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.