Summary Nov 20-26

Monday Nov 20, REST

Usual scheduled rest day, did some walking around, standing desk working, light stretching, and tons of foam rolling/R8 abusing.. you know, the usual crap

Tues Nov 21, 10.3 Miles, 312′ 1h15m

Very controlled effort at the rez, keeping things consistent/autopilot-ish. Threw in 4x30s fast with 2min recovery in the last 3 miles, for a little extra stimulus.

Wed Nov 22, 11.3 Miles, 476′ 1h26m

Plan was for 4 miles easy, 12x1min fast, 1 min easy, and 4 miles back, so I decided to start the run from my front door and head towards the reservoir to hit the intervals on the cushy gravel before heading back to the house. Overall I was feeling pretty soggy out the door, but perked up when it came time to put in “the work.” Return trip was plagued by some mild heartburn, and some seriously waning motivation so I basically jogged it in, slowly removing some more rubber from the bottom of my shoes

Thurs Nov 23, 11 Miles, 1493′ 1h42m

Martha dropped me off at the TH for Sanitas so that I could out and back the swoop (lion’s lair) and run back home within the prescribed daily distance. Caught a dude on his deck near Wonderland Lake blasting “Alice’s Restaurant” so I had to join in for chorus while I passed. Overall things felt really controlled/easy, and definitely warmed up the oven for some Thanksgiving consumption.

Fri Nov 24, 6 Miles, 420′ 50m

Super casual out the front door jog on the Foothills trail. Kept things deliberately easy/ controlled before driving to Crested Butte for the weekend.

Sat Nov 25, 15.3 Miles, 2014′ 2h38m

Martha found what looked like a pretty chill trail out the front door of our Crested Butte rental, so that seemed like the best idea for some higher altitude trail running. I didn’t however plan for the terrain being either ice covered, or shoe-sucking mud for the entire route, so after knotting my fists for a while I decided that it would just have to be an adventure, and that I might as well enjoy the scenery while I’ve got it. After slogging through the day (and forgetting to eat the gel I carried) i was pleasantly surprised at the overall pace — it almost looks like running!

Sun Nov 26, 12 Miles, 2264′ 2h2m

Front Door>Wonderland Lake>Goat Trail>Red Rocks>Sanitas via Swoop>East Ridge>Goat>Dog Park>Home. Threw in 4x 30s uphill striders before leaving the Sanitas Valley and cruising back home. Legs are feeling pretty solid after a big week, and even the late-run strides felt pretty reasonable.

Summary: 66 Miles, 6978′ 9h55m

Overall a good week. My legs have felt really solid through the increased distance, and intervallic work. I’d like to get a bit more vert, but that was mostly a symptom of time/location, and I’m pretty confident that next week will be ripe for some more climbing, and speed-work while keeping the volume similar.

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Looking North (Sanitas)
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Crested Butte (Pic: Martha Scheler)
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More CB (Pic: Martha Scheler)
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Summary Oct 16-22

Monday Oct 16 REST

Scheduled rest day after 2 weeks worth of business travel with a wedding sandwiched in-between. Really enjoying the new 7-3 schedule my boss requested, it has both the advantage of increased overlap with my co-workers (who are mostly on EST and GMT) and allowing me to wrap up unbelievably early. Spent the evening getting intimate with my R8 Roll Recovery, and hitting the rack early

Tuesday Oct 17, 8 Miles, 1565′ 1h16m46s

Very casual effort on the Mesa trail starting at Chautauqua and heading South. Fell into taking the uphills comfortably hard, and really relaxing on the downs. I haven’t spent much time on the Mesa trail–mainly using it as a means of accessing Green/Bear/South Boulder, so I was pleasantly surprised by the vertical gain/loss, as well as the rockier stretches.

Wed Oct 18, 10 Miles, 906′ 1h22m52s

4.1 Miles out my front door through Boulder and over towards the Centennial TH for repeats. Ran 10x30s uphill repeats from the TH enjoying the cushy gravel and views up the Canyon/over to Sanitas during recovery periods. Followed the repeats up with a casual jog back and around Wonderland lake before heading home. Perfect late afternoon sunshine over the foothills made for a nice cool-down.

