Summary August 26 – September 8

Monday August 26, 10 Miles, 1,100′ 1h7m 
Neighborhood loop after a few days off trying to shake a niggle out of the lateral side of my right calf. Feeling solid on a moderately sustained effort.
PM 4 Miles, 350′ 32m40s Evening Shakeout

Tuesday August 27, 11.6 Miles, 3920′ 2h3m Pretty hard blow-up out at Allamuchy, after a few weeks of unseasonable coolness, August decided to return to let me know how little of my heat acclimation was still around.

Wed August 28,  3.3 Miles 2440′ 42m32s Singular loop out at Mt. Tammany, thunderstorms brought the fun to an end far before planned.

Thurs August 29, 5 Miles 360′ 38m29s Broken Shin Loop

Fri August 30 AM 6 Miles, 350′ 42m28s Easy road run through the local neighborhoods
PM 6 Miles, 1560′ 56m10s Tourne park with Brian. Taking things kind of easy for the afternoon in attempt to have some pep in my legs for Saturdays outing with some new folks.

Sat August 31, 18 Miles, 3000′ 2h18m I was invited by a neighbor of mine to join his marathon training group for some Saturday long runs, and all things considered, who am I to decline a chance to meet some new running partners. He described it as a training group for “2:50-3:05” marathoners, with no particular club affiliation (which is always nice) It did turn out that they’re loosely associated with Runners Haven (the stores owner is one of the founders of the training group) which is a local mom and pop style running store, and a rather nice one to boot. Everyone was remarkably friendly, as well as consistent throughout the run, which took us all over Randolph including the towns trail system and some pretty gnarly-steep road climbs.Overall things felt pretty good, although I should have probably hydrated a little more effectively, as the last 5k or so felt pretty tough.
18 mins (2 Miles) Barefoot

Sunday Sept 1, 7 Miles, 940′ 50m
Surprisingly banged up from he previous days 20, c’est la vie

Monday Sept 2, 2.5 Miles, 18m
Treadmill workout (thunderstorms) before I got called into work mid-stride.
PM 4.6 Miles, 1340′ 44m41s Tourne with Brian… turns out that it was stormy at the pool as well, so we decided that we might as well go running.

Tuesday Sept 3, 15 Miles, 5100′ 2h33m Dunfield Creek>Next Fire Road Via AT and back. I forgot how gnarly a lot of this terrain really is, which really seemed to slow me down, nevermind the fact that it was a pretty serious net-gain (~1000′ pos diff). I would have been able to make up a good amount of time had I not rolled my ankle near Sunfish Pond and been reduced to a gimpy limp for the remaining 4 miles to my car (and thus losing out on one of the best sustained descents in the state). When I got home, my left ankle had swollen to the size of a baseball, and wouldn’t agree with taking on any weight.

Wed- OFF

Thurs- OFF

Fri Sept 6, 1 Mile, 7m44s
 Feeling surprisingly okay, no pain in my ankle, no sense of major distrust on lateral movements.

Sat Sept 7, 3.1 Miles, 20m44s Again, pain free…. maybe diving into hardcore recovery has worked out?

Sun Sept 8, 7 Miles 940′ 47 Feeling rather good, no pain, no additional swelling.

Overall, kind of a disappointing first week (volume-wise) and second week through a major curveball with the whole respraining my ankle bit. This is the third time this summer that I’ve rolled the same ankle, with each successive turn being marginally worse than the one that preceded it. Fortunately, I’ve learned how to appropriately deal with it, mostly a combination of Ice, Hot/Cold Therapy, immediate rehab with regards to maintaining/recovering range of motion, Arnica, and consuming a certifiable fuckton of pineapple, turmeric, and Omega 3’s (all natural anti-inflammatories). Right now, things feel solid again, and tomorrow evening I’m thinking of testing things out on some trail which will hopefully inform me enough to make my final decision regarding Mountain Madness at the end of the month (although at time of writing I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to toe the line in the shape I’d like to be in)

Kittatinny Ridge just North of Sunfish Pond

Coolers make the best ice baths

Tammany

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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 June 24-30

