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, 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

IMG_2008
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

Maine

Saddleback Mountain 4,116′

Saddleback Mountain 4,116′ Photo: Some Connecticut folks…

Saddleback Mountain 4,116′

Descending from Saddleback>Rt 4 Via AT

Crossing from The Horn>Saddleback (AT)

Saddleback Mountain (4,116′) Overlooking The Horn (4,041′)

Saddleback Mountain overlooking Saddleback Pond (foreground) and Rangeley Lake (back left)
Saddleback Mountain (4,116′) in Weather

See above

Ditto

Rangeley’s locational claim to fame
Not a bad base for a few days…

Basically since the dawn of time (according to my families narrative) or maybe it was the 1970’s… but I think the dawn of time sounds way better (nevermind the fact that it precedes my birth… and in many ways, caused it) my family has vacationed in a little lake/mountain town in Maine called Rangeley.Wikipedia describes the area the following way:

 “Centrally located between the headwaters of both the Androscoggin River and Kennebec River, the town lies on the eastern shores of Rangeley Lake in the Western Maine Mountains. Smalls Falls, lying just south of the town on Route 4, is a popular tourist destination. A sign in town notes that Rangeley is halfway between the Equator and North Pole.”

You see, my parents actually met in this small New England town while vacationing with their respective best friends, and stories of their vacations throughout their teens and twenties pepper the narrative of both their courtship and eventual marriage, as well as the several years preceding my brothers birth. These stories provided a remarkably solid baseline for the obvious opportunity for adventure that the proximity to mountains, and large bodies of water combined with a relative lack of modern conveniences (internet and cell-phone service even these days are erratic at best) can provide.

For a few weeks every summer since I was a teenager (we did take a vacation hiatus for a while, checking out several different destinations during my adolescence before landing back in Rangeley) My family spent their time floating on the lake, hiking local mountains, and when I got older, drinking whiskey beside a fire pit. These days however, I’ve been much more prone to taking advantage of my families vacation for its proximity to great Mountain running, most notably Saddleback Mountain, which lies only a few miles out of town, and boasts a relief of 2,446′.

While I won’t bore you with the gritty details of the running, I’m pretty proud of the cumulative Vert of 30,200′ in 5 days running, complete with 5 summits of Saddleback Mountain, 2 Summits of The Horn, and a rather dead-legged circumnavigation of the lake (24 miles, 6,300′) in that time frame. Unfortunately, it seems to have been a little more than my body would have liked, and has left me with a few niggles that I’m sorting out at present, but I should be back at full volume in a few days, complete with returning to regular posting.

Summary July 8-21

Monday July 8 AM 10 Miles, 2960′ 1h19m 
Usual double-power-line loop, average pace
PM 4 Miles, 350′ 31m26s 
Shakeout-ish evening run, nothing particularly special, just a cop-out sort of way to get a few extra miles in.

Tuesday July 9 AM 7 Miles, 980′ 49m12s 
Pretty normal around-town pavement session, settling into a pretty regular 7-ish minute pace on the route, which feels relatively easy on this particular route, for whatever that’s worth, I guess the consistency is nice though.
PM 8 Miles, 2360′ 1h7m 
Kittatinny State Park with the Salt-guys. I was expecting to take it relatively easy this particular night, but on the second half, Adam decided to give me a reason to breathe a little heavier. It’s strange running with a target on your back, and not something I really like to do when I’ve mentally planned a lighter effort… but I guess my inner competitor really doesn’t like being out-done… or something to that effect.

