Friday, April 30, 2010

April run out...

April in review: 266.26 miles, 36 hours 50 minutes and 24 seconds 4 days off (3 were vacation days in San Diego).

Off to a much better start this month. I have put a good gap on last month's start to the season. After the build up in miles, I feel much more fit. Unfortunately I picked up what seems to be either food poisoning or some stomach virus, and I've been needless to say... close to the toilet. I hope to hit another long run tomorrow, and we'll see!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Game Plan - Sun Mountain 50M

I've been thinking a lot lately about how to attack the Sun Mountain course, and previously I had mentioned that I thought I could go under 7:45. I've been breaking this down into pieces, because I think it's the most effective way to go about this.

There are 2 distinct courses in my view, piece 1 being 20 really fast miles. I think I'm in shape to run this section in about 2:27 without abusing my legs, the pace will be right about where I've been doing my easy runs, and after a small climb (4.5% over 2.5 miles) it's downhill mostly to the 20M water stop. 2:27 is roughly 7:50/m average.

The second "half" of the course is moderate to challenging 30M in a mixture of hill types. Having not been on the course, my calculations could be off, but I am trying to error on the side of caution by adding elevation if it comes into question. I see 4 climbs worth noting and 1 to know it's there. The first is right at 20M and extends 5 miles to the true halfway point at 6% it's not steep, but I'll have to stay motivated to not lose too much time and I'll be beginning to get tired. There is a small false summit, and a short climb about a mile after 26Mish.

The 3rd climb looks to be the steepest and shortest at well shorter than 1M but about +700' - 800' so it could be something like .5M at 30% (that's what I'm preparing for). I'll for sure hike that, it's later at 34M in and short enough that the hike will save energy and not lose too much time. The 4th climb is more like what I've been training on, 2M long at 11%, it's like Mt Falcon, just not as long. Actually it's like a mix between Mt Falcon and Green Mtn. So I know what to expect. That's at 38M so I'll be starting to hurt but smelling the line a bit.

The final climb isn't bad, and hopefully I'll have enough cajones to push it. It's about 1.5-2M long at about 5-6% so it's runnable, only it's at 46Mish and I'll be hurting for sure no matter how fast I get there. It seems that the course may be a bit short of 50M, but we'll see where they put the finish line!

So after what I'm assuming to be an extremely attainable 2:27 first 20M, there are 3 target zones for a good race in the last 30M.

Zone 1, balls to the wall: 5:00 flat over the last 30M (10:00/m pace). I think, THINK this is doable, but I've had one good last half to a 50 (leadville) and one bad (Steamboat). However, I feel like I'm much more ready than either of those races.

Zone 2, backing up my chatter :) 5:17:59 (10:35/m avg) would bring me in at 7:44:59 total time and allow me to be super happy my original goal was met. Still, I think this is super aggressive.

Zone 3, 5:30 (11:00/m avg) over the last 30M would bring me in at 7:57 total time and WAY below my PR either one you count (9:12 at a short course in Leadville 10:09 at a little long Steamboat). I think I should be able to hold this together as it allows for a lot of walking/hiking.

The bad place would be a potentially epic blowup, but I don't see it happening and I don't want to believe that it will happen. I think I'm ready and prepared to push it.

Looking at my training last year going into both 50's I peaked at 60 mpw, and that was abnormal, most weeks were 45-55 mpw or even lower. I feel much stronger, leaner, and fit with multiple 60+m weeks back to back. I'll keep training harder and more specific and try to be in "race shape" for the first time ever in June.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Weekly Miles 4/19 - 4/25

Let's start with things I learned this week.

1. The volume is coming. Slowly, surely, it's coming.

2. If I want to back up my chatter, it's time to turn this flat s*** up a volume.

Mon- Off, travel day back from SD

Tue- 8m easy in 1:02:49 for 7:51/m avg. Felt good to be back home, but the warm weather I left stayed in SD.

Wed- 10m in 1:15:24 for 7:32/m avg. Noticed effort, not in the lungs but a bit in some tired legs. Not sure why.

Thur- 10m in 1:17:32 for 7:46/m avg. Solid easy run. Felt good.

Fri- Crappy out 5m at lunch on the mill in 39:06 for 7:49/m avg. 5m on the mill after work, turned up the incline for 10% for a mile or so, more coming 41:48 8:22/m avg. +550'

Sat- True recovery run 8.32m in 1:13:15 for 8:48/m avg. Liked how slow the pace felt.

Sun- 16.18m in the AM figure 8 loop of Green Mtn and Matthews/Winters. Sloppy out with all the rain and finished the run going up the super tech hogback. That hurt a little. Total time was 2:36:37 and +3155' (9:41/m avg). This is the kind of efforts I'll need to turn in over longer periods soon. Planned on adding another chase of Green but had to get back home. Later hit the park for 5.5m in 45:47 for 8:18/m avg. Actually I had a hard time with the second run. Felt pretty good after the first run and wanted to keep at it, but when I went out again I kept getting side stitches, weird.