Monday June 24 AM 12 Miles, 3200′ 1h28m Allamuchy trails, with a snappy double-summit before succumbing to the heat and humidity, and deciding to take a less circuitous route back to my car. After chugging a liter or so, I got talked into another quickie with Phil, a runner I’ve run into on the trails several times in the past year, finishing out the 12 miles, and gaining a few hundred extra feet of vert.
PM 3 Miles, 24m Quickie shakeout around the neighborhood, soggy legs for sure

Tuesday June 25 AM 10 Miles, 2960′ 1h21 Rough run through the power line trails, shiggy conditions and not feeling like I have much pep in my legs. Humidity was also really killer, soaked my shorts within the first 5 miles, which is never really a good feeling that early in a run.
PM 7 Miles, 2000′ 58m Allamuchy Trails with the guys from Salt. Cool little club they have going on, including the obligatory post-run beers. We basically ran from the pub to the top of the mountain and back, which gave me a chance to run with Mike, an XC runner at St. Thomas Aquinas, who to no surprise of my own was able to run me rather ragged over such a short course. Having never really developed that sort of leg speed, it was pretty encouraging to see what kind of running collegiate athletes are capable of, as well as have someone to really push me on trail. I did unfortunately roll my ankle pretty hard on some technical terrain and heard an audible crunch not unlike the exaggerated knuckle-cracking sound from a shitty street fighting movie.

Wed June 26 1 Mile, 9m Ankle was feeling pretty djanky, so I called it quits before I did any real damage.

Thurs June 27 AM 7 Miles, 940′ 51m39s Road run through the local neighborhoods with the ankle feeling surprisingly stable, especially considering the egg-like shape it had taken on throughout Wednesday. Unfortunately, in the true sense of “when it rains it pours” my stomach was to understate heavily… disagreeable.
PM 3.5 Miles, 480′ 27:28 Started running with the Hashers, but quickly realized that my stomach was going to have none of it.

Fri June 28, AM 4.5 Miles, 860′ Meant to go out and do 7, but the stomach virus is definitely raining on my parade… felt generally shitty the whole time.

Sat June 29, 7 Miles, 940′ 48m21s A lot more like it… Afternoon run after my bowels decided to start agreeing with me again. Pretty muggy out again, but such seems to be the case with NJ summers.

Sun June 30 AM 7 Miles, 940′ 49m59s A little bit dead-legged, which isn’t very surprising, since my legs haven’t felt very strong since Tuesday, probably due to not eating very well, and the whole stomach virus deal.
PM 3 Miles, 1240′ 25m Snappy ascent to the top of Allamuchy (14m) and a reasonable downhill (11) I could definitely have run it faster, but I’m not wholly trusting in my still sort-of weak ankle.

Totals: 65 Miles, 13,920′

Generally not an awful week, all things considered I really shouldn’t scoff at putting 65 miles in the proverbial bank,  but having mentally committed to >100 in the same 7 day period I’m a little disappointed. In the grand scheme of things, I supposed that if I was going to get sick for a couple of days, and sprain an ankle this summer, it’s kind of fortuitous to have them coincide, mostly because is consolidates the time I’m unable to run, rather than making two separate occasions, nevermind the fact that I had mentally positioned June as a “rebuilding” month that would generally be devoid of any real workouts, and if all goes as planned should pale in comparison to the volume I’m planning for the next 8-10 weeks.

Allamuchy Summit #3 of the week

This hurt roughly 1000x more than rolling it did

Summary June 17-23

Monday June 17 AM 7 Miles, 940′ 49m10s Typical run through the neighborhood. I’ve been trying to dial in a more consistent road pace in the past several weeks, mostly because lingering MCL problems were keeping me on the roads, but also out of an inkling desire to hit the road for a “quick” marathon in the fall, which obviously is going to require some more consistent pavement sessions.
PM 3.1 Miles, 21m30s Short little shakeout 5k in the evening. Nothing particularly special, and definitely at a shakeout-pace.