Wed July 10 AM 5 Miles, 1480′ 40m49s Really crappy feeling power-line loop… but at least I got to see Phish in the evening (dancing counts towards mileage right?)
Set 1: Llama, Wolfman’s Brother, Sample in a Jar, Julius, Halley’s Comet > Bathtub Gin, Lawn Boy, Ya Mar, Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan, Theme From the Bottom > Suzy Greenberg
Set 2: Crosseyed and Painless > Harry Hood > Axilla > Sand > Light> Good Times Bad Times > Slave to the Traffic Light, Rocky Top > Cavern
Encore: Possum

Thurs July 11 AM 10 Miles, 1100′ 1h14m
Snappy-ish neighborhood road run. I really need to start harnessing the gumption to really crank down the pace on this route (PR is somewhere in the 1:04:xx range) but it seems like the best I can muster is going out on the roads to save the few minutes that the power line loops cost me in vert/technicality.
PM 8 Miles, 1020′ 1h9m
Really miserable feeling run with the Highlands guys… first 4 or 5 were okay, but wheels fell off hardcore…. c’est la vie.

Fri July 12 AM 3.3 Miles, 2440′ 39m59s 
Intended to run some serious repeats on Tammany, but my legs had absolutely no pop, and my stop on the summit almost turned into a nap on the summit… I probably could have eaten a clif-bar, napped in my car and headed back up the mountain for the afternoon, but realistically I just wasn’t feeling the vibe… and spent the whole ride home knotting my fists about the complete waste of gas it was to spend twice as long in the car as I did on the mountain.

Sat July 13 AM 10 Miles, 1100′ 1h15m 
Another road-jaunt
PM 7 Miles, 940′ 50m 
Ditto

Sun July 14 AM 7 Miles 940′ 52m28s
Shitty road run

Totals: 79.3 Miles, 15,670′ Vert

Monday July 15 AM 10 Miles, 2960′ 1h19m
Pretty normal/consistent run through the power-lines
PM 5 Miles, 1480′ 38m42s
Finally feeling like myself on the power line trails, starting to (finally) get used to the residual fatigue/general slogginess that has been my legs for the past several weeks, which means that I can more easily grunt through the  annoyances.

Tuesday July 16 AM 10 Miles, 1100′ 1h16m
I’m trying to work some roads in mostly to pretend that I’m going to run them at a faster click, but in reality I doubt the 3-4 min total difference between the road 10 miles and the power line 10 miles is doing me any favors… maybe the repetitive motion of road running has some validity?
PM 7 Miles, 1180′ 50m 
Kittatinny State Park with Mike. Really cranked things a lot faster than I was expecting, in fact I was working as a serious anchor for a good portion of the run. It’s great to learn some new trail systems however, as well as pretend I can hang on the heels of a proper NCAA athlete.
3Mins barefooting in the field as cooldown

Wed July 17 AM 5 Miles, 1480′ 38m23s
Kind of crummy feeling morning run, tired, laggy legs led to cutting things a bit short.
PM 1 Mile Barefoot 9:03

Thurs July 18 AM 10 Miles, 2960′ 1h18m 
Reasonably good feeling run on the power line trails, Maybe it’s the increased familiarity with the course, or perhaps it’s just the return to consistent moderately high mileage (which my mine and body seem to really jive with) but I’m feeling a greater sense of comfort with the heat, as well as the hills, not that I’m working any less hard, but rather that the sustained effort is becoming routine.
PM 6 Miles, 720′ 46m6s
Broken Shin loop with an added mile beforehand. My legs were feeling kind of crappy, but my mind/stomach were in good shape which allowed me to push pretty well, especially up the hills.

Fri July 19, AM 10 Miles, 1100′ 1h14m 
Usual road route, a little quicker than in recent weeks, but still long-off from what I’m capable of… the urge to really crank this route is growing…
PM 2 miles, 14m47s 
Easy little shakeout.

Sat July 20, 20 miles, 3200′ 2h48m
Allamuchy loop with an added extension on the rail trail. Super-hot and humid, for the past several weeks has left all of the streams I usually cross completely dry, which meant no respite from he oppressive heat of the day until I got to Cranberry Lake… which unfortunately reminded me more of my bathtub than a swimming hole. I also rolled my ankle a twinge coming off of the overlook, which caused me to re-evaluate the course for the day (original course was going to have more tech/vert). Things feel fine at time of writing, but it was a bit of a scare coming off of the gnarly roll the same ankle had a few weeks prior.