Thurs Oct 19, 9.5 Miles, 1109′ 1h23m04s

MAGS! I texted El Jefe to make sure that it was okay to run Thursday’s effort up on Magnolia Road, and was pleasantly surprised when he not only green-lit the idea, but suggested hitting up Mags for anything that isn’t a slow/chill day. Headed out super-casually from the South end of the road for 4 miles, followed by another 10x30s uphill  session and a 4 mile casual run back to the truck. Some moderate heartburn ensured — note to self: spicy lunch and afternoon runs aren’t a great combo.

Fri Oct 19, 6 Miles, 480′ 47m22s

Easy-does-it front door effort on the  Foothills trail. It took the first three miles to shake the brain fog off of the work day.

Sat Oct 20, 14 Miles 3796′ 2h33m02s

NCAR>Bear Peak (8459′)>Green Mountain (8148′)>NCAR Via Mesa, Bear Canyon, and Green/Bear. Decidedly casual effort up to the top of Bear. I picked it up in the last 500 or so feet mostly because I was getting a chill from the winds. Built up some nerve headed back towards Green, where I ran into Ben, and the two of use decided to let loose back towards NCAR. Probably took the downhill a little faster than I should have (6:58, 7:53 through the switchbacks, 7:04 and 7:35 back to Mesa) but it felt too good to open up a little. Took a pretty gnarly spill about .5 miles from the mesa trail due to pure idiocy, but seem to have gotten out pretty much unscathed. Followed the run up with a proper FATurday celebration, and found myself no match for the Boulder Beer tempeh burger… I’ll try harder next time.

Sun Oct 21, 10.5 Miles, 2490′ 1h58m53s

Plan called for an “easy” 10 miles anywhere I wanted followed by 4x30s uphill strides, so I drove out to NCAR and headed up to Green Mountain via Bear Canyon>Green/Bear.  This is definitely my favorite stretch of trail in the area–a decidedly non-technical cushy stretch of single-track that averages 500’/mile (enough that you know you’re climbing, but not so steep that you can justify hiking). Ran much more conservatively than Saturday, really just soaking in the sunlight and enjoying paradise. 4x30s uphill at the end of the day was a serious junk-punch, but driving some quick turnover while run-down was still pretty fun.

Summary: 58 Miles, 10344′ 9h21m

Overall a really successful week. I’m unbelievably stoked to have some help with my training plan, and the feedback loop included within. While I’ve never had trouble getting the motivation to step out the front door, there’s a different degree of accountability driven by having a coach… and that makes those end of week uphill strides that much easier to do harder to avoid. I’m really excited to see where this goes as we head into winter, and start making concrete plans for 2018.

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Hmm, the #Tonkamotel might need some winter upgrades
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I can see my house from here!
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NoBo towards Green
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Green #35 (lifetime)
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No #cleanplateclub for me today 😦
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Summit #36

Summary Dec 5-11

Monday Dec 5, 6 Miles, 449′ 47m56s

Overslept the 4:30 wakeup call which meant leaving the house at 6:17 on a compressed schedule. Generally the legs felt okay but lacked any sort of snappiness as has been the norm since the Fallback 50K right before Thanksgiving. Fortunately my hip seems to have recovered better, and is substantially less sore.

Tues Dec 6, Warmup 1.5 Miles 59′ 12m, Workout –6.7 Mile, 174′ Tempo, 45m13s 

Pre-dawn solo Tempo Tuesday. Avg HR was 167 throughout the workout, and the first 3 miles felt exceptionally grueling, add to that a very dejecting 6:52 split for mile 3 made me rethink the idea of tempo runs in the cold-pre-dawn hours without a training partner around to push me. Final 3.7 miles felt better, but didn’t provide much more in the way of snappy splits despite the elevated HR effort. Afterwards my hip flared up a bit an felt tight for the remainder of the day — back to fire-hydrants and foam rolling. .49 Mile cool down 

Wed Dec 7, 8 Miles 745′ 59m59s

Forecast called for snow, so rather than doing pre-dawn battle with the snow-plow man I chose to sleep in and hit my run after work. Naturally no snow was on the ground when I got up, but conditions after work were ideal, so I can’t really complain. First two (downhill) miles out my front door were recklessly quick — especially relative to the “8 miles EZ” written in my plan for the day. Legs felt confidently snappy making for a very enjoyable outing

Thurs Dec 8, 7 Miles 338′ 51m

Negatives workout with JP. JP has been espousing his regular negative split workouts running from 8-830 pace down to a final all-out mile, so I finally got myself together and joined him for a 7 mile version. Mentally the need to consistently best your previous mile makes for an interesting workout from a pacing/effort calculation point of view, and the constant acceleration facilitates a sort of fatigue that for now feels more than a little unique. Splits were 8:29, 7:55, 7:27, 7:06, 6:54, 6:40, and 6:19.

