Sunday, July 29, 2012

Ups and Downs: Needing Elevation

Week Summary (7/29/12)

Switchbacks in Ash Canyon
Carson River Flats: 11.0 mi (+148 ft); 11:00 pace
Emma Quarry OB: 5.6 mi (+510 ft); 9:15 pace
Goni Hills: 7.0 mi (+1,695 ft); 13:24 pace
Ash to Hobart Loop: 16.7 mi (+3,694 ft); 13:27 pace
Sutro Pass OB: 9.8 mi (+1,766 ft); 11:32 pace

Weekly Totals: 50.1 mi (+7,813 ft); 10:03:55 on trail

This week consisted of some pretty steady workouts in very steady heat. I cannot recall feeling this tired and/or sluggish after a week of moderate distance and decent elevation gain. The only day that was comfortable was my Wednesday evening shake-out with Footfeathers who was on his way to the Grand Mesa 100 near Grand Junction, Colorado. Otherwise, most days were well above 90 degrees and the runs came at midday.

I did my hill-repeats with the heart-rate monitor on Thursday. For this session I did six repeats of five minutes each. Five minute walks back downhill separated each effort. I should probably work the breaks as little five-minute downhill runs rather than a staggering walk while recovering from the interval. That will be goal anyway. All in all it felt pretty good.

The heat of the week is typically off-set by a weekend Long run up on the TRT or somewhere in the Carson Range, but this weekend started off with Equine Trail Trials at Silver Saddle Ranch. Des had signed me up for the "horseless" portion of the informal competition, so while Des' skills were tested on Strider and Chloe, my niece, nicely negotiated the obstacles on Sweet Love, I was delegated to clown-like entertainment with some little kids (well, two kids). Not what we expected, but it was a fundraiser so I did my duty while bobbing for apples and pinning the tail on the palomino. Funnier because I was dressed for an informal "competitive" run, thinking that's what I came for. Des and Chloe worked their horses nicely through the trials (Chloe got 3rd in her group), but Des also realized she'd have been better suited for heading out somewhere.

A trials events can take a while and Darren and I did not leave the ranch until after 1:30 PM with the heat rising; it reached 93 yesterday during our run. We climbed to Hobart Reservoir via Ash Canyon, a steady up-hill power-hike, something I should repeat more often. It is always good to get into the forests of the Carson Range, but the generally south-facing canyon walls kept us baking. Darren can float nicely, with good transitions from hiking to a slow run, I seem to plod along only breaking into a jog when the grade settles back a bit. But it was beautiful in the heat, and it was nice to finally drop into the little lake basin just below the TRT.

Upward in Ash Canyon (Waterfall Fire Scar)

We then descended via the Hobart Road to the Lakeview gate. Good practice descending while keep some pace without too much braking. It hurt, of course, but this is a skill and endurance I need to develop. We finished by gaining the old V&T railroad grade above Carson City and jogged back to the Yota. I was most sluggish on this easy section, but the heat of the long day combined with standing around all morning at the trail were certainly factors.

The laziness continued into today, Sunday, but I cured it with a late afternoon loop out to Sutro Pass. Way hotter than I expected, and Tephra and I paused a couple times to take in extra water. She is hesitant to drink from a water bottle, but I found a cup that she eventually agreed was ok. More ups and downs, but felt much better than I expected. A good wrap to the week.

On the Colorado scene, Dennis and Mary hit the road in the Monument 5K just outside Grand Junction. They continue to rock their age category -- Mom scored another 1st place (F60-69) with a 28:06 and Dad brought home a 3rd place (M60-69) with a PR of 24:37. Overall, mom was 95th out of 122 and dad was 71st. Nice work in the mountain time zone!

Committed to Pine to Palm 100 on September 15th; gotta keep going...

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