Summary April 8-21

Monday April 8, 3.1 Miles, :22 Quick little road run, super-pressed for time, and a little banged up from Sunday’s 25 miler, things felt smooth overall, and given more free time I’d probably have run 10 or so (slowly)

Tues April 9, AM, 7 Miles, 940′ 46:30 Back to normal form very quickly, legs are recovering smoothly.
PM 4 Miles, :28 Light roads

Wed April 10, AM 5 Miles 1480′ 39:30 Power Line trails
PM 5 Miles, :40 Dreadmill session. I’m pretty sure it was cold and raining, or something to that effect, otherwise I can’t see why I would have hit the suffer-machine (usually my log-book notes if I did an incline workout on the ‘mill)

Thurs April 11 AM, 13 Miles, 2960′ 1:30 Powerlines with a road 5k tacked on the end.
PM 10 Miles, 1440′ 1:18 Double Broken-Shin road loop, hard kick at the end with Bob and Dave.

Fri April 12, 1 Mile :08 Felt incredibly low all day, like couldn’t really bring myself to do much other than watch reruns on netflix and generally be a sloth. My legs felt great when I finally did go out and run, but my head just simply wasn’t willing to subject itself to a respectable distance.

Sat April 13, 25ish Miles, 4:30 7000′ Delaware Water Gap with Jayson. TH>Tammany>Sunfish Pond> Catfish Fire Tower> Dunfield Creek Parking lot via AT. Brisk morning, but relatively clear, Jayson and I decided to try to hit some of the cooler parts of the Water Gap park as well as the AT. I felt really good the whole run (like dynamite according to Jayson) and really didn’t notice even the slightest bit of fatigue until the final few miles, which was mostly because I’d stopped eating hours before.

Sun April 14, 10 Miles 2960′ 1:19 Power Line trails. I thought I’d be pretty beat up, but actually, I felt fine for the most part.

Mon April 15, 10 Miles 2960′ 1:18 Easy Power Line jog

Tues April 16, 10 Miles, 2960′ 1:19 Another easy run, legs are feeling fine.
PM 1 Mile :09  Shakeout

Wed April 17, 10 Miles, 2960′ 1:18 Just trying to embrace the mundane consistency required to train for races of this length.
PM 5 Miles 1480′ 38:30 The weather was too incredible to NOT run again, 75ish, sunny, shirtless weather (first time of 2013!)

Thurs April 18, AM 5 Miles, 1480′ :41 Feeling sluggish, and not quite there mentally
PM, 10.5 Miles   Ran with Angelo for a bit, rather quickly (Angelo runs from the same start point as the Highlands Hashers, but a bit earlier, so we’ve been crossing paths for the past month or so) then finished up with the broken shin loop. Felt incredibly shitty for 3ish miles in the final 5, most likely from low blood sugar and a bit of dehydration, nothing I couldn’t have fixed with a GU and something to drink.

Fri April 19, 10 Miles, 2990′ 1:21 Regular Power Line run

Sat April 20, 1 Mile, :09 Played my final concert with the Rutgers Symphony Orchestra the night before, so the combination of lack of sleep, and massive hangover really put a damper on any plans I may have had… also, last drops of beer before the race, Got to clean up for a couple of weeks to make sure that I’m in top shape.

Sun April 21, 15 Miles, 4440′ 2:04 Power Lines in triplicate. Overall things felt really strong, but I was pressed for time between teachings, and had a small niggle in my hip/knee on my right leg, so it seemed like a prudent plan to cut things off.

Overall I’m feeling really fit right now, and comparing my mileage/times to last year, it looks like I’m right. I’ll probably end up ~150 miles shy of last years total before the NF Bear Mountain race, but my last six weeks have been much higher in volume, as well as a LOT more consistent than they were last year. Hopefully my concentration on technical trail and vertical gain/loss will end up paying off in the long run. As for what’s coming up… I’m hoping to train hard through the 28th or so, and then cut a really hard taper going into the race. Judging by the way that my legs have been recovering, I think I can get away with a relatively short taper (as opposed to the 2 week taper I did last year) plus, the additional mileage and time on trail is helping to really boost my confidence going into the race.

