Summary Jan 7 – 13

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Totals: 50.5 Miles, 7270′ 6h20m

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


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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


Recharge

I think for most people, the last few months of the year are always a logistical struggle. There’s the shortening daylight hours, holiday stress, obligatory beer guzzling, and for those of us in academia, the inherent stress of a semesters worth of procrastination peaking in a tremendous fury of papers to be written, tests to be taken, and TA duties to be attended to (after all, our politicians can procrastinate all they like, so seriously, could you expect any better from me?). This all combined means that I’ve either been too lazy to write, too lazy to run, ran too little to not feel like a poser writing about running, or just generally have decided that I am in fact boring and thus have nothing to write about.

That being said, in case you haven’t noticed, the blog is in a bit of an overhaul phase, and will continue to morph until I like it, sort of like Michael Jackson’s face, but way less good at producing pop music, and hopefully less likely to be the focal point of a South Park episode. Using the arbitrary restarting point of the new year, you can look forward to a few dramatic, and not-so dramatic changes. Running-wise, I’ve decided to change my “week” from a Sun-Sat week (a la calendar) to a Mon-Sun week. This comes after much deliberation regarding the separation of the weekend. Pretty much, I’ve decided that I do the majority of my long distance-running between Thurs and Sun, and I should probably keep those days within the same quantified week for logging purposes. Again, this is kind of arbitrary, but I think it’ll help me to better plan my weeks as a whole, and feel a lot less pressured to hit my “weekly” total on Saturday, then restart on Sunday, which I think led to some reckless running last year on my Friday/Saturday routes. I also plan to start counting vertical change as a “total” vertical change, rather than simply vertical gain. This should help to quantify my efforts a little more accurately (as well as make my numbers look less pathetic)

There will also be some additional cooking-oriented posts. Many of you already know that I’ve been a vegetarian for a long time (in fact, many of you have probably tried to convince me not to be over the years) and in looking at some running-related food sources I’ve concluded that recipe suggestions either are completely ridiculous, and require you living inside of a Whole Foods in order to cook, or are based on the idea that “hey, you ran today, eat some fricken cookies” neither of which are really my M.O. So with some luck, expect to see some simple, down-home vegetarian recipe’s that someone with little cooking experience and only access to the most basic grocery stores can make.

Summary Feb 19-25

Sunday Feb 19, 1 Mile, 8:31 Typical shakedown mile, figure I should take a couple of days extra light after the 8 day 117 mile effort….. things felt good, legs a bit heavy, but nothing unusual


Monday Feb 20, 1 Mile, 7:46 Same as previous day, it’s strange how lacking my life feels without substantial mileage… In spite of a full day of class/rehearsals/practicing/generally doing things I need/should be doing, the omission of a morning and evening run makes the day seem… empty

Tuesday Feb 21, 6.4 Miles, 270′ 50:49 Had to get some work done on my car, landed a ride back home from dropping it off from the shop, and relied on legs to retrieve it. Tried to add as much vert as I could en route to the shop, but alas, only a few hundred feet. Everything felt very soggy, heavy legs, and general lethargy, could have sworn I was running 9+ minute miles… but apparently I was an eyelash under 8’s…

Wed Feb 22, AM 5.1 Miles, 740′ 39:53 Power Line Trails, slightly up tempo, not pushing too hard since this is supposed to be a “recovery” week, Again, things felt relatively soggy, not particularly weak, but certainly not what I’d consider strong.
PM 1 Mile, 8:02 Usual evening shakeout, just trying to get back into my normal rhythm/swing of things.


Thurs Feb 23, AM 12.1 Miles 1650′ 1:48:26 Allamuchy Double-summit, although I foolishly took a wrong turn adding a half a mile, and some vert, you’d think that I would know the trail system by now, but apparently my autopilot is lacking. Beautiful warm day, and it feels fantastic to be on the mountain proper after a few days of not really running/hitting the pavement/running the local power line trails. Things still don’t feel 100% strong, but then again, I think I’ve completely forgotten what truly fresh legs feel like, and they’re certainly no worse off than what I’ve been dealing with for the past several weeks, so I suppose I should consider myself fundamentally recovered from last weeks mileage stacking PR.
PM 5 Miles, 360′ 36:54 Broken Shin Loop. I started out with the group but after about a mile… maybe an eyelash more, a cloud of darkness seemed to cloud my brain, causing me to simply take off up the hill. I’m not sure what exactly it was, but I seemed immediately confronted with my own interpretations of personal failures, inequities, and all other such things that seem to linger in the sub-conscious. Needless to say, I felt an insatiable urge to continue to rest of the run in solitude, and picked up my pace significantly to earn some space/enjoy the rhythm of a few miles run harder than I would have planned for the back 5 of a 17 mile day….

