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Run Efficient: March 2012

Monday, March 26, 2012

A hilly, exploratory week

Monday - Rest

Tuesday - Blackstrap, 6.  Sucking wind today in the balmy 65 degree weather with abundant sunshine. Had some fun with the three bitches doing laps back and forth.

Wednesday - Eastern Trail, 7.  Incredibly gorgeous day on the flat Eastern Trail. Given the fact this week entails two hill workouts and a solid back-to-back weekend I decided to go real easy today and just enjoy the sunshine and flat terrain.

Thursday - Skillins Tree Farm, 6.  Unseasonably warm and dry day today in shorts and no shirt. Hit Blackstrap again but this time did figure eights at the tree farm. Real enjoyable, but tough workout.  Got a nose bleed at the end due to the air...strange.

Friday - Rest

Saturday - Bradbury, 18.8.  Great run today with Ian and a bunch of TM's all over the place like Spring bees hunting for flowers. Ian and I went up and over the Brad and down Lunch Break Hill to the field so we could get another accurate reading of the 15.5 mile loop starting at the school. We hit the Brad again and looped all over the place, connector, East and West sides, a bit of bushwhacking and a whole lot of fun. It was good to catch up on current TM events and get to see the Brad without snow and ice.  Definitely a hilly and fun course with a little bit of everything!

I ran with my waist pack, two bottles and a 12 ounce coconut water, as well as two Raw Revolution bars. The pack wasn't too bad but I do miss the Nathan Endurance Vest.

Sunday - Mt. Agamenticus and surrounding, 23.4.  Up until last night I intended to run on the road and Eastern Trail for a flat, close-to-home and relatively easy run. That changed when Alison suggested "why don't you go to Agamenticus?" OK, why not? So I slept in a bit and donned the winter-type clothing and headed out in rainy, chilly 40 degree weather.

My plan was to hit most of the surrounding trails at Mt. A and only run up and down the mountain a few times as I've had some pretty solid hill workouts this week. I went down a trail I've been on a few times that I thought mostly circumnavigates the mountains. At the end of the trail I hit a road and assumed it would go right by another trail area so I ran on the shoulder for a few miles taking a few random turns. I basically realized I was not on the road I thought I was on but could not bring myself to turn around.  The sense of discover was just too strong and exciting.

Orris Falls
At around 9 miles I figured I'd turn around and back-track, but right at that point I found a trail leading to Orris Falls. So I cruised up with new surroundings and the excitement of adventure. The falls were relatively small but pretty. Continuing on the trail a sign stated I was in the Mt. Agamenticus conservation area. This was surprising, and good as I figured eventually I'd hit Mt. A. again. I was especially excited when I started ascending and saw another place of interest called Balance Rock.

Balance Rock
On down the hill and on to another road I realized I might actually have to back-track, bummer. I asked a guy along the way and he gave me brief directions which I quickly forgot. More exploration. A few more miles down the road I found my original trail-head and was surprised It was on my right and not my left. Man I get turned around on roads!

I hit that trail and picked up the pace a bit with the excitement of mud, rocks and roots under my feet again. A few miles down the trail a sign pointed to second peak. I headed up figuring I'd hit the peak, hit Mt. A. and head back to the truck for more liquid, as I'd run out a while ago. I recognized the entire trail from the Mt. A. 50k and had a blast on this section remembering that fun race. Then the trail ended and I was not at all where I thought I'd be. Looking at my watch I'd run for about forty five minutes without water and was getting thirsty. I downed my last bar and figured I'd be close to the truck any minute to quench my thirst.

With about 5 miles to go I was getting super thirsty and realizing I might as well just finish the run and not bother getting any more liquid. It might be some good training running to depletion. That thought went out of my head quick though as I really wanted to feel good at the end of the run and recover smartly. So I hit the peak for a bit of a view, snapped a picture and headed down.  (the picture wasn't that good.)

With only two miles to go I ditched my pack, sucked down some water and took off up the mountain for a final burn. I picked a bit more technical trail to ascend that I really love when doing hill repeats, but found real tough on rubber legs. Cruised around the back side and crested one last time before the careful, shaky steps back to the truck.

Time:  10:01
Distance:  61.2
Elevation:  8120

Monday, March 19, 2012

A slow ramp back up

This week I probably would have run more and become injured if not for a solid plan of staying injury free with quality miles and a slow ramp up.

Monday - Rest

Tuesday - Scarborough Residential, 5.4.  Real creaky and tight road run in the dark after traveling back from Oregon and taking two days off.  Not super enjoyable.

Wednesday - Blackstrap Skillins Tree Farm, 8.1.  More effort than I thought it was going to take. I guess I got used to long, slow ascents and not pushing it repetitiously. Interesting how all trails, climates and conditions lend to good diverse training.  Did figure eights at the tree farm with great weather.

Thursday - Fore River, 7.  Good mellow run on nice and muddy trails. I did a few random loops, one of which past Jewell Falls I met the man, I think his name is Dan, who created that section of trail.  We had a great conversation and I thanked him for the excellent trail maintenance.

Friday - Fitzpatrick Stadium, 9.7.  Hit the track on a fabulous windy, driving rain day. I warmed up 1.5 miles then did 6 sets of 400 and 800's at 5k pace with 90 second recovery in between each. Cooled down 1.5. Set the watch at quarter mile intervals to track and stopped it during the recovery, simply counting out ninety seconds, then starting the watch again. Seemed to work out OK. I didn't really pay attention to the timing for each interval and went by feel.

