Sunday, December 22, 2013

Training Week of 12/16/13

This will be the last training week before the 1/11/14 Willis River 35/50k.  After this week I will be tapering with little focus on miles, wearing my HR more while trying to keep my HR at 142 and no more than 150.
12/17/13 - 7.5 miles running the 6 mile loop and 1.5 cool down.
12/18/13 - Annual running group cookie run around Raleigh and Grandin Court.
12/20/13 - Ran 24.25 miles from Route 11 to Black Horse Gap on the AT and back.  5500ft of climbing.  Long slow run.
12/21/13 - 8.25 miles running in Fishburn Park, VA Western, and the 6 mile loop - Kept HR below 142
12/22/13 - 9.3 miles running around Raleigh Court, Greenway and graveyard loop - Kept HR below 142
Total for the week;
54.3 miles running

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Training Weeks from 11/11/13 to 12/15/13

Found out I didn't get into Uwharrie 40m, so we need to come up with another plan.
11/12/13 - 7.75 miles.  Ran the 6 mile loop in 41:11 and then did a 1.75 mile cool down with 12 sets of stair climbs at Patrick Henry
11/13/13 - Ran 9.7 at the cove.  4 gorge, tuck-a-way, songbird with a few out and backs.
11/15/13 - Rode 14.6 miles at Liberty Mountain.  Having not ridden for awhile, that was tough.
11/16/13 - 13.75 miles running the Garst Mill/Lewis Gale loop with 12 stair climbs at PH in my cooldown.
11/17/13 - 13 miles running the CtC 25k course.
Total for the week;
44.2 miles running
14.6 mile mtn biking

Training Week 11/18/13
11/19/13 - 7.8 miles running the 6 mile loop, 1.8 mile cool down with 15 stair climbs.
11/20/13 - Ran 8.75 miles Grandin, Norwich Park, Greenway, Jesus Saves church, and back.
11/22/13 - This was a long run before we travel back to Illinios for Thanksgiving.  20.75 miles running Greenway to Mill Mountain, did the MMM 10k course, Woodthrush, Fern Park and back on the greenway. 
11/24/13 - Ran 5 miles in the Forest Preserves in Tinley Park.
Total for the week;
42.3 miles running

Training Week 11/25/13 in Illinois
11/25/13 - 10.5 running at Swallow Cliff Woods with 7 125 step stair climbs at the toboggan run. 
11/26/13 - 6 miles running in the Forest Preserves.
11/27/13 - Ran 4 miles in Arcola in the cold and biting wind.
11/28/13 - Ran 9 miles around Ashmore.
11/29/13 - 13.5 miles running around Ashmore
12/1/13 - Ran the 14.5 mile Hollins Loop with James.
Total for the week;
57.5 miles running

I tallied up my mileage for the month of November and noticed that I should be able to hit 2000 miles of running for the year, for the first time ever.  Last year was my previous high of 1762. 

Training Week of 12/2/13
Gina and I put our names in for the Tahoe Rim Trails 50 miler at the end of January.  We will know on 1/1/14 if we got in.  Our backup plan will be to sign up for the San Juan Solstice 50 miler again in Lake City CO.  Gina wants to finish a 50 miler and would really like to finish the SJS 50 after last year's issues that caused her to be pulled at mile 31. 
12/3/13 - 7.75 miles running the 6 mile loop and cool down with 10 stair climbs.
12/4/13 - 9.75 miles running at the cove.  4 Gorge, 1000ft climb and down Hi dee ho with a few out and backs.
12/6/13 - 9.75 miles running the grave yard loop to the greenway to Bridge Street and then the rest of the 4 mile loop.  I did 2 .75 mile and 1 .5 mile interval on the greenway.
12/7/13 - Ran 20.5 miles of tough mtn running.  I ran Poage Valley Extension to the top of Poor Mtn and back.  I tried to keep my HR below 155 except for the last steep .7 mile climb up Poor Mtn.  Great run.  This run was punishment for me no wanting to run and the impending bad weather that was coming on Sunday.
12/8/13 - James and I ran 5 around the hood.
Total for the week;
52.75 miles of running

Training Week of 12/9/13
This is a recovery week since I've hit 2 50+ mile weeks back to back.  Not really focused on miles or speed for the week.  Just want to stay at 40+.
12/10/13 - Ran 6 in the cold rain.
12/11/13 - 7.25 miles at the cove running up Hi Dee Ho and down buck to the road with a few out and backs.
12/13/13 - 10.3 miles running around fishburn and doing stairs at VA western Comm College.
12/14/13 - 10.15 miles running the 4 mile loop, greenway to Jesus Saves Church, and back.
12/15/13 - 7.1 miles running random Grandin Court and Fishburn miles.
Total for the week;
40.85 miles running

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Training Week - 11/4/13

Well it has started.  Gina and I entered into the Lottery of the Uwharrie 40 miler.  We will be racing at the 11/11/14 Willis River 35/50k for the 5th time.  This race is on a primitive trail so there will be lots of log jumping.  So I've decided to start doing some stair climbs.  We are back in the racing game. 
11/5/13 - 7.75 miles.  Ran the usual 6 mile loop with a 1.75 mile cool down.  Threw in 10, 3 flight, stair climbs at Patrick Henry to get ready for the log jumping that will be done at Willis River.
11/6/13 - 8.4 miles running at the cove - Hi Dee Ho, Buck, and Hotel Loop.
11/8/13 - 8.7 miles in a track workout - 1k, 2k, 1k, 1k with 400m RI in between.  Very windy.
11/9/13 - Cycled 24.33 miles.  Up Mill Mountain to the BRP, down Starlight, up roselawn and sugarloaf and back.  A lot harder than it should have been since we haven't ridden for a long time.
11/10/13 - Ran 12.05 at Mill Mountain and Chestnut Ridge.
          Ran 4.2 miles in five fingers later in the day.
Total for the week - 41.1 miles running and 24.33 on the road bike
Feel pretty good but legs are toast from the week.

Training Week of 10/28/13

For all my friends running the Mountain Masochist 50miler I decided to do a 50 mile week, the first since the San Juan Solstice 50 miler back in June.  I rarely hit that kind of mileage but this was the week. 
10/29/13 - Did the usual 6 mile loop in 43 minutes and then a 1.5 mile cool down.
10/30/13 - Ran at the cove.  Did the Gauntlet/Trough loop for 6.4 miles.  Ran up horse pen and gauntlet in 31:48
11/1/13 - Ran 9.25 around the hood and greenway.
11/2/13 - 20 miles running on the AT from 220 to 311.  This was a doosy and the last climb up to McAfee's about did me in - 
This was one of the faster trips across the ridge for me.  No a bad day considering I haven't run over 14 miles, on my long run, since 8/31.
11/3/13 - 7.4 mile running around VA western and Fishburn park.
50.55 mile for the week

Next week I'll take it easy and try to get on the bike to give my legs a rest.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Week of 10/28/13

I really wanted to participate in this year's Mountain Masochist 50 miler to be held this Saturday 11/2.  This would have been my 2nd run at the MMTR where I ran my 2nd 50 miler in 2003.  But, instead, I listened to my body and noticed signs of overtraining and decided it wouldn't be the best idea and sat this one out.  Instead, I decided I'll run 50 miles this week, a number I haven't hit since June when I ran the San Juan Solstice 50 miler (it's easy to hit a 50 mile week when you race 50 miles).
10/29/13 - Ran the 6 mile loop in 43 and did a 1.5 mile cooldown.
10/30/13 - Ran up the Gauntlet and down Trough for 6.4 miles.  Made it up the Guantlet in 31:45.
10/1/13 - Since I have a big run planned for tomorrow I decided to not do track work and instead just get in some moderate miles.  Ran 9.25 miles around Raleigh Court and the Greenway.
10/2/13 - Ran from 220-311 on the AT hitting the peak at McAfees.  This was the first time in a long long time I went up to the peak on this run.  Normally I just skirt around the peak staying on the fire road for the last 4.5 miles.  This was a tough day and Jason Captain and I finished it up in 3hours and 37 minutes.
10/3/13 - Ran 7.4 miles around Grandin Court and Fishburn Park.
Total for the week; 50.05 miles. 
Next week I plan to spend a little time on the bike instead of on my feet.

Monday, October 28, 2013

What's the Plan?