1 Mile cool down (9m9s 39′) followed by 5 Mile Social run (44m43s 337′)

Fri Dec 9, 2.3 Miles, 259′ 19m56s 

Easy neighborhood shakeout. Generally fatigued throughout the day and wanted to take the chance to recover a bit before Saturday’s inevitable sufferfest.

Sat Dec 10, Warmup — 2.3 Miles, 180′ 18m3s, Workout — 13.1 Miles 1h27m33s

Typical Chatham loop Saturday course with Jay and Jeff. With Jay and I just starting our training blocks, and Jeff in between a PR and planning his next races no one was checking their watches until we hit mile five or six. Surprisingly we were only a few seconds faster than our agreed upon pace of “45-ish” although I still can’t seem to wrap my head around how much easier tempo runs seem to get after the first few miles. We finished the workout alternating 400m pace line pulls dropping the group down to a 5:59 final mile, and according to my watch, the last 10th got to 5:47 pace.

Sun Dec 11, 11 Miles 1578′ 1h52m1s Allamuchy TH>Overlook>White>Waving Willy>SBX>Cement Mixer>TH with Pack and Eric

Woke up feeling pretty stiff/fatigued from Saturday’s effort as well as ravenously hungry, with some disconcerted swelling in my necks lymph nodes. Overall effort was pretty relaxed on the mountain, and considering the vert over the course I’m actually quite pleased that low 10’s are possible with an avg HR of 135. Great day to get out with some friends and hit up some always stellar trails.

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Eric at the Overlook
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Pack’s first Allamuchy Ramble
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Mmm, Mate

 

Gunks Fat-Ass Fallback 50K

The Shawangunk ridge, known as Kittatinny Mountain (or Kittatinny Ridge) in New Jersey, and Blue Mountain in Pennsylvania is the continuation of the long easternmost ridge of the Appalachian Mountains. The Gunks as they are locally known extend from the NY/NJ border to the Catskill mountains, and are arguably best known as a climbing destination.

While arguably find-able on the internet there is a fast-growing fat-ass running community led by Mike Cat Skill* (This is not Mike’s actual surname).Those of us lucky enough to know Mike are aware that he spends countless hours doing trail work, runs and scrambles like a certified boss, and then in his spare time comes up with courses in his backyard to satisfy whatever distance he’s currently dreaming of, then posts them online and persuades people to run them on the same day.

On Nov 19, Mike laid the groundwork for the Fallback 50K, a nearly perfect (distance-wise) point to point run through the Gunks that hit all of the iconic landmarks, several scrambles, and a fair mix of single track and carriage road. Our group of 9 managed to stay together for the entire day, hitting 31 miles with 4488′ of gain several scrambling routes, one minor medical emergency (that we came upon, not within our group) in a casual 6h41m. Here are the photos

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Len braves the early morning cold
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Scott getting ready
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Jayson Stretches off the drive
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Can’t begin without coffee

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Scott finishes our first scramble
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Seems like a reasonable place to hang
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Guiseppe has the reverse
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Mike was grinning the whole day as he admired his handiwork
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Happy James
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Laura Drops the downhill
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Final Crossing

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Summary Nov 7 -13

Monday Nov 7, 8 Miles, 830′ 1h3m

Teeing off from home before the work/travel day starts.. Still definitely feeling some funk in my legs from Saturday’s effort with Eric, but occasionally it’s nice to have the extra resistance to work against

Tuesday Nov 8, 4 Miles 29m4s–Treadmill

Unwilling to go out and explore pre-dawn in Sacramento before starting the workday, so I relegated myself to Heart-Rate based treadmill sessions. I was pleasantly surprised to find that below 7:00 pace I was still under 150BPM, which definitely bodes well for overall fitness/racing plans for next year (although I can’t say I truly trust the treadmill as a facsimile for real-life)

