Sunday, April 22, 2012

Quantity and Quality

Week Summary
C-Hill Longview Loop: 8.4 mi (+1,514 ft); 12:05 pace
Centennial Tracks: 6.1 mi (+501 ft); 10:15 pace
Ash Canyon Tracks: 8.4 mi (+1,244 ft); 10:50 pace
Divide Loop: 5.1 mi (+535 ft); 10:29 pace
Eldorado to Brunswick: 20.1 mi (+2,523 ft); 12:34 pace
Geiger OB: 10.0 mi (+1,207 ft); 12:11 pace

Weekly Totals: 58.1 mi (+7,524 ft); 11:23:18 on trail

McTarnahan Hill, last week's focus run.
It all came together for a perfect week of training - weather, trails, time, and health. Together, this meant a full week of quality training-runs over six days including some new trails. I should always be thankful I live in a place that provides so much open space with a splendid variety of terrain. The trail opportunities are almost endless even when the high-country has yet to open up.  

I started the week with a couple Base runs exploring C-Hill west of Carson City some more. The single track up there is top-notch, not as highly used as Ash Canyon, but the trails are interesting and there are any number of variations to be had. Tephra and I ran into a huge herd of fire-preventing sheep grazing the north side of the hill and had to take some detours which actually shortened our outing for the day. On Wednesday I returned to the Centennial Tracks (a variation of the Cupid Trail) for the evening outing.  

Thursday brought the challenge of some hill-repeats. Having discovered the Ash Canyon Tracks, I figured I could use their long gradual climbs to work some five-minute intervals. Once I found a pace that could get me pretty much maxed for the five minutes, I'd pull the intervals and then follow them up with a rest period where I'd turn and walk fast downhill for three to four minutes. I figured this would keep me from running out of climb over the course of six repeats. A couple of the intervals inevitably had some downhill sections, so I made sure to really give it a go and keep as much of the effort as possible. I'm hoping this actually pays off with some better skill on the downhills. In between one interval, just before the great switchbacks I ran into a MTB friend, Jeanne Hockett. It was her first time at Ash Canyon, and we are both still excited at our discovery.

Getting ready for another weekend of tile-work -- it's grout time -- I did a short Friday loop out to the Gold Hill Divide and back along Rocky Road. A little tightness in the hamstring due to the intervals but no sluggishness, that's a bonus.

Eldorado Canyon, lower section.
For the long trail on Saturday I left rather early as temperatures are getting summer-like and I have grouting to do. I'd charted out a long point-to-point up Eldorado Canyon (near Dayton, NV) to descend via Brunswick Canyon to Deer Run Road in Carson City. I'd planned to follow Slang's ccrunners trail but missed a turn and added another 2.5 miles to my day. This turned it in to a perfect 20 miles up and over some great pinyon country. I passed along two-track, stream-crossing roads along the canyon-bottom county line that is Eldorado before turning up Sullivan Canyon and eventually finding single-track to the hilly summit. It looks like this is a well-used motorcycle course and maybe part of the Eldorado Equine Endurance route. I only saw a few others during the four-hour run. Perfect route and felt great; tightness of Thursday and Friday fading completely.

Near Eldorado - Sullivan intersection.

Freel and Friends from top of Sullivan Canyon.
Thanks to Steven for picking my up in Carson, helping me retrieve the Yota, and buying me lunch! I owe you.

Followed up on Sunday with a sort-of back-to-back effort, getting 10 miles out-and-back to Geiger Summit. I kept an easy pace and felt very little of Saturday's run. This is a great sign. I'm feeling perfect and wish Darren speedy healing from the IT so we can get back to the weekend teamwork. It was my longest non-race weekly mileage since I started training; only the Firetrails week was longer, by one mile! Next week looks to be similar - the good steps toward San Diego continue.

Dennis and Mary hit the trails for the Desert Rats half-marathon (13.8 actually) near the Kokapelli Trail west of Grand Junction. Although the age-category grouping didn't line up in their favor (they were in the 51+ category) and they were the final finishers, they found success in their second trail event. Sounds like they need to watch their hydration regime a little closer, but mom should be able to do so given that she won the raffle for a hydration pack! 
Mary previewing the Desert Rats Half Course.
Bryan and Heather climbed on board the YMR team, getting out and hitting the Texas trails. Let's begin a journey together. Keep going...

Plus, super congratulations to Footfeathers onhis Course Record and 1st Place at the Diablo 50K - thereby proving the anti-cliche, those we teach, can...  

Special Thanks to everyone who finds a little motivation at Trail Option. This trail diary and training blog celebrates its 1st Anniversary today. It's Earth Day, our only option -- step lightly and feel it daily under your feet.


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