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.