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Run Efficient: June 2012

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Heat training, Mt. Agamenticus 6 hour run

Well this week was a bit of a gamble adding on double the mileage from last week as well as the ever-challenging Mt. Agamenticus 6 hour run. Hopefully the two rest days as well as the relatively flat terrain, (except for Mt. A) made the transition easier on my body. We'll see. All-in-all it was a hot week, perfect heat training for Vermont. Summer's here!

Monday - Wohelo Trail and back.  8.2, @7:02.  Fun spirited run after missing a weekends worth of long runs. Still sluggish and real fatigued from the sickness, but it felt great to move.

Tuesday - Eastern Trail.  20, @9:22.  Good run along the ET from the house. I decided a flat run of at least twenty would be good after missing last weekends 50k in the mountains, and falling short in mileage a few weeks in a row. Knowing the Mt. A 6 hour run is coming up and I'm increasing the miles I figured flat and easy was a good idea. The run felt great and after mixing in as much single-track as I could to keep it interesting I managed a solid negative split.

Wednesday - Off

Thursday - Robinson Woods to the Sea.  8.3, @9:13.  Nice and easy with a few pick-ups along the ocean at Fort Williams.  Another gorgeous day.

Friday - Eastern Trail.  5.5, @9:03.  Mindy and I were finally able to meet-up, and catch-up on past events, as well as future goals. Real great run on another absolutely gorgeous day.

Saturday - Mount Agamenticus 6 hour run, Western States commemorative.  31.8, @11:37.  Wow what a humid and hot day!  20 or thirty of us started off at 7 a.m. to run the approximately 3 mile loop on Mt. A. while people we know started their own epic journey at the WS100.

I started off with Ian, Zak, Blaine, Nathan and Tyler at a comfortable pace heading down the dirt road in 95% humidity.  It literally felt like we were swimming down the road with the thick, soupy feel to the day.  The first few laps were quite challenging for me, and I'm sure a few others with the high humidity, still air, and steep ascents.  After a lap or two Tyler took off and the four of us pushed on as the humidity dropped and the temperature rose.

The sun came out somewhere about half way and I got the urge to move quicker.  So Blaine and I picked up the pace a bit, but after a lap I realized I was getting in to racing mode.  I found myself wanting to catch Tyler and ensure I could get in 11 laps.  With the previous weeks ramp in mileage, the humidity, and wanting to rest for the upcoming final week of training, we stopped for Zak and Ian.  Besides the training reasons to slow down a bit, I started to feel a bit tuckered, and more importantly really wanted to run with as many TM's as possible today.  Slowing it down and hanging with Zak and Ian proved a smart idea as later in the day they would be dragging my ass down the mountain each loop. 

Somewhere around lap 6 Blaine had to head home and we were joined by Jamie.  This was a complete surprise, and great to have someone fresh join the crew.  Not to mention I hadn't run with Jamie in a long time.  I definitely felt some invigoration for a few laps with him and was able to cruise up the steep back side of the mountain with relative fun.  On the down though Zak and Ian simply rocked it and were able to keep our pace solid each lap.

By the 8th lap I was definitely feeling tired, sore, and heat exhausted.  We'd been sweating profusely since the start of the day and the sun was now beating down on us more, and more each lap.  I drank a bottle almost every three miles for a total of 5 liters during the run.  The nutrition was fine, sweet potatoes, Raw Revolution bar, two Mojo bars, dates, apricots, but the massive amount of water was probably not being processed well as a few people pointed out I was bloated.  It was true, I looked like I'd just finished a pie eating contest, thrown down a few dozen hot dogs and finished it off with castor oil...  I'd only had Nuun every other lap mixing it with water, as I wanted to watch my electrolyte intake.  But still something seemed off.

The ninth lap was a hard push, a bit slower on the ascent and a bit more painful on the way down.  I think Jamie left before our 10th lap and it was now just the three of us.  With Ian's solid training the last few weeks, notably his 50k slog last week, he was happy to call it good after finishing ten.  I myself really wanted to push the last lap to get in 11 as I felt like I was playing catch-up with quality LSD.  Zak too was game, and actually looked and ran real well.  He stated his legs "felt great" and made it evident on the quick, gazelle-like descents down the mountain.

