me, as he said, "the man with the perfect legs." Whatever his intentions I'll take it as a compliment. I could definitely tell I didn't do shit yesterday, legs were a tad uncoordinated. Cough is still lingering, and the heart rate is still higher than normal, so I think I still have a cold.

Run #2:
Recovery Run. Commuted home, by foot, tonight. Felt great. Temp was cool (54 F), and the post-work run is definitely something to add into the schedule. Right calf has an annoyed feeling, no concern, just noteworthy.

Thursday, October 13 ~ Off day
Time: n/a
Distance: n/a
Vertical: n/a

Friday, October 14 ~ Newport Hills Park
Time: 0:59:54
Distance: 7.66 mi.
Vertical: 273 ft.

Base Run. Tested out the new Evoskin by Inov-8, today. I hated the feel of the Vibram FiveFingers, but I've always lived by the mantra, "try anything once," and I've got to admit the molded silicone casing that Inov-8 uses for their 'barefoot shoe' is by far the new mark to meet, in my opinion. Ran a total of 4.5 miles mixed between AstroTurf and grass.

Saturday, October 15 ~ Stretched, but no running. Marathon tomorrow!
Time: n/a
Distance: n/a
Vertical: n/a

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

October 02 - October 08

Weekly Totals ~ Time: 8:24:50 Distance: 45.47 mi. Vertical: 10,660 ft.
Weekly Averages ~ Time: 1:24:08 Distance: 7.58 mi. Vertical: 1,777 ft.

I don't really know why these past two weeks have been so lax on the blog front. I use my blog as a glorified training log, so I generally keep up with it. Needless to say, we all have procrastination in our blood and lately I've been succumbing to the easy urge of, "I'll do it tomorrow." Luckily, however, not in my running. Last week, was great. I did suffer through a cold towards the end of the week. At least that's my excuse as to why I'm about 7.5 miles short of what "should" have been done. I rocked a great 17 miler at the beginning of the week, and I'm really looking forward to the next three weeks of running. October has, now, become my proving ground for a year's worth of running. Have I trained well? What else can I do? Where are my weaknesses? All these questions will be answered and then plugged into the training equation and one, or two, variables will be changed for the future plans. I'm confident, and ready. Next week is a 'recovery' week, somewhat needed, but I don't think required.

Sunday, October 02 ~ Off Day/Recovery
Time: n/a
Distance: n/a
Vertical: n/a

Monday, October 03 ~ Cougar Mtn.
Time: 1:10:46
Distance: 5.86 mi.
Vertical: 1,669 ft.

Base Run. 1600' of Gain. Lazy, lazy day. Started to run this morning, but settled for cold pizza and coffee instead. Hit the trail late afternoon, felt good, but definitely like I had been sitting around all day.

Tuesday, October 04 ~ Squak Mtn. + Cougar Mtn.
Time: 3:21:26
Distance: 17.00 mi.
Vertical: 5,127 ft.

Long Run. 5100' of Gain! Set out to check off the ''mountain" sections of the 50k course. Learned a lot, felt good. 5,100 ft. of vertical gain is no joke, by the way. at 11:51 min./mi. pace I am quite please with my fitness at this point. I've got a lot to dial in, but you can't beat being on the trail, by yourself, for 3+ hours. My legs are tired, my mind satisfied, and my body is hungry. So, shower, food, and beer is on the list.

Wednesday, October 05 ~ 'Round the Hood
Time: 0:27:20
Distance: 3.17 mi.
Vertical: 90 ft.

Recovery Run. Welcomed by mist, cloud cover, and cool air I hit the streets this morning to stretch my legs from yesterday's 3+ hour run. First mile felt uncoordinated, second mile reminded me that I ran yesterday, and third mile I felt warmed up and ready to run. Always best to stay on the side of caution, so I cut the run when I felt warm and will hopefully go run, tonight, after work. Great job, as always, to the Saucony Hattori. Love those shoes.

Thursday, October 06
Run #1 ~ Cougar Mtn.Run #2 ~ Home
Time: 1:32:45 Time: 0:31:59
Distance: 8.00 mi. Distance: 3.00 mi.
Vertical: 2,349 ft. Vertical: 105 ft.

Run #1:
Base Run. 2300' of Gain. You can't beat a wet, foggy, and cool Cougar Mtn. Legs feel ok. Nothing great, but nothing to worry about. Had the trail, once again, to myself. Sometimes when I'm out on the trail solo, I wonder if people know what they're missing. The trails don't close, people! Especially not for misty morning. It's no Alabama cornbread dipped in Georgia buttermilk, but this isn't Dixieland either.