Wednesday Nov 9, 4 Miles, 30′ 29m1s

The hotel I was staying at has a nearly perfect mile-loop straight out the front door, so I found myself doing basically a MAF test.. teeing off at 5:24AM while suffering from some weird jet-lag sleeping issues. Again, pleasantly surprised that during a stressful week I was able to maintain a pretty peppy pace without going above 150BPM

Thursday Nov 10, 5 Miles, 367′ 42m40s

Broken Shin with Mikey and Smitty, generally taking it pretty relaxed, but negative splitting throughout. Great to get off of the plane and immediately into running shorts

Friday Nov 11, 1.5 Miles 151′ 12m14s

Jogging shakeout type thing

Saturday Nov 11, 15 Miles 522′ 1h53m

Generally a tempo run with Schooley’s Mountain thrown in the middle just for fun. Zack had wanted to do 15 hard on the rail-trail as his last prep run for JFK, but I couldn’t help but make sure we hit the overlook in Schooley’s. According to my watch, only 2 miles on the rail trail were over 7:00 (one at 7 even, one 7:01) so all-in-all a pretty solid outing

Sunday Nov 12, 13 Miles, 4908′ 2h41m

Last weekend Eric and I ran 4x Tammany, and upon getting home I realized that I’d done 4 loops of the mountain only a few times before, once in 2014, Once in 2012, and of course the time he and I hit five loops in 2015. We had agreed that our 3:1x last Saturday was decidedly sub-maximal, but when I found splits in my logbook indicating a 2:46 total moving time I was tempted to call bullshit on myself, knowing that I lacked a GPS, or particularly disciplined timing during those years, but I did some digging and found that I had written out splits for the ascent/descent of each lap, including an 18:43/18:59 first lap! Judging from the blog post it seems that I did take some time to take pictures on the top of the mountain, so I assumed that the logbook indicates moving time without effectively compensating for stoppages, but regardless was indicative of a rather aggressive effort against which I felt increasingly compelled to compare. the results are as follows:

Lap 1 — 19:53/20:05 (39:58 Lap) vs 18:43/18:59 (37:42 Lap)

Lap 2 — 20:43/19:14 (39:57 Lap) vs 21:48/20:42 (42:30 Lap)

Lap 3 — 21:26/19:43 (41:09 Lap) vs 22:43/20:10 (42:53 Lap)

Lap 4 — 21:21/18:43 (40:04 Lap) vs 23:35/19:33 (43:08 Lap)

What interests me more than the ~5 mins I shaved off the elapsed time is the consistency of today’s laps. The total margin of 1:12 between fastest and slowest is pretty stellar over a ~40 min loop, but having 1,2, and 4 being within 7s of each other is totally wild!

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Always choose the window seat.
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Limber Up
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Always Familiar
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Aftermath of Tam-Fest

 

Summary Oct 31 – Nov 6

Oct 31, 8 Miles, 764′ 1h2m

Standard out-the-front-door loop before starting the workday. I’ve been readjusting my schedule lately to further embrace my inherent morning-person-ness, and that includes trying to be out my front door prior to 6am. Unfortunately this also means that the majority of my runs are in complete darkness until the clocks turn. While I enjoy the solitude and quietness of the pre-dawn sessions, having the sun fail to rise before my return is definitely less-than ideal.. next week should be way cooler on that front.

Nov 1, 8 Miles, 846′ 1h1m

Modified version of my out-the-door 8 miler to cut out some of the flat and add ~100′ of vert to kickoff the annual Highlands Hashers King of the Mountains competition a.k.a. VertVember a.k.a. HurtVember.

Nov 2, 8 Miles, 804′ 1h3m

Decidedly less spunky legs this morning, most likely the result of a few longer-than-standard office days with interspersed desk-dweller XT exercises.

Nov 3, 12.7 Miles, 1335′ 1h46m

Split this up as multiple efforts on Strava to avoid the 10 min BS session in the parking lot before heading out with the HH guys, but basically it was 2x Hillcrest + 1x Hillcrest taking the most direct route from the lot to the top of the hill. Descending on the first effort also included one of the more rad sunsets I’ve seen from the top of the hill in quite sometime making me more than a little bummed that I had left my camera back at the house.