Somewhere on the Kittatinny ridge

Jasyson on Raccoon Ridge

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Summary April 1- 7

Monday April 1, 7 Miles, 940′ :50 Local neighborhood run before I had to run to class, nothing special other than a general weightiness in my legs obviously derived from the weekends abuse. Still pretty happy with the general “autopilot” setting I’ve seemed to work into my legs though.

Tuesday April 2, AM, 10 miles, 2960′ 1:14 Double run through the powerline trails. Usually this takes me closer to 80 mins from door to door, but without deliberately pushing the tempo I shaved the extra six off, also I’m finally feeling 100% confident in my legs ability to support me through full-speed technical downhill… things are coming together.
PM 7 Miles 940′ :46 Snappy-ish run around the golf course and on the local hills; strength is coming back quickly.

Wed April 3, 12 Miles, 2690′ 1:27 Power Line trails with a short road-oriented add-on. Feeling kind of beat up and generally shitty overall, but that seems to be par for the course whenever my mileage starts getting near triple-digits.

Thurs April 4, AM 10 Miles 2960′ 1:19 Taking it relatively easy on the power lines today expecting to run again in the afternoon, and hoping for a little left in the tank
PM 10 Miles 1440′ Double Broken-Shin loop. Generally feeling like hell the whole way, tired, heavy legged, slight stomach problems, and really not there mentally. I did manage to kick pretty hard in the last 1.5 miles or so, which was a big mental boost, but generally a miserable run (in spite of good company)

Fri April 5, 8 Miles 2000′ 1:05 Wholly miserable on Allamuchy. TH>Summit in near record time, but with my legs being doggedly heavy.
PM 2 Miles :15 Hoping that a proper-shakeout would help me salvage the following day

Sat April 6, 9 Miles 2400′ Another miserable day on Allamuchy. Basically gave up, came home, and poured myself a glass of Bulleit.

Sunday April 7 25 Miles, 7400′ 3:26 Power Line Quinfecta. Saturday night I realized that if I were to run the power line loop 5 times, I would exceed the vert/miles of the Bear Mountain course by a few feet (~20/mile) hit a reasonably similar amount of rocks, and be able to resupply every 5 miles, much like an aid station. In spite of the sisyphean nature of repeated loops I felt really good the whole way through, and hit almost dead even splits.

Totals: 100 Miles, 24,000′
Finally, back into triple digit weeks (granted if you broke up my week differently, you could have made 100 miles in seven consecutive days already). In spite of the mercurial nature of my runs, or at least how I feel about my runs, the stopwatch seems to be pretty consistent, and as I’ve noticed every other time I get into higher volume mileage, I’m a much happier person when my legs are sore. The only real hangups this week have been some lingering foot-care problems (blistering etc) and a couple of “bad” days, but those are bound to happen anyhow, and without them I doubt that I’d ever get any proper rest anyhow. Otherwise, I’m really gaining some confidence getting closer to the TNF Bear Mountain 50 in early May.

Summary March 18-24

Monday March 18 AM 9.2 Miles, 1400′ 1:10 Columbia Trail>Schooleys Mountain>Columbia Trail. Lollipop loop with the mountain as the candy, I haven’t really run this route in the past 6 months or so, so I figured I should get back at it, primarily for the juxtaposition of self-imposed speed on the flats followed by nose-on-ground steepness up and down the mountain (assuming you’re moving at speed)
PM 1 Mile, 8:00 Treadmill shakeout before weights.

Tuesday March 19 AM 9.2 Miles, 1400′ 1:14 Same lollipop route as the day before, this time in ~3 inches of snow with a combination of rain followed by snow for the entire duration. Effort-wise, this should have been a faster loop, but the loss of traction as well as hesitation on the most technical sections cost me some serious time.

Wed March 20 AM 9.2 Miles, 1400′ 1:10 Wonderful day to be on trail. I thought I was on pace for a quicker loop, but it seems that I’ve got it dialed in pretty well in the 70-minute zone.
PM 1 Mile, 8:15 Shakeout after dinner in an attempt to knock some soreness out of my legs

Thursday March 21 AM 9.2 Miles, 1400′ 1:10 Hitting the splits pretty consistently, and really feeling like this route is getting dialed in well, which means it’s time to start pushing the envelope in the upcoming weeks.
PM 8 Miles, 1020′  1:02 Broken shin loop preceded by an easy 3 mile loop on the same roads. Feeling unusually spry at the tail end of a seventeen mile day.

Friday March 22 AM 7 Miles, 940′ :47 Local road loop, surprisingly on pace. I was planning to run a lot more on Friday (mentally) but my body isn’t recovering at quite the rate I was optimistically planning for. I seem to be ignorant of the fact that the last time I was running this much, it was on-the-whole a lot slower.

Saturday March 23, 20 Miles, 6780′ 3:39 High Point>Sunrise Mountain>High Point Via AT. Dave and Gene have been ranting and raving about this run for longer than I can remember (although, they usually do it in the summer, in the reverse order). I decided to run it backwards primarily because the Sunrise Mountain parking lot was closed due to snow, little did I know that the whole trail would be ~4 inches deep in slush. I probably could have paced myself much better, as the first half was ~13 mins faster than the second half.

73.8 Miles, 13,080′ 10h28m

Overall A lot less mileage than I expected to crank out during a week “off” (from class) but most of the mileage was hard-won, especially yesterdays 20 miler. I’d go out again today, but a little niggle in my right hip/the lateral side of my thigh combined with some rough blistering on my feet is enough to encourage me to take a recovery day, and pick myself up by my bootstraps tomorrow. Yesterdays run was by far the hardest I’ve worked on a solo outing, period, so if I can maintain this sort of gumption in the next few weeks, I think it’ll pay off.

Overlook on the Kittatinny Ridge

Wed Morning on Schooleys

Sometimes standing on a rock is hard

Another view from the ridge

No fires in NJ….

Summary Feb 11-17

Monday Feb 11 AM 8 Miles :59 Really crappy outside, and since I’m paying for the damn gym membership, I might as well avoid ~30 degrees outside with freezing rain etc. It doesn’t hurt than I nearly fell flat on my ass just walking to my car… so running on the road, or the trails in that sort of shigginess is probably ill-advised. Sidenote: I really loathe the treadmill.

Tuesday Feb 12 AM 7 Miles, 940′ :45 Unusually snappy road run through the local neighborhoods. Usually I’m pretty content with anything sub :48 total (most runs being in the high 47’s) but on the lat K or so I though to myself “hey, I think I’m running quickly today” and Lo, I guess I was… I’ll take it.
PM 1, 2 Miles, 14:30 Warming up the legs before making them move large plates of iron.
PM 2, 1 Mile, :8 Shakeout, I’m starting to become amused at how shitty my legs feel after lifting, especially since they still seem to operate normally.

Wed Feb 13, 7 Miles 940′ :46 Feeling really laggy from the previous days run/weightlifting abuses, but all systems seemed to be going pretty smoothly. One of the fringe ultra-running benefits of regular lifting (to the point of failure) is that the soreness lingers for a while, causing even short runs to have that sense of desperation/dead-leggedness that you typically can only realize with über-mileage/long runs. (not to imply that high mileage and long runs aren’t going to be part of this ramp-up)

Thurs Feb 14, 5 Miles, 1480′ :41 Power Line trails. Conditions were extra-slippery which cost me some pretty serious time over the duration of the course, but slaves to trail conditions we are.