Total miles: 68m in 9:32:18.

Solid week, I think I'll hang out around 70-75 mpw for a while until I start to feel strong. I think I am starting to feel the build up, but I need to hang out and start adding intensity to my mid-week and long runs. Settle in and hit the hills, that's my plan.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Go With the Flow

A shifting in goals and otherwise just due to how the year is playing out for me.

Sageburner: All signed up and now enrolled in the 50K, I'll look to better my time by a minimum of 30 minutes (sub 4:45). This will be a good test and gague of fitness. I've been training a lot harder than last year and I expect my result to follow.

Sun Mountain 50M: I had originally planned to do the Big Horn 50K, but after getting shut out and taking a double look at my current fitness in regards to my run into 50 miles both times last year, I'm already ahead. My goal here is to get a feel for how hard/long I can push it at Steamboat. I have gone through some pretty ambitious goals in my head and seeing as it's a fairly fast course. I'm gonna try to run at this thing as hard as I can. One of two things should happen. 1: I'll hit my goal and crush my 50M PR by almost 2 hours. 2: I'll go out super hard and blow up in a blaze of glory.

Sounds like fun huh? I really actually like where my head is taking me (and my training) and want to try to push the envelope. I honestly think I can go under 7:45 in Washington if I stick to my current plans for training. But I could blow up and run 10+, and that's ok with me. You never know til you know. Either way, I'll know a bit more about what I might be able to to in Steamboat.

Oh, and I talked my way out of running in the CCS 5K. Better for me to focus on my strengths and goals and get a solid 22-25m long run in on trails.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Weekly Miles 4/12-4/18

Had a nice Vacation at my friend's (Megan) wedding in San Diego. Managed to get out for one run with Jake D on South Fortuna Mtn (next trip, I'm hitting laps on Cowles hard). Missed some days of running which I expected but got some great family time with my son, the great grandparents, grandparents, aunt/uncle, and my sister and brother in law. Took the little man to see the Dinosaurs at the Natrual History Museum, priceless stuff. Week in full:

Mon- Easy 8m @WP x2 1:05:55 (8:14/m avg)

Tue- Disjointed 9m@ WPx2 and track 1:13:55 (8:13/m) super windy, ran with fam for a bit. Did knock out a 5:52m on the track on the way over...

Wed- AM 4m 32:40 (8:10/m) to work via light rail
PM 13m 1:40:48 (7:45/m) hot hot hot

Thu- AM 4m 30:36 (7:39/m) to work via light rail
PM 13m 1:36:25 (7:25/m) warm, not as hot, pushed it good on the rollers, cramping at home afterward. Needed more salt, noted for WA.

Fri- OFF Travel

Sat- OFF Family time

Sun- 10m: 4.5m warm near the GP's casa in La Mesa, 5.5m to South Fortuna Mtn 1:29:14 total time, warm up was actually pretty fast, slower on the trail. Good short climbs were fun though, awesome views of the city. Nice close place to run when visiting the GP's.

Total Miles: 61m in 8:09:33. For having 2 off days this was a good week. Focus now is on the quality long run in preperation for the year's first ultra Sageburner... Can't wait!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Refocus and Weekly Miles 4/5 - 4/11

Bad news on the race front! Bummer, Jon and I went to register for the Big Horn Trail Race (me the 50K and the 50M for him) and they're full up! Both of us have emailed the RD to see about a possible wait list but it seems for now that we're out of luck. I have however booked Rachel and Xavier tickets to go down to Texas for that weekend so I have some options on what to do. At the very least we'll head up to Wyoming and make a running/fun times vacation if we don't get in off the wait-list. Otherwise I've been looking around the US to see if there are races that weekend in the general area that Southwest flies (ie. cheap). I've come up with a few options. There's a 5oK/50M race at Sun Mountain in Washington that would be favorably similar in topography to Big Horn. Less technical, more climbing. The 50K and 5oM have about the same gain so I'd be in for a tougher run, or a more fun run depending on your outlook.

Another option is a 40M race in West Virginia which would bridge the gap between our perceptive distances. Both of these races require decent amount of driving from the airport (~4hrs+) but would be places I've never been. What caught my attention today and has me actually a bit excited is the Rock Creek Stage Race in Chattanooga, TN. 3 days of racing (22/18/20) and lots of fun. Camping, ice baths, and beer. Also, my good friend Emily from back home in Salinas, CA now lives in Nashville (the fly in spot) so I'd be able to catch up a little with her. We'll see, but we probably need to make a decision fairly soon if we decide to not go up to WY.

Another refocus for me is that I've registered for Sageburner, but not the 25K, the 50K. This week has given me a lot of confidence that I can hit May 29th rolling and in far better shape than last year. Actually, I think that physically I'm probably already in better shape than last year and that's exciting. I think I can take a minimum half hour off my time and get into the top 10 in what is generally a fast race thanks to the Gunny locals that will no doubt light it up again. Timmy (3:46) and Duncan (self proclaimed "bad day" 4:14) will be in their backyard to be an almost lock for the podium. I'd be shocked if either of them weren't in the top 3. I'll be shooting for a 4:45 minimum with hopes of going lower. I've set the bar a lot higher for myself this year, but I've also been training with a more developed purpose.

Here's my week in full. Feeling strong tonight after a bigger week:

Mon- 7m nice and easy in 57:54 (8:16/m) at WP x2

Tue- 8m horrible mile repeats (6:07/6:42/6:23/6:34) was not feeling good and the piss poor results speak for themselves.

Wed- 10m tempo in 1:13:39 or 7:22/m avg including an 8:24/m warm up mile. Felt good during the run. Much better than Tuesday.

Thu- Nice easy 5m in 38:44 (7:45/m) at WP

Fri- UGH slow 5.5m WP+ in 48:33 (8:50/m) felt like shit, just no other way to say it.

Sat- Solid long run 20m at Bear Creek Lake + Greenbelt and Stone Horse Trail in 2:45:55 or (8:18/m) total. We fell a bit off the pace after the unexpected 3 high water crossings about nut deep and freezing ass cold! Charged it up the back side of Carbon to beat out some cyclocross guys and felt a bit like puking (you know when it's been a good run when you get that feeling).

Sun- 8.5m on Stone Horse trail + Greenbelt nice rolling climb up the backside of BCL to the gate and back, pushed the hills up and down and came away with a nice run feeling stronger than I've felt in a while. Was surprised to roll out 1:03:44 (7:30/m avg) and it didn't feel good until about a little over half way. To start I was breathing had, but I found a rhythm after the top of the climb around 7:20/m and started to reduce the heart rate and breathing, I was back to the car before I knew it.

Total Miles: 64m in 8:29:39. Perhaps my strongest week ever, I'm feeling really good about where my training is now. Next week will be a jumbled week for me because I'm travelling to San Diego with Xavier (Rachel's an RD for a non-profit fundraiser this weekend the West Side Stride 5K and if you're needing a nice run, this one's for a great cause!). I'll try to keep the miles up by doing some more moderate longish runs mid week, maybe 1.5hr + 3 days but I'll have to see what I can get. The only thing I'm not stoked for is the Cherry Creek Sneak 5K I'll run the week after that, I'm not fast and I haven't been training well for it (or really doing anything that I should be to run a fast 5K) but it should be fun for whatever. We'll see...

Sunday, April 4, 2010

April's off and running...

Another solid week. Held back the urge to jump into the 60's, look mom I'm being smart! Felt solid all week, some good tempo to my runs and looking forward to some more solid training. When I felt like pushing the miles out (mostly because the weather has been just awesome) I realized that it's still 2 months from my first race and that's only 25K so no need to rush into anything. Here's the week in full:

Mon- Easy 7.5 @ Wash Park x2 57:43 for 7:42/m. Legs good.

Tue- Easy 7.5 @ Wash Park x2 57:09 for 7:37/m. Ran with Marco and had fun, though way too many people in the park made our run more like a game of Frogger. Ate dinner and caught up with Marco and what he's been up to. It's gonna be fun to see what he throws down at LT100, gonna sneak up on a lot of people (and then leave them in the dust...).

Wed- Family run! 6m with the family from the Runner's Roost in 49:31 for 8:15/m. X was having a blast and Rachel had a nice run. Good stuff, this is what it's about.

Thu- Off (planned)

Fri- Long 18ish m with Leila at Centennial Cone in 3:15:xxish or more (not really sure, my watch flicked off for a little while) We were slowed by snow on the north facing trail and some seriously dangerous ice. CC is sweet though and I'm stoked to get out there in a few weeks when it's totally clear. The parts without snow were buttery, and we cruised pretty good even on the uphills (more of them than I had banked on). It was fun to talk about Leadville (where I'll pace her for 37ish miles or so) and look forward to a summer of races.

Sat- 10m in 1:17:36 for 7:46/m at WP x3 solid run good pace and felt good. I could feel the vertical from the previous day, but we were slowed enough that my legs weren't wrecked.

Sun- 7m @ WP x2 started in the park, nice cruise and legs felt the miles a bit but that's to be expected. Was 53:33 for 7:39/m and a nice end to the week. Real easy day tomorrow.

Week Total: 56m in 8:11:56 for some good time on the feet. Next week should be similar though the long run should be 20 and total miles somewhere near 60. Fitness coming around. Though, I realized today I need to be more concerted on my speed efforts so as to not embarrass myself at the sneak 5K with my RR team jersey on...

Thursday, April 1, 2010

March at a glance

I feel good about March. Even though I have relatively low miles for an ultrarunner, that is a good thing for March. Coming off an injury and hoping not to aggrivate it kept me conservative, but I've been able to regain a good amount of flat ground fitness. Partly due to weather and partly due to desire to give the knee time to get strong before handing it some dosage of heavy trails. 5 days off is one of my better months so far. We'll hopefully keep moving in a positive direction. 201 miles, 28 hours 12 minutes and 10 seconds of fun...

Looking forward to a big April...