Summary Sept 9-15

Sunday Sept 9 AM 10 Miles 410′ 1:20 Ran through Parsippany with John, started by hitting a few hills, then running around the lake. Longest consecutive run in months, I’ve hit the distance over the summer, but usually on technical trails requiring at least some hiking, but being on a road leads to really consistent pacing/effort for the entire duration. Knee feels good, also, fantastic sunrise over the lake… should have brought the camera.

Monday Sept 10 AM 5 Miles 740′ :41 Short morning jaunt through the powerline course, the overall run-time is slowly decreasing, and my body seems to be adjusting to the cup of coffee>run>then eat for real schedule.

Tues Sept 11 AM 7.1 Miles 410′ 50:28 Sort of hilly run up the ridge and back down using the local roads. Feeling a bit rough from the get-go after a night hanging out with some orchestra folks. Really content with the time though, letting my stride open up a bit, and trying t get more consistent rhythm/effort over slightly longer distances
PM 1 Mile Barefoot 8:53 Shakeout evening, whenever I’m starting to pile on “real” mileage, the barefooting seems to keep me in-line.

Wed Sept 12 AM 5 Miles 740′ 41:39 Solid effort over the power-lines, sadly it’s taken me this long to feel comfortable/consistent on what is really a very pedestrian course. More importantly, the longer-sustained climbs are becoming relatively easy, and I’m gaining a lot more confidence in my overall foot placement/trusting my right leg to sustain the amount of abuse required for serious trail-running.
PM 1 Mile 8:44 Barefoot When my barefoot miles start to get consistent, I stop feeling like a liar when I tell people I’m a runner…

Thurs Sept 13 PM 5 Miles 360′ 40:25 Broken Shin Loop with John, Bob, and Brian. First time in a while that everyone ran as a cohesive group, conversational at ~8min pace. Pumped up the pace for the last quarter while joking around with Bob, he still has a much better kick than I do.

Fri Sept 14 AM 5 Miles 740′ :41 Another Power Line trip, feeling reasonable.

Saturday Sept 15 AM 5 Miles 550′ 1:14 Pseudo-tempo road-run. I wanted to nail down a baseline 10-mile time/pace on semi-shitty legs so I have an idea of what kind of work I’ve got cut out for myself. Surprisingly happy with the outcome, since the base for this course was in the 1:15 range last April as well…
PM 3 Miles 645′ 28:19 Allamuchy TH>Summit and directly back via yellow>blue blazes. Too nice outside to not get some hill time, even though it was probably ill-advised.

Totals: 52.1 Miles, 4585′ 6h54m
Longest mileage week since May, (although my week in Maine came close in overall time, it was much more vert-oriented, without the actual distance). I think I can begin to consider myself a runner again, as opposed to some sort of recreationalist/hobby jogga type. More encouragingly, if I can continue on this trajectory without re-injuring myself, I should be in much better shape at the turn of the year than I was last year. With the temperatures cooling, and the leaves starting to change, I’m really hoping that I can stay healthy, and begin to enjoy what’s certainly my favorite part of the year to be on-trail.

Summary: August 12-18

Sunday August 12
 4 Miles, 700′ 40:14 Short jaunt through Allamuchy: TH to summit, then skirted around the backside of the hill and directly back to the trail-head. It’s nice to finally get back on some technical trails and not feel beat up about it. Overall a slow 4 miles, although the trip to the summit was in the ~16min range, which is pretty spot on for average runs, even during heavy training.

Monday, August 13
 5 Miles, 740′ 42:10 Powerline trails. This is probably the hardest “short” course for me to run right now, since I ran it so much during the spring that even without a GPS, I know all of my “typical” splits for the major course landmarks. Since I’m very much not in the shape I was in, it’s incredibly frustrating to see how far behind my times are (average time on course was ~38m)

Tuesday, August 14
 5 Miles, 740′ 44:16 Dead legs, humidity, general suffering while running.

Wed, August 15
 5 Miles, 740′ :43 More dead legs, some gnarly heartburn as well. Trying to remember how to run first thing in the morning, and my stomach seems to not be agreeing with coffee quite yet…. or it’s still lagging behind from the previous nights dinner… all in all, very frustrating.
PM 1 Mile, Barefoot 9:14 Barefootin’ always feels good, trying to get the biomechanics back in line, and get the two-a-days feeling normal.