Fri Feb 24, 5.1 Miles, 740′ 40:14 Feeling a bit beat up from the previous day, and having a substantial amount of professional commitments to attend to throughout the day, it seemed like a good day to lay low, nevermind the rain, and subsequent shiggy trail conditions. I did, however, manage to stretch my ever-sketchy left ankle more than I’d like on a slippery rock, and convinced that I had rolled it, found myself running while cursing in torrents and knotting my fists, only to realize after several hundred yards that it was feeling normal.

Sat Feb 25, 15 Miles, 620′ 1:53:32 Up-tempo pavement session with Dave and Jeff. Legs felt certifiably like crap (although extended flat pavement sessions typically have that effect on me) but then again, running when my legs feel awful is a substantial part of my training plan. Having the company is certainly advantageous for getting my sleepy self out of bed in the morning, as well as sharing the burden of pacing throughout a run. Also, ankle felt fine, good sign.

Totals: 51.7 Miles, 7380′ Vert, 6h54m

It feels strange, and extremely self-righteous to say that a ~52 mile week is a down training week… even with 7380′ of vert. In addition to the mileage reduction, this week provided me with a noticeable amount of professionally-oriented stress, most notably agreeing to a Mock Audition in front of the Vienna Philharmonic coming up this Friday (3/2) which I’m still feeling substantially under-prepared for. This forced me to substantially increase my practice time (which was a bit easier to do given the mileage reduction, and abundance of energy I had as a result thereof) which is something I have no qualms with, but for reasons I cannot understand, I felt often overwhelmed both with the sisyphian amount of work I had to do, as well as consistently confronted with reminders of previous failures ranging from personal to professional to the fickle things, such as my mounting pile of laundry. As such, I’m forced to conclude that at this point in my life, ~52 miles in seven days is far too few for me to maintain a level head, feel balanced, and in touch with myself, my surroundings, my body, and keep my stress levels at bay. This being said, I don’t anticipate this upcoming week to be substantially better as far as base level stress is concerned, with a Mock Audition on Friday, an Audition to record, and a last minute orchestra gig on Saturday (there goes my chance to go for an indulgent weekend destination binge run!(but alas, I do need to pay my bills)) Hopefully an increase in general daily mileage will prove advantageous to my mental health.

Dave (left) and Jeff

Summary Feb 12-18

Sunday Feb 12, AM 5.1 Miles 740′ 44:50 Power Line trail, still obviously sore from the previous day’s 21 miler, but it’s good to get out and shake the legs, try a bit of vert, and hit some technical trail.
PM, 1 Mile, 8:18 Quickie form tuneup, making sure the feet/ankles feel loose and fluid.

Monday Feb 13, AM 5.1 Miles 740′ 42:52 Not feeling 100%, but nowhere near as beat up as Sunday morning, the way the body recovers never ceases to amaze me.
PM, 4.0 Miles, 230′ 31:35 Originally planned to do 6, but I ran after dinner, and little to my surprise, bean burrito’s are not a good choice for running food.

Tuesday Feb 14, AM 7.1 Miles 450′ :51 Woke up feeling unusually slow/lethargic, any sort of movement seemed to require herculean efforts, both physically, and mentally. After the 7 miles (of an attempted 10+) everything seemed to fundamentally shut-down, giving me a pretty good excuse to sit on the couch for the remainder of the day… sometimes, you just need to rest a bit.

Wed Feb 15, AM 10.15 Miles, 550′ 1:15 Snappy 10 miler at 7:30 pace, everything felt nice and fluid again, no extraneous effort to keep moving, damn it feels good to be a runner sometimes.
PM 2.0 Miles 15:53 Short little shakeout, a little faster than usual for these miles, but I wanted to see what it felt like to go quick-ish in a pair of VFF’s as well as confirm some stride-oriented suspicions that I wouldn’t have been able to do at 10 minute pace.