Nov 4, 3.6 Miles 755′ 35m

Low-energy, low leg-pop repeats of the hill leading up to my house. Remarkably low heart-rate considering the general lethargy as well as the not totally embarrassing pace.

Nov 5, 13.4 Miles, 5,016′ 3h19m

4x Tammany with Eric. One of the main upsides of the HurtVember competition is the likelihood that one of my buddies will come out for a totally absurd adventure such as running up Tammany until you get either bored, tired, or run out of daylight. We were decidedly unambitious about pace, but averaging <50mins for a lap is nothing to scoff at.. (my logbook indicates a March 2012 4xTammany in 2:45, which I now feel compelled to try to best..)

Summary: 57.6 Miles, 10,223′ 9h25m

Overall a pretty good week considering that I’m ambitiously training for nothing at the moment. I had been flirting with pacing at Philadelphia, but previous social commitments have eliminated that as a possibility, so I’m back to the drawing board for this months adventure… I’m sure something cool will come up

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Gearing up at the #tonkamotel
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Tammany sure is nice in Autumn
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Allamuchy never gets old

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Summary, Aug 29 – Sept 4

Monday Aug 29, 6 Miles, 404′ 53:57

Exhausted post-work grind on a usual neighborhood loop. Sunday’s Marathon Pace Tempo really did a number on my system, leaving me basically useless for the remainder of the day,  and even running easy on Monday it was still obvious that my body hadn’t had the proper time to sort itself back out.

Tuesday Aug 30, 6.1 Miles, 459′ 48:37

Feeling a lot more spry today. May have been the early morning start (as they’re usually my best efforts) or more likely the increased recovery. Added an extra 10th of pure running to make it back to a meeting on time (rather than walking it in as a cool-down).

PM 4 Miles, 312′ 31:59

Kittatinny State Park with Steve, Stat and Zack from the Salt Shakers group. Tried to keep things as non-aggressive as possible due to the moderate amount of funk still hanging out in my legs This led to the group slowly pulling away from me during the last mile as I tried to keep my HR under 150.

Wednesday Aug 31, 1.5 Miles 138’14:21

Early morning Shakeout — Legs have been feeling crappy all week, combined with actually having to commute into the office led to a particularly short day.

Thursday Sept 1, 8 Miles 768′ 1h7m

Ascending HR run, still trying to stay under 155 (151 avg HR). Utilized the downhills for HR recovery which kept the average pretty low, but the final climb into my apartment is so steep that without actually hammering the last 1/2 mile it will inevitably sink the average pace for the day.

PM 10 Miles, 734′ 1h19m

Double BSL with Mark then Dave. Last few miles felt unusually good, and was one of the fleeting moments where I entered the space wherein time stops, and nothing matters but the rhythm of your breath, feet and heart.

Friday Sept 2, 1.5 Miles, 148′ 13:50

Another light shakeout.

Saturday Sept 3, 18.2 Miles, 1480′ 2h34m

Scouting run with Steve and Zach through Allamuchy and Kittatinny. First time I’ve ever run my usual Allamuchy trails in reverse as we were scouting to determine the viability of a course I’ve dreamt up. Overall the legs felt good, and even found the opportunity to slide back into the flow state for the final 5 or 6 miles, which is unusual.. typically if I get there once a week that’s a great week, but this week I’ve found myself entirely lost within my run twice, and frankly couldn’t be happier about it.

1.8 Miles — cool down 16:52

Drop the bottle, lose the shirt, kick-start the ultra-shuffle.

Sunday Sept 4, 10 Miles 302′ 1h35m

Total jog/slogfest. Nothing particular was bad, but absolutely nothing in my body was feeling good either. Lack of sleep and general malaise.

 

Totals:67.6 Miles, 4787’9h36m

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Have truck, will chill
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Steve and Zack Apres
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El Nido is all set for the runbum life
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Who’s got some Heady Topper!?
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Allamuchy Obligatory

Summary Oct 19-25

Sunday Oct 19, 2.3 Miles, 249′ 19m15s

Standard neighborhood shakeout type run, Monday’s are typically a hectic workday, which seems to gel pretty well for my lightest planned running day for the week.