Thurs August 16
 5 Miles, 360′ 39:39 Broken Shin Loop with the usual suspects. Luis flew ahead right out of the lot, so I ran the loop with Bob at a semi-recovery pace. Felt good to pound the pavement for a bit, gaining some confidence in my legs.

Fri August 17 
5 Miles, 740′ 44:52 Hearburn, dead legs, ran in the heat of the day. All in all, a bad idea.

Sat August 18
5 Miles 740′ 42:23 Back to a semi-normal run time on the course, and not feeling like complete and total crap the whole way. I think my body may be adjusting to the consistent running, I’m also starting to find my (slow) groove again.

Totals: 35 Miles, 5500′ Vert, 5h6m

So, we’re back to normal, sort-of. While I’m really excited that I can grind out a 35 mile week, and not re-injure myself, it’s tough to think about the mileage I was able to put in, as well as how long it may take me to get back to that sort of consistent volume. I’m also still wearing the ITB strap, although Sunday’s hash seemed to prove it unnecessary. Ideally, I’ll hang out at this ~35mpw range for a bit, add in some more barefooting, and eventually start to push the volume up (this time in a much more prudent manner).

No pictures, so here’s something that’s been on repeat in the car for a while now…

Pursuing direct lines

Spending some time in the Pine Tree State running the local mountains… I’d forgotten how much fun, and how challenging running directly up a big mountain can be. For the sake of brevity, and my (still) lack of trust in my right leg, I’ve been choosing the most direct lines to the summit, to reduce the amount of actual mileage, while still getting myself above treeline, which has amounted to pretty short trips (~45 mins) but with maximal effort throughout the entirety of the trip.

Only a few short months ago, I would be frustrated going for a run where the overwhelming majority of my time would be spent hiking. In fact, it seems that hiking, despite its inherent necessity in mountain running, (especially at the ultra-distance) hiking is often under-appreciated. The reality of the situation is that these more direct lines, while shorter in mileage, more than make up for their brevity by requiring a backbreaking effort throughout. Nothing can compare to an extended incline session with your nose to the ground, hands on your knees, and breathing heavily with every planting of the foot. Sure, it’s not a run, but it’s still the most efficient way to move quickly through the mountains.

 This past weeks worth of serious vertical abuse has helped me to successfully regain a lot of the lost trust in my right leg. In spite of the brevity of my sessions (the longest being ~1h46m) I managed to really attack some vertical gains and losses, and contrary to my expectations, my knee/ITB feel great, even after bombing down scree, leaping over boulders, and generally being reckless. Perhaps more importantly to me is the fact that I was able to consistently get above treeline almost every day this past week (I did take a day off for prudence, and one for travel). and if the sunburn on my shoulders is any indication of summertime mountain-efforts, I’m doing pretty well.

Saddleback in the fog, Photo courtesy of Snake-Girl

Wearing the ITB strap… for prudence

Summit Proper

Return from the Horn

Training Summary April 22-28

Sunday April 22 1 Mile 7:50 Very typical shakeout. I’ve been enjoying the idea of taking a nero every week, and for some reason Sunday’s seem like the best day for it.

Monday April 23 5.1 Miles 740′ :42 Painfully slow time, especially since my legs should  feel rather fresh, but instead, I was feeling like I had no business whatsoever running. It turns out, this is a sensation that I’d be dealing with for the majority of the week.

Tuesday April 24 5.1 Miles 740′ 38:38 More of a “typical” time for me on the power line trails, and while the stopwatch is respectable, the entirety of the run felt…. uncomfortable. I can’t seem to find my groove, there’s no sense of flow, which is incredibly frustrating. Usually on any route I run with some regularity there are a few spots where I can just let loose, but for whatever reason, I’m feeling unable to get that sensation.

Wed April 25 5.1 Miles 740′ 38:13 Hitting the splits, but feeling like shit, ugh.

Thurs April 26 10.2 Miles 1480′ 1:22 Doubled the power line trails, feeling okay on the first loop, and very mercurial on the second pass. Nothing specific seems to be dragging me down, just generally not feeling fast.

