Sunday, February 26, 2012

February 12 - February 25

Feb. 12 - Feb. 18
Weekly Totals ~ Time: 3:29:03 Distance: 18.82 mi. Vertical: 6,408 ft.
(now, that's a good mi.-to-vert. ratio)
Weekly Averages ~ Time: 1:09:41 Distance: 6.27 mi. Vertical: 2,137 ft.
(Yep, I'm back in Washington)

Post Hilton Head Half (Race Review)I didn't run much until I arrived back in the home state (Washington). Although the numbers are pretty small, that's a three day total. Feb. 15, Feb. 16, and Feb. 18. 304 ft per mile. I missed the mountains so much. I'll slowly start picking up the total mileage, and the vertical will increase probably too quickly. Not sure on the next race. Definitely trail, and most likely 10 mile to half-marathon distance.

Feb. 19 - Feb. 25
Weekly Totals ~ Time: 7:10:07 Distance: 40.81 mi. Vertical: 9,728 ft.
Weekly Averages ~ Time: 1:11:41 Distance: 6.80 mi. Vertical: 1,621 ft.

Completely ecstatic about this week's running. Almost every evening my shoes were bedraggled and looked worn to a frazzle. If my bathroom mirror could speak it would describe my look pretty similarly. And the poor shower, thick globs of hitchhiking dirt, seemingly baked to my legs oozed its way into the drain. The dirt was quickly followed by soap like a chaser at the bar. -I couldn't help but revert back to those 'freshman' college years of under-aged shots of goldschlager. Yuck. I'm a scrooge when it comes to those Christmas-tasting elixirs.-

Wet weather, this week, has saturated the hills and has added some extra stress on descents. The sliding really has a tendency to 'activate' the lower back muscles and leave the ankles feeling more fatigued than the legs. I've enjoyed it, though. It keeps things interested and helps keep me focused. Losing focus on the trail will, without fail, result in falls, sprains, and time off. I've learned my lesson too many times. I do have a tendency to day-dream, and the pseduo-ankle twists that pop up out of nowhere force focus, but I'd rather not flirt with disaster too frequently.

The morning light is arriving sooner and the blanket of darkness is covering the land later and later. I hope that I can start getting up early and catching a few early ascents and finish the days off with non-headlamp ascents. All in good time. Next week should bring a fairly similar week of running. I'm stoked about the upcoming Tuesday night headlamp run I've planned around Squak Mtn. with a couple of runners training for Badger Mtn 100 miler.

Feb. 15 ~ Time: 1:03:07 Distance: 6.01 mi. Vertical: 2,178 ft.

Base Run. My first real day back in the mountains and things felt great! I've got a bit of catching up to do -adjusting is more apropos-, but a 27:40 ascent from SR 900 to Central Peak is about where I expected to be. Headed west and cruised over West Peak and then made a slippery descent back to the car.

I either need to get a new heart or a new heart rate monitor battery because apparently I had no heart rate for the first 30 minutes and then I averaged 185 bpm for the last 33 minutes; maxing out at 227 bpm...yeah, right. I manually adjusted the recorded average and max to what I estimate to be more accurate.

Feb. 16 ~ Time: 1:11:40 Distance: 6.13 mi. Vertical: 1,856 ft.

Base Run. Day #2 in the mountains and I was greeted with a cool fog and wet trails. It feels so good to turn-over the feet on mile+ inclines. Legs felt a bit heavier on the descents from yesterday's return to the mountains.

Feb. 18 ~ Time: 1:14:16 Distance: 6.68 mi. Vertical: 2,374 ft.

Base Run. Took to the mountains late, today. Ascended into a windy summit. Wind howled like a freight train through the trees on top of West Peak. Traversed to Central Peak into a thick fog and traced my footsteps back to the car. I get high cruising around single-track, lonely, wet, foggy trails just before sunset. Time to satiate the munchies with some grub and ease down the endorphin overload with a central nervous system depressant...a dark beer should do.

Feb. 19 ~ Time: 0:54:56 Distance: 6.11 mi. Vertical: 991 ft.
Base Run. 1,000' of Gain. Lost my keys, so I ran to the trailhead to meet some friends for a hike. Had some extra time so I hurried up about 3/4 mi. to get some vertical gain. Thought I'd have more time, but that was cut down to nothing while I searched for the keys. Good thing there are no keys to bipedal movement

Feb. 20 ~ Time: 0:55:45 Distance: 4.60 mi. Vertical: 1,547 ft.
Hill Repeats. 1,550' of Gain. Workout: 2.2 mile Warm-up; 3 - 30 sec. Hill Sprints (full recovery); 2.2 mile Cool-down. The catch, the 'warm-up' is up a 12% grade. The hill sprints are up a 24% grade. and the 'cool-down' is 2.2 miles fast down the mountain. To make matters more complicated it was muddy, windy, raining, and 36 degrees. I felt fantastic and almost did a couple more repeats, but maturity took over and I stopped at 3. Feeling great, I opened up the stride, relaxed the ankles and descended the soggy mountain with a ferocious ease.

Feb. 21 ~ Time: 0:35:25 Distance: 4.37 mi. Vertical: 141 ft.
Recovery Run. 140' of Gain. An easy run with Joe G. and Adam L, tonight. Can't beat hittin' the pavement with others. Solo, not for me. Group, not too shabby. It was windy, and cool. I showed up late, so the planned 6 miles got cut short on my end...oh well.

Feb. 22 ~ Time: 1:04:15 Distance: 6.01 mi. Vertical: 2,191 ft.
Short Interval Run. 2,200' of Gain. The sun broke through the clouds and I headed straight for Squak Mtn. 6 mile run with 2 X :30 sprints. First 2.27 miles (up gravel fire rd) is up a 14% grade, put in the 2 sprints at the steepest sections, 1st section, 26%; 2nd section 23%. Finished off the summit in 26:17. Traversed over to West Peak, down May Valley threw in an extra hill to round things up to 6 miles. Overall, great workout. Descent is very slick, and I think I did more sliding than running. The quick intervals are good pain tolerance training and I can't wait to add in more repeats. Slow builds, though, are more likely to last.

Feb. 23 ~ Time: 1:08:37 Distance: 6.13 mi. Vertical: 1,989 ft.
Base Run. 1,990' of Gain. Straight from work to the Squak Mtn. - Cougar Mtn. Corridor to tag the top of Cougar Mtn...twice. She keeps things interesting, invigorating, and honest. Barely needed the headlamp during the final 1/2 mile descent. A lot of things are fun in the dark...trail running descents down Cougar Mtn, not worth it. Also, I saw the largest owl I've ever seen land atop a 70 ft. tall Douglas Fir and send out a melody of high pitched screeches...worth it.

Feb. 24 ~ Time: 2:31:09 Distance: 13.59 mi. Vertical: 2,868 ft.
Base Run. 2,870' of Gain. Had to bail on the usual Friday Recovery Run with the ladies for a meeting. Conveniently the two-and-half hour meeting took place during a rainy trail run. I must be working at the right place, is all I have to say. I've never been one for suit-and-tie, and my combat uniform only lasted 4 years, but with the required dress code being muddy trail shoes, short shorts, gloves, and a light weight jacket I could go to meetings 7 days a week.

Feb. 25 ~ Time: Distance: Vertical: