Dialing it in…

This is out of our range and it’s grown. ~ Kurt Cobain

Mon June 21: 00:29, 2.87 miles, Casa Trails barefoot
Tues June 22: 1:06, 6.68 miles, Janet’s house
Wed June 23: 2:55, 16 miles, Zoo Loop GGCSP
Thurs June 24: 2:17, 7.92 miles, Arapaho Glacier Trail
Sat June 26: 2:34, 13.88 miles, Casa Trails + barefoot
Sun June 27: 7:46, 37.66 miles, LT100 Start > Twin Lakes
Total: 17:08, 85.01 miles, 11,815 vert

Interesting week of running with highs and lows throughout. Overall, I am feeling fit but still have some work to do before the LT100 if I am going to perform well there. It’ll come.

The first runs of the week were really business as usual and I have been feeling really great on all my shorter efforts. I have been tossing in big ascents up to altitude every week and those just feel better and better the more I do them and the higher I get on the mountain so I’ll keep throwing those in the mix as they seem to be working well for me. It is gorgeous up high as well with tons of marmots running about and the wildflowers really starting to pop.

The big event for the week was Sunday’s self-supported effort on the first 38ish miles of the LT100 course: Start to Twin Lakes. The day started early with my alarm waking me at 3:45 for the drive up to the course. I dragged my trailer up with my motorbike to make the self-support system complete and, after stashing provisions in a couple of locations along the course (and a couple of misguided attempts to find a shortcut back to the highway), made it to Twin Lakes, got the bike off the trailer and headed back to the start in Leadville. Gear stashed, shoes on and I was ready to roll around 8:15.

I actually felt great and had a little bit of a tough time going slowly enough to meet my prescribed splits. I was a little fast into Mayqueen and Fish, then didn’t have any real set times for the rest of the day. Nice, easy running throughout. I felt strong on the section between Fish and Treeline, stopped to refuel, then made my way onto the new section between Treeline and the Colorado Trail.

This was the only section of the course with which I was not familiar and it is relatively flat and fast. Not a lot of coverage, which actually probably won’t be a big problem on race day given when I will be hitting this portion of the course, so I am not too worried about it. I continued to run well but as this section progressed and I approached the Colorado Trail, started having some stomach problems when contributed to my eventual downfall on the day’s run.

By the time I reached the CT, I was feeling pretty crappy with a stomach that wouldn’t empty and (subsequently), legs that just didn’t want to go anymore. So I walked. And walked. Really demoralizing, to say the least. The CT continues to climb quite a bit more than I remembered as well with a couple of short, steep downhills but what seems like a fairly upward trend for quite some time as one makes one’s way toward Twin Lakes. I tried alternating run/walking but really walked a solid majority of the last 5 miles or so into TL. I did pick it up for the last mile, which is decidedly downhill but that didn’t leave me feeling particularly strongly about the day overall despite a decent finish time.

I think there are a few elements that contributed to these problems:

  • Solo effort: It’s tough being out there all alone for that period of time. My self-support system worked well (decently spaced drop off points) but running solo for that long takes a toll. So there was a big mental component to it for me. This should be much less of a problem during the race and the training I am putting in now, solo, will pay off during the event.
  • Fuel selection: The self-support contributed here for sure as I only had a few choices in my drop-kits. Need to provide myself with more variety during these solo runs in order to be sure that I have some options. Rice milk/protein drink was not working well for me on Sunday. I think that as the protein sits, it becomes a bit bitter so on race day, if I decide this is something I need/want, I’ll have my crew mix it up when it is requested vs. having it sit around.
  • General mental attitude: This was a challenging week for me mentally. Redford, one of our bunnies died on Friday, which was really tough. I am sure that contributed to some of the lows I experienced in the later stages of the run.

Overall my time into TL was decent and considering how much of the final hour and a half was walking, was really quite strong. Though I felt pretty down about the run in the hours after finishing, upon reflection, I am okay with it. Wanted to finish with significantly higher quality but there is still time to work on my pacing, patience, consumption and mental/physical fitness.


Another week…

Simplicity and repose are the qualities that measure the true value of any work of art. ~ Frank Lloyd Wright

This one restful.

So I was in recovery mode this week so I don’t have much to crow about aside from dumping residual soreness from the marathon very quickly. I was a bit sore on Monday and Tuesday, then fine. Really fine. Pretty encouraging, actually.