Well, Gina and I aren't sure what races we plan to enter in 2014.  I think we are going to enter the lottery of a few races and see where the cards fall. 
2/1/14 - Uwharrie Mtn Run 40 miler - This would be my 3rd trip.
4/26/14 - Promise Land 50k - Maybe this is the year to come back and push for under 5:30
May 2014 - A 2nd attempt at the Smokey Mtn Traverse.  2 days and 72+ miles
June or July - Plan to do a Western 50 miler at altitude
Recovery time
Possibly train for a sub 12 hour Hellgate

As of now I plan to train for a January or February Ultra.
Race Less (Ultras)
Recover better
Do speed work

Training Week 10/28/13

Well it's been awhile (I don't like to update this blog when I'm not running with a purpose.  Let's play catch-up.
Week of 9/30/13
I started working on getting my hip/piriformis back in shape. 
Set sights on the Frosty Foot 50k in the middle of January 16 weeks from now.  Let's start a plan and trackworkouts. 
10/1/13 - Ran the 6 mile loop with a 1.5 mile cooldown
10/2/13 - Ran at the cove Songbird, tuckaway, 4 gorge and added some road at the end to get 9 miles.
10/4/13 - Track workout - 2x(6x400m with 1:30RI) with 2:30 RI.  I did a 2.5 mile warm-up and mile cool down for a 8.75 mile workout.
10/6/13 - Ran 9.5 at Montvale Park.
34.75 miles or running

Week of 10/7/13
10/8/13 - 6 mile loop with 1.5 mile cool down
10/9/13 - 7.75 miles running at the cove.  Hi Dee Ho, The Drop, Lower Comet and out on the road.
10/11/13 - Track workout - 1x1600 with 400RI, 2x1600 with 800RI, 2x800 with 400RI
10/11/13 - 4 miles cleaning up the Into the Darkness course.  In a not so humorous or glamorous fall I came close to breaking some ribs (maybe I did get one).
No coughing or sneezing for me.  I'm out of business until Tues.
28.35 miles of running

Week of 10/14/13
Ribs still hurt pretty bad.
10/15/13 - Ran the 6+ mile loop today for 6.5.  Can't breathe totally relaxed. 
10/16/13 - 9 miles running around grandin court and the greenway.  Ribs felt better tonight.
10/18/13 - Ran 9.5 around Grandin Court at a 7:15 pace.
10/18/13 - 4 miles cleaning up the ITD course
10/19/13 - 4 Miles cleaning up the ITD course
10/20/13 - Ran 7.15 road miles and then did a 4 mile Five Finger Loop.
Ran 43.8 miles.

Week of 10/21/13
10/22/13 - Ran the 6 mile loop and 1.5 mile cool down.
10/23/13 - Ran 7 miles around Grandin Court
10/25/13 - 3x{Trackwork 2x1200(2mRI)} 4m RI between sets
10/27/13 - 14.3 miles running the Hollins AT loop.
39.3 mile running

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Training Week 9/2/13

OK, so I've told myself I'm not running this week.
9/3/13 - Gina and I road biked 11 easy miles.
9/4/13 - Gina and I rode 19 miles to Green Hill Park and back.
9/6/13 - Kenny and I rode the marathon course at the cove to check the trails.  We cut out 2 trees.
9/8/13 - Ran 4 miles in five fingers and then later in the day road biked from home down Grandin Extention, up Sugarloaf, Roselawn, Crystal Creek to the BRP, took the parkway to Vinton and headed back through downtown.  This was tough but felt pretty good.
Total for the Week;
4 miles running
24 miles mtn biking
63.5 miles on the road bike

Race week 8/26/13

The legs have been feeling dead.  So I'm taking it easy this week.
8/27/13 - Ran the 6 mile loop and 1 mile cool down.
8/31/13 - Iron Mtn 30 miler.
     This is a low key race down in Damascus VA.  There are 50, 30 and 16 mile race options.  A number of mtn junkies were headed down.  The course is a rugged trail race that is mostly on the Iron Mountain Trail.  The rest is on the Creeper Trail.
     Last year I was 3rd in 4:34ish and I have hopes of getting in at a similar time but hoping to come in faster.  The weather for the race was mild temps, high humidity, and rain later in the day.  I was hoping to finish before the rain hit.  
     This race goes 4.75 miles on the Creeper Trail before hitting the first single track trail.  I remember hitting this section really fast (for me) in 2012, running 7:30 pace.  This year I averaged 7:45 but spent most of this time in 2nd place wondering why no one else was running faster than me.  It was weird.  I hit the trail in 3rd and ran the mild ups and flats and then hiked the steeps.  I ran more of this than last year. 
     The course is pretty rocky but mostly runnable.  I choose to run with one handheld out to the turnaround and then pick up a second handheld there.  I ran with a few packets of Heed and drank it most of the day.  I think I drank around 140oz in the race.  Had 6 PB and jelly quarters and 2 waffles. 
     Throughout the race I felt like I was running more than last year but was slightly slower throughout the race (the confirmation of overtraining).  The conditions were a little muddier than 2012 but overall I felt like I ran more of the race, didn't deal with cramps, and ran the last very technical downhill better than last year, but this all added up to me being about 15 minutes off of last year's time.  I got passed by one runner on the way back and finished 5th in 4:49ish.
     I saw the handwriting on the wall, last month, at Catoctin but wanted to chalk it up to a bad day.  But the feeling of not having the normal leg power or turnover was an effect of training not a bad day.  Sometimes you get it with the first hint, other times you need to be hit in the head to get the message. 
     All in all, nothing to complain about, and I'm happy with the result, I just know that had I followed a little better planning I wouldn't be in a situation where I need to take some time off and would be reaping the rewards of my training. 
     On Sunday we had planned on riding our bikes up the Creeper Trail to White Top and Back - 34 miles, but we got out 5.5 miles and the sky fell.  It was raining like crazy, so we turned around and headed back for an 11 mile ride.  Better than nothing!
Total for the Week;
37 miles running
11 miles cycling

Training Week 8/19/13

     This is the week before the Iron Mtn 30 Miler.  I'm starting to wise up to what my training has been telling me.  I have a nagging issue with my right piriformis that will continue to get worse if I don't take some time off to let it recover.  It is hard to handle when you are constantly thinking of new adventures to plan.  Anyway this race will be the last running race of 2013 for me.  It will also mark my 30th Ultra. 
     In addition to this, I have been overtraining.  My training results are getting worse, my attitude about running is poor, and the piriformis issue is part of it too.  The main error I think I've made is not taking much time off my feet following my Ultras.  I've been running a race and then due to feeling pretty good following it, getting right back in to the normal schedule. 
     My new plan will be to take a week off from running after an Ultra.  I'm not against getting on the road or mtn bike but taking a week off my feet.  I'm sure I'll revise this new plan during my non running phase but these are the key points for now.
8/20/13 - Ran the 6 mile loop and did a 1.5 mile cool down.
8/21/13 - Ran 6.2 at the Cove.  Up Hi Dee Ho and then down Buck and then Hotel.
8/23/13 - Ran 10 miles around Grandin Court and the Greenway.
8/24/13 - Rode 30 miles on the road bike.  From home onto the BRP to Vinton and back through downtown.
8/25/13 - Ran 7.75 on an abbreviated Lewis Gale Loop.
Ran 31.45 miles and rode 30.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Training Week 8/12/13

Legs started off a little tired from last week and the big ride on Sunday.
8/13/13 - Ran the 6 mile loop in 41:28 and then did a 1.5 mile cool down.
8/14/13 - Ran 8.15 at the cove.  Road in, songbird, Tuck a way, and 4 gorge.  We hit it hard and did an average of 8:10/mile.
8/16/13 - marked and ran the Fab 5k course.  5 miles of jogging and walking, 8 miles or bike riding, and 3.1 of racing with a 19:05.
8/18/13 - Ran 15.3 at the cove.  Road to Buck, fire road to the Drop, Comet, Enchanted forest, Little Bell, Arrowhead, Songbird and out on the road.
Total for the week; 38.95 running and 8 on the bike

I'm feeling pretty tired.  Race week is always hard on me.  Not only does my training suffer but the stress level is higher than normal which effects both my sleep and recovery.

I did tally up my training log and noticed that at the end of July I had 1203 miles which comes out to a 40 mile per week average and the most I've had at this time of year.  I'm on the verge of getting on a training plan which will include some speed work but I have to get through and recover from the 8/31/13 Iron Mtn 30 miler. 

