Monday, December 26, 2011

All together now...

Week Summary

Carson River 6: 6.0 mi (+28 ft); 10:12 pace
Washoe Lake Loop: 5.3 mi (+184 ft); 10:30 pace
Carson River 6: 5.9 mi (+26 ft); 9:06 pace
Geiger Summit +: 11.1 mi (+1,769 ft); 11:02 pace
Emma Quarry OB: 5.8 mi (+571 ft); 18:55 pace

Weekly Totals: 34.1 mi (+2,578 ft); 6:42:20 on trail

The holidays are upon us and I'm fortunate to be surrounded by a great group of people.  The Young Mountain Runners were together for Christmas Weekend; they gathered in Reno for a run up Evans Canyon and prepared for Desna's Christmas dinner on the Emma Quarry Trail. Desna, Chloe, and Carrie visited the horses while Darren and I showed Dennis and Mary the views of the Comstock out toward Emma. Marta and Steven joined us for dinner and capped a low-key holiday.

Young Mountain Runners on Emma Quarry Trail
In running news, I started a training program headed toward the San Diego 100, first stop Brooks Falls Trail Run near Pacifica, CA. The program lives in a series of spreadsheets kindly developed by Footfeathers that provide daily guidelines for building base, gathering speed, and getting mentally ready for the season. My successful 2011 was based on a spreadsheet I'd borrowed from Bryon Powell's book, Relentless Forward Progress; I followed it to great results, until sidelined by the ankle injury in Week 22, in my first season of ultra-running. Now that the hook is securely set and I dream of taking the efforts to new levels, Footfeathers has designed a program based on my personal strengths and weaknesses based on interviews, several phone calls, and innumerable emails (where he patiently answers my innumerable questions). The daily schedule is divided into several different types of workouts (e.g., Base, Tempo, Hills), with personalized pace and effort guidelines. I thought I might not like anything more than "go run 10 miles", but having a targeted strategy has already been fun. I was, at first, struggling with the slow 11-minute pace he called for here in the first weeks.  Why so slow? I'm staying well within aerobic boundaries and learning what specific paces feel like.  And, soon enough, out on some trail, I'll remember the Base workouts as I struggle to get back to the 11-minute level!

I appreciate the help and patience provided by Footfeathers in pushing me to grow as a runner. Darren swears Footfeathers' similar program allowed him to build to his first 100 last year, not to mention winning a trail marathon along the way. On top of coaching, Tim has opened a new era of running events on the California Coast (and beyond?)!.  Check out Inside Trail Racing for some great early season events in the Bay Area.

This week's runs focused on the first Base workouts in what Tim calls a "reset" week. I practiced keep my pace steady, trying to keep myself in check as I wandered the flats of the Carson River and Washoe Lake State Park. Thursday's effort included a bit of Tempo work during which I was able to jump to a 8:30 pace for 25 minutes while traversing the Carson River trail. This was a fun lunch-time workout.

Because an endless warmth has set in, Saturday's run reminded me of a cool summer or fall day. I pushed the hills toward Geiger Grade following the nice single-track from Seven Mile Canyon. Due to the ups-and-downs I was able to average an 11-minute pace for the run, while not over-doing the climbs or the descents.

On Christmas morning, the Young Mountain Runners gathered in Virginia City to visit my go-to favorite, the Emma Quarry Trail. We took our time enjoying the pinyon-lined single-tracks and views from Rocky Road and the quarry hill. Our pace varied a lot as we simply enjoyed the company and talked about local goings-on. I couldn't have asked for a better gift under all the trees. Perfect.

1 comment:

  1. Running with the "leaders" of the Young Mountain Runners T'was the best present this year!