Sunday, January 15, 2012

Race Week

Race week!
1/9/12 - 2 miles in Five Fingers
1/10/12 - 4 miles, did a 3 mile loop in Fishburn and then 3 laps on the PH track.
1/11/12 - 3.1 miles on the treadmill.
1/14/12 - Swinging Bridge 50k.  I have done this race 3 times.  This is a low key race put on by the Richmond Road Runners Club.  It is on a minimally maintained trail that is hard to navigate due to lack of use, 200 plus trees to hop, jump, and crawl over (Gina counted last year), and numerous places to get off course.  But we like it!  Approximately 100-125 runners show up each year.  The course does a 10.5 mile out and back, at which point you can decide if you are done - 35k or if you want to continue on for another 5 mile out and back for the 50k.  Each time my original plan was to run the 50k.
Year one is was 2 degrees at the start and I was done at 35k.  It was time to warm up.
Year two I did the 50k and got lost a few times and came in 4th by 20-30 seconds.
Year three I was doing the race in preparation for a PR at the Holiday Lake 50k.  I rolled my ankle really bad in the first 10 miles and decided to run harder but to end the race at 35k ending in 3rd place (and ended up with a 4:33 at Holiday Lake with a new HL and 50k PR besting my PR by 32 minutes)
Year four I was planning to run the 50k as preparation to the Uwharrie 40 miler on 2/3/12, just three weeks away.
Here goes:
     So I was 3rd into the woods, following a guy named Doug (very fast), and Chris Calfee (the guy who put me into 4th place 2 years ago, beat me by 30 seconds).  Doug didn't seem to have any sense of running in the woods following streamers and blazes so he got off course a couple of times but would quickly recover and end up back in front or behind me for awhile.  Chris made a wrong move which put me in front with Doug and a guy named Marion.  D, M, and I ran the rest of the 10 miles to the turnaround together.  We had a pretty good system of running hard and pointing out the way so that we minimized our time looking for the trail.
     At the turnaround I filled up my bottle and grabbed a handful of peanut butter pretzels and started jogging while I ate to keep that forward progress going.  That gave D and M enough time to get out of sight and I never saw them again.  I ran the remainder of the 10 miles back with a guy I've met here a few other times, Ryan.  He stayed in sight most of the return trip until I got turned around for a minute or two and wasn't seen again until the last 100 yards of the 35k.
    At this point Ryan finds out that only the 1st place 35k finisher gets an award.  He was 3rd and that motivates him to do the 50k where the top 3 get awards.  I grab some food and drink from my drop bag and Ryan and I head out for the remaining 10 miles.  We felt pretty confident we were on our own out there and a top 3 would be easy to achieve.
    At about 23.5 miles I stopped to pee and saw Brian Smythe come up on us.  From his Ultra Signup profile he is an accomplished Ultra runner.  I let him know that I wasn't happy to see another runner, no offense of course.  He took over as the lead man until the turnaround.  Ryan and I were close behind.  I filled my bottle with water and got back on course for the last 5 miles.  Ryan stayed at the water stop a little longer.
    I was still feeling pretty good and figured I'd go at an easy pace until I felt like my top 3 position was in jeopardy.  As soon as I thought that I started to see the runners behind us heading to the turnaround.  Although they were .5 to 1 mile behind me I went into a mini panic and picked up the pace.  I was in 2nd but couldn't see the guy in front or behind me.  So really you have no idea whether you are falling behind or gaining ground.  With 4 miles to go I start to see Brian, in 1st, every now and then as we go up and down the terrain.  With 3 miles to go I'm catching up with him and we start to run together, he in front until we hit a hill, me in front for awhile, then him when I start to get the dreaded sartorious cramp.
     I have had a history of having late in a race cramps.  I'm certain, for me, that this comes from over exertion and now understand that when you push your body harder than it has been pushed you are going to have symptoms.  Mine are cramps.  So as I get the first cramp I slow down to get it so settle down, alter my gait, protect that muscle group, and begin to get back in stride (I also grabbed my stash of candied ginger which I keep on hand for the carbs, the stomach calming affect, and gingers anti inflammatory benefits).
     The cramp subsides and I catch back up with Brian and take the lead with him right behind me for the last 2 miles.  The trail is up and down from here to the last .3 miles.  So until that point we are glued together.  Once at the .3 mark I started to pick up my pace, no looking back, until I hit the finish.  Fortunately for me Brian didn't have anything left in the tank to battle it out and he came in 30 seconds later.  I finished 1st in 4:38:48 for my first running win ever.
     I really thought my pace for the first 35k was going to haunt me but my legs and aerobic fitness held together for the entire day.
     I have 3 weeks to recover and maintain until the 40 miler on 2/3/12.
1/15/12 - Gina and I did a recover walk through the neighborhood.  My legs feel good except for a little achilles tightness on the right.
42.1 miles for the week.