Friday April 27 5.1 Miles 740′ 39:35 Finally feeling okay, not particularly great, just, fine.

Saturday April 28 11.6 Miles 1500′ 1:43 Allamuchy trails, and certainly the most ambitious run of the week. This morning was the first time all week that I genuinely felt like a well-trained runner. It’s also the first time of the year that I deliberately avoided power-hiking the steepest sections of the trail (which, for all intents and purposes should be hiked, it’s arguably as fast, and less stressful on the legs). The overall time is probably on the lower-end of average for the past several months, and ~5 mins slower than my course PR. That being said, I wasn’t particularly trying to push today, but mostly concentrating on consistency of effort, and trying to enjoy myself after a week of definite slogging.

Totals: 43.2 Miles, 5940′ Vert, 5h51m

By a long shot, the fewest miles I’ve run in a week since the first of the year (~60% of my average weekly tally). In spite of the obvious slogging both mentally and physically over the course of the week, I think it was still relatively productive. Some consistent GI discomfort has made me surprisingly comfortable with the inevitable fact that I don’t have the strongest stomach. I’m also relatively comfortable, and confident in the fact that I can continue to run (usually relatively well….) when the wheels begin to fall off, and I begin to certifiably feel like crap. Also, by running shorter distances this week, I’ve really begun to notice how long it takes my body/legs to warm up, and feel comfortable, which I think had a lot to do with the general unease in my five mile trips (it tends to take at least 5 to start feeling good.. minimum 30 minutes of movement). With that in mind, the next week is going to be even more severe of a taper, hopefully with a little bit of a concentration on some inclines, in an attempt to relieve the remainder of my lingering soreness, without compromising any fitness.

Summary April 15-21

Sunday April 15 1 Mile, 7:52 My legs are still feeling pretty beat up, and with Saturday being the last concert of the season, complete with all of the associated after-party-effects, doing very much running today just wasn’t in the cards.

Monday April 16 AM 10.1 Miles 550′ 1:19 Usual road loop around town. Typically I like this as a tempo run, but with some latent fatigue/soreness, moving “quickly” requires hurculean effort, and that’s assuming that I can run with any sense of quickness on my legs as they feel presently.
PM 1 Mile Barefoot 8:44 Nothing seems to cure the leg soreness than a bit of barefootin’

Tuesday April 17 AM 10.2 Miles 1480′ 1:23 Aside from struggling with the unseasonable heat, this felt like a pretty good jaunt through the power line trails. Legs are still a bit soggy, not quite 100% but feeling generally better than the past couple of days.
PM 1 Mile Barefoot 9:06 Trying to be more diligent about letting my characteristically tight left achilles tendon release fully to the ground, which, when I’m succeeding, generally leads to less soreness in the lower calf as a whole. (note: I’ve tried to concentrate on this while wearing zero-dropped “barefoot” shoes, but nothing seems as effective as going unshod)

Wed April 18 AM 1 Mile Barefoot Typical Wednesday, long day, keep the streak alive… see above for barefoot justification.
PM 2 Miles 14:39 I suppose moving a bit at the end of the day could help flush some of the mucky muck out of my legs.

Thurs April 19 AM 5.1 Miles 740′ 39:38 Quick jaunt up the power lines, everything is feeling normal, almost good (well, as good as it can when you’ve been stacking miles without a proper break for 4 months)
PM 9.2 Miles 700′ 1:11 Columbia Trail and outer loop of Schooley’s Mountain. Fantastic afternoon, albeit a tad on the warm side. Running uphill felt surprisingly strong, and I’m beginning to get more used to the summer-esque weather, and associated shirtlessness, brow dripping with sweat, and insatiable desire to jump in nearby streams (but they’re still cold, so maybe in a few weeks). I finally brought a camera with me, but to my chagrin, when I reached the summit, two young lovers decided to treat it like an hourly rate motel room, which… was rather hilarious, but robbed me of photographic opportunities, as well as a chance to thoroughly enjoy the view.
PM Part Deux 5 Miles 360′ 35:08 Broken shin loop at an unusually quick tempo. I’m unsure of exactly how we ended up dropping a minute per mile on our usually low-key ~8min pace Thursday night recovery run… I can only presume that with Dave having just run Boston, Jeff being en route to a <3hr marathon, and  Bob aggressively training for 5/10k's that no one thought twice about running faster. I'm pretty sure Jeff landed a CR in the 34:xx range, and all 4 of us PR-ed… not a bad "recovery" run

