Weekly Averages ~ Time: 1:09:40 Distance: 6.84 mi. Vertical: 1,546 ft.
I have been tired, this week. Not sure if there is a main culprit, but next week is going to have some lower mileage at least for the first half of the week. Running has been relatively un-stressful, but it's becoming easier and easier to talk myself out of a 2nd run. I'm not the type of person that has a set plan, with numbers, and miles, and vertical. I do have loose goals, but as far as running twice a day I feel much better the next morning if I put in a slow 3 miles to 5 miles on the road to close out the day. I haven't been able to wake up as early as I need to put in a run in the morning, and this has resulted in one run right before work or right after and my motivation is just on a downward slope. It's not so far down that I can't get out the door, but identifying these little changes can help prevent catastrophes.
Other than the onset of waning motivation I'm really becoming confident that I'm starting to get much more adapted to running in the mountains. In the beginning, one day a week and I was set, now I'm comfortable with two days in a row or three total days. Specifically, I'm talking about runs under 10 miles with more than 1,000 ft of vertical gain. This week, I ran three times on Cougar Mtn. or Squak Mtn. and twice on Tiger Mtn. Just a caveat, though, one Tiger Mtn., day was a 5 mile day with about 10 minutes of hill repeats on a 14% grade and I don't necessarily consider that a mountain run, but I did run well the next day on Cougar Mtn. and Squak Mtn. Even set a new personal record (PR) on my ascent from the Squak-Cougar Corridor to Wilderness Peak, 0:22:37. -I say this every time, but one day I'm going to really try to lay down a fast ascent. Sub-20 is very doable, sub-15....um, well, I'll just take it one second at a time. All my PR's have been relatively tame running adventures and I either didn't know I was going faster or I did, but didn't care to hurt. I'm not exactly obsessed with PR's, but I do find them motivating. I find it more motivating that I'm setting them under training conditions. I'm not starting the runs with time goals in my head, I'm not checking splits at landmarks, and yet I'm still getting faster and faster while my heart-rate is staying relatively the same.
Favorite run, this week: Saturday, January 14 ~ South Tiger Mtn.
Night time trail runs are great, especially with snow involved. I love the danger of downhill descents with nothing but 100 lumens in a beam 10 feet ahead of your stride. The crisp air of the mountain top acting like a filter as it expands your lungs with pureness. Seeing nothing but dark silhouettes of an on coming tree line that's only visible because of the light pollution from far off cities (Seattle and Tacoma, in my case) reflecting off the bottom-side of the low floating nimbostratus clouds.
|Max F. and I post-South Tiger Mtn trail run, this week.|
Distance: 9.38 mi.
Vertical: 501 ft.
Base Run. Planned for 5 mi. to 8 mi. and ran away with 9.3 mi. Pace varied with intensity, but stayed very even. Contemplated running another 5 miles, but talked myself out of it to save some legs for my off days from work and hopefully get in the mountains.
Distance: 9.77 mi.
Vertical: 2,974 ft.
Base Run. Fog oozed through the shallow valleys of Cougar Mtn. and provided lonely trails. Wilderness TH - Wilderness Creek Tr. - Peak, 0:23:37. Descended to base of De Leo Wall, ascended, descended, and ascended Wilderness Peak, again. Legs felt good, mind was sharp and it there was a heavy mist.
Tuesday, January 10 ~ Home Loop
Distance: 5.16 mi.
Vertical: 275 ft.
Recovery Run. It took all day to fasten the Hattori's to my feet and run. Rock-climbing, yesterday, is definitely the culprit. Temperate was cool, and until I almost got hit by a car the run was great. I posted this to Facebook in a fuming rage: "I will never accept an apology after you miss hitting me while I'm running because I jumped into a road full of cars causing them to swerve out of the way. I will never stop cursing you out after you cut me off in your vehicle to 'apologize' and stop mid-sentence to say, "I'm trying to apologize. Shut your mouth or I'll punch you in the face, so I can." That's why I continued to scream, 'fuck you' repeatedly. I don't care that your kids and wife are in your SUV. It's my life, asshole. Get off your cell phone while you're driving."
Distance: 5.23 mi.
Vertical: 1,551 ft.
Hill Repeats. 2 mile warm-up run with Laura K and Erin S. 10 minutes of hill repeats on 14% grade. 2.25 mile cool-down. Repeats ended up being about :40 with 1 min rest. Probably going to do about 20 minutes of repeats, next week. Form is feeling strong.
Distance: 8.16 mi.
Vertical: 2,809 ft.
Base Run. Motivation was waning early this morning, but after the first ascent of Squak Mtn. my legs and mind started working together. A 17:30 descent later, and I decided to tag the Cougar Mtn. summit, and very much to my surprise I set a new ascent PR from the Squak-Cougar Connector to Wilderness Peak: 0:22:31. Elated I signed the book and made a jovial descent. Temp was below freezing except at base of mountain.
Distance: 3.50 mi.
Vertical: 1,317 ft.
Recovery Run. Just a slow jog up Cougar Mtn. to Wilderness Peak. Kept the intensity very low, said 'hello' to everyone I passed, and decided with a lot of spring in my step and not a lot of speed. Such a beautiful connection with Cougar Mtn. Definitely will run easy, again, tonight. Hopefully 10 miles, but we'll see how I feel when I hit the pavement.
Time: 6.70 mi.
Vertical: 1,396 ft.
Base Run. Forgot my watch...oh well, Max F. had his Garmin on. Decided today that I wanted to run through some snow, so after work I headed to South Tiger Mtn. for a very dark, wet, and cold trail run. Snow accumulation at the top was crunchy and about 1/2" thick, perfect.