Cheap replacement phone takes pictures, go figure!
Saturday - Stroudwater, 8.  Nice easy run today in the gorgeous sunshine with the BareGrip 200's. The first two miles of the run were real mellow on easy footing through the wooded, pine needle floor.  While the middle three miles were full of fun, energy-sucking, mud and deep puddles, the kind that put a child-like smile on your face.  Felt a bit sluggish toward the end but it felt good to be warm and mud covered.

Missed running, and catching up with the TM's but it was a bit of a drive for such low miles.

Sunday - Winnick Woods, 15.  Warmed up a mile and a half, which was real easy in 65 degree weather in shorts and a tank-top.  Hit a six mile tempo on the technical rooted, rocky, muddy, icy, and undulating terrain. At which point I was basically cooked and refueled and hydrated at the truck before continuing on for the final 7.5. Real great to experience some "final miles" on super tired legs.

Time: 8:08
Distance: 53.3
Elevation:  4383

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Recovery and Oregon Trails

The next two weeks (2/27 - 3/11) were very minimal mileage but high quality runs mostly in Portland Oregon.  After 6 weeks of steadily increasing the miles I was ready for a reprieve and it was refreshing to run on new trails, with incredible scenery and experience some hilly terrain.  Alison and I headed to Oregon for ten days for business, meet up with friends and experience new scenery.

It was a bonus for me to get to run with my friend, and coach, Yassine Diboun.  Yes, I said coach.  Yassine's been coaching me for a few months now and has really helped my running and perspective on training.  My decision to get a coach was easy.  1) I've never really been coached, and have wondered for 20 years.  2) To know what I'm capable of with a catered, structured plan.  3) To learn first-hand what it's like to be trained so when I decide to coach I have a better understanding of the process. 4) To complete a 100 mile race, well.

So there it is, cat's out-of-the-bag.  I haven't told many people about this, for no particular reason.  Maybe because it's my own personal journey, maybe because I didn't want to hear any negative comments, maybe because of expectations.  Not too sure.  But I am extremely happy with the process, the person, and the results, and would recommend a coach to anyone with a strong intent to grow.

Monday - Off

Tuesday - Winnick Woods, 8.  Icy conditions made for a slower, and more difficult run on what was supposed to be a hill workout.

Wednesday - Fitzpatrick Stadium, 8.4.  I switched the workouts and ran the interval today instead of an easy run due to the snowstorm coming.  After a two mile warm-up I hit 8 x 800's, with a two minute rest in between, and a comfortable cool-down.

Thursday - Supposed to be 8 but spent the day shoveling, packing, and nursing a sore lower back.

Friday - Travel to Oregon!

Saturday - Springwater Corridor, 10.  Good run along the corridor at dusk. Felt a bit queasy from fish taco's but a nice run to shake out the legs and break in the road shoes in a bit of mud too. Brought the headlamp along and was in the dark for the final half.

Sunday - Angels Rest to Devils Rest - Columbia River Gorge, 10.5.  Incredible run with Yassine in the Columbia River Gorge up to Eagles Rest and continuing on to Devils Rest. It was basically straight up on a gentle incline with switch backs and running in snow on the upper loop.  The views, trails and people were just awesome. Took it real easy and enjoyed the area while taking video and cruising by a bunch of people on a gorgeous day.  Even saw a few goats on the way down.

Unfortunately when we got back to Yassine's car we'd been robbed.  His back window was smashed in and they took a bag of his and my bag with wallet, phone, Nathan Vest, sunglasses, clothes, and some other running gear.  Not cool, but not the end of the world.  In fact on the way back to Portland we found my clothes on the side of the road!  Ha, too skinny for the perpetrators! 

First two minutes in the Gorge running Angels Rest to Devils Rest, then on to Forest Park.  by yazrunner (Yassine Diboun)

Time: 6:00
Distance: 37
Elevation: 6124

This next week there was no plan due to the traveling, sightseeing and freedom of vacation.

Monday -  No run

Tuesday - Forest Park, 9.3.  Another great run this time getting a tour of Forest Park and checking out some incredible scenery. We headed to the peak and cruised around Pittock Mansion and continued through the woods with light filtering through the trees. I took a digger at one point but no damage done.

Wednesday - No run

Thursday - Springwater Corridor, 10.  Easy cruise on the corridor looking for a trail which ended up being right at the turn around point. Another gorgeous, and unseasonably sunny day!

Friday - Gresham Local, 3.2.  Just got out long enough to enjoy the weather and get a run in before meeting with Yassine and his wife and Alison for dinner.  Even the neighborhoods are hilly and got more incredible views of Mt.  Hood!

Saturday - Eagle Creek Trail - Columbia River Gorge, 21.0.  Crazy awesome run with Yassine hitting the Gorge a little farther up. We ascended in the rain for over two hours in between, and under water falls, next to huge drop offs with tiny trails and thick gauge wire to hold on to in places.
Sketchy! (allisonoutside.net)
Really great run up to and through snow until we reached a point of decision.  Yassine suggested we either run on and take a bunch more time to do a loop, or scream down the mountain at "race pace" with intent.  I was up for heading down quick but had no idea just how fast he was about to go.  We hit stupid fast splits on slick rocks and next to 80ft drop-offs. 

 We had a very similar day with pretty rain. (beautifulhoodriver.com)

It was really intense to run that fast down hill for ten miles and took a lot out of me, but I knew this was probably my last run in Oregon, so I hit it hard and enjoyed every moment.   It took us less than half the time to get down than it did ascending.  At the end we hit another hill repeat to round out the day and really tire ourselves out.  A truly epic run with ridiculous scenery, fantastic company, and awe inspiring trails!

We ran under a waterfall! ( boscomountainphoto.com)

Sunday - Run intended, just didn't happen.

Time: 6:53
Distance: 44
Elevation: 11757