Tuesday, February 21, 2012

January 29 - February 11

Totals ~ Time: 10:06:41 Distance: 72.33 mi. Vertical: 8,478 ft.
Averages ~ Time: 0:35:41 Distance: 4.25 mi. Vertical: 499 ft.

This post is a bit of a catch-up. I cut-down on the mileage quite a bit, in part because I was getting home sick. Home being the trails. Sickness from the asphalt. I hate to admit weakness, but gees I've got to work on some mental strength. The trail is easy to love. The trees, rocks, roots, endless solitude, no car fumes, etc., keep the ADD in all of us at bay. The road, however, street signs, cars, houses, etc., is too monotonous...for me.
Some mushrooms growing on a log somewhere
on Squak Mountain. West Access Trail.
This is somewhat comical. Running itself, whether on the road or the trail, is monotonous; especially, to the observer. -Left foot, right foot, right arm, left arm. Repeat.- Running, on paper, is boring. It's tough to not acknowledge that to someone that doesn't run they may read my whining about the road and think, "It's the same thing on trail." But, it's true, there is a difference. Anyone that has run road for days, weeks, months, or years and finally takes the plunge into the soft surface struggle, finishes thinking a couple of things, "Damn, I'm out of shape.", "I ran for an hour? That felt like 15 minutes.", and "My shoes actually look better covered in mud."

Ok, I'm done whining about my extended (3 weeks, ha) struggle of attempting to adapt to the road. Race report for the Hilton Head Half-Marathon coming soon. Quick recap: It was windy, 4th overall, and it was windy.

Jan. 30 - Time: 0:44:43 Distance: 6.56 mi. Vertical: 435 ft.
Tempo Run. Lazy day equals an early evening run. Typical as of recent. Took 2 days off, one on purpose, and one b/c I didn't get up early enough. Not too worried. Started the run with a goal 5 in mind, slowly changed to 10 and settled for 6.5 at a 6:48 avg pace (negative split). Main reason I stopped, my legs weren't the only things about to be running...and I'm not talking about my nose. Picked up the pace and head straight for the bathroom when I got home. Good times. the pace felt relaxed tonight, and the pace dropped (got faster) substantially as I hit the uphill sections of the course. I really leaning toward wearing the Hattori's for the half-marathon.

Jan. 31 - Time: 0:18:08 Distance: 2.69 mi. Vertical: 48 ft.
Base Run. Beautiful day in Washington. Too beautiful to sit in a car, so I laced up the shoes and hit the sidewalk for a quick descent to The Landing. Legs felt great, and the outstanding high temps (46 F, ha) warranted a short sleeve t-shirt, shorts, and gloves.

Jan. 31 - Time: 0:20:10 Distance: 2.67 mi. Vertical: 396 ft.
Base Run. A sunny descent to work transformed into a misty ascent home. 1st mile felt slow, and was (8:30), but the 2nd mile and final .67 mi. felt comfortable (7:13; and 6:27 pace). I can't wait to get back in the mountains after this half-marathon.

Feb. 1 - Time: 1:01:09 Distance: 9.11 mi. Vertical: 733 ft.
Tempo Run. I knew I wanted to go a bit faster on the undulating loop, but a 61 min. lap time even surprised me. Especially because of the very muddy, slippery trail. Had it been dry I may have expected a 62 min./ 63 min. I'm feeling a lot more confident now that I set a new PR by 3:35 (done on a dry course). Hurting was a crucial motivator to keep the effort high, pacing was somewhat all over the place and had more to do with lack of footing than anything. I planned a 7:30 min./mi. avg. and ran away with a 6:43 min./mi. a 6:22 final mile felt very comfortable. I'm now excited for this upcoming half-marathon on a flat piece of asphalt in Hilton Head Island.