Thurs Feb 16, AM 11.6 Miles, 1500′ 1:49 Snowy/rainy/sleeting for the duration of my double-ascent of Allamuchy. I also had the distinct pleasure of crapping in the woods, something I haven’t had to do in a very long time (excepting backpacking trips, where crapping in the woods is your sole option) good thing I retained all of that knowledge from how to shit in the woods. Trails were getting increasingly shiggy, but the general discomfort of continuous precipitation (in spite of a hardshell) made the idea of a 20+ in this weather a grueling proposition for which I was neither mentally nor physically prepared.
PM 15 Miles, 1080′ 1:58:41 Tripled the Broken Shin Loop, timing my last loop to meet up with the Hashers totaling 26.6 miles on the day, with the last 15 at just under 8:00 pace.

Fri Feb 17, AM 11.6 Miles 1500′ 2:03 Wicked recovery run, everything is soft/sore…. ’nuff said.
PM 6.5 Miles, 740′ 59:28 I realized this afternoon that I was 6.5 miles short of running 100+ miles in seven consecutive days (Saturday the 11th-Friday the 17th) so I couldn’t not do it. Strangely enough, things felt great on the Power Line trail portion, although the final mile or so was a bit of a grind.

Sat Feb 18, AM 17 Miles 1280′ 2:20 Pavement Session with Dave. Trying to maintain low 8 pace for 17 miles after running as much as I had in the past few days (61.7 miles in 3 days) is certainly one of the more challenging things I’ve done lately. It’s amazing how much a partner can take the pace burden off of your shoulders, as well as prevent you from dropping to a walk when things get really tough. The whole run had several ups and downs, as my body is certainly beyond sore, and my glycogen supplies suspect at best.

Totals: 96.15 Miles, 8070′ Vert, 13h40m

All in all, a productive week, lots of mileage (100.15 if you go Sat-Fri, 117.15 in the past 8 days, 61.7 in the final 3) not exactly a lot of vert, but such is running in NJ. On running 100 miles in 7 days… well, that’s 20 miles greater than I’ve ever done in that time span, and while the actual time commitment isn’t that tremendous of a challenge, this sort of residual fatigue really wreaks havoc on the body, making my runs later in the week increasingly mercurial as I struggle to find some leftover glycogen stores/switch to burning what little body fat I’m carrying. Not to mention the sensation that someone has been beating my legs with a meat tenderizer for a week straight. More notable than the discomfort however, is the pure joy the past couple of days (61.7 miles in 3 days) have provided me. I ran in a snowstorm, and on one of the most beautiful afternoons of the year, through the mountains, and with a backdrop of the agrarian lifestyle that seems all but forgotten in society today. So while my legs may feel ravaged, and I’ve found myself still running beyond the bonk, it’s great to feel that alive, and in touch with myself/my surroundings. So after that effort, It’s time for a hoppy brew, a couple Nero’s, and then back onto the horse!

Snow Storm, Allamuchy

Same rock, 24 hours later

A man needs to eat…
Hoppy Brew! (Thanks for the recommendation Jeff!)

Summary Feb 5-11

Sunday Feb 5, AM 5.1 Miles, 42:04 Power Line trails, left calf/ankle has been sore, making technical terrain a little more difficult.

Monday Feb 6, AM 1 Mile, 9:32 Originally left the house to do ~5 miles, but my calf/ankle was really acting up, causing me to turn around at the half mile mark.
PM 2.0 17:02 Short shakeout run in VFF’s to try to diagnose the goings on in my lower left leg. Allowing the heel/achilles to fully relax seems to help a lot.

Tuesday Feb 7, AM 11.6 Miles, 1:42:43, 1500′ Allamuchy loop, powerhiking most inclines to take the stress off of my left calf. Powerhiking seems to be getting faster, as I’m losing very little time compared to when I run the whole course (~2-3 mins over 12 miles).
PM 2.0, 16:36 Continuing the shakeout, strangely, a slow-ish couple of miles at the end of day seems to really relax my left leg.

Wed Feb 8, AM 5.1 Miles, 38:42 Power Line trails trying to push the speed, new course record, and  positive I can run it much faster if I go all out.
PM 1.0 8:17 Neighborhood loop, cold roads are forcing me to give my Five Fingers a workout instead of going naked foot.