Sun July 21 AM 15 Miles, 4440′ 2h3m
Power Line trails… slightly dehydrated, and generally uncomfortable. I had to really concentrate hard to not let myself hike the couple of steep inclines on the 3rd loop (remembering KOLB’s heroic effort at the VT 100 the day before helped (19:58:xx))
PM 8 Miles… Hash

Totals:  109 Miles 20,620′ Vert 

Finally back into the hundred-mile-a-week range. For some reason the 100 mile week has always been an unusually challenging arbitrary landmark… and something I’ve still only done a handful of times in the past several years. Realistically I’m pretty banged up today, but my legs seem to be shaking off the funk after a few miles, and really being able to dig in pretty well. I’d like to also get out and hit more “true” trails in the upcoming weeks, as well as generally increase my vert along with the mileage as I start to get more specific about some fall races.

Allamuchy Round 1

‘Muchy Round 2

Planning some August adventures

Summary July 1-7

Monday July 1 AM 10 Miles, 1100′ 1h17m 
Local run through the neighborhood roads. incredibly mediocre pace, really just feeling like my legs have been replaced with heavy bags of shit, or something to that effect.
PM 3.1 Miles, 23m32s
Short local 5k shakeout-type-thing again with the generally crappy legs, I’m not sure what’s really going on insofar as my ankle is behaving normally, but my legs don’t really want to move at anything faster than the über-cliche ultra-shuffle.

Tuesday July 2 AM 10 Miles, 1100′ 1h15m 
 Another stab at the around-town-ish 10 mile loop, this time with a little more pep in my legs, and by pep, I mean there was a cute girl about a half a mile ahead of me on the long flat-ish section that neither my machismo nor my libido would allow to not be chased down… Legs still felt crappy, especially on the first 5 miles, but by the end, I was feeling surprisingly fresh, apparently it just takes me a long time to… warm up?
PM 6.3 Miles, 2080′ 58m Allamuchy Trails with the Salt Guys. Ran with Mike the whole time, albeit slightly embarrassed at how heavy I’m breathing on what he generally considers an “easy” run for the week. I suppose speed has different meanings when you’re talking about an 8k vs 83k…. either way, it’s great to get out and run with someone who can completely wipe the floor with you on the loop you’re running.

Wed July 3 AM 5 Miles, 1480′ 42m
Power Line trails… I meant to crank out a lot more miles in the morning, but general leg lethargy, dehydration, and the oppressive heat forced me to reconsider and basically promise myself that I’d make them up in the afternoon no matter how shitty I felt.
PM 10 Miles, 1100′ 1h17m Really just a slog of a run through the town. Still being a little wary of lateral movement on my ankle after the previous weeks sprain, but under the impression that if I continue to crank out some pavement sessions I’ll be able to salvage a lot of trail-strength, and perhaps get quicker in the interim without causing any real problems re: the sprain. Unfortunately, in NJ during this time of the year it’s almost always oppressively hot, like sweat just sitting still in the shade kind of hot, so even if my legs weren’t feeling like complete and total dog shit I doubt I would have been able to run substantially faster… jumping in the river ~2 miles from my house was pleasant however.

Thurs July 4 AM 10 Miles, 1100′ 1h17m 
I guess 1:17 is my groove this week… sunrise from the town ridge looked promising leaving the house, but by the time I gained the vert clouds had come in and fundamentally ruined my potential for a kickass view. Otherwise, I’m just glad that my 4:45AM alarm worked and got me out for a jaunt before sitting in a chair all day preventing children from drowning in the lake.