Training Week 8/5/13

8/6/13 - Ran the 6 mile loop in 42:16 and then did a 1.5 mile cool down in Five Fingers.
8/7/13 - Ran 7.75 at the cove.  Ran up Hi Dee Ho, down to 4 Gorge on Brushy mtn fire road and then 4 gorge back.
8/9/13 - Biked 8 miles with Chainsaw to do some cleanup at Explore Park.
8/10/13 - Ran 21 at the Cove - Green Ridge Loop, Lake shore trail and then bushwhacked to Hemlock Tunnel, Ariminta, Kerncliff, and then 4 gorge back to the parking lot. 
8/11/13 - Road biked 24 tough steep miles.  Home to Roselawn, south Roselawn, Poage Valley Ext, Slings Gap, got on the BRP and headed back home.  Poage Valley is the steepest road I've climbed on a bike. 
Total for the week; 36.25 miles running, 8 mtn biking and 24 on the road bike.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Training Week of 7/29/13

In the initial aftermath of the Catoctin 50k I'm feeling pretty good.  My traps are sore from carrying 2 bottles and my right hip flexor and piriformis need some time to recover.  This will be an easy week of training due to weekend travel to Cleveland OH. 
7/30/13 - Went for an easy 16 mile road bike ride
7/31/13 - Ran 6.65 at the Cove - up the trough, down the Gauntlet  and back on horse pen.  Took it pretty easy but did run all of Trough. 
8/2/13 - Ran in the Grandin/Raleigh Court area and on the greenway for 8 miles at 7:40 pace.
8/3/13 - Did a 2 mile hike and then a 6 mile run on the Cleveland Metroparks bridle paths.
8/4/13 - Ran 4.2 miles around Patrick Henry and Fishburn park in Five Fingers.
Total for the week 26.85 miles running and 16 mile road biking.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Catoctin 50k

This week I'll be participating for the 4th time at the Catoctin 50k (33.5 by GPS).  Here is how it has gone;
8/9/03 - 5:59:20 and 6th overall.  This was my 7th Ultra and definitely the hardest most technical trail I had raced on.  My first entry into my training log was "This was one rocky bitch."  You can read all the nastiness about the race here
7/31/10 - 7:17 - I got off course on this one at about the 12 mile mark and ended up meeting up with James Decker at the turnaround where we decided to bring it in together to the finish. 
7/30/11 - 6:23:09 - 10th overall.  This day saw temperatures creep up to the 100's.  I drank over 280oz of water and still couldn't get enough.  This was one of the worst days I've had on a trail.  I was physically and mentally drained from the 16 mile point onward.  The result doesn't speak at all about how bad it was.  I'm glad this day was quickly forgotten. 
7/27/13 - I'm going to give it another go.  I'm in better shape than any of the previous years.  I expect a 5:30 or better finish time and top 10 place.  We'll see.  The plan is to start conservative and stay well ahead of hydration and food and hit the turnaround in the 2:30-2:35 timeframe.  The way back is more up hill and is expected to be slower.  I have a couple nagging aches but nothing that should be too much of a factor. 

7/23/13 - Ran the 6 mile loop in and did a 1.5 mile cool down.
7/24/13 - Ran 4 miles on the trails around Patrick Henry and Fishburn.
7/27/13 - Race Day.  I ran with 2 camelback handhelds with podium chill bottles and chose Salomon Speedcross 3's.  The weather was mild at the start with a high 60's temperature.  The high was low 80's and high humidity. 
Well things didn't quite go as planned.  I noticed early on that my projected times at the Aid Stations were slower than I had planned for.  I just didn't seem to have the leg turnover to keep a good pace on the flat and rolling sections.  I hit the turnaround in 2:43 and was feeling pretty good and hoping that my training mileage would afford me a strong return trip to the finish. 
At 19.8 miles I caught my right foot on a rock (something I tend to pay extra attention to so that it doesn't happen) and hit the dirt and then again in 3 miles.  From here I noticed that I just wasn't picking up my right foot as high as I thought I was.  I could feel that I had strained my right hip flexor and continued to catch my foot on rocks.  This caused cramping in that muscle and made for slow going and a few sections I had to walk as the muscle cramped up and forbid me from running. 
Overall the course seemed more runnable than my previous runs on the course.   Of course, this tends to make me want to come back for my 5th attempt to put together a good race on this course.  So far it has me beat. 
Notes to self;
  • Figure out how to taper between races that are a month apart (if possible).
  • Some how figure out how to prepare your body for the return.  Every year I've done this race I begin to feel cramps on the climb out of the turnaround.  I think this has to do with the 4 mile down hill leading to the turn and then trying to get the muscles to switch gears. 
  • 2 handheld bottles is just right. 
  • With the return being more uphill, it is still runnable for much of it.  Save the quads enough to be able to run the down hills on this return trip.
  • Pick your feet up higher than you think you need to. 
  • Prepare for chafing. 
I ended up finishing in 6:08:48 in 17th places.  I think I lost 4 or so places on the return trip.  I'm actually surprised in both my time and place for how much I had to hike/walk out there.  I don't feel too bad here on Sunday.  My traps are sore from holding the two bottles and I have some chafing but nothing to bad or unexpected.  My right hip flexor feels better than I thought it would.

Total for the week;  44.9 miles of running

Next up is the 8/31/13 Iron Mtn. 30 miler. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Training Week 7/15/13

This is a taper week for the 7/27 Catocting 50k.
7/16/13 - Ran the 6 mile loop in 43:03 and did a 1.5 mile cool down.
7/17/13 - Ran 9.3 at the cove.  Up hi dee ho, Brushy mtn fire road, and back on 4-gorge.  Ran a few out and back waiting for others.  Wore my HR monitor and tried to keep my HR below 150.
7/19/13 - Ran 7 miles with a HR monitor keeping my HR below 140.
7/20/13 - Ran 9.5 miles with a HR monitor keeping my HR below 140.
7/21/13 - Road biked up Roselawn and Sugarloaf then hit the flats for a 19.3 mile ride.
Total for the week;  33.3 miles running and 19.3 on the road bike.

My legs feel a little heavier than I would like but I figure that's the pain of tapering.  There always seems to be something that makes you feel like you are training wrong.   This is why I decided to wear the HR monitor this week. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Training Week of 7/8/13

Doing body inventory I feel like my training is going well and except for a nagging pain/tightness in my right piriformis/gluteals.  If that wasn't there I'd be feeling great. 
The Catocting 50k is 2 weeks away.  Instead of doing a long run I plan to do 3 runs in a row this weekend with mileage around 8-10 per run.  I'd like to get in 40 miles for the week. 
7/9/13 - 6 mile loop in 41:52 and a 1.5 mile cool down.
7/10/13 - It has been pouring rain for days, so we skipped the cove and ran 6.1 miles down to the greenway to check things out. 
7/12/13 - Ran the 11 mile Lewis Gale Loop at a 7:20 pace.  Felt pretty good.  Tried to keep HR below 150.
7/13/13 - Decided to do a time trial up McAfee's Knob.  We stayed on the AT and got to the top in 41:50.  Went down the backside, to the side trail for water and the gate, and took the fire road all the way back for a 1:19:35 round trip.  Felt good considering the effort yesterday.
7/14/13 - 7 mile run around Grandin/Raleigh Court
Total for the week; 40.2 running miles for the week.

Training Week 7/1/13

Now that I am a week plus out from the 50 miler I have begun to feel normal again.
7/2/13 - Ran the six mile loop in 43:07 and did a 1.5 mile cool down. 
7/3/13 - Ran up Hiddie Ho, fireroad to Buck and back to the parking lot on the road for 7.6 miles.  It was a wet rainy day.  My legs felt pretty good going up Hiddie Ho. 
7/4/13 - 7.5 miles out at the Explore Park doing recon for our workday tomorrow.
7/5/13 - I don't normally count mileage hiking but if I have a chainsaw on my back it gets put in the books.  Did 5 miles at the Explore Park as part of our workday. 
7/6/13 - Ran the Hollins loop.  Started at the new Hollins greenway parking lot off of Plantation, ran to the boat docks, hit the no name trail up to the AT, down Sawmill Branch, and back to the boat dock on Happy Valley.  Felt pretty good.  Ran at a good pace and finished pretty strong for 19.45 miles.
7/7/13 - Road biked 32.  Home to Green Hill Park, Harborwood, Wildwood, and back home.
Total for the Week; 47.05 mile running and 32 miles cycling.

Post Race Week/Vacation Week - 6/24/13

In the days following the race things went pretty well.  I felt great on Sunday, at least I felt a lot better than I thought I would.  Sunday evening and the next few days I had issues with my big toes.  I tend to get blisters under my toes for long races and especially when I go downhill on my heals.  This was the issue during the race.  I couldn't run down hill as fast as I wanted due to not getting enough oxygen which made me slow up and end on my heels.  This is an issue with my running form I need to correct. 
7/25/13 - We rented mtn bikes and rode at Betasso Ridge and then packed up and rode around the Valmont bike park for 12.85 miles.
7/26/13 - We biked 20.5 miles at Buffalo Creek.
7/27/13 - We biked 17 at Centennial Cone.
7/28/13 - We hiked 7.2 to Forest Lake.  This was a hike from the East Portal of the Moffat Tunnel.  It was a pretty area at the base of the Continental Divide.  As we got to within 1/2 mile of the lake we started to hike through snow. 
7/30/13 - Back in VA, we rode up the old road up Mill Mountain, to the BRP, down to Starlight and then back home from there for 20 miles and then I ran a 4 mile loop around Fishburn Park.
Total for the Week; 11 miles on foot, 50.35 mile mtn biking, and 20 miles cycling.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

San Juan Solstice 50 Miler

It all started with our buddy Kyle Stone mentioning that we should do this race -  He had participated in the event 7 or 8 times previously and said that it was one of his favorites and that it traverses some of the most scenic terrain you could ever want to see in 50 miles.  In addition, as I did a little recon for myself I saw that this race was rated as the one of the most difficult if not the most difficult 50 miler in the US - This is what we knew we were up against.