Fri April 20 11.6 Miles 1500′ 1:46 Allamuchy loop. Feeling generally like crap, heavy legs, tired, lethargic, hot, fundamentally every imaginable runners discomfort seemed to rear its head within the first 2 miles. Such, I suppose is another day on the trail, be wary he who feels too comfortable.
 PM 1 Mile Barefoot 9:02 Typical shakeout-like thing

Saturday April 21 15 Miles  1300′ 2:03 Road loop with a power line extension. Again, feeling like complete and utter shit. I think everything is subject to a certain ebb and flow, and I’m encouraged by the fact that when I feel legitimately bad (sour stomach, legs made of lead, tired etc etc etc) I can still manage ~8 min pace.

Totals: 73.2 Miles, 6,630′ Vert, 9h54m

Overall, kind of a frustrating week, and at the risk of being obvious, last weeks 30 mile run, without fully recovering certainly weighed in substantially this week. Admittedly, I did try to capitalize on the residual fatigue, and have never previously run this hard (or even remotely close to this hard) immediately following an effort of that length (both time, and distance). With that in mind, I really can’t be too frustrated, I did set a PR on the Broken Shin loop, and had some reasonably good runs, ion fact, none of my “bad” runs were even remotely close to my SKT (slowest known time) but rather were just on the high-end of average pace (or perhaps a few minutes slower than average…).  As for what’s next? I think I need to do some serious foam-rolling (and “The Stick” using) and have a beer. Next week begins some “front” tapering, where I’ll probably concentrate on some more highly specific terrain, but with a bit lower gross mileage, so that I’m only moderately sore leading into the taper proper.

Master Chef

Thinking Space

Summary April 8-14

Sunday April 8 5.1 Miles, 740′ 39:25 Easter Sunday, and feeling unusually sore from the previous days effort. In fact, I can’t recall being this sore after a 20-ish mile run in quite some time. Noticeably, my times have been getting faster, and I’m sure that the moderate increase in tempo has been both advantageous, and the root of my lingering soreness.

Monday April 9 10.1 Miles, 550′ 1:17 Running through the local roads. relatively typical time, perhaps a couple of minutes slower than my usual splits. Nothing particularly substantial, although I have found that running up-tempo-ish road miles in  a zero dropped shoe seems to be good for tightening up form, and working my lower legs a little more than my typical 4mm dropped trail shoes.

Tuesday April 10 5.1 Miles, 740′ 39:57 Exhausted, in fact, unreasonably exhausted. I can’t pinpoint any major change to lead to such a degree of fatigue, so, listening to my body, I took a rather light day (especially considering the lack of other commitments).

Wed April  11 2 Miles, 14:18 Wed is an extraordinarily long class day, so a quick couple of miles before I set off to campus was all I had time for.

Thurs April 12 15.2 Miles 1340′ 1:50 Tempo run on the roads with 5 miles up up-tempo trail tacked on to the end. In the front 10, I dropped 4 minutes off of my previous course PR, which is no small feat. This was also one of the first runs where I didn’t NEED to hydrate/fuel but chose to do so to practice eating on the run, and carrying a handheld. While I’m intent on maintaining my “rule” of not bringing food/water for anything that’s <2hrs (really I don't take anything unless I expect to be in at least the 2:30 or greater zone…) it was very nice to not have a dry mouth, or any drops in energy.

Fri April 13 30 Miles, 2700′ 4:06 Finally, a true “long” run. I ran mostly on the Columbia trail, with two sets of Schooley’s Mountain loops. This was the first “fully” fueled run in a very long time, although crewing from my car is much less than ideal for hydration purposes (and I’m still only consuming 1 GU per hour, at maximum, compared to 1 every 30 mins during race conditions). I did find out that the bathroom in the park was open at around the 3 hr mark, which was enough of a morale booster to keep me feeling great through the final hour. While the soreness from this run is still lingering in my legs (3 days after) I’m very pleased with the time, and general comfort level over the course, especially having run rather hard the day prior.

