Monday, April 29, 2013

Week 48: 42 days straight, and 13 to go

Mon 4/22  6 miles. I participated in our local Run for Boston, a silent run that my buddy Scott put together. Scott had that Boston experience that so many did: he ran a terrific time (a very steady 3:11 at age 49), felt great afterwards until he returned to his hotel and learned of the bombing. He put on a terrific event with almost no frills—just a bunch of folks of a wide variety of levels getting together to run a few miles.

Tue 4/23  4 ½ miles, including 2 miles barefoot, 8 x 120 striders

Wed 4/24  2 miles. Yeah, like that.

Thu 4/25  10 miles at Croft. Thought I might get a run similar to last week when I felt easy and flowing throughout, ratcheting up the pace as I went. This time, I didn’t feel very good, but finished the run, and with some style, as well. This one was 12 minutes slower for the ten miles than last week.

from Southside: Southside Loop counterclockwise.

Fri 4/26  2 miles

Sat 4/27  18 miles at Croft with Jim P. Jim is part of the trail crowd in Greenville, and is also running the Ice Age 50. He got in touch about coming to run our trails down here for a change of pace. I had intended to do a longer back-to-back run, and he was right on the same schedule. We really took our time on this run. I took him on the hilliest loop we have.

from Dairy Ridge: Palmetto to the Chapters to TC’s to the little lake trail to the Lake Trail to McFadden to Hensington to Palmetto

Sun 4/28  14 miles with Jim P., Chris W., and Scott. Jim came down for more Spartanburg trails, and brought Chris with him. They both have run at Croft, but only on the horse trails. I took them on the one remaining very hilly trail that we didn’t hit yesterday. We cut this one a little short because it was dumping rain the entire time.

from Dairy Ridge: New Edition to Jerry Perry to the Lake Trail to the pool to Hensington to Palmetto

Total: 56 ½ miles in seven runs

Another terrific week for my head. I’m feeling very confident and prepared. The back-to-back didn’t feel easy, but was not all that taxing either. I was extremely motivated throughout, and I finished up the biggest week I’ve had in a long time. I have a busy weekend coming with a work gig, a band gig and a family gig. Planning on just one day of fairly easy running, most likely, or possibly a shorter back-to-back.

Read a terrific interview with Matt Carpenter. He says ultras are all about nutrition. I'll focus on staying fed, for sure, about the only thing that would keep me from finishing in style at this point.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Week 47: Encouraging running week

Mon 4/15 1 ½ miles. Yeah, like that.

Tue 4/16  4 ½ miles, including 8 x 120 yards striders. After all this slow running, except for the mid-week longer run, I decided to add some easy striders on grass with shoes. Felt slow at the start, then the last several were much easier. That’s the point, isn’t it.

Wed 4/17 4 miles, including 10 x 30 sec hard/30 sec easy. Same reason as yesterday, it felt good to run hard a bit.

Thu 4/18  10 miles at Croft. This turned into one of those progression runs where I start out slow and speed up through the run. Felt great again to run “fast.” This was the first really hot day of the season. I think things have just started drying up. I carried water, and creek-to-creek intervals, maybe a couple of miles or sometimes more at a time, each one a little faster than the previous one, made for good running and water for Bristol. 

from Southside Park: Southside Loop all the way around counterclockwise.

Fri 4/19  3 miles.

Sat 4/20 4 ½ miles on Cottonwood, plus 6 x 120 yards striders. I had a long day of work-related events, and finally got out in the later afternoon. Kept the striders easy, and shut it down when I felt a little twinge in my back.

Sun 4/21  14 miles at Croft with Seth and Ben. At the risk of jinxing it, I felt so easy and light from the get-go for the first time in a while. We ran one of the hilliest trails at Croft, and I never felt pressed on any of them. The last three miles or so we got after it a little.

from Dairy Ridge: New Edition to Jerry Perry to the lake trail to Lake Johnson Connector to Palmetto

Total:  41 ½ in seven runs
A very encouraging week. Three weeks out from the race, this one was important. I thought I might do a real back-to-back workout but Saturday’s work commitments pushed it too late. I plan to run 10 or so on Monday 4/22, part being our local Run for Boston. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Weeks 45, 46: Bad week, good week

Week ending April 7

Mon 4/1 4 miles on Cottonwood

Tue 4/2  2 miles

Wed 4/3 4 miles, including 2 miles barefoot

Bristol never begs off a run
because it's raining.
Thu 4/4 5 1/2 miles at Croft. In the rain and cold--the fun was getting in it. Bristol is always game. We ran an out and back on a lightly used trail to avoid what would no doubt be deep puddles on horse trails. Because it was shorter than usual, I decided to get after it a little on the return. Ran back about 2 minutes faster.

from Dairy Ridge: New Edition out and back

Fri 4/5 3 miles

Sat 4/6 6 miles at Croft. Set off for 20, but felt terrible. Turning back early felt like a real defeat. Feeling down, I took it out on myself and those around me. I shouldn't do that. I've learned to trust my spouse, to not see--more, to not look for--an angle, to be honest in all things, and to trust in the same in return. Leftover from the divorce, the mistrust creeps in occasionally, and five weeks before the most amazing endurance event I've ever done seems like a case study in pre-performance stress.  

from Dairy Ridge: out and back on the Palmetto Trail.