The difficulty lies in a few details;
50 mile distance
The race traverses miles at 8600ft - 13,400ft of elevation
13 miles are on the continental divide and above 12,000ft of elevation
The weather on the continental divide is unpredictable with widely varying temperatures, potential for hail, life threatening thunderstorms, wind and total exposure.

I wasn't so worried about the distance but how my body would react to the elevation, and not just the elevation but the effects of the elevation during a race.  Perceived exertion is a tough thing to judge in a race let alone this kind of race.  So my plan was to go by feel, run a smart conservative race, take a camera to help me slow down and enjoy the race and to have some memories from the event, all in an effort to see the likelihood of doing future races at elevation.  This race was either going to open the door to bigger events or it was going to slam it shut. 

The race starts on Main Street in Lake City Colorado at 5am.  There are 6 water stops and 3 places for drop bags.  At the start, it was just light enough to not need a headlamp or flashlight.  I decided to run in my Salamon Speedcross 3 with a 70oz Nathan pack and 1 20oz handheld (camelbak with a podium chill bottle).  I used the race sponsored Acli-mate drink in the handheld for the entire race. 

The course runs just under 3 miles along a gravel road before it hits the first trail running up Alpine Gulch.  This trail climbs up for 6.75 miles crossing a creek 7 times and climbing just under 4000ft.  The creek has log crossings to help you keep your feet dry, if you have good balance and have shoes that can grip wet logs.  I took the logs on all but 2 crossings (saw a guy slide off and decided not to chance it).  This trail was a mix of running and hiking.  I enjoyed the mix and had dreaded that this would be a hike only when I initially saw the elevation profile. 

Once to the first water stop things became more of a hike.  Since this was above tree line you could see all the people in front of you and distance and elevation that was ahead.  At the top of the climb things switched in the opposite direction.  A mostly steep downhill that hammered the quads all the way down to the Williams Creek Campground.  I noticed the weirdest thing on this downhill, my speed was limited by oxygen.  I couldn't go downhill as fast as I wanted without gasping for air and getting light headed.  So I had to slow down a bit.  In addition, the same thing would happen when drinking or eating.  Normally here in Virginia, I eat and drink on the uphills when I'm going slower.  But out there at elevation I couldn't do both at the same time.  I'd have to stop and drink, or take a bite of food and then eat it slowly or stop to chew it up.  I expected to be out of breath moving but was totally surprised by this. 

I hit WS 2 in 3:25, things were going well and I felt like I was running smart and conservative.  I had hoped to meet up with Lori Stone at this WS and get a stash of bars I had left with her, but I didn't see her at the stop so as I left the campground I begged someone else's crew member for a hammer bar.  Otherwise I would have been in rough shape climbing up to the next water stop.   

The course follows a gravel road for 2.5 miles before heading onto a very long and steep jeep road.  The only good thing about this road is that it was mostly shaded,  It was all hiking.  The road didn't give a bit in regard to steepness.  I was surprised when I hit the aid station and they asked if I wanted my drop bag.  I was thinking the drop bag would be at the next stop. 

I took my drop bag that had my emergency "Divide" items and asked some of the other participants if they felt like we needed the weather safety gear.  My drop bag had a water resistant coat, gloves, fleece hat and buff, and wind pants.  I took the buff and left everything else.  I had a microlight jacket in my pack already and kept it.  I put on some sunscreen, rested, packed more bars for the upcoming 13 miles and was off.  This next section seemed to be an endless climb.  We would head up the high point of the race at 13,400ish before traversing the up and down continental divide section.  It was great and it was miserable.  The views were fantastic, we could see forever, we could see the fire that threatened the neighboring cities, we could see where we were and where we where headed.  But the climb was a death march.  It was difficult to do more than a hike and the hiking was tough due to the thin air. 

Once through the high point it was up and down for the remainder to the next water stop.  Some of the downs were really rocky and took the conservative angle and hiked these.  I didn't want one misplaced foot to ruin my chances of finishing the race.  It was toward the end of this section that I started to get very light headed.  I could feel the "buzz" building up for awhile but thought it would go away.  The sensation was that of an alcoholic buzz and as it got worse I noticed I couldn't run in a straight line.  Thankfully having a seat at the water stop and chilling for awhile things went back to normal.  Now it was an 8 or so mile section to the next water stop and drop bag where Lori was waiting for Kyle so that she could run in with him over the last 10 miles. 

This section had another climb and then was followed by a dirt road section that was a gradual up and down.  Then came a very steep rocky technical decent, which made me think it was perfect training for the end of the Iron Mtn 30 miler at the end of August.  Toward the end of the this section the jeep road went through an aspen grove.  If you've never run or biked through aspens you've really missed out.  It is indescribable. 

I hit the 40 mile point and the Slumgullion water stop ready for my change of shoes (newer Salamon Speed Crosses).  Lori helped me change socks and shoes, refilled my pack and bottle, resupplied with bars, took a picture I don't remember and sent me off. 

I felt great leaving this water stop and hitting the initial downhill before the last climb.  I thought the shoes had re-energized my legs and feet.  But I was wrong.  We hit the next climb and the wheels fell off.  This thing felt like the steepest climb of the day, which it wasn't, and every time I looked up I would see the guy in front of me still climbing.  It was dreadful.  It went on and on and I had to take numerous breaks to catch my breath.  I normally can hike like crazy, but throughout the day it was the lungs, not the legs that were the limiter.  Finally to the top and I could run again.  This was a nice section, again through the aspens that took us to the final water stop managed by the Vickers (owners of the property we were going through on this section).  I had a couple guys near me at this point so I topped off my bottle and was off.  The trail continued a slight up and down until we his the last few miles which were once again on a very steep rocky technical downhill trail. 

The best part of this was seeing Lake City emerge from the tress and knowing that it was downhill and then through the town to the finish at the park.  Once off the trail the course went down a rocky road to the city limit and asphalt.  The road was fairly level but it was so hard to propel myself along at this point.  I wished it was downhill.  I finally got to the bridge over the river and knew exactly where I was.  It was another 1/2 mile or so to the finish.  They had volunteers at the intersections managing traffic and had us running down main street to the park and finish.  Everyone along the way was clapping and congratulating me as I finished up this last section.  The whole town is behind this race.  I hit the line in 12:27:20 and in 69th place. 

The whole story - and pictures -
I took 190 pictures during the race.

I usually know how bad a race went by how long it takes to forget the bad parts.  By later that evening and the next morning most of the negative had worn off.  I'll do something like this again and am already planning ahead to our vacation adventure of 2014.

Training Week of 6/11/13

6/12/13 - I took Tuesday off to give my foot a little extra rest.  Ran through Fishburn Park and Grandin Court for a 6 miler.
6/13/13 - Road biked to Green Hill Park and Back for 19 miles.
6/14/13 - Wanted to get in a decent run so I did 9 on the road and greenway.  Foot did OK but it does have me a little worried.
6/15/13 - Ran the trails of Mill Mountain on the morning of our RNUTS Social.  Did a total of 6.4miles.  Foot felt OK.
6/16/13 - Ran a 8.35 mile loop through Garst Mill Park and Fishburn Park.
Total for the week; 29.75 miles running and 19 miles cycling.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Week May 20th to June 9th

Here is a recap of the weeks following the Smoky Mtn Traverse -

5/21/13 - 6 mile loop and 1.5 mile cool down.
5/22/13 - 8.15 - Ran at the cove, road in, 1000ft climb to the Drop, down the drop to comet, lower comet and out on the road.  Felt decent on the 1000ft climb and legs are feeling good despite the previous weeks activity.
5/24/13 - 13.4 - Ran 4 gorge and the lower loop at the cove while marking the CtC course.
5/25/13 - 7.6 miles - Hiked up McAfees for a sunset and moonrise hike.
5/26/13 - 10 miles - Woodthrush - Chestnut Ridge - Woodthrush.
Total for the week; 46.65 miles running
All in all I felt pretty good this week following the big efforts in the Smokies.

Following the 5/26/13 run I started having left tibialis anterior muscle strain issues.  It bothered me on that run but wasn't too bad until I stopped and afterwards was having a lot of pain with each step.
5/27/13 - Decided to ride the Trough/Gauntlet loop to cut out some trees and mark those trails for the CtC races.  Leg hurt the whole time.
I decided to take the week off until 5/31 when Gina and I biked the entire CtC Marathon course to mark it and put out the mile markers.  28 miles of mtn biking.
Total for the week;  35 miles of mtn biking.
It ended up being a decent week to take off from running since I needed to give myself a break from the last few weeks of effort and in preparation for the Conquer the Cove races.  That event puts a lot of stress on me and dealing with that stress alone was probably a good thing.