Thurs Feb 9, PM 1 5 Miles, 40:23 Broken Shin Loop with the guys, typical Thurs.
PM 2, 1.2 Miles, 11:00 John Needed to keep his streak alive, and traffic made him show up to the run just as we were finishing the five mile loop, so, Not to let anyone run alone at a social run, another mile tacked on for the streak.

Fri Feb 10, AM 11.6 1:45 1500′ Allamuchy loop. Mentally I had planned to use Fri/Sat as back to back 20+ mile runs, but halfway through the first loop, it was becoming obvious that doing a 20 today would be a total slog-fest. In spite of the week being relatively light, I’d been less than diligent with my hydration/nutrition, which seemed to catch up to me here.
PM 1.0, 8:23 Shakeout

Sat Feb 11, AM 21 3:18:18, 2900′ 21 Mile through Allamuchy with 1 crew stop at my car to replace a handheld, change my shirt, and grab a Gu. I often find that long runs done solo involve a tremendous amount of mental strength, especially when fatigue sets in. The run itself was very mercurial, ranging from about as tired as I’ve felt on a run, to several minutes later feeling great about moving through the woods, the body/mind are strange things (and how we operate metabolically is even stranger). In spite of feeling like I had been going rather slowly for the duration, I finished only ~1 minute behind my previous time.

Totals: 67.6 Miles, 9h58m vert 5900′

Strange week, with the nagging leg soreness, and fundamentally bailing out on two runs, but within the range of mileage I had hoped for, as well as surprisingly consistent times considering how slow I was feeling at times.

Split shorts in February…

Incline

21 miles in Snow…

Summary Jan 29 – Feb 4

Sunday Jan 29 AM 5.1 Miles, 44:14 Power Line Loop in minimalist shoes to recover from the previous days long run.
PM 1.0, 8:20 Shakeout evening mile to keep things loose, also run the “Butters” hash during the afternoon, but not recording it as proper mileage.

Monday Jan 30 AM 6.0 Miles, 44:19 Running local roads slightly up-tempo from my typical off-road pace, feeling a head cold coming on.
 PM 1.0, 9:34  I’m beginning to think these light evening miles are kind of important…

Tuesday Jan 31 AM 10.15 Miles, 1:15:05 Normal pavement 10 miler, definitely getting sick, and losing the motivation to drive to a trailhead.
PM 1.0 9:40 Finally it’s warm enough to run barefoot, although I’ve lost some of the toughness on the soles of my foot since the summer, it still feels great to lose the shoe, and get out in skin.

Wed Feb 1 AM 1.0 Miles 8:44, Wasn’t sure if I would have the energy/motivation to run again in the evening after a ~14 hour day in class/rehearsal/teaching
PM 3.21, 19:05 Mustered up the gumption to put a few miles on, and decided to go quickly, it’s nice to see that I still have some pep in my legs, and even better to think that I can run a ~5k at this pace and not feel like I’m particularly exerting myself.

Thurs Feb 2 PM  6.5 Miles, 55:28 New Shoes!!! I finally retired my MT101’s and replaced them with the “upgrade” MT 110, so far, this shoe is fantastic, the input from Krupicka and the Skaggs brothers has created a killer mountain shoe (more to come on this later, when I have a few more miles in them)
PM 2, 5 Miles, 41:19 Broken Shin Loop

Fri Feb 3 AM 5.1 Miles, 41:26 Power Line loop, testing the new kicks, and feeling like hell as a result of a gnarly head cold.

Sat Feb 4 AM 5.1 Miles, 43:22 Same loop, this cold is really bumming me out.

Total Miles:50.16   6h40m

Pretty light week(did I really just say that about a week that had 50+ miles and 12 separate runs?), although I think my body could use some recovery time, and the (still lingering) head cold definitely took some wind out of my sails. Didn’t track vert this week, as I’m still working on acquiring a reasonable means to do so. Otherwise, things feel pretty good, save for some lingering soreness around my left ankle, which apparently has still not regained 100% of its strength since rolling it last July. I’m also experimenting with some different nutrition variables, adding Udo’s Oil again, as well as some supplemental protein and vitamins to try to maintain higher mileage in the upcoming weeks without totally feeling like crap.