Tuesday Oct 20, 9.7 Miles 315′ 1h3m

Started at Jay’s house, and “jogged” (~7:30pace) The 1.7 miles to Emman’s Road, our standardized tempo-stomping ground. We both stopped the watch to reset the metrics and crank out 8 miles @6:20 pace with a slight negative split in the last 3k. Generally it’s been feeling pretty good to open up my legs and see what they can do on a flat road course, although admittedly the sensation of a consistent grinding tempo run is still a little bit foreign to me.

Wed Oct 21, 9 Miles 466′ 1h9m

Left my apartment to drive the 2 miles into Flanders mostly to avoid running on bad roads during rush hour, although eliminating the ~250′ climb from the main road back up to my apartment was a nice bonus. Should have brought my camera with me, as the sunset on the ridge overlooking town was spectacular, I need to make a mental note that when running during golden hour it doesn’t matter if I’m on the roads, I should be bringing a camera… Overall the legs felt pretty solid after Tuesday’s tempo effort, even if they were a little bit heavy.

Thurs Oct 22, 4.5 Miles 571′ 40m3s

Standard HH 3.5 mile route with 5x repeats on the first half of the first hill. Coached Donde through my typical hill-repeat routine, which is primarily a strength building exercise with each repeat ending at LT effort, and a super-easy recovery jog back down the hill.

PM Run #2, 5 Miles, 413′ 40m15s

Standardized broken-shin loop with Smitty, relatively uneven pace as the legs wanted to go a bit harder than I had planned, forcing me to put the brakes on every mile, mile and a half to keep things from getting out of hand.

Fri Oct 23, 4 Miles, 741′ 39m58s

Easy Allamuchy loop with an overlook tag. The weather was just simply too stunning to keep myself relegated to the roads for another day. Unfortunately trail runs don’t seem to have a solid way to fit into my marathon training, and I’ve definitely been missing the mountains.

Sat Oct 24, 15 Miles, 456′ 1h50m

An overnight update of my iOs seemed to deactivate my alarm causing me to midd my scheduled run with Jay and Jeff, so in lieu of training partners I decided to throw in another workout. 3 Miles warmup in the 7:30 range followed by 10 miles under 7, and a 2 mile shakeout/cooldown. Admittedly I was a little disappointed about the splits during the 10 mile tempo, which definitely show how much pop the 8 miler and hill repeats took out of my legs.

Sunday Oct 25, 2.4 Miles, 236′ 21m56s

Super-easy shakeout run

PM HashOween 6.3 miles 558′ 2h53m

Nothing like crawling through sewer pipes, wading through rivers, getting lost in cemetery’s, and having  couple of wood-beers to wrap up your week… Dave and Gene officially lay the worst hashes every (and seem very proud of it)

Totals: 58.6 Miles, 4006′ 9h37m

Overall a pretty good week. I’ve been concentrating on working out more, and “running” less as I get tuned up for the Phila Marathon on the 22d. Coming off of MoMa I have a lot of confidence in my long-legs, and general ability to grit things out when it gets tough, but having not run a marathon since 2011 I’ve certainly been feeling a lot of internal and external pressure to put up a reasonably good time at a distance that’s so easily comparable across the field. The concept of running consistently hard splits, with nary a downhill for recovery still feels somewhat foreign to me, but looking across training logs I’ve been seeing my tempo runs get progressively faster, often with slightly lower HR’s associated as well, which keeps me optimistic that I’ll be able to deliver a solid performance come race day.

Utilizing the Standing-Desk to break up my workday
Utilizing the Standing-Desk to break up my workday
Allamuchy never fails to deliver
Allamuchy never fails to deliver
More Allamuchy, this one from a recovery hike Post MoMa (Photo Credit: Luisina Figuero Garro)
More Allamuchy, this one from a recovery hike Post MoMa (Photo Credit: Luisina Figuero Garro)

Taper (Mountain) Madness

“Tapering Sucks” was the singular text I sent my main training partner Eric. Eric, in his ever-positive voice of reason (one of his best character attributes) sought to remind me that I’m “building the energy,” which while comforting (and true) still doesn’t quench my desire to go for a several hour run right now.

I’ve always found tapering to be menacing, cutting off my training when it’s usually going the best seems cruel at best, at and times down right torturous… When I’ve timed things right, I hardly ever feel as if I need to taper, usually having already gritted my way through the hardest weeks of training,  and convinced my body that the volume of running I’m putting in is permanent, and thus sustainable.