6/3/13 - Ran 6 miles as a test for my leg.  Still feels off but the run went OK.
6/4/13 - Ran the 6 mile loop and 1.5 mile cool down.
6/5/13 - Ran the gauntlet and trough loop.  I hit the Gauntlet pretty hard to test things out and it went well.  The gauntlet is a nice time trial trail.  It isn't too long but it can really hurt.  It is a good place to test the lungs and hill climbing legs.  I usually time things from the gate at Timberview to the top of Gauntlet.  I think I've been in the 30's a few times and this time was in the upper 32's.
6/7/13 - 21.41 miles running from our house on the greenway.  The greenway was closed due to the low water bridge being out, so I ran on Main Street to Elm to Jefferson to Walnut and back to the greenway.  From here I ran to the Star Trail Trailhead and took Woodthrush to the top and then the Star Trail to the pedestrian crossing.  At this point I ran the entire Mill Mountain Mayhem 10k course back to Woodthrush and then continued to the Parkway Spur where I took the Fern Park Trail and then hit the greenway and headed back home.
The run felt pretty good but I was spent at the end.  It was a humid morning and I was soaked at the end.
6/9/13 - 9.25.  Ran to the bridge street greenway, smith park, and then back through the cemetery.
Total for the week;  52.16 miles of running.
Decent week of mileage.  Now I have a new pain at the proximal 4th metatarsal.  Not too bad but enough to make me worry a bit.  I'd hoped to hit this race in good form but random issues are popping up. 

Monday, May 20, 2013

5/13/13 - Week of the Smoky Mountain Traverse

5/14/13 - The week started with my usual 6 mile run (42;16) and 1.5 mile cooldown.

     This has been in the works for awhile but just didn't know how/when to fit it in.  Then Gina and I committed to the San Juan Solstice 50 miler in Lake City CO, made it in, and had to plan for how to get in adequate training to survive this high elevation race.  What we came up with was a Gilcock weekend.  Jonathan and Rebecca Adcock committed to helping make this happen. 
     Jonathan and I would do the traverse while the girls staged the cars and ran their own shorter loops.
     Close to the NC/TN border the AT crosses under I-40.  At exit 451 we started our journey that was to end at Plan A - Clingman's Dome (42 miles) and Plan B - Newfound Gap (32.5 miles). 

Jonathan wore a Ultimate Direction pack with a 100oz bladder and two 24oz podium chill bottles.
I wore a Camelbak Octane 18x with 100oz of water and a 20oz bottle of water. 
We both carried food for 12 hours, iodine water treatment, some minor first aid, electrolytes, and a phone (I carried a GoPro that didn't get used and a small camera).  We both wore Salamon Speedcross 3's.

The weather started out in the upper 50's with an overcast sky.  The temp gradually climbed up to the mid 60's with the sun occasionally popping out but most of the day the views were hazy and limited.  The route started with a climb for the first 10k but the real story is that we climbed to about 15.5 miles before we got to the high point of day one at Old Black and Mt. Guyot.  We climbed 6600ft in the first 13 miles (3:32).  We hit 10000ft of climbing at mile 27.  At mile 21 we took a .5 mile downhill diversion to get water at the Pecks Corner Shelter.  Our marathon time was 6:54 and 50k at 8:14.  We finished the first day in 8:49 with 11338ft of climbing and 33.2 miles -

We quickly decided that the full Traverse wasn't realistic and came up with a shortened day 2.  We planned to start 8 miles further along at Clingman's Dome and take the AT to the end at Fontana Dam.  Little did we know that we would wake up to 48 degree rainy and windy weather.  So our day 2 start was a rude awakening.  Hey, at least I got to try out my new 1.6 ounce Montbell Jacket with a capilene 2 long sleeve as my base layer.  Things started out pretty good and the first 10 miles were a mix of rocky down hills and moderate runnable flat and gentle uphill terrain.  Shortly after this point we hit a huge uphill that trashed Jonathan's right knee.  It was a big blow.  We knew we were already in for a long day and the fact that there was no way out and he was in major pain the day was going to get much longer.  The short of it is that on a downhill day we ended up with 32.8 miles and 6259 ft of climbing.  There was a ton of climbing on this section.  We kept thinking that we were at the top of the last climb and we'd get hit with another -

Day 2 had us following bear tracks for miles and miles, encountered 4 wild boar, a great owl, and missing a couple of bear and a bobcat toward the finish (the girls saw these and probably scared them away so that we couldn't see them).  There were a ton of hikers, day, section, and through.  Tons of wild flowers and mtn laurel in bloom.  Not as many overlooks and great views on day one as I thought.  Day 2 we were fogged in with no views for the entire day.

Maybe we'll do it again, who knows. 

Total for the week: 73.2 miles on my feet.

Training Week 5/6/13

I started having a pain in my right piriformis and glute at the end of last week so I decided to work on stretching it and doing trigger point work on it with a tennis ball to see if I could get it to calm down.
I took off Tuesday from running.
5/8/13 - 10 mile bridge street greenway loop.
5/10/13 - 19.65 miles at the cove.  We started at the Hollins Greenway off of Plantation to the boat docks and then did the no name trail up to the AT, AT to Sawmill Branch, to Arrowhead and then back on Happy Valley and the greenway.  Good loop.  Took it easy.
5/14/13 - Ran to Bridge Street and then ran an out and back in the rail yard for a 10.7 mile windy run.
Glute and piriformis are doing ok but still need some recovery for what is ahead.
Ran 40.35 miles for the week.

Training Week 4/29/13

4/30/13 - Ran my usual 4 mile loop and hit it pretty hard, finishing in 39:50 and then did a 1.5 mile cool down.
Later in the evening I ran 4 miles in my five fingers.
5/1/13 - Ran 8 miles at the cove; 4 gorge, ext, tuck-a-way, Enchanted forest, songbird and out on the road.
5/3/13 - Ran 9.65 in a track workout.  Did a 2.5 mile warmup and then hit the track for a 1x1600m with 400RI and then 2x1600m with an 800RI and finished with 2x800 with a 400m RI; 6:14, 6:18, 6:16, 2:57 & 2:56.
5/4/13 - Course marking for the Trail Nut 10k and Half Marathon.  10 miles on the mtn bike.
5/5/13 - Ran 10.7 around Raleigh and Grandin courts and the greenway.
40.35 miles running and 10 mile mtn biking.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Training Week - 4/22/13

4/23/13 - Ran the usual 6 mile loop in 43:52 and did a 3.25 mile cooldown.
     Later that evening I did another 4 miles in my five fingers.
4/24/13 - Ran a greenway and Raleigh Court loop.
4/26/13 - Did a 8.33 mile track workout of 2x(6x400m with 1:30 RI) and 2:30 RI between sets.  1:20, 1:23, 1:19, 1:21, 1:21, 1:21 then 1:22, 1:21, 1:21, 1:21, 1:22, 1:18.
     Then we went out to Falling Creek Park to mtn bike assess a new long loop for the half marathon. 
     12.5 miles.
4/27/13 - 6.35 mile greenway/graveyard loop
4/28/13 - Ran up Poage Valley Ext. to Slings Gap Rd, then an out and back and down the Blue Ridge Parkway to Dawnwood and back.  I've been hearing that "we need to see" Poage Valley Ext. for a long time so today was the day.  It was a nice cool windy rainy day to head up the steeps of PVE.  Once to the top it mellowed out and we were able run the rest.  It's pretty nice up there.
Weekly total of 52.93 miles running and 12.5 of mtn biking.

Next week should be a lower mileage running week due to us having a race on Saturday and the fact that it is time to bring the miles down after 3 hard weeks. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Training Week of 4/15

4/16/13 - Ran my usual 6 mile loop in 42:56 and 3.6 mile cool down.
4/16/13 - Later in the evening I ran 4 miles in Five Fingers.
4/17/13 - Ran 8 miles at the cove.  Ran in on the road, songbird, tuck-a-way, and 4 gorge to the parking lot.  Lungs felt pretty bad today.  Maybe due to all the pollen and humidity.
4/19/13 - Ran a 6 mile loop to the greenway and around Raleigh Court (graveyard loop CW)

I am now just under a two months until the San Juan Solstice 50 miler and one month from the Smokey Mtn Traverse.  The traverse has been planned as the last big training for the SJS 50.  The plan is to tackle the 68+ miles of the Appalachian Trail in the Smokey Mtn. National  Park in 2 days.  Day one will be from I-40 to the parking lot of Clingman's Dome.  This has been mapped out at around 40 miles and 16,000ft of elevation gain.  Day two will take us from Clingman's Dome to the Fontana Dam and maybe a little beyond.  This section comes out to 34 miles and 9800ft of elevation gain.