Fri July 5 AM 13.2 Miles. 9760’2h48m 
Quadruple Tammany Ascent/Descent. This was partially because I can, and partially a test for an upcoming race that I’ve yet to officially register for (but am 90% committed to… mentally that is). Basically I wanted to see how my body/mind would react to several repeats of an unusually steep hill (for NJ) in some gnarly heat. I managed to get through on ~300 cal, 100oz of fluids, and 2 S! caps without any serious stomach or hydration issues, although it was seriously hot…

Sat July 6, 3.1 Miles, 23m20s
Compulsory 5k in the evening to make myself feel like I ran today. I tried to go out in the morning before work, but a major case of the trots kept me inside the house (I ran a half a mile and nearly crapped myself). I wish I could blame it on the beer, but I didn’t have any the night before… so I guess I need to start really dialing in my diet, since this is 2 weeks in a row where I’ve lost mileage that my mind and body would otherwise accept, but my sphincter seems to be reluctant to endure.

Sun July 7 AM 15 Miles, 4440′ 2h8m
Really no pep at all in my legs, which considering the abuses from Friday isn’t too surprising, but still a little discouraging with regard to the basic day-off I took on Saturday. Climbing wasn’t necessarily hard, but just weak, as if I was mentally/physically unwilling to push anything.

Totals: 85.6 Miles, 22,160′
Kind of a bum week as far as my attitude is concerned. I really don’t like to put in that much in the way of pavement-oriented mileage, but my general distrust of my ankle for the majority of the week seemed to have made it the only valid option if I was going to get anywhere near my preferred weekly totals. Skipping Saturday (basically) was also a bummer, causing me to fall way short of my projected 100 miles for the week, but c’est la vie, realistically there’s not much I can do about it. Fortunately, the quadruple Tammany run went rather well, and my ankle seems to have made it out completely unscathed, which is really encouraging going into this week, and further increasing my confidence with regard to some upcoming competition.

Tammany Summit

Recovery?

Sometimes I mess up the timer..

View from Tammany overlooking Minsi

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 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

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: 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…

Rebuilding

After spending the better part of May sitting on the couch complaining about how nice the weather is, I think I’m starting to turn the corner in my ITBS healing process. Unfortunately (for me) the only reliable way to properly recover from an overuse injury such as this is plain and simple rest. Of course, like any over-zealous 20-something, I managed to fail in my original attempt at resting, making it about 14 days without running before I restarted, only to run 6 miles of trail on my 3rd day back, successfully re-aggravating my condition (although much less painful than the initial flaring, so the resting wasn’t for naught). So, after that I decided that my best bet was to refrain from running for at least another 10 days, but begin cross-training as soon as things felt normal again (in a day to day walking stair-climbing sense of normal).
So this time around, I’m approaching my return to running in a very different manner. I’ve never been a fan of weight lifting, or the gym in general, but the obvious weaknesses in my hip abductors, as well as the relative weakness in my core yields a breakdown in my running form over a long mountain race, which is fundamentally unsustainable without some sort of intervention. So, following my mother’s advice (note: she’s a personal trainer, which makes her maternal concerns/advice a good deal more valid[or at least I’d like to think it does]) I’ve joined a Gym. Yes, I have begun to lift things up and put them down. My primary goal is, in the short-term, to salvage as much strength/fitness as possible through a combination of strength training, and low-impact cardio. In the long term I’m hoping to build more strength overall to stave off late race fade, and postpone the inevitable breakdown in form late in a race. With some luck (and diligence) this should help to reduce the likelihood that I find myself laid out again after a long racing effort, and should in turn reduce my injury rate in the long term.
As far as actual running is concerned, my plan as of now, is to begin running lightly in the upcoming week, increasing my mileage at an uncharacteristically prudent rate for at least the first few weeks while utilizing my new-found gym access to build some additional strength. I’ve also begun applying twice-daily therapeutic ultrasound to my IT band, which helps repair tissue on a cellular level by increasing blood flow, and breaking down scar-tissue. With some luck, I’ll be able to salvage some late summer race plans, and fully take advantage of a couple of New England trips I have planned in the next month.
Bonnaroo is happening this weekend, so here are some Jersey bred guys to kick off the summer.