Friday Feb 15, 11.6 Miles, 3000′ 1:48 Undeniably the most incredibly frustrating run on the week. I went out to Allamuchy expecting to run a reasonable loop, at a reasonable effort, in a reasonable time. What I ended up doing was near PR-ing on the ascent (14:56 car>Summit) and then continuing to attempt to maintain what I had mentally deemed as “normal” splits, which had the trail not been covered in snow/ice would have been totally reasonable. Instead, the continuously varying traction, and über-technical nature of trail that has been melted and refrozen a dozen or so times had me moving at near-vomit inducing nature to hit my “splits” only so that I can run the loop in a very mediocre time (averages from last year were 1:45-1:50 ish, PR is somewhere in the high 1:3X range). I’m sure that had I run that hard on the trails as they normally lie, the time would be a different story… but I doubt I would have bothered to push that much anyhow.

Saturday Feb 16, AM 5 Miles 1480′ :38 Powerline trails back at a normal-ish time.
PM 3.5 Miles :25 Running on the ‘mill because I’m running out of mental steam to deal with the grey/threatening snow conditions.

Sunday Feb 17, AM 5 Miles 1480′ :38 Nice little jaunt through the powerline loop.
PM 8 Miles, 2400′ Laying trail/meeting up with the hashers for a hash laid by Bob and myself through the Allamuchy trail system. Managed to get the whole club up to the summit for a beer.

Totals 64.1 Miles, 11,720′ Vert

Overall a pretty productive week. I’m finally starting to feel genuinely fit, which may be because I’ve finally got a real base under my legs, but it also might have something to do with the mental aspect of finally nearing my groove mileage-wise. I seem to do best when I’m hanging out in the 70-100mpw range, and I’m certainly within a stones throw this week. Also, probably too many treadmill miles overall, but the whole winter thing is really draining me, and often the thought of bearing the cold for a second time, in the dark seems a little too much, so I’ve been shaking my legs out at the gym… I expect this will turn into road miles in the next few weeks when temps start to be a little more bearable.

Trust me, it’s steeper than it looks

Obligatory rock photo
Highlands Hashers make it up the mountain for a beer

Post-Holing

This morning Jason and I braved the post-Nemo drifts of snow to do some post-holing up through Allamuchy. Now, this may seem like a bit of a ridiculous endeavor, we both have snow shoes, which are designed specifically for moving through (or over) large amounts of snow, in fact, they’re arguably the most efficient means of bi-pedal transportation through the mountains when there’s a substantial amount of snow to negotiate. We however, decided to throw efficiency to the wind, after all, we’re “mountain runners” so run on the mountain we shall! Knowing full ahead that things would be incredibly slow, I decided to travel unusually heavy, carrying a pack with some extra gels, water, and a couple of “oh shit, there’s a foot of snow on the ground and I’m cold” layers, as well as a phone (which I never do).

Now it’s worth mentioning here that I don’t necessarily recommend going out substantially under-prepared/dressed when there’s the better part of a foot of snow on the ground, but Jason and I are pretty well experienced in the woods, and in spite of our generally light loads, we were more than confident that we had planned well enough to handle a few miles in the snow. So, we strapped on some MICROspikes, and started heading up the mountain. Within a few hundred yards however, it became brutally obvious that we were in for one heck of a gnarly workout.

We ended up going from TH>Summit>Parking Lot>Summit>Parking Lot>Summit>TH in just under 2 hours (1:50) covering roughly 6.5 miles, and  3600′ of total vertical change, alternating between literally breaking trail (trust me, it’s as strenuous as you think) to following some snowshoe footprints, which offered little respite from the inherently arduous task of moving on trail through that much snow. While the obvious additional drag of that much snow obviously makes things tough, more frustrating is that general lack of traction in spite of the MICROspikes. While spikes are incredibly in almost every setting, it seems that in deep snow, they’re really just putting a band-aid on a bullet wound, so for every time you plant your foot, you’re losing at least 6″ before the chains gain purchase (it’s way worse without the spikes…)

