Summary August 26 – Sept. 1

Sunday August 26
5 Miles 740′ 42:10
Trying to nail down a consistent time/effort on the Power Lines, but things keep on fluctuating well beyond what I’d prefer, both in actual elapsed time, and perceived effort. Averages seem to be in the 42:xx range, which is definitely slow for the course, but it’s still early in the recovery process.
PM 1 Mile 9:06 Barefoot It’s nice to have a proper mile course right around my neighborhood…

Monday August 27
5 Miles 740′ 42:06
Two days in a row with a really similar time… I’m starting to feel the groove again

Tuesday August 28
5 Miles 740′ 42:27
Still a slow ride through the trails, but 3 times in a row with a total diff of 20 seconds is pretty consistent by my (non-GPS wielding) book.
PM 2 Miles 100′ 14:55 Jaunt down to the park and back, feeling too soggy in the legs to really go for a run, but it was just too gorgeous out to not be running. I’m longing for the kind of fitness where I could have gone out for a couple hour run on my second trip of the day… in time… in time.

Wed Aug 29
4 Miles 700′ 39:40
Allamuchy TH-Summit in 16:42 then around the rest of the hill back to my car. It’s nice to be finally getting back on my usual stomping grounds, even if the runs are still much shorter. Hopefully in the next week or 2 I can give a test on the 11.6 mile route, and hit the downhills I’ve been missing on this truncated loop.

Thurs Aug 30
5 Miles, 360′ 38:34
Ran ahead of the pack for the first time in what feels like ages (and quite simply has been ages). Bob reeled me in on the top of the first hill, but as our usual game seems to go, we only got faster from there. I didn’t set out to run sub-8s but it’s nice to know I can. Even better is knowing that I can hang on with a little bit of friendly competition (although Bob most likely could have dropped me with relative ease at any point)

Friday Aug 31
5 Miles 740′ 43:23
Feeling rather sluggish, and battling some gnarly heartburn.

Sat Sept 1
4 Miles 700′ 40:33
Allamuchy TH>Summit around and back to the car. Feeling really awful after the first 10 minutes, dead legs, heartburn, upset stomach, really the whole works as far as shitty sensations on the run. Also it’s the first time in a LONG time I’ve seen any runners on these trails, A group of  8 or so were descending on my first sustained climb…. looked like road runners judging by the hesitation, and most of them had dogs with them. Can’t complain though, there’s only one way to get comfy on that terrain, and that’s to run it, and the more people doing so, the better for the sport.
PM 1 Mile 8:40 Barefoot

Totals: 37 Miles, 4820′ 5h21m

Still a little low on totals, but mostly out of laziness, general tiredness, and getting myself ready for the upcoming semester. Overall, my legs have been feeling really dead, but in the sort of way that I know is temporary, once my body adjusts to running consistently the recovery time should quicken up, and allow me to confidently start raising my mileage from there. Even with that in consideration, it’s encouraging to look in my log book and see several consecutive 30-something mile weeks and not have any knee pain…..

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Summary Feb 26-March 3

Sunday Feb 26 AM 5.1 Miles 740′ 37:25 Power Line trails, I think this is a PR, but I’m honestly not sure, nor do I feel like going through my log to find out… if it’s not, it’s certainly close. Felt pretty snappy overall, we had a cold night the night before, which made the muddy parts of the trail freeze, making for better traction, and more secure footing.
PM Hash No mileage, no time, wasn’t keeping track. Limpy laid a pretty shiggy trail, full of briars rocks, boulders and hills. I’ve decided not to count the hashes as part of my mileage, since they’re much more socially oriented than they are actual running events….

Monday Feb 27 PM 3.2 Miles 690′ 27:43 Schooley’s Mtn. I was going to run 5-6 on the mountain, but I wasn’t feeling into it after the first lap, and had been extremely foolish with my footing which led to some overstretching of my left ankle. I did run into some pretty cool folks on the summit, it’s nice to see people out on the trails again, after a winter of fundamental solitude.
PM Part Deux 2 Miles 17:16 Barefoot shakeout. It feels wonderful to lose the shoes, I’d forgotten how great it feels.

Tuesday Feb 28 AM 12 Miles 1500′ 1:46 Allamuchy Double Summit. For some reason I keep on making wrong turns here, adding a few tenths… I really should pay more attention to the trail markers instead of running straight by them. Beautiful day overall, rather warm, and a wonderful summit.
PM 1 Mile 8:22 Shakeout, not quite warm enough to go naked foot but still nice to move the legs a bit and try to flush them out.