4/20/13 - Ran the Catawba Run Around - 31.67 miles.  This is the second time doing this full loop.  Jonathan Adcock and I started at 779 where Andy Lane Trail Starts.  We crossed 779 and started out on the Catawba Valley Trail, which took us up to the ridge of North Mtn.  From here it is a rocky technical ridge run to 311 and the Dragon's Tooth parking lot.  We headed up the trail to Dragon's Tooth and took a left onto the Boy Scout Trail (this trail skirts around the pretty much non runnable terrain and comes out, on the AT near it's junction with Newport Road.  We continued on the AT to 311, where Gina and Rebecca started, and refilled our water and loaded up on some more food.  Next up was McAfee's Knob for a brief soaking in of the view and then onward to Tinker Cliffs and down Andy Layne Trail to finish the loop.
See all the stats here -
     We took it pretty easy on this one.  The goal was to do the loop at a comfortable pace and not beat ourselves up.
4/21/13 - Feel pretty good today.  Not very sore, quads are a little tight but all in all I feel great for travelling 32 miles on rugged terrain yesterday.  I ran the 6 mile graveyard loop that I did on 4/19 but CCW.
Total for the week was 65.27 miles running.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Training Weeks 4/1 - 4/14

This is the week that Gina and I race our 5th 6 hours of Warrior Creek in Wilkesboro NC.  It will be our first time on the same team.  We'll be racing duo coed and I will be taking the first lap and hopefully not blowing up by going out too fast.
4/2/13 - Ran my usual 6 mile loop with a 1.5 mile cool down.  Ran the loop in 44:17.
4/3/13 - Ran 6.75 miles at the cove.  Ran up Hi Dee Ho, down buck, and finished running Hotel.
4/5/13 - Did a 12.5 mile mtn bike ride to preview the course.
4/6/13 - Raced 3 laps for 43 miles.  Raced a 1:20, 1:11, and 1:14 lap.  The first lap was 3 miles longer than the others.  My times were OK but not on what I had hoped.  We ended up with a respectable 7th out of 17 teams.  I do think I pushed to hard in the first lap.  In the middle of the lap I hit a wall and it took me awhile to recover. 
4/7/13 - Ran 7.25 to preview the Mill Mountain Mayhem Course.
Total for the week:  21.5 miles running and 55.5 miles mtn biking.

4/9/13 - Ran the usual 6 mile loop in 43:25 and did a 1.5 mile cool down.
4/9/13 - Ran 4 miles in five fingers later that night.
4/10/13 - Ran 10 miles at the cove.  Ran the road in, comet, enchanted forest, little bell, schoolhouse to Happy Valley and then went back. 
4/12/13 - 8.6 miles of track work.  Did 2x1200m and 4x800m with a 2 min RI (4:36, 4:36, 2:56, 3:06, 3:02, 3:02).  My track times a quite a bit slower than they should be and compared to a year ago.  My endurance is good but my turnover isn't there.
4/12/13 - Later in the afternoon we marked the Mill Mountain Mayhem Course.
4/13/13 - 4 miles of mtn biking to check the MMM 10k course.
4/14/13 - 19.5 miles running up Poor Mtn to Break Rd. and back.  See details here -
Total for the week:  53.2 miles running and 4 miles mtn biking.

The countdown for the San Juan Solstice 50M is 2 months.  Training is going well and my attitude is picking up.  I've done a little recon for the race this week and the excitement is starting to build. 

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Training Weeks with YTD #'s - 3/11 - 3/31

3/12/13 - Ran my usual 6 mile loop in 44 minutes today (legs were still heavy from the race on Sat)and 1.5 mile cooldown. 
3/13/13 - Ran a 10 mile loop around the neighborhood that included some greenway.
3/15/13 - did 7.6 miles of track work.  I've been trying to get back to trackwork.  My speed has diminished over the last year and do feel better/stronger when I do speed work.  I follow the Run Less, Run Faster track workouts.  Today's workout was 3x1600 and then 2x800m.  I did the mile repeats and quit; 6:16, 6;16, and 6:10 with a 2 min RI in between.
In the afternoon Gina and I did some cleanup at Montvale Park for our upcoming race; 7.5 miles on the mtn bike.
3/16/13 - Did a 28 mile road bike ride to Green Hill Park, Harborwood and then back.  This was a windy ride.
3/17/13 - Did an 18.4 mile run at the cove.  Road to Buck, up to the Brushy Mtn Fire Road and to 4 Gorge Ext, and then the lower loow CCW. 
Total for the Week:  43.5 miles running, 7.5 on the mtn bike, and 28 miles on the road bike.

3/19/13 - Ran the usual 6 mile loop in 44:43 and did a 1.5 mile cooldown.
3/20/13 - 8.2 miles running at the cove.  4 Gorge, Ext, Tuck a way, Songbird, and out on the road.
3/22/13 - Track workout - 3x(2x1200 with a 2 min RI) 4 min RI between sets - 4:36, 4:36, 4:43, 4:41, 4:47, and 4:49.  This was a very windy day and did nothing for my times. 
Then went and did 12 miles mtn biking and course marking at Montvale
3/23/13 - 7 miles mtn biking at Montvale for course cleanup.
3/24/13 - Wanted to get in 18 or so today but with the snow I only mustered up 10 before I was too cold and wet to continue.
Total for the Week:  35.7 mile running and 19 miles on the mtn bike.

3/26/13 - Ran the 6 mile loop in 41:39 and did a 1.5 mile cooldown.
3/27/13 - Ran the Gauntlet and Trough Loop.  Felt like hitting it hard today and went for a time trial on horse pen and Gauntlet hitting the top in 30:50.  I don't really have a reference for time on this.  before the top was rerouted I would run it for a time trail quite a bit.  This trail hurts and the quads and lungs were burning pretty good toward the end.
3/29/13 - 18.15 miles of trail running.  James and I went to Hollins and did the unnamed trail to the top of Tinker, ran the AT to the top of Tinker Cliffs, backtracked to Sawmill Branch, left on Arrowhead, and then ran Happy Valley back to the boat docks.  We were toast at the end of this one.  We did get into some snow from Scortched Earth Gap to Tinker Cliffs.
3/30/13 - 30 miles or cycling.  Home to Starlight, BRP to Vinton and then back using the Tinker Creek Greenway to the STP and then on main roads.
3/31/13 - Ran 11 miles on what I call the Lewis Gale loop.  Just under an 8 minute pace on tired legs.
Total for the Week:  44:15 miles running and 30 miles on the road bike.
Monthly Total:  166.61 running, 56.7 mtn biking, 102.5 road biking.
YTD:  470.61 running, 128.15 mtn biking, and 151.7 road biking.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Training Weeks 2/18-3/10

2/19/13 - Ran my usual 6 mile loop with a .5 mile cooldown.  Ran the loop in 44m
2/20/13 - Ran at the cove; Hi Dee Ho, Brushy mtn fireroad, and 4 gorge.  Did a little extra for 8.25 miles.
2/22/13 - Ran around the Grandin area for 5.5 miles.
2/23/13 - Ran a loop I've wanted to do for awhile and mentally wanted to get away and do something I've never done.  I met up with Jason Captain at the Store at the Peaks of Otter.  We ran the BRP to the trailhead for Falling Water Cascades, then ran Flat Top, made it back to the car, continued on Harkening Hill, and then finished with a climb up the trail to Sharp Top and then back on the Road.  It ended up being 17 miles so we headed out for another 4 miles on the BRP for 21 total.  We got into some snow and ice on each of the peaks.
2/24/13 - Raced the 4th mtn cross event at Falling Creek Park.  Did 6 laps and 11.5 miles.  Missed being able to do a 7th lap by 20 seconds.  These races are fast with very little time to breathe.  It's a constant heart rate spike but good training.
Total for the week; 41.15 miles running and 11.5 mtn biking

2/26/13 - ran my usual 6 mile loop in 44m53s and did a 1.5 mile cooldown.  Legs were heavy from the weekends activity.
2/27/13 - Ran Hi Dee Ho, the fire road to Buck and then the road back to the parking lot for 6.75.
3/1/13 - Rode the Explore Your Limits course to mark it - 6.2
3/2/13 - EYL race.  Didn't do any activity today.  We just crashed from the race. 
3/3/13 - Ran 11.15 miles around Grandin and in Fishburn Park and then later rode 29 miles; up to the parkway, to Vinton and them back.
Total for the week; 25.41 miles running, 6.2 mtn biking, and 29 cycling

3/5/13 - Ran the usual 6 mile loop in 42 min and then did a 1.5 mile cooldown.
3/6/13 - Ran 10 miles in the Grandin area and on the greenway.
3/8/13 - Did a pre mtn bike race loop in Fishburn Park - 6.5 miles
3/9/13 - Raced the Doubleshot in Moore's Spings NC.  This is a two loop 13 mile mtn bike followed by a 13.33 mile road bike ride finishing with a 3k climb up Hanging Rock State Park.  Gina and I rode a little extra on the mtn bike and some to get back to the car.  17.5 mtn biking and 15.5 on the road bike.
3/10/13 - 14.6 miles around Grandin, Fishburn Park, and greenway.
Total for the week; 32.1 miles running, 24 miles on the mtn bike, and 15.5 cycling

I don't usually race this frequently but so far there have been 5 races this year;
One 50k, one 40miler, two mtn cross events, and then the mtn and road bike doubleshot this weekend.  And today, my legs are toast. 