Lastly, here’s a video of a great band that a few of my friends are part of:

Summary Jan 22-28

Sun Jan 22, AM 10 Miles, 1:40:10 Snow covered Allamuchy. Spent the majority of the run breaking trail, and wishing I had a pair of microspikes since the traction was questionable at best. 3 separate falls, but I had the unique opportunity of knowing I was the only person who’d been out that far on those particular trails over the weekend, as well as being the first person to summit since the snowfall.

Mon Jan 23, PM 5.1 Miles, :45 Powerline Loop with a few added tenths, Rainy, Slushy, Muddy, Slippery, overall kind of a miserable day to be outside. 1 Fall

Tues Jan 24, AM 10.2 Miles 1:30:43 Typical Allamuchy 10 miler, missed a turn though, which added a few tenths. Snow was all but melted, but now things are getting muddier, making it hard to estimate when my shoe will find purchase.
PM 2 Miles 16:53 Short shakeout through the neighborhood, trying to flush some of the mucky muck out of my legs, and keep things loose.

Wed Jan 25, AM 6.0 44:29 Quick little road run, every-so-often I need the repetitive action of predictable terrain.
PM 1.0 8:06 Trying to reintegrate the evening shakedown mile(s)

Thurs Jan 26, AM 9.9 Miles, 2:17 Triple Ascent of Mount Tammany with Dave. ~3500 feet of gnarly terrain, throw in some freezing rain, a major bonk, and increasingly frowzy shoes, and you’ve got a pretty good time on your hands.
PM 5.0 41:19 Broken Shin Loop with the usual suspects Most of the run felt like a death march after the morning-time bonk, but a relatively reasonable time.

Fri Jan 27, AM 5.1 Miles, Powerline Loop, surprisingly quick, especially considering the abuse that my legs took the day before, had I not added the extra wee bit, it would have been a CR for the 4.85 mile course.
PM 1.0 8:21 Continuing the trend.

Sat Jan 28, AM 21 Miles, 3:17:43 Double Ascent of Allamuchy with a few additions. First time in months that I’ve run with a handheld for an extended time, and more importantly, first time since Oct that I’ve breached the 20 mile mark. Also worth noting, is that the last time I was out for >3hrs was December, where I ran for 3:08 and covered 6 fewer miles. Granted, that was a deliberately slow strength building run, but it’s nice to feel a sense of progress. Also, fell pretty hard on my hip during the second ascent, hopefully this won’t affect my running over the next couple of days

Totals: 76.3 Miles  12h 11m, 5 Falls, Vert ~10,000 gain and loss (approximation)

Overall, a pretty productive week. I’m rather happy with where I’m at physically, especially with how much time I have before any upcoming races. From here it looks like I’ll be trying to add more Vert (and find a better way to track it) and slowly add miles over the next few months leading up to the NF 50 at Bear Mountain. I’m also starting to integrate power-hiking as part of my trail running strategy, especially when it concerns steep inclines over fundamentally un-runnable terrain.

View of Mt. Minsi (from Tammany)

Dave’s downhill technique is getting awesome

Split shorts in January!?

Summit number 3

Also, some music I’ve been digging way too much lately… seems appropriate.

and secondly,

Tammany

I’ve got a fever, and the only cure, is more summits…. This morning Dave and I ventured the 45 minutes West to the Delaware Water Gap to tackle some technical trails, and some of the most condensed vert available within a reasonable drive. The loop to ascend Mount Tammany gains and loses roughly 1165 feet over the course of 3.3 rocky, technical miles, and the view across the Delaware towards Mt. Minsi and the rest of PA is arguably one of the best in the state.

The guide claims that the “hike” should take ~3 hrs to complete, although, through a combination of running/power-hiking, we covered the loop thrice in ~2:17, with the first lap at ~:38. By the end of the first lap however, we began to run into rain/sleet, which made footing more challenging, especially on the more technical terrain. By summit 2, it started to become apparent that I was substantially under-fed relative to my effort, and in spite of my consumption of a gel immediately prior to lap 3, I was unable to avoid the impending bonk. This means that Dave was subjected to a litany of incoherent rambles, songs, and caveman grunting throughout the third loop. Like most runners, I loathe bonking, but I’m more than acutely aware that becoming familiar with this degree of depletion is  important, especially with consideration of my racing goals. Having not hit the proverbial wall in quite some time, it’s nice to know that even when my legs are feeling heavy, and I’ve lost the ability to form complete sentences, my muscle memory can take over, allowing me to continue without a substantial change in pace.. Now it’s just a matter of seeing how far this autopilot can go for!