I’ve found that one of the best parts of being a so-called mountain runner is that you simply have to roll with whatever the mountain gives you. Sometimes, it gives you a fantastic day, and sometimes you slip and slide your way to the slowest 6.5 miles you’ve ever run. Normally, I’d be concerned about what will surely amount to a pretty low weekly mileage, especially since I’d planned (mentally) to go pretty far today, but 2-ish hours of heart pounding nearly vomit-inducing slogging up and down the mountain in nearly a foot of snow is probably a better workout that anything I could have imagined otherwise, and certainly required a longer sustained heavy effort than I would have managed without such conditions. So the next time there’s some serious-ass snow on the ground, you’ll find me charging up the nearest mountain, knee deep in snow, breathing heavily.

Look! I packed a bag!

Jason on some recently packed trail

Obligatory summit shot. Photo: Jason Friedman

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Summary Jan 21- Feb 3

Monday Jan 21, 11.7 Miles, 3000′ 1:54 Allamuchy with Jason, relatively relaxed pace, probably should have brought spikes for the last 4 or 5 miles, it was pretty slippery.

Tues Jan 22, 7 Miles, 1:04 Treadmill. Trying to use the ‘mill for some sustained uphill climbing, since you can’t really do that in New Jersey. Breakdown as follows:
20 mins @ 7:30 pace for a
10 mins @ 10% incline
10 mins @ 7% incline
5 mins @ 15% incline
18 mins @ 8 minute pace, flat, to shake out

PM 1 mile :9 Shakeout

Wed Jan 23, 4 Miles, 350′ :30 Way too cold outside (~7 degrees)

Thurs Jan 24, 8 Miles, 1:00 Another day on the dreadmill, these freezing temps and wind are really annoying.

Fri Jan 25, 7 Miles, 940′ :47 Usual neighborhood jaunt

Sat Jan 26, 7 Miles, 940′ :48 Rinse and repeat

Sun Jan 27, 1 Mile :8

Mon Jan 28, 5 Miles 1480′ :41 Pedestrian effort on the power line trails

PM 1 Mile :8 ‘Mill mile before leg workout

Tues Jan 29, AM 10 Miles, 1100′ 1:15 Tempo-ish road run
PM 1 Mile :8 ‘Mill miles again, decent shakeout

Wed Jan 30, 10 Miles, 1100′ 1:15 Solid back to back with the same pace, even on softer legs. Pretty excited about this, really.

Thurs Jan 31, 5 Miles, 360′ :42 Broken shin loop with Bob and Dave, eventually Jason showed up at the bar post-run.

Fri Feb 1, 1 Mile, 7:30 Long day, not much time for running

Sat Feb 2, 14.5 Miles, 960′ Ran with Dave and both of the Bob’s at the functional ass-crack of dawn, in spite of the low teens for temps, it was a good run, with a nice pickup at the end.

Sun Feb 3, 5 Miles, 1480′ :41 Satisfying jaunt through the power line trails.

Overall a lot of road… actually, a shit-ton of road. Starting to get back on the trails as my schedule becomes a bit more consistent, so we’ll see what the upcoming weeks look like.

Jan Totals: 217 Miles, 35,960′ 

Summary Jan 14-20

Monday Jan 14 AM 4.7 Miles, 860′ :37 Local neighborhood loop with a couple of decent hills thrown in. This is usually a lame cop-out for a seven mile loop when I’m not feeling so spry.
PM 2 Miles, :16 Treadmill
Loosening up before hitting the weights for the legs. I’m beginning to recognize that the rhythm of the treadmill has some small advantages in pace-location.
PM 2, 1 Mile :9 Treadmill
“Official” shakeout mile after weights.