Tuesday June 18 AM 10 Miles 3460′ 1h19m Ran on the power line trails before going into work. Ended up negatively splitting pretty hard (~3:30 over 5 mile loops) which was mostly a result of the obnoxiously long amount of time it takes for my legs to feel loose in the morning.
PM 3.4 Miles, 880′ 34m Quick little loop through the Tourne with Brian. TH is exceptionally close to my summer job, so I should probably get to learn the trails a little better by the end of the season.
PM 2, 2 Miles, 14m52s Little evening shakeout to keep the legs loose.

Wed June 19 AM 7 Miles, 940′ 49m Quick run through the neighborhood before I hit the road for the afternoon’s adventures.
PM 6.6 Miles, 4880′ 1h21m Double-summit of Mt. Tammany, I think I PR’ed on the first ascent in ~18:30ish, but unfortunately I haven’t been keeping good logs of my splits, something I’m going to try to remedy this summer.

Thurs June 20 AM 12 Miles 4950′ 1h51m TH>Summit(Tammany)>TH>Sunfish Pond>TH Crashed in my tent up at campsite number 2, then hiked back down first thing in the morning before running through the area. I probably could have run harder, but my legs were still feeling a little banged up from the previous nights run and subsequent hike. The final leg from the pond to the TH was in a blistering 31mins, complete with whooping and hollering at the sheer excitement of having 4-ish miles of clear technical downhilling.
PM 5 Miles 720′ 38m35s Broken Shin Loop with Bob and Mike, wasn’t expecting to run with any semblance of pep, so keeping it under 8/mile was kind of nice, and felt surprisingly good.

Fri June 21 AM 11.6 Miles 3000′ 1h50m Allamuchy, TH>Summit>Far Lot>Summit>Cranberry Lake>TH. Awkward combination of feeling great, and feeling kind of run down. Ascent legs were in great shape, even running portions that are usually steep enough to warrant some sort of hike, but flat-land legs were shot. Unintentionally ended up racing a mountain biker for the final 40ish minutes, and besting him by ~4 mins, which always feels good, bu overall kind of a mediocre time on the course.
PM 2 Miles 14m45s Quick little shakeout, really dead legs.

Sat June 22 AM 5 Miles 1480′ 40m47s Really dead-legged power line loop. Whole run felt like a pretty serious slog, no pep going up, no confidence going down.
PM 8 Miles, 2000′ 1:19 Semi-bushwhack, semi-trail run with Sean, Dave, and Jeff. Legs felt surprisingly poppy especially after the mornings deadness. Also took a pretty good digger on some embarrassingly wheelchair accessible trails.

Sun June 23 PM 7 Miles, 940′ 55m Wicked hot run, battling a sour stomach and generally dead legs (and maybe a bit of a gnarly hangover)

Totals: 89.7 Miles, 24,190′

First real week of trail running since Bear Mountain, and generally a mercurial one at that. On one hand it feels great to be back on the trails, reasonably fit, and able to move well, but after every layoff, no matter how small, there’s always that inkling about how fit you would be if you didn’t have to miss those days, or spend those weeks running exclusively on the pavement. Spending some time in the country has definitely been therapeutic, especially the 2 days up at the Water Gap with some tent-living in between. Hopefully my schedule will allow for some more overnight trips to areas beyond my usual stomping grounds as well as the chance to really dial in that Tammany ascent.

Campsite

Someone left a few prayers trailside…
Tammany on Thurs Morning

Crooked Allamuchy ascent

Taper report TNF Bear Mountain 2013

Oh wait, you’re supposed to down-train for an endurance race right?? You see, the problem for me when it comes to running is that I perform best when I feel fit, and I feel fittest when I feel tired… the more tired I am the more fit I feel. Of course this can sometimes lead to me feeling like super-man and running a training run like a super-old-man; which is probably why I need to taper. Also, something about glycogen, I think I read that somewhere. In a book. With pages. I’m not sure that I’ve ever gotten the taper thing exactly right… I’ve only done it for a few times… and one of those was for a race that didn’t even happen… I recall bitching about it’s cancellation with a whine of “BUT I TAPERED FOR THIS” but I’m pretty sure that I thought that replacing running time with beer drinking time constituted a taper… I’m not wholly convinced that this is true (but not wholly convinced that it’s not true).

