Sunday, May 26, 2013

All in, and all good...

Week Summary 5/26/2013

Goni Hill Repeats: 8.1 mi (+1,812 ft); 11:10 pace
Carson River Flats: 9.6 mi (+52 ft); 9:14 pace
Carson River Flats: 6.0 mi (+39 ft); 9:48 pace
Grosh Loop: 11.9 mi (+1,803 ft); 11:05 pace
Longview - Kings Canyon OB: 21.6 mi (+3,058 ft); 11:15 pace

Weekly Totals: 57.4 mi (+6,764 ft); 10:13:08 on trail

The routine got back in the groove this week, and I have to say the joy of long-distance running wrapped itself around me. I'd been a little worried, but this week brought it all back into focus. It's about time.

The week included some strong hill repeats on the dirt road (Goni) on the south side of McClellan Peak. I didn't mess around with turning back downhill after each five-minute interval, but focused on good walks for the brief recovery period. Then cruised the descent on some of my favorite downhills -- the tracks behind the cinder mines. It was the first time since Buffalo that my ankle didn't bark at me at any time during the run, up or down.

I missed my run on Wednesday but did some good walking out on a project near the Humboldt River. Dune hikes have to do some good. Tried to do some easy base runs along the river, but I probably ended up going a little fast. It was simply the joy of having a break in the day to get out, and that was motivation enough.

Footfeathers had mixed things up a bit, shifting the long run to Sunday and calling for a bit of hills on Saturday. I like how the "hilly" days (Tuesday, Saturday, and Sunday) this week all have about the same pace, regardless of the mileage. Nice and steady.

Lower Kings Canyon, toward Carson City
Sunday's cruise up and down Kings Canyon was fantastic, such a nice way to end a great week. I'd never been up that road, but I'm sure I'll now be hitting it pretty often. I tried to get to the Spooner Trail-head on the TRT, but didn't quite make it. My target was a 2:15 climb and that got me to 11 miles, but it seems I was about a mile short of Spooner. I starated at the Longview trail. So I knowingly added mileage that I would not have covered if I had started at the Kings Canyon "Trail-head" (end of the pavement). I would have made Spooner handily if I had started there. But worth every step.

The "halfway" valley

Climbing the eastern front; upper Kings Canyon

I got signed up for the Grand Mesa 60K outside of Grand Junction, Colorado, where I'll join Dennis and Mary for their first ultra. Made some travel arrangements for that weekend in July. I'll be using it as a high-altitude long run; all trails lead to Leadville 100, starting now. 

Darren got his house sold, and the transition continues. Ophir Trail to Mt. Rose will be at his doorstep soon. 

Keep going...

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Getting it back...

Dennis and Mary finished their first marathon of the 70/50 year at the Huff2Bluff Marathon in southern Utah. They got a little surprised that the "downhill" marathon had so much uphill! But they kept to their plan and scored a nice 5:28, finishing together as is their long-distance tradition. Ryan Heck (Race Director) presented them a 50th anniversary plaque in honor of their 70/50 year. They enjoyed the event so much they were basically the last to leave the venue on Saturday afternoon.

I'm feeling good by getting back into the regime. It wasn't perfect or as planned, but it sets the stage for what's to come. The highlight was a comfortable Tempo run on Thursday, keeping at 170 bpm for 45 minutes and covering about 5.5 miles. That's a nice 8-minute pace.

My weekend planned run was pre-empted as I helped Darren with course marking for the Silver State 50/50. We covered some trail, but the logistics of trail marking don't really create any training conditions, though Darren did get about 60 miles in four days. We marked until dark on Friday night and then cruised Evans Canyon at 4:30 AM, in the pre-dawn, setting and checking markers. Lon Monroe, Darren, and a few volunteers spent several weeks getting the course ready, and John Trent and many others handled the start/finish area at San Rafeal Park. There were also some great crews out at aid-stations all along the course. Unfortunately Darren and I were rather haggard after only a couple hours sleep on Friday night
, so I didn't get to get out on the course above the Ridgeview aid station.

Congrats to Sarah Rice of Far Western for completing her first ultra at Silver State. Her hard work paid off with a 7:31:07 finish in the 50K. Nice.

Des and I wrapped up the weekend with me running from VC to Washoe Lake State Park. She and Strider met up with Tephra and I on the Scripps Switchback. We then dropped into the park for a lap. I did the 3-hour run over the mountain in a fasted state, no fuel for 18 hours, so it was great to hit the Postal Cafe at the end of the run.

Week Summary 5/18/2013

Nimbus Walk: 3.2 mi (+39 ft); 14:16 pace
Ash Tracks: 4.5 mi (+646 ft); 10:39 pace
Carson River Flats: 6.9 mi (+40 ft); 8:33 pace
SS 50 Marking: 6.0 mi (+500 ft); 25:00 pace
SS 50 Marking: 12.0 mi (+1,000 ft); 22:13 pace
VC to Washoe SP: 14.3 mi (+1,442 ft); 11:49 pace

Weekly Totals: 46.9 mi (+3,668 ft); 12:21:27 on trail

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Fits and (re-) Starts...

I've been fortunate over the duration of my relatively short running career and I've rarely had to give it up for anything more than a day or two here or there, plus a few limited injury rests and some planned post-race recovery. After posting last time about the enjoyment I get out of keeping a routine and following my well-coached regime, I basically set the shoes aside for about 10 days. My workload, yes, at work, got the best of me and it required focus. The daily running regime usually helps keep the work-a-day focus, but this went beyond the normal and I had to hunker down.

I was only a couple weeks into the first cycle of the Leadville training schedule, so I simply did a hard re-boot and started over.  Felt pretty good too! It was a great relief to get the miles going again.

Down Emma Canyon
Took it easy for the most part, sticking to my standard trails until I went on a local exploration for the Long Saturday. It didn't turn out to be very long, but I did find some steep. An old trail on the back of Flowery Peak, behind the Sugarloaf just east of town, climbs 1,200 feet in a little over a mile. A bit hardier than I'd planned for in the "restart," but I liked the look of it on the map. And everyone loves power-hiking at a 26-minute pace up gravelly bedrock. I eventually strolled through Cougar Flat, keeping the pace low, before climbing to Larry's place for an afternoon on his deck far above Redneck Disneyland (chili cook-off weekend, yahoo). We avoided all that as Larry grilled up some tri-tip and Des joined us in the quiet of his little mountain top.
Up from the bottom - On south side of Flowery Peak
Warming up nicely. Tephra staying at home some days as the water sources dry up and the rattlers come out. May think about some early mornings until more of the TRT and above opens up.

Week Summary 5/11/2013

Carson River Flats: 4.8 mi (+9 ft); 9:40 pace
Centennial West Ridge: 5.4 mi (+879 ft); 11:30 pace
V&T Grade OB: 3.9 mi (+180 ft); 10:26 pace
Emma Canyon - Flower Peak: 11.9 mi (+2,618 ft); 14:18 pace
Ophir Grade OB: 9.2 mi (+840 ft); 11:04 pace

Weekly Totals: 35.2 mi (+4,525 ft); 7:00:38 on trail