This is of course complete bullshit, as very often, my body feels incredible just before it starts breaking down. It did so in March before my latest bout with running-induced injury, as well as before all of my best performances (and most painful injuries). I’m well aware that when I time my taper correctly, my body is as close to injury and breakdown as it can be without crossing that invisible line… and I’m also aware that often my body chooses to ignore aches and pains when it realizes that I have no intention to stop, only for these niggles to re-appear during tapering (see: healing). Intellectually I can process this, but emotionally… not as well. I know that I’m tuned up, and denying myself chances to run makes me feel like a fat kid left in a candy store who’s been told that he can’t touch anything, it just seems torturous.

As I continue to rest for the next 2 days leading into Mountain Madness, I have to remind myself that even without consistent testing my body is well prepared for the race. Until then, I’ll try to sleep more, eat as well as I can, and be patient. On Saturday however, I will toe the line, take the gloves off, and push myself towards the finish line as fast as I can, a return to my natural form, an ultra runner again, rather than some guy who keeps telling barroom stories about how he used to run far. Since it’s been a while since my last posting, here are some photo’s from the summers training.

Eric and Jason at Bear Mountain
Sunfish Pond (Photo: Eric Ashley)
From the annual Maine pilgrimage
The last battle with the Bonkasaur
Allamuchy

Summary Nov 10-16

Monday November 10, AM 3 Miles, 151′ 23m16s
Short shake-out type thing. Legs haven’t fully recovered from the previous Saturday’s abuse… I might still be able to grind out a 4+ hour run, but recovering from it is another story.
PM Bike, 47m34s
Local neighborhood bike ride, figured I’d take ‘Zilla out for what is probably the last ride of the season.

Tuesday November 11, AM 7 Miles, 663′ 55m46s
Overall a really desultory local road loop out my front door. I’d been foolishly hoping that a couple of days of light running/XT would give my legs ample opportunity to recover, but the reality is that the ability to grind day in and day out is probably my biggest indicator of fitness, and is sorely missing right now.
PM Climbing 2.5hrs
Headed over to the rock gym with Zach. Spent most of the time bouldering and learning better ways to do a sport that I’m admittedly pretty terrible at (perhaps why I’m so intrigued by it right now).

Wed Nov 12, 10 Miles, 879′ 1h21m
Another grindtastic day. First time in recent memory that I can recall seriously considering walking some road uphills. Suffering from a really general lack of strength, and inability to climb in any way becoming of a runner.

Thurs Nov 13 AM, 10 Miles, 896′ 1h15m
Lunch-time run with Jay. Surprisingly peppy after a few days of grind, especially when I think about how I walked down the stairs in the morning. Sometimes you just need a bit of companionship to get the pop back into your legs.
PM 3.1 Miles, 148′ 27m49s
Shakeout-like modified broken-shin loop with the highlands hashers.

Fri Nov 14, AM 3.5 Miles, 568′ 32m17s
Figured I’d hit up the power-lines with the fresh inch or so of powder on the ground. Awful time gaining purchase on the inclines combined with the shitty legs I’ve had all week made for a much slower than anticipated outing.
PM Climbing 1 Hour

Saturday Nov 15, 13.5 Miles, 3120′ 2h33m
DunCreek TH>Tammany Via Red dot>Sunfish>DunCreek>Tammany>TH. Very mercurial outing at the Water Gap. Legs were a lot less peppy than I would have liked, and the fresh coating of snow made for a lot of questionable footing.

Sunday Nov 16, 3 Miles, 161′ 21m42s
Another shake-out run… I felt really good out the door, but I was reminded of the latent fatigue in my legs within a mile or so… Ugh, failing to recover any sort of leg peppiness is getting tiresome.
PM Climbing 1 Hour

Totals 53 Miles, 6585′ 7h50m

Overall not a bad week. It’s remarkably comforting to be back in the “regular” grind of things, and while there’s still a lot of miles ahead of me, it’s nice to feel like I’m finally able to put some behind as well. I may have been a little over-exuberant in last weekends efforts, at least relative to my body’s ability to recover, an ability whose diminution I’m acutely aware of….