Tuesday Jan 15, 7 Miles 940′ :50 Slow-ish jaunt through the local roads, adding weight training is definitely having an effect on my recovery-time, as well as the general weightiness that my legs are feeling

Wed Jan 16, AM 5 Miles 1480′ 42:30 Power line trails. Trails were covered in a mix of ice, sleet, and snow, I probably should have worn spikes, but the roads accessing the trail were completely clear.
PM 2 Miles, :16 Treadmill
Typical pre-weights loosening
PM 2, 1 Mile :9
Shakeout

Thurs Jan 17, AM 3.5 Miles 1150′ :33 Power line trails, abbreviated version. Trying to get a good “recovery” pace in my legs (it turns out that I’m really awful at forcing myself to run at a sub-maximal effort)
PM 5 Miles 720′ 44:15 Broken Shin Loop at a true recovery pace. First time in quite a while that absolutely no one was looking to push the pace the slightest bit. Good recovery run.

Fri Jan 18, 6.6 Miles 4880′ 1:22 Mount Tammany repeats with Bob and Dave. I’m hoping to get out for a lot more in the way of hill-specific training (in spite of the fact that most of the courses I run are rather hilly) in an attempt to feel more comfortable on uphills, and not lose strength as quickly. Trails were icy and snowy, which in spite of using micro-spikes made a 3rd loop (when already fatigued) seem like a bad idea.

Sat Jan 19, 9.2 Miles 1400′ 1:14 Colombia Trail>Schooleys Mountain. I thought this would be a rough/slow run, and at times it certainly felt like it, but overall the pace was pretty spot-on. I still need to work out my pacing however, since I definitely was feeling a little ragged on the final 5k back to the car

Sun Jan 20, 4.7 Miles, 860′ :38 Planned to do 7, but as soon as I got out of the neighborhood, that started looking like a bad idea. My legs just weren’t having it, and in actuality, felt like they had already run 30 or 40 miles today, which certainly isn’t a good thing.

Totals: 51.7 Miles, 12,290′ 7h31m

Overall I was definitely feeling pretty well beat-up this week, which is to be expected anytime I change my mileage/workout plans as much as I have in the past several weeks. Weather permitting, I’m hoping to increase my trail-mileage, and subsequently my vertical change, but it may take some time to balance things out with the semesters beginning coinciding with these plans.

Photo: Dave Franz

Photo: Bob Skorupski

Photo: Bob Skorupski

Photo: Bob Skorupski

Photo: Bob Skorupski

Summary Jan 7 – 13

Monday Jan 7, AM 7 Miles, 940′ :47 
 Very average run through the neighborhood. Feeling rather fortunate that I have a quick local route that lets me pass a couple of farms as well as spend over a mile running directly uphill (albeit at a rather modest grade).
PM 2 Miles :16 Treadmill
Shakeout at the gym followed by some weights on the legs.

Tuesday Jan 8, 7 Miles, 940′ :49
 One of the unexpected side effects of adding weights to my routine is the inherent deadness in my legs. Granted, only losing 2 minutes on the course isn’t really a big deal, but being able to run the route with leaden legs is definitely useful as far as endurance cash in the bank for later.

Wed Jan 9, AM 5 Miles, 1480′ :40
Power-line trails. I wish I had bothered to bring spikes, but the ~mile or so of road running required to access the trails was enough to make me leave them at home (seeing as if I wear them on pavement, they’ll quickly be worn down to nubs, and I’m so incorrigibly opposed to carrying shit while I run). Unfortunately the trails themselves proved to be a combination of slush, hard packed snow, and ice, forcing me to rely on a combination of luck and balance to not faceplant in the snow.
PM 2 Miles :16 Treadmill
Shakeout at the gym followed by a slightly less ambitious leg workout.

Thurs Jan 10, AM 3.5 Miles 1150′ 29:30
Woke up feeling unusually lethargic and leaden, so even getting out for a run seemed like pulling teeth. Although, once I hit the trail, things quickly became a lot more enjoyable, even if my legs were feeling heavy.
PM 5 Miles, 720′ :43
Broken Shin Loop, at a miraculously recovery-oriented pace. Sprinted the last 1/4 mile or so with Butters, which is always a good time (and damn, can he move)

Fri Jan 11, 2 Miles, 16:30
Really run-down today, tired, heavy-legged, and generally not feeling like doing anything.