Sat April 14 3.2 Miles, 24:13 Total recovery run, rather happy with how my legs felt, which I can only describe as somewhere far below good, but definitely not like complete crap. Tolerable, really, not overly heavy, although going much faster than ~8 min pace was definitely not a possibility.

Totals: 70.7 Miles, 6070′ Vert, 9h11m

A week without doubles… This is really my only substantial complaint looking back at the week in review, although I did seem to have rehearsals/class until rather late most nights, which was certainly prohibitive with regard to getting myself out a second time for some shaking out. Vert was also rather low, which is of some moderate concern going into the NF 50, and with the next couple of weeks looking extraordinarily busy, I’m not expecting to be able to get onto any more serious trails between now and the race, which means I’ll have to rely on some hill repeats (groan) and a bit of strength training (double groan) to boost my confidence leading up to the race. Otherwise, I’m still riding a bit of a high from Friday’s successful 30 miler, which is an initial confirmation that my training plan has been paying off.

No pictures, so enjoy some sounds from a couple of my buddies from college.

Summary April 1-7

Sunday April 1 AM 5.1 Miles 740′ :39 Traditional power line loop. I decided early on that on my shorter runs I should be trying to run harder than I have been the past several weeks. This decision was in part to break up the monotony, but also to try to train myself to run uphill as hard as possible, accelerating my heart-rate, and then trying to recover on the downhills while picking up momentum. Fundamentally it means run fast uphill, then much faster downhill, and convince yourself that your heart isn’t going to explode.

Monday April 2 AM 5.1 Miles 740′ 39:40 A little slower today, not feeling very “with it” but enjoying the downhills considerably more. There’s something very freeing about barreling down some technical trail at full speed, I think part of the thrill is knowing that the smallest misstep will result in a pretty killer faceplant…

Tuesday April 3 AM 5.1 Miles, 740′ 39:38 Pretty typical day on the trail, first split was very good, but the return up the hill felt rather arduous.
PM 5.1 Miles 740′ 36:58 ~25 seconds under my previous PR for this loop. Essentially I started out quite strong, and realized about 14 minutes in that I was over 2 mins ahead of schedule for a ~39min effort, so I tried my best to hold on, and kick in the final half mile. I’m pretty bad at keeping a mental log of what my actual PR’s are on a given course, so when I looked through the written log, I was pleasantly surprised (although I knew that if this run wasn’t a PR, it was close)

Wed April 4 AM 1 Mile 7:45 Streak keeping mile, feeling rather stiff, and tired, so the long school day seemed like a good enough excuse to lay off.

Thurs April 5 AM 11.6 Miles, 1500′ 1:38:36 Allamuchy trail run in the late morning. An astonishingly clear day, albeit a tad cold. I made it to the summit in :15 flat, which is pretty peppy, descended to the other side of the mountain in 7:16, at which point I realized that I was likely flirting with a course record here as well. Since I had taken Wed fundamentally off, it seemed like a good idea to test my legs, and plow through the remainder of the run at a quicker clip, besting my previous PR by several minutes.
PM 5 Miles 360′ 36:47 Snappy broken shin loop with the guys. Jeff and I took off pretty early in the run, and basically held onto a low 7min pace from there on out, no real kick at the end, just enjoying a steady tempo.

Fri April 6 AM 5.1 Miles, 740′ 37:23 Feeling especially spry today, not fast enough to break Tuesday’s time, but not so far off either.
PM 5.1 Miles, 740′ 37:37 Right from the start, my legs were feeling sore, heavy, and generally like complete and total crap. Continuing with the weeks theme of running hard(er) and my general training M.O. of running when I feel like crap, I wanted to see how fast I could run under these circumstances. Add in a little bit of indigestion, and some dehydration…. pretty solid.

Saturday April 7 22 Miles, 1700′ 3:05 Ran through the hills in Allamuchy for 12 miles, then met Gino at the trailhead, put on a dry shirt, switched hand-helds, and put another 10 on the Sussex trail, with the final 2 miles in the 7:15 range. Overall a pretty solid effort, albeit achy from the start.

