Monday, February 24, 2014

Training Week 2/17/14

2/18/14 - Due to my two falls this year I've been paranoid of falling on the snow and black ice.  Since it is everywhere I look on my runs I've been in a constant state of paranoia.  Ran the 6 (6.3 miles today) mile loop with some slight changes due to the snow and ice. 
Decided to get in some elevation training by going to the gym and doing the stepmill for 30 minutes with a HR below 142.  I got in 2750 steps in 30 minutes and noticed I was able to do quite a bit more at the 142 HR.  Did a treadmill walking cool down.
2/19/14 - Ran a 10 mile Greenway loop with James at below 142.  Did a .3 mile cool down.
2/21/14 - Ran 6.2 miles at the Explore Park checking the course and marking it. 
2/22/14 - This was a big day of running -
     We decided to get a small group together to do the loops at Sharp Top.  If you haven't been to Sharp Top, put it on the list.  It is a must see and I rate it as the highest, effort to reward ratio mtn, in the area. 
     We headed out to start at 6:15 so that we could see the sunrise at 7:01.  I think the climb up took about 33 minutes from the Visitor's Center hitting it at a respectable clip.  We had planned to head down the bus road but it was still covered in snow and ice.  So we ended up heading back down the trail back to the car.  Dropped off our lights and some clothing and headed out, north on the BRP, to Fallingwater Cascades.
     Fallingwater Cascades is about 2.5 miles north on the BRP from the Visitors Center and then is a short 1.6 mile loop, taking you down to the bottom of the Cascades, and then climbing back up to the BRP.
     Here we headed across the BRP to start the long long climb up Flat top.  Flat top isn't a terribly steep climb but we started to get into snow about a mile from the top and my "I can't fall down" paranoia started to settle in.  At the top of Flat Top (false peak) there is a small overlook and then you head down a bit and climb up to the summit.  At this spot there are a few boulders to climb on that take you to a giant flat rock that is perfect for reveling in the accomplishment of the climb, selfies, and a great view.  Taking the trail down the other side we hit the campground taking us to the lake trail and back to the visitors center and car. 
     Here we refueled and headed out on the 3.3 mile Harkening Hill Loop.  This loop doesn't climb up to the heights of Sharp or Flat Top but it is a pretty tough climb, especially on tired legs.  Here you once again hit a flat area thinking the climb is done but you soon find  out that there is another pretty tough climb ahead.  As you climb this last section there are a number of crazy big boulders spread out over the hillside.  At the top there is another giant boulder that is perfect for taking in the view and accomplishment.  Coming down the other side of the loop isn't too exciting.  The trail is pretty steep, rutted and rocky but will get you back to the parking lot and car. 
     I think the loop ended up being 17.5 or so.
     Chad and I decided to hit Sharp Top 1 more time for the extra miles and elevation gain.  The trail had started to thaw out and there were quite a few hikers by this time but we managed to hit it hard getting to the top in around 27 minutes from the Visitors Center.  this was an almost all out effort and really put the burn to the legs and lungs.  Once we recouped we decided to head back down the bus route.  The road was 50% covered in snow and ice and the rest was clear.  So we got in some decent running that was broken up with random moments of panic as we hit the ice and snow.  I managed to stay on my feet the entire day and was happy that I was able to run this distance and difficulty without any back trouble.
8/23/14 - Mtn Cross IV.  My legs were feeling dead and sore from yesterday's run but these races are low key and fun and I wanted to give one last effort in to trying to beat Gina.  Things were going well on lap one but quickly changed when I burped half the air out of my back tire about .4 of a mile into the second lap.  I had enough air to ride up to the S/F area and add enough air to get back into the race.  I figured I lost around 2 minutes.  From there each of the 6 laps total clicked by and we finished up our Mtn Cross series on a near perfect February day that saw temps climb into the 70's. 
Total for the week;  47.1 miles running and 11 mtn biking
It was a good week of training and one of the first long mtn runs in awhile.  I needed that!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Training Week 2/10/14