Training Week of 1/2/12

1/2/12 - Ran 2 miles in my five fingers.
1/3/12 - 6 Mile loop in 41:58 and 1.5 mile cooldown.
1/4/12 - 7.8 miles at the cove - 4 gorge, road to end of Songbird, Songbird, and out on the road.
1/6/12 - 5.7 miles - Ran around Raleigh Court - 7:13 ave/mile
1/6/12 - 6.2 miles - Ran the Chestnut Ridge Loop to mark the Frozen Toe 10k course.
1/7/12 - 6.2 miles hiking and cleaning up the CRL post race.
1/8/12 - Rode to Starlight, got on the BRP, up to Slings Gap Overlook and back.  Didn't use my lowest gear at all on the climb.
34.8 miles of running and 30 miles on the road bike.

What to do in 2012? Some things are set.

What to do in 2012.  I have a number of ideas floating around for 2012, but the only set plans are as follows.
1/14/12 - Swinging Bridge 50k - Training run for the
2/3/12 Uwharrie 40 mile trail run.  This will be my first race over 50k since 2003 Hellgate 100k.  If it goes well I have some long distance plans.  If not, I'll re-evaluate, and decide where to race to keep things fun.  I've found that 50k races and shorter go well for me.  I'm able to train for this distance without losing the FUN component, able to cross train and still be competitive, and most importantly not get injured.  Beyond 31 miles I tend to lose one of those components.  My goals are to 1. Be Safe, 2. Have Fun, 3. Be Competitve.
4/7/12 - 6 hours of Warrior Creek - Mtn bike race.
After that I have no set plan......

Training Week of 12/26/11

The last week of the year.  What to do?
12/26/11 - Road biked 45 miles today.  Montvale, up Goose Creek Valley Road, down 43 into Buchanan, Lithia Road to route 11, into Troutville, left on Mountain Pass, 460 to Day Creek and back to Montvale.
     Goose Creek Valley is one steep climb.  The legs weren't ready for that.
12/28/11 - 7.85 miles of running.  Up Gauntlet, fire road, and down Trough.  Got some extra miles waiting for the group at the top.
12/30/11 - 20.15 miles running - From home I ran down to the greenway at Vic Thomas Park, took that to the Star Trail Trailhead, ran Woodthrush, Chestnut Ridge Loop to scout the trail for the Frozen Toe 10k, had a short meeting at the Church (race headquarters), finished the CRL, ran the trail down to Fern Park, back to the greenway and home.  A mix of Road and Trail for a 7:50/mile pace.
This was the last training run before the 1/14/12 Swinging Bridge 50k.
12/31/11 - 4 miles of running.  I ran a 3.25 loop to Fishburn park and did 3 laps on the PH track.
1/1/12 - Rode biked to Green Hill Park, Harborwood, Wildwood, and home.
28 miles of running and 75 miles on the road bike.
I like getting in my long run on a low running week and supplementing that with the road miles.  Helps let my joints recover from the long run while getting in some good aerobic workouts.
Bye Bye 2011.  Here are my 2011 Totals compared to 2010:
2011 - Run 1550.55, Mtn Bike 565.75, Road Bike 1061.
2010 - Run 1645.9, Mtn Bike 542.05, Road Bike 944.33

Training Week 12/19/11

12/20/11 - 7.5 miles - Ran my usual 6 mile loop in 43:19 and did a 1.5 mile cool down.  Legs felt good.
12/21/11 - Ran 8 miles at an 8:30 pace
12/23/11 - 8.25 - ran from home to greenway and back on Windsor.  6:45 pace
12/24/11 - 13.7 miles of hiking and running in Gatlinburg.  Did a loop north on the AT from Newfound Gap.  4700ft of elevation gain.
12/25/11 - 11 miles - Did a hike run up to the lookout at Mt. Cammerer.  3500ft of elevation gain.
48.45 miles of running and hiking for the week.  Happy with the mileage and going at a mix of high and low intensity for the week.