You see, in addition to the very obvious correlation of my perceived fitness to my weekly mileage, a lot of other things are wrapped up in it.. Like my ability to handle stresses, an embarrassingly large part of my self-esteem, and my willpower overall. Since I’m obviously rambling, let me show you some charts to better elaborate my point.

First, here’s my actual Taper:

Here’s how that seems to work with my overall fitness:
Now, I can’t just sit around, and pretend to go to the gym, I obviously have other things to do, like prepare for a recital that I foolishly scheduled less than 24 hours before a 50 mile race…. Oh, and apparently I need to blog.

Running is obviously a big time and energy consumer, so obviously that time has to be spent on something, here’s a rough outline of how I’ve  been spending those extra hours.
The hardest part of the taper is that since I’m not tired, I can actually see how fit I am, but I’m not allowed to use any of this until Saturday.. This is like taking a fat kid, and putting him in a candy store with a hundred dollar bill, and saying you can’t buy anything…

 Tomorrow I plan to go out and run, because I do that every day, I’ll probably run for a half an hour… which is really the running equivalent of having “just one beer” it sounds good on paper, but in actuality it’s incredibly unsatisfying. Maybe I’ll do it barefoot, so I can pretend that it’s having some sort of positive effect on my biomechanics, but most likely I’ll run up a hill. With rocks on it. Then I’ll go and practice for hours on end, because I need to do that. 

Summary April 22-28

Monday April 22, 15 Miles 4440′ 1h57m Easy run on the power lines. The 2 hour run seems to be feeling really regular as of late, which is really encouraging. In fact, looking over the past several weeks it seems that most of my runs have been really consistent on the stopwatch, in spite of some pretty wide variations in energy levels and outlook.

Tuesday April 23, 1 Mile 8m Oh yea, about that consistency thing… apparently a nero is part of that deal. Frankly the whole really long, slow spring has been draining on me, so whenever the weather is cold/gross I just can’t seem to muster up the energy to get out for a run. My legs felt fine, but my head just wasn’t with me.

Wed, April 24, AM, 15 Miles 4440′ 1h57m Feeling really normal on the trails, and basically just trying to keep up my fitness levels without doing anything stupid like getting myself hurt. Been cranking around in a really busted up old pair of MT110’s, whose rock plate and mid-sole have seen way better days… which I think is helping inform my footing on technical descents, as well as making sure I stay light on my feet.
PM 2 Miles, 15m Easy road-jog to shake the legs out… feeling a little stiff this time around, and relatively exhausted after a long day at class.

Thurs April 25, 17 Miles, 2160′ 2h21m  Pretty relaxed road run on the broken-shin loop, albeit really low-energy. I positive split pretty heavily over the course of the run, which is probably due to a lot of latent fatigue in my legs, and a complete and utter lack of road mileage in recent weeks.

Fri April 26, 10 Miles, 2960′ 1h18m  Easy Power Line run, finally warm enough to don nothing more than shorts and a singlet.

Sat April 27, 15 Miles, 4440′ 2h Easy run on the power lines again…. probably the last “real” run before the TNF race next weekend. Finally warm out, which was wonderful, according to the sunburn on my shoulders. The heat also gave me one last chance to dehydrate myself before the race, and seeing as I only carried 20oz with me, and wasn’t totally spent by the end, I’d say I’ve done pretty well as far as training myself into becoming a camel this year.

Sun April 28, 5 Miles 1480′ 35m I figure that if I’m going to run less, I ought to run a little quicker, to you know, stay sharp or something
PM 1 Mile 9M Barefootin’

Totals: 82 Miles, 19,920′

I decided to lay off a little bit this week, realizing that I probably wasn’t going to be able to reap any real training gains from overdoing things this close to a race, but in actuality I would probably just end up making myself tired out. With the exception of the fundamental day off in the middle of the week, It was a reasonably good training week, and had I not thought that I should begin to lower my mileage today, I could have easily kept running for another 15 or 20 miles as things were really feeling solid. From here on out, it’s really just about maintaining confidence through my taper (and making sure I can be tired enough to sleep). I’m really happy with how the past 6 or so weeks have stacked up, an frankly I’m not sure I’ve ever been this solid on the hills and more technical terrain, which will hopefully carry through on race day.

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