With ~3500 feet of vert under my feet today, I’m definitely feeling pretty depleted, as well as sore in the leg, making me wonder about the prudence of running the Broken Shin loop this evening with the Hashers… But, what’s another 5 miles!?!?

False Summit

Mt. Minsi

Dave does downhill

Descent!


C.C. Summit pose!

Faces made mid-bonk….
Not as flat as it looks

All photos that I’m in are courtesy of Dave Franz

Summary Jan 15-21

Sunday Jan 15, AM 5 Miles, 42:19 Broken Shin Loop with Limpy, Roadie, and Jeff Boy-ar-Dee. Met the guys for a frigid AM run, wish I had worn socks, and managed to freeze my beard pretty well… although, the companionship made the wind and unreasonably cold temperature a lot easier to deal with.

Monday Jan 16, AM 11.6 Miles, 2:04 Ran through Allamuchy with Dave, again, wicked cold (~8 degrees) but we covered roughly 1550 feet of ascent/descent over the course of 2 hours, without running particularly hard at any point (but managed to test some speed on a few technical downhills). We also took the time to take some rather contrived trail-running photos, and upon returning to the car, and changing, my jacket (a lightweight softshell) froze completely solid… I suppose winter has come….
PM 3.85 Miles, :40, Turkey Brook loop with Roadie, Jeff, and Hairy, a nice second run of the day, trying to stay loose, also wore uber-minimalist shoes to concentrate more on biomechanics.

Tuesday Jan 17, AM 4.85 Miles, 40:39 Power Line Trails, completely frozen over, making for a rather nice variety of rocks, and frozen mud, good traction, fast trail, I think this is either THE, or close to the fastest time for me on this route… eventually I’ll check the log-book and find out. Also, took a pretty great digger tripping over an embarrassingly small rock.

Wednesday Jan 18, AM 10.15 Miles, 1:16:04 Tempo-ish hill run through the local roads, running this route at mid 7 pace is becoming increasingly easy, I’m going to need to find a harder tempo run in the next few weeks… or pick up the pace substantially (still haven’t decided which yet)

Thursday Jan 19, AM 4.85 Miles, 41:02 Power Line trails… Ground has softened up a lot creating a strange combination of really soft mud, ice, rock, and frozen soil, footing is a complete guessing game. This variety of trail conditions is part of how, and why I run the same routes a lot, I may cover the same ground, but each run is fantastically different from those that precede and follow it.
PM, 5 Miles, 37:52 Broken Shin Loop, ran ahead of the pack, and then was chased down by Bob, power of ego overtook my better sense, causing this intended recovery run to be much faster than I would have liked.

Friday Jan 20, PM 4.85 miles, 44:16 I originally tried to run 10+ at Allamuchy, in fact I drove all the way there, stood outside my car for a few minutes, used the bathroom, and instead of running, returned home…. a  few hours later I pushed myself out the door for the Power Line loop, and ran the whole thing convinced that I was falling asleep

Saturday Jan 21, AM 10 Miles, 1:26:41 Ran through Schooley’s Mountain and surrounding Rail Trails during a snowstorm. This was by far the most challenging run of the year, mentally, physically, and especially with regard to the elements. The snow made for questionable traction(causing me to fall on level trail), as well as providing additional drag/forcing me to keep my knees higher than I would otherwise like, not to mention the constant head-wind, and snowfall pounding my face. There’s a beauty to the solitude of being the only runner out there in this sort of weather, and the challenges that face you while attempting to run trails under  these conditions.

Total Miles:  60.15 8h52m, Falls: 2 Frozen Beards: 4

Gino also has his beard frost over

Jeff around Turkey Brook

Dave and I on top of Allamuchy (Photo courtesy of Dave Franz)

Ice Beard at Allamuchy (Photo Courtesy of Dave Franz)

Descent is steeper than this shows (Photo courtesy of Dave Franz)

Finally, it snows

Downhill in the snow

Summit!

Summit Profile

Not quite postholing, but close…