Sat Jan 12, 7 Miles 940′ :48
Much more like my “normal” self, and really enjoying the runs where I’m comfortably under 7:00 pace.

Sun Jan 13, 10 Miles 1100′ 1:15
 I think this by default counts as my “long” run for the week, although calling a 10 miler “long” seems like a bit of a stretch. I think I’ve only broken double digits 3 or so times since last May’s injury, and hitting it at a reasonable clip is really encouraging. Every time I start getting near higher distances, I find myself afraid of the inevitable swings in energy levels, but in actuality, they’re never as bad as I think it’s going to be.

Totals: 50.5 Miles, 7270′ 6h20m

Finally in the fifties. So far, so good, it feels like training, but right now I’m seeing no signs of any previous injuries coming back (knock on wood). I’m starting to really look forward to hitting bigger miles, and beginning to add a legitimate long-run into my plans. It seems that my brain goes a little haywire prior to adding the big run into my routine, mostly a result of fear with regard to the inevitability of bonking, GI issues, and the litany of unexpected troubles that seem to be inevitable over the course of a training season, but I know I’ve done it all before, and it’s really not that bad, so bring on the beast.


Summary Dec 31 – Jan 6

Monday Dec 31, 4.5 Miles, 2400′ :53
  Fresh Powder run with Jason up and around Allamuchy TH>Summit>Far parking lot and back. Saturday brought about 3 or 4 inches of fresh snow, which gave me ample excuse to try out a new pair of MICROspikes on the hill, which probably weren’t necessary in the fresh snow, but over the course of the week because invaluable on the trough like ice-luge that the trail eventually became.

Tuesday Jan 1, AM, 3 Miles 320′ :28
New Years day run with the Highlands Hashers. Really relaxed recovery pace on local roads.
PM 2 Miles :15 Treadmill
This year I’m trying to be a lot smarter about cross-training and strength-training, especially when my mileage is low. Ideally, lifting some weights, and doing some treadmill-specific workouts (such as prolonged uphills, which are impossible to do on the east-coast…) should pay off later. This 2 mile dreadmill session was really just a warmup for a heavy leg-workout which ended up deadening my legs for the remainder of the week.

Wed Jan 2, 7 Miles, 940′ :48
Dead-leg tempo run on roads local to my house. Pretty uneventful overall, in spite of the mild lethargy and general weighty feeling that my legs had throughout.

Thurs Jan 3, AM 4.5 Miles 2400′  :48
First 2 Allamuchy summits of the year. The snow at this point has been packed down into tunnel of ice and hard packed snow, which with the aid of some MICROspikes can be a really fun run.  The snow basically fills in all of the gaps the the rocks create on the trail, making for a rather tame (technically speaking) pathway on which to run, of course, the mid-20’s temperatures that we’ve had since the snowfall seems to have turned a lot of this into patches of ice, and snow packed hard enough that without a traction assistant, you can expect to spend half of the run flat on your ass. I’m still not used to carrying an extra 1/2 pound on each foot, but it seems like I’ll get used to it.
PM 5 Miles 720′ 40:23
Broken shin loop with the Highlands Hashers.

Fri Jan 4, 8.5 Miles, 2400′ 1:26
Double summit of Allamuchy after a few miles of rail trail with Bob. Semi-scouting, but mostly checking out the area, and getting a good run in. By the last 2 miles, I felt unusually bonk-y which is kind of pathetic considering the relatively short run-time, and comparatively slow pace. I can only assume that the previous couple of days weren’t recovered well, which makes sense, considering the overall weightiness of my legs throughout the whole run. Better start the suffering now than have it show up closer to race-season.

