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Run Efficient: A realization of "low" points

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A realization of "low" points

Most of my runs this week were done feeling sick, fatigued, and were mentally just challenging.  It was real hard to get out, and get in the miles when all I wanted to do, and all my body wanted to do, was sleep.  The week felt like many of the low points experienced in an ultra.  So with that in mind I treated the week like low-point training, and simply slogged through like every other runner does at one point in their training cycle.

Monday - Rest

Tuesday - Eastern Trail, 6.  Nice and easy on a cool, overcast day.  I dressed like it was winter to keep my core temp up.  Kinda silly looking.

Wednesday - Rest

Thursday - Stroudwater, 6.  Really feeling sick today and with no sleep last night due to coughing I felt the run more than I should have. Good sleep deprivation training though.  I was supposed to do a double today but erred on the side of caution, and rest.

Friday - Blackstrap Preserve, 11.  Better than expected run feeling still sluggish from the cold. Coughed basically the whole way but kept the pace real, real slow and really enjoyed the weather, turkeys, and seeing a martin chowing down a chipmunk.  Tacked on a few of the miles I missed yesterday.

Saturday - Eastern Trail, 8.  Slow run, feeling rough.
Scarborough, 4.  My nose ran faster than I did.  Added this run in to get the mileage.

Sunday - Blackstrap Area, 35.5.  The plan today was to get in the miles, no matter what.  Luckily Ian and Tyler were up for a bunch of miles and were willing to hang for quite a while with my plan of mapping as many trails as possible in the greater Blackstrap area.

Beaver Dam
We met at the Preserve parking lot, donned our gear and I went over what I wanted to accomplish.  Basically I was hoping to hit the three bitches, Skillins Tree Farm, Blackstrap, and Lowell Preserves, with power lines and whatever part of the famous "Jungle Run" we could get in. 
Empty the shoes!
The three of us set out on the long downhill to the bottom of the gas line trail which led us up, and with a little bushwhacking, connected us to the three bitches.  At that point we did a few hill repeats at Skillins and continued on the power lines back to the vehicles where we refueled and hydrated.

Tyler had about 20 on tap for today and after the first stop we'd accomplished 12.  At this point I realized my original plan of hitting the power lines first before the sun got too hot was moot, as there are no leaves on the trees to offer shelter anyway.  So I was starting to feel the heat a bit, but hydrating like crazy to keep healthy.

On down the hills again and through some excellent single-track, then over to the Lowell Preserve, which is new to me.  We decided to tread cautiously as the area is vast, Ian had only explored a portion of it, and Jeff warned of the "lost" possibilities.  With that in mind I definitely wanted to hit some of the peaks, as did Ian, but we didn't quite crest anything large. 
"Let's hit the open space"
While Tyler turned around to finish his run, Ian and I trudged on.  Through fields, roads, sand pits and some undiscovered country.  We finally ended up at the lower parking lot on Hurricane Rd. and began the ascent back up to the parking lot.  Ian had just come off a momentous week, as well as a race the day before and made the smart decision to finish on a high note a bit under what he wanted.  With fluids running out, and the day getting hotter, it was a wise decision.

On to the final leg, 12 more miles.  I loaded up with potatoes, a few more salt tabs, a bar, and some apricots and headed down again.  This time as much as I wanted to explore more of the Lowell area I decided to stay closer and ended up hitting the bitches again with some exploration of side trails.  On the way there I experienced some nasty smelling mud, bushwhacked more than I really wanted to, and discovered a sweet ski jump. 
With about five miles to go I was once again out of water faster than anticipated.  So I decided to hit what I thought was Blackstrap Rd. and hit the truck for a refuel.  It was not Blackstrap however and I ended up running way more than I wanted to on the road and had to do an out-and-back while finding my way.  At this point Alison gave me a call wondering where I was and asking If I wanted Lobster for lunch...  Oh man, yes, and yes! 

After a quick stop at the truck I headed down for another real slow hill repeat to get in the final miles.  It was a great day with great company and really reiterated some ultra feel of running when tired, and mentally just done.  I hope I mimicked some conditions I'll feel in a month, and hope I can recall the drive to get through.

Time:  12:29 hrs
Distance:  70.5 miles
Elevation:  7600 ft


At April 19, 2012 at 11:01 AM , Blogger Jamie said...

A license to ill while feeling sick. Dope week despite the doldrums. Great job man. Better sick now than next month.

At April 19, 2012 at 11:41 AM , Blogger sn0m8n said...

At this point, no need to worry about a few "missed" miles here and there. You'll be ready as long as you're at full strength on race day. Get well, recover, be smart, and you'll crush it. No question.

At April 19, 2012 at 12:08 PM , Blogger Sparkplug said...

Impressive week, Jeremy, especially with being sick. And your 35 mile day sounds pretty epic. Nice job. I am sure it will all pay huge dividends on race day!

At April 19, 2012 at 12:48 PM , Blogger middle.professor said...

That 35 mile run is I think the epic run of the year at least for around here and not doing something stoopid like the pemi loop or the 100 mile wilderness. Yeh that tired feeling comes with the mileage but at some point you're mind will acclimate. At that point, you're ready to rumble.

At April 19, 2012 at 7:41 PM , Blogger mindy said...

You're ready. Final healing will happen during the taper and then LOOK OUT, you are crushing Peaks.

At April 20, 2012 at 7:25 AM , Blogger pathfinder said...

HHmmmmm a 60 plus mile week...but only slogging? We all should slog that good....

At April 20, 2012 at 9:05 PM , Blogger Scout said...

Holy shit, Jeremy! I loved the videos. I expected Big Foot or something. Great job pushing through the week :D

At April 23, 2012 at 1:17 PM , Anonymous unstrung said...

ditto on everything, esp the holy shit jeremy!!! and i like your captions. :> hope you intend to do some resting up/feeling better at somepoint here. so impressed by your kickassitude and uber-runnage but concerned too. but there is definitely crushifying in your future. rawr!


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