Totals: 70.2 Miles, 8000′ Vert, 9h22m

Relatively low mileage (again) although I think the overall quality of my miles this past week was much higher than the previous two. I’ve also started experimenting with some additional fuel sources on longer efforts (in lieu of just GU) which proved very successful this morning, no low points, or energy swells. With some luck, I’ll be able to get another 10 or so days of higher volume training before I start to slowly cut back in taper, and allow my legs to recover (what do fresh legs feel like?). In spite of the low-ish accumulated miles this week, the increased speed has me at the time of writing feeling more sore than I have in quite some time, which I have to assume is going to be beneficial in the long-run (albeit uncomfortable right now).

Sometimes I need a bit of a rest…

Gino before we ran

Summary March 25-31

Sunday March 25 AM 5.1 Miles 740′ :42 Typical power line trail run, feeling a little bit sluggish, as the clock obviously reflects. Legs have been feeling pretty good, but no motivation to push anything beyond a leisurely pace.
PM 1 Mile Barefoot 8:35 Enjoying the chance to lose the shoes.

Monday March 26 AM 1 Mile 7:41 Long academic day, trying to keep the streak alive.
PM 1 Mile 8:11 Seemed like I should at least TRY to get out twice, even after spending several hours after rehearsal celebrating a friends birthday (with all of the associated libations) lets call it a gumption-harnessing mile.

Tuesday March 27 AM 18 Miles 1125′ 2:20 Road running through town, for some reason I lacked the motivation to drive to a trailhead to run for a few hours. Occasionally it seems a lot less like a daunting task if I can remove the commute (even though that commute is <15min) for a longer run. The nice thing about the road runs is that I feel less inclined to bring as much Gu/Fluid, which certainly helps me train my body to run slightly dehydrated, and burn fat more easily.

Wed March 28 AM 10.3 Miles 1480′ 1:27 Doubled the power line loop, keeping the pace relatively relaxed. It’s becoming apparent that a big part of this whole “high mileage” thing is slogging through the mundane monotony of getting out for some reasonable mileage on a daily basis.

Thurs March 29 AM 10.3 Miles 1480′ 1:26 Same vibe as Wednesday, starting to feel some of the slog setting in, especially as my motivation/energy levels continue to wane.
PM 1 Miles 8:04 Evening shakeout. ‘Nuff said.

Fri March 30 AM 20.4 Miles 2030′ 2:41 Ran an up tempo road course through the town for the first 10 miles at ~7:20 pace, then followed it up with a doubling of the power line loop. For the first time in a while, I’m beginning to regain some sense of flow, feeling more like I’m floating over the trail than running it. I also managed to negative split on the 2nd of the two power line loops, without trying to, which is rather encouraging.

Sat March 31 PM 8 Miles :57 Joined Jeff and Dave for a run on the Columbia Trail, unfortunately, due to the rescheduling of a dress rehearsal, I had to bail out early so I could shower, and suit up for the concert.

Totals: 76.1 Miles, 6855′ Vert, 9h58m

March Totals:  382.9 Miles, 38,905′ Vert 42h25m

 Not the highest mileage week, I’ve been feeling inexplicably tired, lethargic really, and my motivation is beginning to wane. This, compounded with increased academic responsibilities, gigs, and the ever-failing attempts to maintain a social life that’s semi-representative of the 20-something that I am has been making more substantial mileage a real stretch. Overall, the month of March is my highest mileage in a calendar month to date, which I suppose is something I should be celebrating, but instead I’m slightly concerned/embarrassed at the lackadaisical approach I’ve had over the last two weeks. With this 50 mile race looming over the horizon, as well as some tapes to make, and papers to write, I’m expecting April to be a substantial grind. Hopefully the next couple of weeks I’ll be able to maintain a respectable amount of mileage, grind through the monotony, and complete a couple extra-long runs to test out some nutrition/hydration issues before the race.