Sun 4/7  12 miles at Croft. Not a whole lot better, but at least I ran something longer. Also got that much needed perspective: this week is not a target week. Last week’s Bench run and next week’s laps at Croft are.

from Dairy Ridge: Palmetto to TCs to the little lake trail to Lake Johnson Connector to Hensington to Palmetto

I’m not always one to get manic about my training. I know a whole pile of runners who publicly or privately bemoan their general unworthiness when a run or two doesn’t go right. I feel certain everyone who runs does so occasionally, and for me, it’s usually another run that cures my ills. In this case, not a great run, but great lessons.

Total: 36 1/2 in 7 runs 

Week ending April 14, 2013

Mon 4/8  2 miles

Tue 4/9 8 miles at Croft. I felt pretty tired, but just plugged along.

from Dairy Ridge: Palmetto to Lake Johnson Connector all the way around to Palmetto

Wed 4/10 3 miles

Thu 4/11 4 miles, including 2 miles barefoot

Fri 4/12  2 miles

Sat 4/13  30 miles at Croft (5:26). I did three slightly different loops at Southside, two at 11 1/2 or so miles, one at 7 or so miles. I never felt great, and decided to walk all the major uphills (I ran a few of them throughout), but alone except for Bristol, I just kept going. This was good for my head for sure, but I’ll still have 20 more to go at Ice Age. My feet were tired, I was tired. I’ll rely to a certain extent on the excitement of the race, with lots of participants and spectators, and on the consistent aid. 

Bristol's recovery.

My recovery.

from Southside: 1st lap: Southside Loop to High and Dry to Southside to Rock Creek to Lizard to Outlaw to Southside.
2nd lap: Opposite direction on Southside to Outlaw to Lizard to Southside to High and Dry to Southside to Fern Gully to Centerline.
3rd lap: Southside to Rock Creek to Centerline

Sun 4/14 2 miles. I feel like I could have run more, but I probably wouldn’t have been very happy.

Total: 51 miles in 7 runs

I’ve read a couple of articles lately (Ian Torrence and Jason Sullivan), both confirming that my training is a least adequate to get through the mileage. I’ve done four runs between 5:18 (the Dump) and 6:02 (the Bench I). I’ve been consistent with the mid-week medium run at a harder pace, and this week marks 28 straight running days with 27 to go until race day. I've not done long back-to-backs as such, but I have done some shorter ones. I’ll be in the “I’ve-never-run-this-far-before” place for such a long time; both articles mentioned the mental part, trying to stay in the now and all. Christy says, “You just need to get over your head.”

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Week 44: Another run to the Bench

I'm a little behind on posting.

Mon 3/25 5 miles on Cottonwood
Tue 3/26 4 miles, including 2 miles barefoot
Wed 3/27 2 miles
Thu 3/28 7 miles at Croft. I thought for a while I wouldn’t get to do the mid-week run this week. I had four evening events, as usual some work and some my own fault. I squeezed this run in between work and a meeting I didn’t have to be on time for, and I was indeed a few minutes late.
from Dairy Ridge: New Edition to Lake Johnson connector to Palmetto
Fri 3/29  2 miles
Sat 3/30 25.4 miles at The Bench. Another terrific day on the Foothills trail. Lots of stuff blooming, including the Oconee Bells that grow in no other area in the world. I had intended to run a bit farther today, but when I hit the Bench under my previous time, I'll admit that my competitiveness kicked in, and I decided to go for a PR. Knowing that I could crow about the "canine FKT" for Bristol again, I left the Bench in 2:55, the time it took me to get there previously, after spending about 7 minutes there refueling. According to GPS data (not mine, I'm not wasting my money on one), the 25 miles has about 5000 feet of climbing.

Steps, steps, and more steps.

This run divides nicely into parts: this is the first stop,
 Virginia Hawkins Falls.

Lots of water crossings keep Bristol hydrated.

I'm calling this one southeast trail porn.
Second stop, Laurel Creek Falls.
The Bench.

The Enduro-Dog

"Hey, man, you coming?

Back to Laurel Creek Falls.

Virginia Hawkins Falls

More spectacular trail.
Small things, blooming in patches.

The finish. Note the progressively
more salty watchband.

Sun 3/31 2 miles
Total: 47 miles in seven runs
March totals: 150 miles in 21 runs