Sat Jan 5, 6 Miles Freezing Cold Hash (no recorded time, no altimeter)
Freezing cold hash is an annual hash in Edison NJ. The link should explain it all

Sun 1 Mile 8:30
Feeling some pretty serious soreness in my left adductor, and being a little gun-shy, I decided not to push it. After the mile, everything feels fine, but it’s so early in the year/my training plans that listening to my body on these sorts of things seems like a no-brainer.
 

Totals: 41.5 Miles, 9180′ 5h55m

Definitely fewer miles than I had originally expected to do, but I’m pretty happy with the overall vertical change, as well as Wed’s dead-leg tempo. Things are very early, and I’m certainly not willing to go crazy with my mileage yet, but overall my legs feel really solid, I just need to get used to running a lot again, and figure out how to best integrate strength training into my running regimen.

NYE Allamuchy, Photo: Jason Friedman
Thursday Morning
Bob posing on Friday
Freezing Cold Hash, Photo:Dave Franz

Jason on Allamuchy, NYE


Summary Oct 14-20

Sunday Oct 14, 7 Miles 220′ :58 Early morning run with Gene and Dave. Both Gene and Dave are “getting back into shape” which translates to training extremely cautiously after having some bouts with injuries. Part of their plan it seems, is to run a lot of rail trails, for while I’m more than happy to tag along, after all, they’re great company, and even when they’re “getting into shape” they’re pretty quick (trust me, even though this time doesn’t reflect speed… it also started before dawn)

Monday Oct 15, 7 Miles 410′ :49 Solid feelings through the back-roads. The sunrises over fall foliage have been great, I really should start bringing the camera on my road runs as well.

Tuesday Oct 16, 7 Miles, 410′ 46:48 Quick repeat of Mondays course, time would be near a personal best on course, but I had to make a pit stop at mile 5 or so, which required stopping the watch, and finding some leaves (fortunately it’s autumn) which functionally invalidates the time as a continuous effort. The stopwatch does however reflect total time spent running.

Wed Oct 17 AM, 4 Miles, 175′ 29:56 Feeling lazy, short run. I’m still grappling with the whole running in the morning thing, and the requirements of…. getting out of my bed.
PM 2 Miles, 16:18 Guilt miles, I couldn’t let myself get away with a light morning when my legs felt good.

Thurs Oct 18 AM 3 Miles 21:45 Light loosening up before the day starts. I’m finding that I really prefer not to leave the house for “life” until I get in something at least resembling a run.
PM 5 Miles 360′ 38:47 Highlands Hashers “Ace of Pace” night. Basically, state the finish time you expect, and then try to get as close as possible without using a watch. I finished +27 from my estimated total of 38:20. John won overall, with +7 (or was it -7) Bob got the broken clock award, being off by several minutes (although he was admittedly racing Luis, and ignoring the prediction part)

Fri Oct 19 1 Mile, 8:54 Tired/beat up/lazy/no real good excuse. I suppose since I’m not “really” training for anything I’m allowing this day to be a mulligan… plus it’s probably good to rest a bit while I have the chance.

Sat Oct 20 11.6 Miles 1500′ 1:48 Allamuchy in the late morning/early afternoon. Yea, that’s more like it. This is what running is really about for me, single-track, trees, vert, rocks, mud… Really positive on the first couple of splits, with a 15:57 ascent, 7:19 from peak to the scout parking lot, and back up to the peak in another 8:30 or so. Unfortunately, my over-zealous first hour came to wreak havoc on my energy levels on the final 5k or so, proving that I’ve lost all sense of pacing on trails. It does seem, however, that babying my right knee for the summer, especially while hitting major vert in ME, has made me incredibly more confident in my left leg, which made for some snappy and exciting descents, as well as adding to an overall cavalier attitude on the most technical portions.

Totals: 47.6 Miles, 3078′ Vert

Me Gene and Dave Sunday morning

Back in my natural state