Splits: (6:49; 6:11; 6:36; 6:59; 6:46; 6:36; 6:50; 7:16; 6:22) Mile 2 - way too fast, needed to dial back the excitement. Mile 4 proved the over zealous pace. Mile 7 worst mile in terms of footing. Nothing solid. Lost a lot of energy with each step slipping. Mile 8, all uphill, started to mentally lapse and lose focus due to intensity. Final mile is flat and mimics the Hilton Head course (in theory) and felt very comfortable and easily could have gone sub-6.
Radio Towers on Squak Mountain Summit
Feb. 2 - Time: 0:39:33 Distance: 5.20 mi. Vertical: 355 ft.
Base Run. A much needed run with Joe G. Pace was relaxed, talkative, and the night was crisp, clear, and cool. Foot feels great as long as I'm running. Talked to a intelligent physiotherapist about it and worked out a plan for success. Not really an issue, just an annoyance is the verdict.

Feb. 3 - Time: 1:37:53 Distance: 10.30 mi. Vertical: 827 ft.
Recovery Run. Typically, Friday's are my recovery day that I run fully rested. Today, however, Wednesday's thrashing on the same loop showed itself as much higher heart rate average than usual. Today: 144 bpm avg., last week: 134 bpm avg, two weeks ago 129 bpm avg. Time wise, 1:40:38; and 1:38:11...obvious fatigue in the cardio and legs from Wednesday. Good know for next week's semi-peak for the road half-marathon. Sunny and clear skies, btw. Also, we ran a 8 AM...not the norm.

Feb. 6 - Time: 0:39:58 Distance: 3.16 mi. Vertical: 1,233 ft.
Base Run. Slow work day, so I skipped lunch and headed for the mountains for a quick jaunt up Wilderness. Decided to give it a PR shot, well, a fast attempt that I felt should give me a PR... From Wilderness TH to the split of Wilderness Creek/Peak I was 2 minutes faster than my previous PR.
Awesome, right? No. Way too ambitious. Courtesy the rough state of the trails (trees, branches, layers of evergreen brush) I did nothing but slow down and the 2 minutes of space between myself and PR whittled away like sunlight as the sun hides itself below the horizon. Finished the ascent worked over, and mentally let down. It was 'hot', I was tired, I ran too fast too soon and the steep pitches worked me over. "No PR" kept running through my mind. Taunting my immature start. However, the watch showed a 9 second PR! Awesome.
Is this what deer see when I run by them?
Feb. 7 - Time: 0:58:16 Distance: 5.11 mi. Vertical: 1,698 ft.
Base Run. 1,700' of Gain. I caved into temptation and the mountain side for an easy ascent. I used my camera as an external regulator to keep from running too hard. I took some great film and can't wait to mesh into a video short. It was a run, stop, set up camera, run out, run back, stop, pack up camera, repeat. I've definitely developed some better foot turnover with all of the flat training. First mile descent: 7:08 min./mi. avg. with a camera, plus tripod in my hand...nice. I hope I can hold on to the acquired leg turn-over for the rest of the season.

Feb. 8 Time: 0:28:08 Distance: 3.98 mi. Vertical: 350 ft.
First run back in Georgia. Started at 11 PM courtesy a late flight. Wow, I've never seen sidewalks so dry. Legs feel tight, and heavy. I'll blame the plane ride.

Feb. 9 Time: 0:31:04 Distance: 2.67 mi. Vertical: 316 ft.
George S. decided to join me for a jog around the park my running grew up in. I used to dread the hills of this park. Especially the first one, if you're running clockwise. It jumps a 'creek' ascends to a labyrinth of roots, ascends, and pops out behind t-ball fields. Ugh, the lung and leg burning that I remember sends lactate acid to my legs in prep. However, with the amount of hills and mountains I run the hills of Collins Hill Park didn't seem so big after all. It was great to run with George S.

Feb. 10 Time: xx:xx:xx Distance: 2.40 mi. Vertical: 0?
A quickie before sleep. The 5 hour+ drive from Georgia to Hilton Head was just another stake into my already sitting muscles. My legs were really tight. First mile was just a warm-up, second mile I dropped to race pace, last bit was a cool down.

Feb. 11 Time: 1:23:38 Distance: 13.10 mi. Vertical: one bridge, ha.
Race Review posted!

Feb. 11 Time: 0:19:57 Distance: 2.00 mi. Vertical: 0
Nice recovery run post-race.