Here’s the week in review:

  • Sunday (10/19): Denver Marathon, 26.2 miles, 3:41:31. You already read all about this one.
  • Wednesday (10/22): Treadmill recovery then swim, 5 miles, 00:46 (20-minute swim). Just kept the heartrate down and relax. The first mile or so felt like I needed my joints oiled then I loosened up and felt fine. Just did a relaxed swim afterwards.
  • Saturday (10/25): Treadmill then indoor track then lift then swim, 5 miles (2 and 3) with strides, 00:40ish. The treadmill was killing me. For whatever reason the HVAC was off so my heartrate was through the roof at an easy 9-minute pace. So I went upstairs to the track and had a hard time running mellow so I just kinda cruised and ended up laying down several 7-ish minute miles. Yikes. I felt great and started working on some new form technique so we’ll see how that evolves. Then I lifted and hit the pool for about 15 minutes.

Total mileage for the week: 36 miles
Total time for the week: 4:57 (excluding swimming and whatnot)

Really, I feel pretty solid now. Very nice. Bob called today to see if I wanted to join him in something stupid tomorrow but fortunately we have plans else I might have been tempted. The last time I went out with Bobby T, I ended up with heat exhaustion. Not holding that against him, I’m just saying is all.

So tomorrow I am supposed to do 7 miles and we are going to go to Denver to join in an Obama rally. Very excited for that. Then I’m continuing to ramp back up for a few weeks before I start my taper for Las Vegas.

A-Basin opened up last week so I am guessing the pull of the slopes will start to infringe upon my running. Such is life in the mountains.


Tomorrow’s the first of two. Weekly wrap-up…

Let’s get it on. ~ Marvin Gaye

Well, tomorrow’s the big day. Or at least the first of two scheduled big days. Though I am very excited and psyched to see what I can do, I am treating tomorrow’s event as a training race/test drive of sorts. After talking with Caleb today, I plan to take things really easy for the first 6 miles or so, then pick things up and see how it goes.

Here’s the weekly summary for October 12-18:

  • Sunday (10/12): Treadmill and swim, 11 miles, 1:32 (if memory serves). I let the day get away from me and the weather was shitty so I just hit the treadmill to run a portion of the scheduled 15 (12 at pace). Actually, I felt pretty great. So that was nice. Swam for about 1/2 hour afterwards.
  • Monday (10/13): Lift and row, 1 hour. Hit the gym for a bit. I was going to swim too but the pool was full of racer kids and I didn’t feel like schooling them (read: getting my ass handed to me by an 8 year old). Also went to another doc who said my abdominal problems were muscular vs. organ-based. So two weeks blown on anti-biotics. Good for me.
  • Tuesday (10/14): Recovery run in Boulder, 5 miles, 00:42. Had to squeeze in a run between appointments so just hit the Boulder Creek Trail then did some 400 repeats on the High School track. Did 3 repeats which felt pretty awful, really but I am not a fast man. Otherwise, felt okay. Stomach bugging me a bit but my second appointment was with Mark at In Motion Rehab who diagnosed my problem located in my psoas muscles. So he crammed his fingers through my stomach and, after several minutes of excruciating pain, told me that things would be better soon. Ya know, he was right.
  • Wednesday (10/15): Test-drive, 7 miles, 00:56. Had to be in Denver for meetings so I jammed down to City Park to do my pre-race test run on the race course. Felt a little crappy for the first couple of miles then got into a groove and logged several sub 8s in a row. Overall, feeling pretty solid, which is a good way to feel.
  • Friday (10/17): Recovery trail run, 5-miles with strides, 00:47. Just hit the trails around the house. Didn’t feel great but was still working out some of the kinks from some fast running this week so with some stretching and the post-run ice-bath, think I’ll be in good shape come Sunday.
  • Saturday: Was supposed to do a 4-miler today but had to jam down to Denver to pick up my race pack and ended up with blisters on both heels. Ha. How much does that rule? I rode the motorbike down and honestly am not sure what happened that resulted in blisters. I have had these motorbike boots for at least 3 years and have never had problems in the past. So Rach picked up some blister stuff and we’ll give it the old college try tomorrow. This will be great practice for Leadville.

Total mileage for the week: 28 miles
Total time for the week: 5:15 ish

So I have been eating carbs like there is no tomorrow and resting, watching movies, etc. Have to be in Denver by 6:15 tomorrow so I’ll be getting up very early to whack down some breakfast and get my run on. Though the event is chipped, there apparently is not any real-time tracking but I’ll let you know how it goes ASAP.


Weak-ly summary…

The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses – behind the lines, in the gym and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights. ~ Muhammad Ali

This wasn’t much of a training week but sometimes rest does a body good. (Please don’t sue me, National Dairy Council). I am still having my abdomen issues but the tendonitis seems to have healed, so I guess I am back to where I was two weeks ago. And that will have to be okay.