2/11/14 - Ran the 6 mile loop below a 142 HR and did a 1.5 mile cool down.
2/12/14 - Got home early for a snow run with James.  We got in 7.3 random road miles in 3 or so inches of falling snow.
2/14/14 - Ran 7.3 miles with James and then Gina and I went out for 7.1 in the deep and melting snow. 
2/15/14 - Decided to hit McAfee's in the fresh snow.  We followed one pair of tracks that looked to be put down before the last snow on Thursday.  Much of the route was mid shin to knee deep snow.  Lots of work but worth the effort to get to the top and see the Blue Ridge Mtns Covered in snow.  We tried to go down the backside of McAfee's but lost the trail in waist deep drifts, so we bushwhacked back to the fireroad and took that back down the mtn.  The full route was 9 miles and it felt like 15. 
2/16/14 - Ran 6.5 miles with James heading to the greenway and back through Grandin and then headed to Bedford for the 3rd Mtn Cross race.  The race was a short track of snow, deep mud and asphalt.  I got in 9.3 including a warm-up and cool down.  It was fun.  I love the balance work needed to ride through the snow. 
Total for the Week;  44.66 miles running and 9.3 mtn biking.

Training Week 2/3/14

2/4/14 - Ran the 6 mile loop and did a 1.5 mile cooldown.  Ran the loop at a HR below 142.
2/5/14 - Ran at the cove doing the Gauntlet/Trough Loop.  Did a couple out and backs as I waited for the rest of the group to get in 8 miles.  My low back is still hurting on steep climbs and any place where I have to hike. 
2/7/14 - Ran the 10 mile bridge street greenway loop at HR below 142. 
2/8/14 - Did the Mtn Cross II race at night.  Got in 12.75 miles total with warm-up, race and cool down.  These races are non stop, lung burning, go go go races.  It feels good to get the HR up for these short events. 
2/9/14 - Ran 18 which consisted of a 11 Lewis Gale loop and then 6 miles with James.  Both runs were kept at a HR below 142. 
The low back is getting better but I'm not back to 100% yet.  I'm starting to see the effects of the running at or below 142.  My pace is getting better at the same HR week to week. 
Total for the week; 43.5 running and 12.75 mtn biking.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Training Week 1/27/14

1/28/14 - Ran the 6 mile loop in weather in the low teens with a 0 degree wind chill (HR below 142). 
1/29/14 - Ran 8 miles at the Cove in the freezing cold (12 degrees) and in the snow.  We were the first to lay down tracks at the cove.  Up Hi Dee Ho, down the fire road and back on 4 gorge.
1/31/14 - Did a long road loop.  To Lewis Gale and then the greenway for a 16 mile loop and then a .9 mile cool down.  Kept my HR below 142.
2/1/14 - Ran 8.15 miles around Raleigh Court then went to the gym and did the stepmill for 30 minutes at HR 142.  I'm having a hard time pushing off going uphill without my low back hurting.  Any torque causes some pain.  Since I'm not able to run hills I decided to do a rolling road run and then head to the gym and do the stepmill. 
2/2/14 - Mtn Cross race I.  Gina and I entered the mtn cross series in Bedford.  These are short track mtn bike/cyclocross races.  This was a 25% muddy 1.6 mile loop that you ride for around an hour or so.  I got in 5 laps.  I'd say I was riding about 70% due to the back issue.  Hopefully I'll be back to speed next week for the 2nd race, which is at night.
Total for the week;  42.65 miles running and 11 mile mtn biking.

Training Week of 1/20/14

1/21/14 - Ran the 6 mile loop and 1.5 mile cool down.  Kept HR below 142.  My HR was higher today because I'm a bit run down. 
1/22/14 - Did 30 minutes on the Stepmill under 142 HR and then 1.5 miles on the treadmill.
1/24/14 - Ran 8.6 miles at River Bend County Park in Hickory NC. 
1/25/14 - Ran 18 miles at Montreat.  Up to Rocky Knob and back.  Ended up being in a snowstorm with high winds, low visibility and a couple inches of sleet and snow.  On the way back down I went down hard on my sacrum again, reinjuring my low back from a month ago.  Not good.
1/26/14 - Ran Kitsuma trail outside of Ridgecrest and came up old route 9 for an 11.25 mile loop.  I took it easy today.  The uphills are rough on low back.
Total for the week;  49.85 miles of running
We'll see how next week goes and how my low back feels.  This hasn't been the best start to the year for my training plan.