We finished 11 laps in 6:09.  So we didn't quite get the laps in under the 6 hour mark.  I think we were just cresting the top when six hours rolled around.  It was another really great day in the heat and humidity, and very nice to spend it with friends pushing ourselves.  It was hard to believe that when we finished our friends out West still had a long way to go...

Sunday - Off.  I was going to do a short shake-out run and take Monday off, but decided to rest now, not push it, and have a solid week next week.

Time:  12:19
Distance:  73.8
Elevation:   6662

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The miles fizzle out...

Well another week well under plan and relatively lackluster, with no LSD.  I had hoped for at least 65 or 70 miles this week but the major run of the week, and possibly this training cycle, just didn't happen.

Monday - Stroudwater, 6 @10:22.  Sluggish run. The middle two miles on the power lines were a bit challenging with the tall grass, deep mud and baby hills that kicked my ass. Definitely feeling the Baldface loop today.

Tuesday - Blackstrap Preserve, 8.75 @10:23.  Another slower run than anticipated with an overall fatigue. Not sure if it's the efforts from last month, or just general tiredness from getting back in the swing of things. I hit a few repeats at the Preserve, then went up the gas line and continued three quarters of a mile up the road then back for a fun finish.

Wednesday - Fitzpatrick Stadium, 6 @8:39.  Ran with a client for his first mile test since he was a kid. We warmed up a mile and then hit it in the pouring rain and wind. He did great and held on till the end. After a mile cool down walking and jogging I continued on with some 800's (2:49, 2:57, 2:57, 3:17). I only managed four of the eight I wanted to do. Just felt exhausted and kind of flu-like. The first three were OK, but when the last one took 20 seconds longer it was time to stop I knew I was either over-worked, or sick.

Thursday - Hartford Reservoir, CT, 8.3 @8:14.  Ran with the RRCA crew. Great run first with two loops on the road, then an out-and-back on the trails with Randy Accetta.  Surprisingly gorgeous area.

Friday - Penwood State Park, CT, 7.3 @9:14.  Great hilly run mostly on trails and single-track with Lianna, Lisa, and Randy.

Saturday - Off to rest for the Pemi.

Sunday - I picked up Ian, Zak, and Andy at 4:30 in the morning on Sunday to head to the Pemigewassett Wilderness to run the gorgeous 50k in the White Mountains.  We were all super excited but a few of us were a bit under the weather.  I was getting over a strange fatigue-cold, and Zak was really just starting to feel his own illness.  About half way there we stopped for a bio break and coffee and were about to head on our way when my truck decided it wasn't going to start.  Bummer.  We tried a little of this, and a little of that and after getting a jump from a passer-by decided it was the starter.

After calling my insurance company they said there was no one in the area open, and they were sending a service/tow truck.  After all it was 7:00 on father's day as well as Sunday.  They stated it would be $200 for the tow and there was only room for two people, so we'd need a taxi for the other riders.  Another bummer.  We had hoped to get it serviced in Conway and just head out somewhere while it was being worked on.  No such luck.

Around this time a super nice young dude name Gage stopped by and tinkered around a bit giving his expert-ex-car-garage advice and proclaimed it was the starter.  He was cool enough to drive the boys back to Portland so they could get in a run while I waited for the tow truck.  Really awesome of him.  So I apologized to the boys and they headed off down the road with a plume of cigarette smoke billowing out the car windows.

Tow truck arrives 45 minutes later, gives me a jump, car starts.  Sweet.  So I just ended up driving back to Scarborough to replace the battery and didn't bother getting a run in.  I felt really bad that the boys missed an awesome loop, especially Zak who has yet to do it, but such is life. 

Time:  5:40
Distance:  36.3
Elevation:  3096

I'm not going to bother stressing about the mileage.  I was sick last week and had a bunch of things going on.  It was probably also a good thing we didn't hit the Pemi Loop anyway with both Zak and I not at our best, it might have gotten ugly...

Next week I'm going to try a dramatic, but hopefully intelligent higher mileage week.  Ian and I chatted a bit about the specificity of the Pemi Loop and how that style of hard hiking, climbing, and running is really not that similar to the VT conditions.  It was great last year when we used it to train for the 100MW, but this year maybe we could get in other runs and call it good.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Let the training begin!

OK, so, Vermont 100...  With the DNF three years ago I'm really looking forward to doing things correctly this time around.  Lack of training, poor shoe choice, too much liquid fuel consumption, too many processed foods, too much sodium, and too many blisters all lead to a rookie dropout at mile 77.  Lessons learned.

