Monday, April 27, 2015

It's been awhile, let's catch up II - Road to Promise Land 50k

As part of my new training smarter plan I have been taking the week following an ultra off from running, picking back up the Friday after the race.  During the week I still go to the gym to lift weights and go on some walks to loosen up.  This new approach started after reading about the effects of endurance training on the cardiac and other internal systems.  Regardless of how you feel from a musculoskeletal standpoint doesn't reflect the huge toll that has been taken by the organ systems of the body.  For a thorough reference search for overtraining at

3/25/15 - Road biked to Green Hill Park and back for 20 miles
3/27/15 - Ran 5.25
3/28/15 - Ran Peakwood and the CRL loop for 10.25
3/29/15 - Ran 9.3 around the hood and Greenway
Total for the week; 20 miles cycling and 24.8 miles running.  Feel pretty good with some achy knees following Saturday's run.

3/31/15 - Ran the 6 mile loop at HR and did a 1.5 mile cool down.
4/01/15 - 10.4 miles on the Bridge Street Loop
4/03/15 - Did the Elevator Shaft Loop and 1 mile cool down for 8.4 miles.
4/04/15 - Ran the Hollins loop for 19.9 miles.
                Went back out on operation find my lost phone and biked 9.4 miles
4/05/15 - Operation find my phone II - mtn biked 16 miles
Total for the week; 46.2 miles running and 25.4 miles mtn biking.

This is the first week of the taper for Promise Land 50k
4/07/15 - Ran the 6 mile loop at HR and did a 1.5 mile cool down.
                Did 3.5 miles on the stepmill
4/10/15 - 7.1 mile running on greenway and hood
                Ran 5.4 marking the MMM 10k course
4/11/15 - 7 miles cleaning up the MMM 10k course.
4/12/15 - 8 miles of the Elevator Shaft Loop
Total for the week; 38.5 miles running

This is the second week of the taper for PL
4/14/15 - 6 mile loop at HR with 1.5 mile cool down.
4/15/15 - 9 miles running around the hood and greenway.
4/17/15 - 7 mile running around the hood.
4/19/15 - 8.7 miles in the hood and greenway.

Race Week
4/21/15 - 6 mile loop and 1.5 mile cool down.
4/22/15 - 4 miles around fishburn park.
4/24/15 - 2.25 miles around the hood to shake out the kinks.
4/25/15 - 34.25 miles of the Promise Land 50k
     This was my 7th time at PL.  It took me 5 years to go under 6 hours in 2010 with a 5:41, then I came back and ran a 5:37 last year, so I thought a 5:30-5:35 was doable.  I had a split chart for the different water stop but didn't really look at it until I came into Cornelius Creek the 2nd time and saw I was 14 minutes off. 
     I felt good throughout the race, kept a good, steady pace without dipping into the red which made me think the time would prove I was ahead of the game.  But once home, I got a chance to review the Garmin stats and saw that my pace just steadily fell  off last year's time.  No big losses, just a bit slower throughout.  I did gain time on the Apple Orchard climb and the final descent.  So there is one plus.  In addition, I'd have to say that I felt better this year than any other.  I almost made it the entire way without any cramps, but on the last down hill I had hints of calf, hamstring, and a full on Sartorius cramp around the squirrel towards the finish. 
     My pre race routine is to have oatmeal and starting this year, bullet proof coffee.  I've noticed with the coffee that I am able to go longer without needing food or drink in the races.  I carried a bottle with Heed, topped it off with water at AS 2, took in 2 waffles and got a new bottle of Heed at AS 3, Heed and a couple PB and J squares at AS 4, the same at AS 6, topped off with water at AS 7 and took that in to the finish.  I probably had 1/2 of that bottle at the finish. 
     Here on Monday I am moderately symmetrically sore.  Not bad at all and much better than following Terrapin.

It's been awhile, let's catch up - Road to Terrapin 50k

So here is the week preceding the Terrapin 50k,
3/10/15 - Ran the 6 mile loop and 1.5 mile cool down at HR
3/11/15 - Random 7.1 miles running in the hood.
3/13/15 - 6.9 miles marking the Montvale 5/10 Mile courses
3/15/15 - 10 miles of Random Running.
Total for the week - 31.45 miles running

3/17/15 - 7 miles running with raccoon encounter.
3/18/15 - Pre Race loop of 4.25 miles
3/20/15 - 2.2 miles to shake out the kinks.
3/21/15 - The Terrapin 50k.  This has always conflicted with out MJs schedule but we made a point to schedule around it this year.  I've been on the entire course, in sections many times over the years, in extreme conditions while on a bike and on foot. 
I figured I had the ability to run close to 5 hours on this run.  I started out the first climb to Camping Gap in a nice grove just getting things moving while not pushing it too hard.  From CG it was a long descent that had many sub 7 minute miles as we rolled in to the 2nd AS.  From here we had a climb and small descent to AS 3.  This the first time I had been on this section in daylight.  I had been on it in Hellgate and another adventure in the dark. 
The climb back up to CG was a doozy.  The goal was to consistently run this climb without tapping into the reserves or redlining.  Next up with the Promise Land lollipop loop.  I ran most of this loop and felt really good about how things were going, but in my mind I was still trying to keep things pulled back because of the steep up and downs coming on terrapin. 
Back to CG a 3rd time I was right on track of my time splits.  These had me at anywhere from 4:55 to 5:10.  As soon as I started the steep climb up Terrapin my legs started to cramp up.  I dialed it back and took a little time between hiking steps and was able to keep the legs from binding up.  I got to the overlook, made the punch, took in a quick scan of the view and was off.  I was a little confused on this section because I wasn't sure where to go but I was off to the next punch at fat man's misery.  I lost a little time in these punch points due to my confusion but it went well. 
Now for the descent.  In the steepest section I heard the patter of Bethany's feet gaining on me.  We talked a short time then I pulled aside after the steepest rock garden and she was out of sight in no time.  My down hill ability has taken a bit of a beating over the last 6 months due to some ankle issues but I thought I'd be able to keep up with her.  I was mistaken. 
From here I was just trying to keep from trashing my quads as we rolled in to the finish.  The last section was rolling uphill back to the road we ran at the start of the race.  I remember this section as contouring around the mtn with little climbing, but there was more climbing and mileage to it and I lost quite a bit of time here.  I should have been able to roll through this section but I didn't have the leg turnover to make it happen.  Fortunately, after Bethany, no one else passed me and I was able to roll in at 5:03.32 and 12th place.  All in all, I was happy with the day and outcome.  Not my favorite type of course but a great day in the woods none the less. 
As a side note.  Following Terrapin I was more sore than I've been in years following a race.  Still, today, I'm not so sure as to why that race was different.  Maybe it was the long sections of fast road running that did it.