Wed Feb 29 AM 5.1 Miles 740′ 39:19 Power Line trails, snowing pretty heavily, but not sticking too much, making for a really fun run. I’ve always liked running through the snow, something about it is very humanizing.
PM 1 Mile 8:06 Cold, rainy shakeout.

Thurs March 1 AM 5.1 Miles 740′ 40:49 Rainy, cold, muddy less than ideal running conditions, but the slipping and sliding was both fun and challenging. I run this route a lot, and it’s always a very different kind of experience, especially when the weather is as mercurial as it’s been in recent weeks, in spite of it’s lack of view points, these trails provide a wide variety of challenges, and their proximity to my home is ideal.
PM 5 Miles 360′ 36:51 Broken Shin Loop, trying to earn my pavement sessions by picking up the tempo a bit, and really attacking the uphills (small though they may be).

Fri March 2 AM 5.1 Miles 740′ 41:19 This route has gotten progressively slower this week. I’d have liked to run a lot more, but I had to travel into NYC to play in a Mock Audition for the Vienna Philharmonic, so time was a bit of an issue.

Sat March 3 AM 20 Miles 1220′ 2:38 Long run through Denville with Dave. We started at a very reasonable pace (~830-9 minute miles) but after mile 10 we progressively amped up the tempo, running several miles in the mid 7’s, and dropping to 7:10 pace by mile 17, followed by 3 miles back at 8-proper. Pretty good session overall, and it’s amazing how slow 8’s feel after several miles in the low 7’s.

Totals: 64.6 Miles, 6730′ Vert, 8h41m

February Totals: 270.75 Miles 22760′ Vert  38h4m (Vert is low, many runs were not logged)

Not exactly the most productive week, in fact, I think this week goes on record for having the most aborted runs, be it failure to start, or abbreviating planned distances. With the Mock Audition on Friday, I spent a tremendous amount of time in the practice room over the course of the week. I also had to put together my CV and a recording for some potential summer work, which took more time and energy than I had originally anticipated. Hopefully next week I’ll be able to get a more substantial amount of vertical gain, as well as get back into more training-oriented total mileage, as opposed to the sort of resting on my laurels distances that I’ve run in the past 2 weeks.

Since I haven’t been doing anything overly inspiring on the mountain, here are some of the best musicians in the world making wonderful things happen.


Advantages

Many of my friends (okay, namely the Highlands Hashers) ask me how my running effects my “professional” life. I’ve always found this to be a difficult question, short of giving the usual stock answers: lowers stress, keeps me fit, etc etc. Now these are NOT the reasons I run, the reasons I run will likely be documented in a following post, but I can assure you that fitness/stress are not what gets me out of bed at 6am to hit the trails…. This past week however, with the start of the school year, comes the usual ring of academic-related auditions, mostly for seating/ensemble placement within the department. Anyone who races has an idea of the stress level associated with auditions, however, the engagement of the fight/flight mechanism is (in my experience) advantageous for a footrace. Unfortunately, as a clarinetist, the fight/flight mechanism is extremely disadvantageous for a performance, increased heart-rate, adrenaline, sweat, none of this bodes well for musical performance.

How has high mileage helped this? Well, as a result of my weekly mileage, and the ensuing fitness level, my resting heart rate is low, I refuse to check it, since I don’t really dig the whole numbers thing, especially regarding heart rate, VO2 max etc etc, but trust me, its low. This means that when my flight mechanism does kick in during the audition setting, the ensuing heart-rate increase begins from a much lower level, resulting in a stressed heart-rate being substantially lower than I can recall ever having in that situation! Not to mention the additional confidence from knowing what you’re really made of. Having run a self-supported ultra-marathon, hiked solo through the Whites and Mahoosucs, grown a massive beard, and lost my fair share of auditions where more than pride is on the line, I’m able to approach the audition in a much calmer fashion than I would have as recently as a year ago, nevermind 6 years ago.

The (relative) success of last weeks 2 auditions, and how I think my running has affected my energy levels throughout these has motivated me to run, and practice more. I’m now more thoroughly looking forward to upcoming races (50k’s 50 milers and a ?hundred?) recitals, and whatever else life throws my way!