Summary March 18-24

Sunday March 18 AM 5.1 Miles, 740′ 41:33 Easy morning run across the power lines, not really concentrating on anything in particular, just trying to log some miles, and hit up the hills a bit.
PM 1 Mile 9:31 Barefoot Typical shakeout, trying to slow these down a bit now that it’s warmer (and thus more tolerable on the feet/body when going out at the end of the day) concentrating on efficiency, and foot placement…

Monday March 19 AM 5.1 Miles, 740′ 41:46 Early wake-up run, nothing particularly notable…
PM 5.1 Miles 740′ 44:00 Ran as the sun was setting, making for some pretty cool sunset views (portions of the trail point almost due-west). The sun had completely set almost precisely at the first turnaround point, making for a headlamp-oriented trek back, which was surprisingly challenging, and made for some extremely questionable footing.

Tuesday March 20 AM 5.1 Miles, 740′ 41:08  Feeling rather run-down, normally I try to do a more ambitious run on Tuesdays, but even getting out for 5 miles seemed like a pretty large task. Average pace, nothing extraordinary about the run, other than my general sense of lethargy.

Wed March 21 AM 1 Mile, 8:47 Barefoot Long class day, had to make sure I got a run in early, since my motivation after a 12 hour day is always questionable at best.
PM 4.1 Miles 175′ 28:00 Up-tempo short run, didn’t particularly plan on going fast, but I left the house pretty quickly, and almost immediately hit a moderate downhill, then just tried to hold onto the cadence/stride length for as long as I could… not bad for a week where I’d been feeling certifiably like crap every time I laced up.

Thurs March 22 AM 11.2 Miles, 1300′ 1:46 Ran to, and around Schooleys Mountain, I had originally planned to do 4 loops of the mountain, instead of the 2 I typically do, but dehydration hit me rather early in the run, as I’m definitely not used to the ~70 degree weather we’ve been having lately. Did get some decent sunburn on my shoulders however….
PM 5 Miles, 360′ 36:13 Snappy broken-shin loop. Didn’t necessarily plan to run this quickly, but sometimes it happens. Also, afterwards, I managed to fit a foot-long sub, 4 slices of pizza, and several beers into my stomach… I think my legs may be hollow….

Friday March 23, 11.6 Miles, 1500′ 1:47 Allamuchy loop. I left relatively early, in an attempt to beat the inevitable heat in the forecast, but even at 9am, my car’s thermometer was reading near 70, and left me dripping with sweat within the first 15 minutes. While I ran at what felt like a pretty hard pace, the total time says quite differently, it must have been the dehydration…..

Sat March 24, 20 Miles, 1080′ 2:36 Easy 10, hard-ish 10 with Jeff and Dave. This was Dave’s penultimate long-run in preparation for the Boston Marathon, and with the combination of a pace pickup at mile 10, and failing to bring anywhere near an adequate amount of food (only some gel chomps, and a bit of GU) and water (we brought none) should make for a pretty okay simulation of worst case marathon scenario (also, Boston gains ~780′ and loses ~1220′) so, if somehow Dave manages to not eat, and avoid all of the Aid stations, he’ll still be okay.

Totals 74.3 Miles, 7335Vert 10h20m

Pseudo-recovery oriented week. Right from the get-go, I was feeling fundamentally like crap every time I went out for a run. This of course, IS congruent with my general training plan, relying substantially on residual fatigue, and trying to get myself used to running when I simply don’t feel well/strong/hydrated/fed. The unseasonably warm weather (we seem to be about 2 weeks ahead of schedule) made for some rather substantial dehydration on Thurs and Fri, which is something I should be trying to get used to, and in my opinion, makes bonking seem downright pleasurable in comparison. On the brighter side, in spite of my generally low energy levels, my legs are feeling great, and the transition from burning sugar to burning fat (aka bonking point) is becoming a lot smoother. I can recognize the point where the glycogen supply is dwindling, and as a result of experience gained over the past few weeks, simply put my head down and keep moving until the new fuel source is stoked, and running smoothly.

Uphill

Beginning to look… Spring-ish

Allamuchy Summit

Summary March 11-17

Sunday March 11 AM 5.1 Miles 740′ 40:09 Usual Power Line trip, trying to concentrate on maintaining consistency of effort throughout the rolling hills/alternation of technical trails, road, grass, and mud. feeling pretty happy about the ~8min pace that seems to be the average for the course.
PM 1 Mile 8:15 Shakeout, playing around with the latest zero-dropped New Balance road shoes that I picked up the week before.