I like to get in 40 miles a week running but the biking forces me off my feet which I think helps decrease injury, helps keep me from getting "runners burnout," and gets in some well needed cross training.  We'll see how it pays off in the next few months.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Training Week of 2/11/13

2/12/13 - Ran the 6 mile loop CCW in 42 minutes and did a 1.7 mile cool down.  Felt pretty good.  43 degrees and windy.
             - Rode my mtn bike at night through Fishburn 6.2 miles
2/13/13 - Ran Hi Dee Ho - Buck, and Road for a 6.5 mile loop.
2/15/13 - Mtn biked with Kenny.  Road to Buck, Gauntlet, Trough, Brushy Mtn Fire Road, Comet, 4 Gorge Ext., Four Gorge.  17.4 Miles
2/16/13 - Ran around Grandin and Greenway for a 8.1 mile loop at 7:45 pace.
             - Participated in the 3rd race in the Bedford Mtn Cross Series - 6th overall. 11 miles.
2/17/13 - Ran the trails of Fishburn - 8 miles
Total for the week:  30.3 mile running and 34.6 miles mtn biking biking.

Training went well this week.  I finally got my mind back in to running mode following the Uwharrie 40 Miler.  I've got a long run planned for this coming weekend.  In addition, I'm trying to get some more mtn bike miles for a race that is coming up on 4/6/12 - 6hrs of Warrior Creek where Gina and I are racing as a Co-ed Duo team.  Riding helps me get fitness while saving and letting my joints recover from the Ultras.  In addition, the mtx is a great speed workout that makes you anerobic for over an hour.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Recovery Week 2/4/13

There is an art to recovery.  I don't have it.  I'm going to let my body decide when to run next.  I feel pretty good after the Uwharrie 40 miler.  My legs feel heavy and I really messed up my left middle toe, but other than that I don't have too much soreness and the soreness I have is symmetrical. 
2/6/13 - I went for a 14.2 mile bike ride to Salem and back.  I hit one hill and noticed my leg power is still missing but it was good to get out for a spin.
2/8/13 - Ran 5.6 in the snow on the greenway and roads of grandin court.  Legs still feel heavy and my knees feel inflamed.  The snow is the only reason I decided to run today.
Also went out and rode the wazUPwidis course to get the mileage.  Rode 4 miles or so in high winds.
2/9/13 - wazUPwidis race was this morning and then Gina and I did a 19 mile road bike ride.
2/10/13 - 4 miles.  Didn't really work out today but spent 3.5 hours carrying a chainsaw pack and leaf blower while cleaning up the Explore Your Limits 5k course and beginner trail.
Total for the week;   8.7 miles running and 33.2 mile road biking

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Race Week 1/28/13

Well this is the big week of the Uwharrie 40 miler.  The plan was to run Tues. and Wed. and then take of Thurs. and Fri.
1/29/13 - Ran my normal 6 mile loop. 
My legs really didn't feel good so I decided to take the entire week off leading up to the race.  I stretched and used the "stick" during the week and made sure I stayed hydrated and got adequate sleep in the hopes this would pay off with "fresh" legs on Saturday. 
2/2/13 - Race morning was 18 degrees.  It was Gina and I, the Adcocks, and Dru Sexton that represented Mountain Junkies in the 40 miler.  We got to the shuttle parking area at around 6:15, they bused us to the start at 6:30, and then it was a matter of getting everything together, droping our drop bags, and then staying warm until the start. 
     Except for a tenth of a mile at the start, the course is all trail.  It goes up and down, up and down, forever, over creeks, over rock after rock, and then more up and down until you turn around and to it all again.  It doesn't seem like that hard of a course but these two years of racing it I'm constantly looking at my watch and wondering why it isn't showing a faster pace.  This year the conditions were good but there were a lot of trees to jump and climb over from the recent storms. 
     I hit the turnaround in 10th or 11th place and over the last 20 miles I gradually caught a couple people to end up in 8th at 7:14:22, just one place and 8 minutes faster than last year. 
     On one side I was ecstatic to finish this race in the top 10 without any real trouble during the 7+ hours of running while staying cramp free, but on the other I feel like I am in much better shape than last year, wasn't dealing with an ankle issue, and remembered my handheld bottle this year.  All of which should have had me at a much faster time.  So I'm trying to figure out what it was;  3 ultras in 2 months, not much time off between, something else, or a combination of all these reasons. 
     So Sunday, afterwards and now days later I'm in a funk with no real desire to run, my legs feel beat up, and I think all of this is a great reason to take a break to recover, get my legs back and hopefully look forward to my next run.  I try to be a "listen to your body" kind of guy and up until this point it was saying, go, go, go, and go faster.  Now it's saying take a break, get on your bike, and give your body and mind a break. 
Total for the week; 46.4 miles of running

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Training Week of 1/21/13

Training has been going pretty well.  The snow and ice have slowed the pace down which has some positives; keeps me in a recovery pace and helps work some of the stabilizing muscles of the legs.
1/22/13 - Ran 7.75 miles.  6.25 mile loop at 7:30 pace, followed by a 1.5 mile cool down. 
1/23/13 - Ran 8 road miles at a 7:54 pace.  Loop had some good hills in it.
1/25/13 - Ran 9.2 miles to the greenway, Smith Park, and back via Sherwood.
1/26/13 - Ran 11 miles on one of my favorite road loops.  Home, to Garst Mill Park, Grandin Ext, Mudlick, Cravins Creek, Bell Aire, Brandon, Carrolton, Westover, Grandin, and back home.  Ran to the loop at just under a 7 minute per mile average -
I ended with a 1.5 mile cooldown.  I felt good and didn't really push the pace but would have liked to have worn my HR monitor just to check my exertion level.
1/27/13 - Decided to do a cold road ride today.  It was a 16 mile ridge down Brambleton, onto Roselawn, up Sugarloaf, Keagy to Apperson, Edgewood, Bridge St. Greenway and back.
Week Summary - 37.5 miles running and 16 cycling.
I feel pretty good going into Uwharrie 40M.  Last year I finished 9th in 7:22.29.  My goal this year will still be a Top 10 finish and sub 7 hours but I think there is room to go well under 7 hours if the conditions are good on race day (anywhere from 6:30-6:45).  If it is muddy or icy I think the 7 hour mark will be a good time to focus on. 
Here is the link to last year's post for this race. -

Monday, January 21, 2013

Training Week of 1/14/13

Following the Willis River 50k I feel pretty good. 
Sunday I went out for a 4 mile run and 13.1 easy road bike ride.
1/15/13 - 7 mile road run.  6 mile loop at 8:30 pace and 1 mile cooldown.
1/16/13 - Ran 6.6 miles in the rain at the cove.  Road to Buck, Brushy Mtn Fireroad, and down Hi Dee Ho.
1/18/13 - 7.2 mile run to the greenway and back.
1/19/13 - 11.2 mile run on back road towards Lewis Gale and back (8:00 pace)
1/20/13 - Finished the week with a snowy/icy 11.6 mile run up Poor Mtn.  Got in about 1.5 miles before the snow started covering the road.  From here it was snow and ice.  By the time we were getting close to the top it was powdery in places and the top had been plowed for a unobstructed .7 mile slog to the top.  If you haven't run up this mtn. it is one of the hardest climbs around and it gets worse at the top.  Great views at the top.
Ended up with 43.5 miles of running this week. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

2013 Race Plan

01/12/13 - Willis River 50k - 2nd 4:35:24
02/02/13 - Uwharrie 40 Miler -
03/09/13 - Double Shot - mtn bike and road bike race.
03/16/13 - The Instant Classic trail marathon
04/06/13 - 6 Hours of Warrior Creek - Duo team with Gina
04/20/13 - Leatherwood Trail Ultra or 04/27/13 Promise Land 50k
05/17-5/18 - Smokey Mtn Traverse - the entire 68 miles of the AT in the Smokey Mtn National Park.  Plan is for a 38 mile day followed by a 30 mile day.  That's the plan, for now.
06/22/13 - San Juan Solstice 50 Miler in Lake City CO

Everything leads up to the SJS 50 Miler.  Much of this race runs from an elevation of 8500-13250.  We plan to meet up with our buddies Kyle and Lori Stone for this one. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Post Hellgate 100k and Willis River 50k

I'll continue with what I've done since Hellgate. 

