Sunday, May 27, 2012


Week Summary (5/27/12)

Emma Quarry OB: 5.6 mi (+469 ft); 10:22 pace
Carson River Flats: 6.0 mi (+49 ft); 9:46 pace
Emma Quarry OB: 3.9 mi (+400 ft); 11:45 pace

Weekly Totals: 15.5 mi (+918 ft); 2:43:47 on trail

How not to taper: lie on couch all weekend. Well, we'll see how the couch strategy works out.  

After a heady week of great training and a fun Silver State 50K, I coughed my way into work on Monday morning. Nothing to worry about, just a little scratchy; probably an allergy -- everything is blooming around the Comstock (what there is to bloom, that is).  

By Tuesday it seemed a little more persistent but merely aggravating, nevertheless I skipped my Tuesday run hoping things would settle. Maybe I needed some rest from the previous week's effort. I jumped out the door Wednesday evening with only a bit of a cough, and repeated the effort at Thursday noontime. I felt ok, just thought I was tired.

Started planning my split targets for San Diego and made some travel plants with Tim and Darren.  Tim advised me to begin resting by taking my long runs out and not exceeding about 90 minutes of Base about every other day until the week prior to the race, so the taper was beginning. And then Friday I could barely move. The bug controlled my head and chest, I could hardly move. My head was on the verge of an altitude explosion and my chest suffered under threat of implosion. I lie on the couch immobile for two days.

It might be the perfect time for this to happen.  I believe I have time to recover and rebuild - today feels great (considering) and I loved my easy jog in the afternoon sun. It didn't happen at the peak of training (last week), so maybe it falls in the only place it could. Nice planning you little buggers - now get out, I got tapering to do!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

One Step Closer and Eclipse Running

Week Summary (5/20/12)
Elgin Trail (IL): 5.0 mi (+112 ft); 12:23 pace
Larrys Lasso: 9.3 mi (+1,138 ft); 11:22 pace
Emma Quarry OB: 5.7 mi (+519 ft); 10:22 pace
Carson River Flats: 5.2 mi (+18 ft); 9:11 pace
Silver State 50K: 31.2 mi (+5,431 ft); 11:46 pace
Ophir Grade: 4.8 mi (+617 ft); 11:26 pace

Weekly Totals: 61.1 mi (+7,863 ft); 11:34:47 on trail

The peak week of training arrived and, as quickly, passed. I was still in Elgin, Illinois, on Monday but so were the senior members of the Young Mountain Runners! We laced up early in the morning and cruised for a while along the Fox River which passes very near my Aunt Sharon's house where we were staying. We jogged along the bike path to the edge of downtown and back. Dennis and Mary sported some new road shoes from Brooks while I bounced along in my Hokas; huge shoes compared to their sporty models. It was great fun.

Flew home to Nevada on Tuesday and followed up the sedentism of the plane ride with a hilly circle on Larrys Lasso north of VC. Then continued a normal training week with the Emma Quarry Base and some fun Tempo work on the flats of the Carson River. 

The week culminated in the Silver State 50K, up and over Peavine Mountain on the north edge of Reno (a full race report is coming). My goal was to continue my training with a 6-hour run with friends and aid stations. This training run resulted in a 50K PR, but the elevation gain, though stout, was lower than my previous 50K efforts so I'm not too surprised. It was a great day on the trail where I was happy to climb reasonably well but my descents are slower than I expect for that distance. Maybe I'd push through if it was a focus event with taper and rest on either side.

Slowly up the grade on this Sunday evening, as the annular solar eclipse approaches its peak. Dez followed Tephra and I to the summit where we could have a couple beers and celebrate the end of the world, or not.  Very cool astronomical oddity; perfect for my Eclipse Running shirt!  Over 60 miles this week, a new record which will only be broken in less than three weeks.

As it is, I continue toward San Diego. Feeling great though a little humbled by how I felt after 30 miles at Silver State.  Still it'll be a different kind of event and as Tim says, your body just seems to know what it's in for...   I'm ready (I think).   

A Travel Week

Week Summary (5/12/12)
Carson River Flats: 10.0 mi (+132 ft); 9:01 pace
Ash Canyon Tracks: 7.3 mi (+1,104 ft); 10:16 pace
KC International Half (MO): 13.4 mi (+575 ft); 10:19 pace

Weekly Totals: 30.7 mi (+1,811 ft); 5:03:46 on trail

Tough work week getting ready for the weekend trip to my niece's University of Illinois graduation, but made some quality tempo and hill repeats before climbing on a plane to Kansas City. Dennis and Mary would be picking me up on Saturday morning to continue our trip east, so I scrambled to get in some hours.

When you land at an unfamiliar airport in the middle of the night and taxi to an all-too-familiar hotel (they all seem alike), finding a "trail" or non-pavement run the next morning seems impossible. But Google maps and the Android tablet saved the morning! I quickly noticed that Kansas City International Airport had a very clear boundary fence and what looked to be a dirt road running along its outer perimeter. I bolted from the hotel, crossed under the interstate, and within a mile I was on a perfect dirt two-track. Slightly rolling, the track followed the geometric shape of the airport as I viewed grazing cows on one-hand and up-close arrivals and departures on the other. Airport security made one pass by me on the inside of the fence but must have determined I was harmless. 

It felt strange to be running the prairie, but good to get a little time in before joining the journey of the Young Moutnain Runners into the depths of Illinois. Far short of my training target for the week but feeling very good nonetheless.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Reset Week with Outback Time

Week Summary
Combination Loop: 3.3 mi (+456 ft); 11:17 pace
Town Loop: 4.8 mi (+624 ft); 10:28 pace
Sutro Springs Loop: 5.0 mi (+833 ft); 12:05 pace
Humboldt Bar OB: 10.1 mi (+140 ft); 12:20 pace

Weekly Totals: 23.2 mi (+2,054 ft); 4:31:57 on trail

A nice break before the final training push before San Diego. Feeling really good, wish I could say the same for Darren who's slowly working back into it. 

A three-day fieldwork session out in the Humboldt Sink provided a lot of time on my feet hiking through sand dunes and across old lakebeds. Saturdays short run took me out to Sutro Springs -- the day got short so I swapped Saturday and Sunday trail time. I looped around Sutro Springs looking for the well-known obsidian source but failed to come across very much at all. Surprising given the common source so I likely need another look.

Sunday I talked Sarah Rice, training for her first half-marathon, into a two-hour out-and-back to check out the Humboldt Bar, the sill between the Humboldt and Carson Sinks, on the road home from our fieldwork. Good days in the Nevada Outback. Ready to move forward into the few weeks leading to 100.

On the California Trail toward Humboldt Bar

The Humboldt River cuts through the Pleistocene landform

East toward the Humboldt Sink

Sarah finishing her 10 miles; sorry about the grime on the lens!