October 5-11, 2008

  • Monday (10/6): Gym – lift and swim, 1:30. Since the doc said I wasn’t supposed to run for a few days, I hit the gym to lift some weights and swim (albeit briefly). I am not much of a swimmer and though I went through a bit of a lifting phase a few years back, am really just working on high reps at this point. No need to bulk back up to super-sized Stu.
  • Wednesday (10/8): Gym – lift and row, 1:15. Went to the gym intending to run on the treadmill but I forgot my shoes and Crocks are not only fugly but are not particularly awesome when it comes to running. So I lifted for a bit then used the rowing machine. Then I went home. I think the going home part was the most fun.
  • Thursday (10/9): Treadmill and swim, 5 miles/20 lengths, 1:15. Lost track of time due to work stuff (again) and had to jam down to the community center to run on the treadmill for a bit. Just mixed up the speed and decided 5 miles would suffice for the day as I just wasn’t feeling the love on the hamster wheel today. I did manage to keep a 9:00 pace, so that wasn’t too bad. How the crap did Dean Karnazes run on this stupid thing for 48 hours? He logged 211.7 miles. And that is just silly.
    After my run, I swam for a bit. Actually getting better and did something like 20 lengths in about 20 minutes. I told you I was slow.
  • Saturday (10/11): Peak-to-Peak popsicle, 7 miles, 00:57. Supposedly a recovery run but since I couldn’t really figure out from what I was supposedly recovering (too many to choose from), I just kinda went with what felt right. Did about 6, 100-meter strides and felt okay for the most part. I was not really able to keep my heartrate down so just focused on having fun. My calves were fine, my abdomen hurt a bit but overall it was a good run in the very cool, misty October weather. Had to break out the gloves even.

Total mileage for the week: 12 miles
Total time for the week: 5 hours

The Denver Marathon is next Sunday so I have a week to go. Right now I am planning to just generally stick to my schedule the first half of the week then take it easy leading into the race. This is just a training race for me (shooting for 3:45-3:52) but my main goal is to run negative splits or to at least get a better feel for pacing and holding back the first half of the race. I have a tendency to go out a little hard and definitely can get swept up in the emotion of the event so I will really be practicing keeping my cool in hope that I learn something to apply to Vegas.

It is looking like it actually might snow for reals this time (currently 32 degrees, light drizzle and super foggy at my house). I’ll keep you posted.


Weekly summary (early this week)…

Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something. ~ Westley/Dread Pirate Roberts

It’s that time again… time for your favorite feature: The Weekly Summary! I wish worked. Maybe in HTML 5.0.

Anway, this week was interesting, to say the least. Here are the details:

September 28-October 4, 2008

  • Sunday (9/28): Misery run in GGCSP, 15 miles, 2:55. Well, I felt great for about 8 but then everything fell apart and the last 7 miles were an exercise in tedium. I have been having a few pain issues and they definitely kicked into high gear during the course of the run. Not cool.
  • Monday (9/29): Went to the doctor to see about the pain stuff and got on some meds to try to get it all resolved.
  • Tuesday (9/30): Recovery run on the Peak2Peak, 7 miles, 00:59. Tried to keep the heartrate down and do some strides but it is tough running hills at any reasonable pace with a low heartrate. Generally felt good though.
  • Wednesday (10/1): Fast run on South Beaver, 7.5 miles, 1:02. Felt really great on this run and logged my best time on this route. Even while stopping to pet some dogs who were wandering around down by the creek. Pretty much hammered down and then pushed it all the way back up to beat my previous best by at least 6 minutes. Started having some weird pain in my right calf on the way down that wouldn’t stretch out.
  • Thursday (10/2): Weights at the gym. Went to the local Community Center to lift and maybe swim for a bit. The pool was closed due to lightning but I did a couple circuits in the weight room and then rowed for a little while.
  • Friday (10/3): LT run in Boulder, 11 miles, 1:30. Good road run with 6 miles of very fast pace. Did 3 miles warm up, 6 miles at 1/3 marathon pace, then 2 miles warm down. Felt great except for now both calves were hurting. Not cool. Pretty much seized up with about 2 miles to go. When I got home, I checked out side effects to the meds I am taking and one is tendonitis (with the potential for tendon rupture). Seriously not good. So Rach helped massage which made things a bit better. Definitely getting in touch with the doc to get on something different that doesn’t have such wacked side effects.
  • Saturday (10/4): Off or the gym. Taking today off to consult with the doc and maybe lift weights.

Total mileage for the week: 40.5 miles
Total time for the week: 6:25

Aside from the debacle on Sunday and the pain problems, I felt great. Able to spin faster speeds than ever. Need to just get some of these other issues resolved.


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