I won't be changing my training plans too much, basically recycling a bunch of what I've done over the past 6 months.  I will however incorporate more road runs, mixing them in with trails.  My hope is to get a few mountainous long runs in to simulate the course as best I can.  I won't care as much about the high mileage as making sure there's a bit higher quality in each week.  I would also like to actually do some strength stuff, plyometrics, cross-fit, whatever.  I've seen how beneficial this has been to other runners and hope to squeeze some in.  We'll see.

6/4 - 6/10

Monday - Off

Tuesday - Stroudwater, 6.22 @54:39.  The trail was real washed out from the previous weekends rains. Most of the bridges were out-of-place and the flooding was evident. Hit two miles on the road to test out the new Inov-8 Terrafly 303's.  So far so good.

Wednesday - Skillins Tree Farm, 8:44 @1:22.  Great run with Zak at the tree farm. I got there a bit early and ran down the road to get in about a mile and a half. We ended up doing a bunch of random repeats through the wet fields, mud puddles and tall grass. Great to catch up with him and hear all about his adventures abroad.

Thursday - Robinson Woods, 5.00 @57:00.  Ran with a client on their first trail run for a few miles then continued on at a relaxed pace to get in a 5.  Kind of wanted to do six, but just wasn't feeling it.

Friday - Robinson Woods, 15.31, @2:25.  Started off at Robinson Woods and ran through and all around Fort Williams. I had hoped to meet up with Mindy for some of the run and catch-up, but our schedules didn't quite gel. So I continued back through Robinson Woods, on up the road, hit a quick loop in the golf course, back along the road and a finished with a bit more on the trails. The road acclimation is taking it's toll on these soft surface legs.

Saturday - Fore River, 6:53 @1:06.  Great mellow run on a gorgeous day.

Sunday - Baldface Loop, 9.50 @2:44.  Fantastic run with Ian, and his dogs, Jamie, and Nathan.  Dave, Julia, Jim, and his dog, Dora, and Kathy also ran and hiked either part or all of the loop.  The four of us set out at a slightly quicker pace than my calves were ready for, but they warmed up soon enough.  We charged on power-hiking the steeps, scrambling up the open rocky sections and running where we could.  Excellent views and a really perfect day helped us cruise along the ridge lines and on down for an exciting descent.  Toward the bottom we jumped in the freezing cold Emerald Pool hoping to catch up to everyone, but it wasn't to be.
Thank you for the pic Ian.

I wore the Terrafly 303's which turned out to be a real bad choice.  They're designed for road/trail, but due to the harder rubber compound sole they were real slick on the wet rocks.  They'll still be ideal for Vermont, but not for technical terrain.  Felt like It was the middle of winter on icy trails for a bit.  I went down a few times and totally had the footing confidence knocked out of me.  Made for an exciting descent.
Various expressions...
 This was a great loop to run and really brought me back to when my brother and I used to hike on weekends in the Whites.  I'm pretty sure we'd done a few of these peaks and finished the hike off with a dip in the pool, but things look the same 25 years later.
Thanks for the pic Jamie!

Time:  9:28
Distance:  51.1
Elevation:  6411

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Weak week

Well this week didn't quite go as planned as far as training, but did far exceed expectations with an impromptu trip to Washington DC over the weekend with Alison.  Really, really great weekend with her. 

Decided to jump in to the Vermont 100.  Looks like it will be quite the crew.  Zak, Joe, Tyler, Ian and all the pacers, crew and such.  Should be a good time.

5/29 - Robinson Woods, 6.1 @10:23.  Nice and relaxed pace still feeling Sunday's effort a bit.

5/30 - Blackstrap Area, 8.82 @9:38.  This was supposed to be a hard hill workout but I was tuckered and sluggish. Started off at the bitches and cruised over via the road to the preserve for a few hills.  Good to get in some mix of road and trail to start getting used to Vermont terrain.

5/31 - Wohelo Trails, 1.8.  Ran with client.

5/31 - Back Cove, 6.15 @7:33.  Great run with Ian around the cove and along the new paved trail extension.  Exciting to start talking about Vermont training and all the innards that go along with long races!

Time:  3:38
Distance:  22.8
Planned:  50