Run #2:
Recovery Run. Whoa, don't know what just happened, tonight. 0 to 2.5 mi. feelin' good. Very fluid. 2.5 - 3.0 feelin' awful. Very low blood sugar. Guess I didn't eat enough today at work. Noted. It was like a bonk, except I only ran 3 miles, ha. On a high note, my average heart rate was only 114 bpm. (125 bpm average before I walked the last half-mile home.)

Friday, October 07 ~ Off Day/Recovery
Time: n/a
Distance: n/a
Vertical: n/a

Saturday, October 08 ~ Cougar Mtn.
Time: 1:20:34
Distance: 8.43 mi.
Vertical: 1,320 ft.

Base Run. 1300' of Gain. Took yesterday completely off to jump start recovery from some bronchitis I managed to pick up earlier in the week. Felt great, today. I little congested, but no concern. Yesterday's rest day really helped a lot. I planned on at least 10, tonight, but the light retreated behind the horizon faster than I planned. No need to fret over lost numbers.

Monday, October 3, 2011

September 25 - October 01; September Training Review

Weekly Totals ~ Time: 8:21:43 Distance: 52.50 mi. Vertical: 10,910 ft.
Weekly Averages ~ Time: 1:11:40 Distance: 7.50 mi. Vertical: 1,559 ft.

What a week! My first week as a 27 year-old has been a great one. I hit my goals, ran new trails, and got a new camera. I can't ask for much more. My body feels good, my legs feel fatigued, and my mind wanes in-between. Ahh, the signs of proper training. I closed the week with a stellar 10 miler. It wasn't hard, it just felt good, negative split every mile, and it was on fairly tired legs. The weather has been cool, misty, and gray...and I kind of like it. It keeps the exercise doable without too much weather related stress to deal with. My shoes are holding up. The foam 'rock guard' was smashed within 80 miles, but so far, at 257.5 miles I am really, really enjoying the Montrail Rogue Racers.
Montrail Rogue Racer 0 Miles and 257.5 Miles
Month in Review: September

Monthly Totals ~ Time: 32:34:37 Distance: 184.70 mi. Vertical: 39,805 ft.
Monthly Averages ~ Time: 1:18:11 Distance: 7.39 mi. Vertical: 1,592

As my foot steps deadened to a muted shuffle across the golden amber hue of pine needles, the sunlight forcing itself through sporadic gaps in the organic ceiling, I felt like a bridge over a dry creek bed: wasted. The rain forest like humidity slowly strangling my oxygen deficient lungs. Each respiratory contraction felt like I was squeezing water out of a damp sponge instead of exhaling carbon dioxide. My thoughts, now, saturated in discomfort were firmly rooted in anticipation of a windy haphazard revolt, like the root system of the 70m tall Abies procera's ominously reaching skyward above me. I set my backpack down, well, I dropped the pack in defeat rather than consciously placing it in a resting spot, effortlessly succumbed to the magnetizing pull of gravity. I'm sure the amber-orange pack welcomed the reprieve from salty, body-odored sweat build-up even if the full stop was jolting and potentially damaging. I set my camera on the five foot tall wooden trail marker, indicating the junction of two well worn paths ambling purposefully towards no end, and calmly set the self-timer to capture my emotions as visually parallel as possible. I flicked the camera off, middle finger proudly standing tall, index, ring, and little finger crouched in terror, and the thumb elongated like a dorsal fin to guide the anger upwards and with force. I sighed and smirked as I reviewed the picture on the small low-resolution screen. There was a youthful ambiance of a selfish kid in a clothing department store kicking and screaming because shopping was not on his self-designated important schedule, and to cope with, and possibly change, the unplanned detour surely a temper-tantrum would alter the present dilemma. Not so much. I deleted the picture and pretended it never happened. I slid the camera off the wooden trail sign, placing it quickly into the plastic zip-lock sandwich bag, and stowing it in the right hip zippered pocket of my pack and trotted patiently with a humbled mindset forward. I had seven more steeply undulating miles to work through and, now, I was going to do it with patience and not force.

I don't know why the first part of the aforementioned run was so difficult. I was five to six minutes behind my typical easy intensity pace and yet it felt as if I was working at a speed record while towing a hundred full-size rubber car tires behind me up the mountainside, and at an average grade of 14% any extra baggage isn't just limiting it's debilitating. After the stop, though, it was like a reset button had been pushed and I slowly ascend the mountainside of self-inflicted annoyance and anger and started running. September has been an amazing month of running, with very few downs. I'm drawing closer and closer to my race date (October 30) and my legs, mind, and body are starting to fall in stride with each other. Days like September 23rd are humbling and refreshing.