As I was training for the race I was thinking I would take a full week off to mentally and physically recover.  That didn't happen.  By Wednesday my blistered toes were well enough for me to get in a 5 mile run with Gina and Super Dru.  Everything felt pretty good except my knee were very tender on the downhills.

12/12/12 - 5.5 Mile run on the trails of Fishburn Park
12/14/12 - 26.4 mile road bike ride up Mill Mountain, BRP to vinton and home.
12/15/12 - Random running for a 11 mile road run.
Week - 16.5 miles running and 26.4 biking

12/18/12 - 7.5 miles - 6 mile loop and cooldown
12/18/12 - Ran a 4 mile loop in Five Fingers
12/19/12 - 4.9 mile run around Raleigh Court
12/21/12 - 8 Mile road run
12/22/12 - 8.25 miles running the Elkmont Loop in the Smokeys
12/23/12 - 21.75 miles running the Cove Mtn Loop in the Smokeys - 5200ft of climbing.
Week - 54.4 miles running

12/24/12 - 9 mile run at Steele Creek Park in Bristol
My post Hellgate activity and the rainy run on the 24th brought my immune system down with a scratch throat.  I knew my immune system was going to take a hit after Hellgate I just didn't know when and how bad it would be. 
12/28/12 - 11.2 miles on a snowy ice covered Rock Castle Gorge Loop.  A MUST DO
12/30/12 - 5 mile fishburn loop
Week - 25.2 miles of running

This is the last training week before the Willis River 50k
12/31/12 - 6.6 mile mtn bike ride on the Fishburn trails
01/01/13 - 6 mile loop in (41:39) and a 1.5 mile cool down
01/01/13 - 4 mile loop in Five Fingers
01/02/13 - 7.7 mile running up Hi Dee Ho, down Buck, and Hotel.  Got in some extra going out and back to the girls.
01/04/13 - 6.2 miles marking the Frozen Toe 10k course
01/05/13 - Post race 5.6 mile mtn bike ride in Fishburn park
01/06/13 - 14 mile trail run.  Hollins AT loop.  Unnamed trail to the AT, AT to Sawmill Branch, Sawmill Branch to Arrowhead, down to Happy Valley and back to the boat docks. 
Week - 39.4 miles running and 12.2 mile mtn biking

01/08/13 - 6 mile loop in (40:57) and a 1.5 mile cool down
01/09/13 - 6 mile loop
01/12/13 - Willis River 50k.  This race is a primitive trail that runs through leaf covered trails that sometimes look like deer trails.  There are lots of trees, logs, and stumps to run and jump over.  I've done the 35k option twice and thte 50k option twice.  I typically come in at the 35k finish in 2:55.  Last year I won this race in the last .3 miles and I expected a top 3 and close to 4:30 finish.
   Things started off very fast this year and I was 10th or so at the 10 mile turnaround feeling like I was in a pretty good groove.  At some point I started to fall back in place on the return trip and decided to pick it up.  I repeatedly thought to myself that I was running much harder than I should but I didn't want to fall too far back leading into the last 10 miles.  I hit the 35k finish at around 2:53.30 with Ryan Nebel and we went into the last section in 2nd and 3rd.  The last 10 miles are in better shape and easier to follow but the disadvantage is that the miles are hillier.  About .75 miles from the turnaround I got in front of Ryan and held him off to the finish.  I ended up 10 minutes behind the winner in 2nd in 4:35:24.  I was happy with that.  I felt fine I just thought I was in better shape than the previous year and thought sub 4:30 was achieveable.  I ended up with 7 splits of over 10 minute per mile pace.  I should have been able to avoid that and that is where my 5 minutes went. 
   I took a 20oz handheld bottle and drank 6 of them.  Had a handful of peanut butter pretzels at mile 10, 2 Honey Stinger Waffles at mile 20, and a cliff bar around mile 26. 
01/13/13 - Felt pretty good today and decided to do both a 4 mile easy run and a 13 mile road bike ride to the greenway and back via normal roads. 
Week - 48.7 miles running and 13.15 miles road biking

2012 Summary

01/14/12 - Willis River 50k - 1st place in 4:38.58
02/04/12 - Uwharrie 40 Miler - 9th in 7:22.29
03/10/12 - Double Shot - mtn bike and road bike race - 11th
04/07/12 - Kenny Palmer and I raced Duo at the 6 hours of Warrior Creek - 8th
06/23/12 - Eastern Divide 50k - 3rd in 4:38.38
09/01/12 - Iron Mtn 30 Miler - 3rd in 4:34:39
09/22/12 - 18 Hours of Scouts Honor - 1st Overall on a very talented 4 person team.
12/08/12 - Hellgate 100k - 11th overall in 12:29.53

I raced more than usual in 2012.  From June on, I tried to do at least one 30 mile run per month to keep my legs in Ultra shape.  That seemed to help.  I did track workouts whenever they fit my schedule.  Probably half the weeks of the year.

Running - 1763
Mtn Biking - 567
Road Biking - 735

Shortly after the Willis River 50k I started having Achilles/ankle issues.  This race was super muddy and I think that played a role in the problem.  From there the problem would heal, I'd do a trail run, roll my ankle injuring it again, and the cycle repeated for a couple months.  It is at 90% today. 

Ultra Retrospective

This is my Pre Hellgate 100k write up that I didn't get finished and posted.  I've been absent in my posts for the last 9 months and I'm going to try to do better (an ankle injury last January derailed my blog enthusiasm). 
Why do I think my story is important or special - I'm an ordinary guy, who grew up overweight, found trail running in 2001 and over the last 12 years I've become competitive, have learned countless lessons, have stayed relatively injury free (except for rolling ankles on rocks and roots) am a better person, have directed and promoted 39 events, have been surrounded by the trail running community for the last 5 years, and feel like anyone is capable of what I've done. 
Here is the 12/7/12 story.  So today I'm feeling a little nostalgic as I get ready to start the 10th Hellgate 100k.  This will be my 25th Ultra and first race over 50 miles since the inaugural Hellgate in 2003.  A lot of things have changed, a lot of miles have been run, and some lessens have been learned. 
Quick autobiography;
I grew up an overweight kid.  I only ran if I had to, and objected to it then.
At the age of 13 I started going to the gym to lift weights for shot put and discuss.
    I lived at the gym.  Until I got my drivers license I would leave school, walk to the gym, lift weights, and then head to my dad's office for a ride home.  I'm sure I was a pest to the gym owners because I spent hours there, I would ask questions, and I learned a lot about lifting, health, and nutrition. 
    HS football is where I started to lose weight and became obsessed with getting as big and strong as possible.  It also had the side effect of making me a bully to get back at those that made fun of my weight all the years before.  Anyway, I had some success, I was able to squat 500+lbs, bench 365, and deadlift over 500.  Lifting was the first significant fork in the road.  I choose the right path. 
    At 16 when I had my license I started working out at another gym and pestered this guy, Mark, everyday until he gave me a job.  I finally broke him down and I worked here from age 16-20, working the 6-9am and 6-9pm shifts ($4 an hour, big money, right?).  Side note; this is also where I met my best friend and wife Gina.  She was a gym rat too (she lifted some serious weight in her time).
   At 20 I went off to Logan College of Chiropractic.  I kept on lifting and learning.  A big lesson that I learned there is a difference between fitness and health.  So many athletes are viewed as healthy because of what they do.  But many of these athletes don't lead healthy lifestyles.  Being fit and eating like the standard American is not the path to health. 
Age 23 to present:
I graduated on 8/8/98
Gina and I got married on 8/15/98
We moved to Virginia on 8/23/98
I opened the Chiropractic office up on 11/2/98
8/1/01 we went on a run up McAfees Knob.
From this one run we began running, exploring, and adventuring on almost every possible trail and fire/jeep road around the area.  To this day we still do the same.
12/8/01 I ran my first race the Jingle Bell Run 5k in 21:20
2/16/02 I ran my first 50k the Holiday Lake 50k in 5:28
In 2002 I wanted to do all of the Lynchburg Ultra Series but I got sick right before the Mountain Masochist 50 miler and had to be a DNS.  Since I was trained and ready I entered the JFK 50 miler the next month - 9:34.  Man, that one was tough.  Too much road for me.
In 2003 I completed the LUS and shortly after, talk of Hellgate came about.  So, not knowing if I would ever be in Hellgate shape I decided to enter the first ever Hellgate 100k.  I think Horton, the race director, called finishers of the LUS + Hellgate, finishers of the Horton Slam.  I still tell everyone I was the first Horton Slam finisher coming in 9th at the first zero degree, ice and snow covered Hellgate 100k.  I don't think the Horton Slam exists anymore. 

I enjoy trail racing and trail runners.  I like the mental side of Ultra racing.  Gradually over time I've gotten more competitive.  I've started to finish in the top 10 with a handful in the top 3 finishes and my first Ultra win this year at the Willis River 50k. 

Tomorrow my goal is to be top 10 and under 13 hours.