Another (semi)Successful Week of Training -1/27/2014-2/2/2014

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

It's hard to believe it's February already.  As of writing this, there are only 60 59 days until Umstead100; that fact is scary.  Training last week didn't go as I intended but I think that is part of the learning curve when it comes to increasing volume and listening to your body.  I mentioned in my last post that my goal for the previous week was ~70 miles or in the 12+ hour neighborhood of training.  However, as the weekend approached I learned that the training run I thought was going to be 31 miles was in fact only 16.5, or half of the Holiday Lake course.  I didn't realize that the course was comprised of doing the same loop twice, once forward and then running back to the start in reverse essentially making the course a giant out-and-back.  Once I learned that fact, I knew I was going to struggle to hit my goal of 70 for the week but continued to get some solid runs in including a trip up to Cascade Falls and Butt Mountain fire tower on Thursday afternoon.

Monday: Rest
After a long week of training the previous week (65 miles) and two longer runs over the weekend including 21 on Sunday, I gladly enjoyed taking a day off from running Monday.

Tuesday: 8, 1800' 1.5hr
The UltraVT group has made a huge difference in my running over the past year.  One of the main reasons I believe is the steady stream of invites and group runs that are put together over a listserv, which helps me stay accountable on days I need that extra shove to get out the door.  I had an easy run planned Tuesday evening that was just 6 easy miles on Poverty Creek, a relatively flat trail in Jefferson National Forest.  When I saw a last minute email about running around 3, I decided to jump on the opportunity and met Guy Love at the trail head.  The route was anything but flat and much more difficult than what I had planned for the day and it was AWESOME!  There's just something about getting out in really really cold weather for a good run and Tuesday was chilly!  We managed to get in a nice loop out in Pandapas with just under 1800' of climb for 8 miles; far from the flat boring run I had planned.

Wednesday: 8.1, 1765' 1.75hr
Wednesday evening, we had an UltraVT group run that was a total blast with lots of folks coming out for the run.  The group made the miles fly by and running under headlamp is always special.

Thursday: 11.7, 2170' 2.5hr
On Thursday, I headed west on 460 down to Pembroke to check out a new run and find the Butt Mountain fire tower.  I have been itching to do this run since late December when it came up on my Strava feed when a couple of the guys ran it.  They posted a few photos and I knew I had to go check it out for myself.  I arrived at the Cacades parking area a little after three and grabbed my hydration vest and headed up the trail.  I wasn't too concerned about bringing water or nutrition on the run, although I did throw a bottle in the vest, I actually brought the vest to carry my GoPro and GorillaPod.  Michelle and I have hiked the Cascades numerous times over the years but I have only seen the falls frozen once and that was early into our relationship and I had never run it.  The trail was pretty slick because it is a well traveled trail resulting in a sheet of packed snow perfect for ice.  I grabbed lots of pictures on the way up and some video too, which made my trip up to the falls rather slow but enjoyable.  I eventually reached the falls and was treated to this awesome view:

I put together a short film with some cool photos (at least I thought they were) and some of the video I took while I was out there.  It's not too pretty but it gives you an idea of what the trail looks like and the route I took.

At the top of the mountain, I was rewarded with an awesome view and found the fire tower I had set out to find.  It was an awesome run and I will definitely do it again this spring...when there isn't snow on the ground and a solid sheet of ice on the trail down!

Friday: 6.5, 500' 1hr
Time got away from me Friday afternoon and before I knew it, it was 5PM and daylight was fading fast.  The sun is setting around 5:40ish here right now and making a batch of pizza dough stood between me and getting out for a run.  I threw the ingredients in the mixer and let it go to work, you may remember I made a short pizza making video not too long ago! Eight minutes later, I put the dough, now covered in olive oil, in two metal bowls and draped them with a warm towel and headed out to Pandapas.  My intention was to get in roughly five miles but my run wound up being just at an hour (6.5 miles).  The extra time didn't hurt the dough and when I returned home it was ready to throw in the oven to make some delicious pizzas!  I returned home to find Michelle sautéing pasilla and red peppers as well as some onions to go on top of our pizza in addition to a rotisserie chicken she picked up.  Yum!  I've been using beer instead of water to make the dough and I really like it!

I was also checking out some new shoes on my run, which unfortunately are going to be too narrow for my foot and hence go back but they were comfy for the first 2.5 miles or so :-(

Saturday: 16.5, 1000' 2.5hr
The alarm went off early Saturday morning.  I mean like 3:45 early.  Five of us piled into my car and headed North and East toward Appomattox, VA for a training run on the Holiday Lake course.  The course winds around Holiday Lake and begins and ends at the 4-H Center in Appomattox.  I'm not quite sure how I didn't take single picture during the day but it was totally worth the drive up there to know what well see in 10 short days!

Saturday evening, Michelle and I headed over the Chang's, whom were part of the five in the car to Appomattox, for a Sushi feast!  It. Was. Awesome!  A new friend, Henry, whom I had talked with via Strava numerous times but never had the privilege to meet face-to-face, very patiently taught us all to make sushi.  It was delicious!  

Henry giving me some tips on the roll!

Michelle and I are so totally doing this again!  We learned a lot and had so much fun!

Sunday: 10.5, 650' 1.5hr
Sunday's run was a disaster.  I can't blame it on the sushi the night before but simply poor choices getting going for the day and not eating right to go out for a long run.  I had originally planned to get 25 or so in on Sunday (after learning about running a shorter Holiday Lake course) but it simply didn't happen.  I was feeling Saturday's run in Appomattox and didn't have a strong desire to get out the door.  I considered driving to the trailhead a success and once I got out there it was apparent my body was not happy with me...well my GI system at least.  I almost called it quits around mile 3 when I ran by my car but decided I would go out a mile to hit four and then turn around and come home for a whopping 5 miles for the day.  Once I got out there, I kept telling myself to go a little further and a little further and before I knew it I had run 10 miles for the day to round out 60 miles for the week.  I think it just goes to show you that if you push through the hard I'm sure I'll face in just 59 days at Umstead, it gets better!

Perhaps it was the cookie I ate on the way to the trailhead or what I had for breakfast that morning but I was happy with 10 for the day and enjoyed the Super Bowl feast to the fullest!

Totals for the week:
Distance:  61.2 miles
Elevation: 7890'
Duration:  10.5hr

Ultimately, I fell short of my goal but I think that I have to be okay with that.  I listened to my body and respected what it was telling me enough to make the right decision and step back a little.  I'm hoping for a good week this week as well but I'm okay running slightly less with Holiday Lake 50k next week!  A couple months ago, I had never run had a 60+ mile week and now I've had two of them in a row.  I think it's important to keep that in perspective and also that my real goal is longevity and setting a positive example of a healthy lifestyle for my some point!   ;-)  


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