The last week of September did bring to fruition my loosely defined goal of 50+ miles with 10,000' of vertical gain, so it's nice to start checking things like that off the pre-race list. Hopefully, the first week of October will bring another goal week, but it's all relative to speed of adaptation. Patience is often the most controllable variable when it comes to ensuring a low risk of injury and high yield to a new fitness level.

Sunday, September 25 ~ Wilderness Creek TH - Cougar Mountain
Time: 0:47:00
Distance: 5.98 mi.
Vertical: 1,500 ft.

Base Run. Quick run post-work. Watch battery died .71 into run, but time is fairly accurate due to cell phone and distance is based on previous run on same course. All in all, I'm pleased. Ran faster than usual. Just felt the need to run uninhibited, tonight.

Monday, September 26 ~ Cougar - Squak Corridor TH - Cougar Mountain.

Time: 1:58:36
Distance: 10.76 mi.
Vertical: 2,791 ft.

Base Run. Windy, rainy, foggy, cool. Fall is a beautiful time for the trail. Ran Most of the last 1/3 of the upcoming 50k course, today, and man it's going to be a tough one. 2/3 of the course under my belt and I'm at 7200' of gain. Nice. I'm really looking forward to this race. One month plus a week left.

Tuesday, September 27 ~ Sky Country TH - Cougar Mountain
Time: 1:08:31
Distance: 7.03 mi.
Vertical: 1,044 ft.

Base Run. 1000' of Gain. Good to get that out of the way. I've now run every part of the 50k course. Thoughts: 1st 1/3, not too bad, 1000' of gain in 6 miles and then a big 1500' drop into SR 900. from there the fun begins. 2nd 1/3, is going to be either where you die or live with 10 miles and 4500' of gain the decisions made on Squak Mtn. will determine how Cougar treats you for the final 3rd 1/3 of the course. In sections the last 1/3 shouldn't be tough but to put 20 miles in before will surely be a different beast. Tired minds lead to careless foot placement. If the uphills don't get you, you may find yourself planted firmly on the forest floor descending the mountain. Heart rate looks great, not sure about pacing, yet. Not really sure I need to be, ha.

Wednesday, September 28 ~ Newcastle Highlands Trail Exploration
Time: 0:55:23
Distance: 5.68 mi.
Vertical: 954 ft.

Recovery Run. After deciding to explore a new trail I found myself descending a previously ascended 600 ft. climb, legs and arms dotted with swollen, irritated bumps from attacking thorns and nettles, and was supposed to be flat and easy. I had fun, legs felt fine, hopefully they'll recover before tomorrows adventure. I'm not worried, but damn are my legs a tingling with poison.

Thursday, September 29 - Off Day/Recovery
Time: n/a
Distance: n/a
Vertical: n/a

Friday, September 30
Run #1Run #2
Time: 1:53:24Time: 0:27:35
Distance: 9.92 mi.Distance: 3.13 mi.
Vertical: 3,833 ft.Vertical: 60 ft.
Run #1
Base Run. 3800' of Gain. Ran the correct course, today. Felt lost mid-way through, but made the correct choice at the fork in the trail. Weather feels great: mid-50's under the cover of trees, low-60's under the cover of clouds. Trail is in perfect condition for quick descents and heart palpating ascents. Hopefully it lasts for another 30 days. The countdown to race day has begun!
Run #2
Recovery Run. 60' Gain...not sure why I continue to count that, ha. Average Heart Rate: 127, so it definitely stayed easy. Rocked some CW-X tights because I was too lazy to take them off after work and, to my surprise, that felt pretty damn good. Crisp air, car fumes, and light pollution made for a most enjoyable concrete trail run. The Hattori's have been spot on in terms of great sidewalk recovery run shoes, by the way.

Saturday, October 01 Time: 1:11:11 (All first places, nice.)
Distance: 10.01 mi.
Vertical: 625 ft.

Tempo/Negative Split. 600' of Gain. Laced up the road shoes (Saucony Kinvara) and set out for an easy 8 miler and then, after a 'behind-the-bushes' bathroom break decided I felt great and dropped 10 miles with negative splits on tired legs. A 152 heart rate average wasn't too bad and I'm surprised at the overall ease of how things felt. Here are the mile splits: 8:13.4 - 7:58.8 - 7:23.8 - 7:15.4 - 7:15.2 - 6:54.4 - 6:42.5 - 6:38.9 - 6:30.1 - 6:15.9 . I feel like I'm starting to get into shape, we'll see if there's any noticeable fatigue tomorrow. The road usual tends to take me for a loop of tiredness, sometime none, sometimes too much, haha.