Monday March 12 AM 11.6 Miles 1500′ 1:39 Allamuchy in stunningly gorgeous weather. Mid-60’s with clear blue skies, perfect for running shirtless. I took a gnarly digger somewhere around the 7 mile marker, after failing to see a stick stuck in the ground in the middle of the trail, which according to the log book is the first time I’ve fallen since Jan 23, so, I figure I was probably overdue.
PM 4 Miles 730′ :48 Met up with a friend for an afternoon shakeout run through Allamuchy, this is the first time in a while that I’ve run at such a moderate pace, which was probably for the better, I think this is something I should try to integrate more often, rather than running hard all of the time.

Tuesday March 13 AM 11.6 Miles 1500′ 1:42 Another stunning day on the mountain, I took off my t-shirt well before reaching the summit, making the fact that I even wore it to begin with seem abundantly silly, I suppose I need to get used to it being warm, and what the clothing requirements are going to be like….
1 Mile Barefoot 8:40 Hit up the local track on my way back home for a quick little shakeout, felt great to run on the track/grass for a bit.
PM 4.1 Miles 175′ 30:52 Night-time run through the neighborhood, trying to keep things loose, and keep my legs used to running without ample recovery time.

Wed March 14 AM 21 Miles 1300′ 2:56 Columbia trail and Schooley’s Mountain. The NF 50 involves a pretty substantial climb both at the beginning, and at the end of the race, so I’m trying to simulate it on my longer runs by starting out in my usual state of residual depletion, running up and down a mountain, then running for another hour or so, then running up and down a mountain again, this time on soggy legs. Other than the dehydration (~70 degrees) things went rather well, and the view from the summit was fantastic, sad I didn’t bring a camera…
PM 1 Mile 9:13 Finally, it’s warm enough to run barefoot in the evenings, I must have been pretty beat up, since usually my shakeouts are >9min pace….

Thurs March 15 AM 15.3 Miles 1300′ 2:10 Ran around town on the roads, at ~7:45 pace, then while deliberately under-fueled, headed up the power line trails (after a change of shoes) to try to hit up some vert/technical trails. Bonked really hard about a mile or so into the trail, but recovered by the time I made it back to the house, would have done another loop, but my ankle was being a little suspect, and the inevitability of a second bonk made hitting more trails seem like a recipe for injury….
PM 5 Miles 360′ :38 Snappy-ish Broken Shin Loop, Jeff and Gene were running exceptionally well, which made for a pretty nice kick in the last mile.

Fri March 16 AM 10.3 Miles 1480′ 1:26 Doubled the power line loop, added a few tenths at the end. The whole trail was exceptionally muddy, which much to my surprise, made it a lot of fun, and added to my confidence of the MT110 to gain purchase in just about any terrain.

Sat March 17 AM 15 Miles 500′ 1:55 Ran through Denville/Boonton/Mountain Lakes with Jeff. I was on pace for ~7:10 average until mile 13 or so, when some GI issues that had been lingering throughout the day finally came to a head, and forced a fartlek for the remaining miles.

Totals: 106 Miles, 9585′ Vert, 14h51m

 Overall, a pretty productive week, more miles in 7 days than I’ve ever done before, although, part of me thinks that I can more than likely do more both comfortably, and without substantial risk of injury (time/motivation etc providing of course). This also puts me at ~3 miles short of 200 miles in 14 days, making for a rather substantial prolonged effort as well (also 14 day PR). Overall, things feel rather solid, the usual list of minor discomforts that one would typically associate with higher mileage, but nothing is setting off any red flags. I’m getting rather comfortable with the soreness in my legs, as well as finding my bonk point to be a bit further delayed(running for ~2hrs today at an aggressive clip with no energy related troubles, just the GI issues). For the next several weeks, assuming things remain healthy, I’m going to try to stay around the same general mileage, but probably integrate a lighter day, and extend the long run in preparation for the upcoming 50 mile effort, as well as trying to hit a bit more concentrated vertical gain, and continue working on the impending bonk/hydration issues.

New Balance Minimus Road

Shirt as neckerchief