Monday, June 24, 2013

Silver Rush Course Photos

The photos below are a picture album of the Leadville Silver Rush 50 course outlined in this link.

The photo above was taken along the County Road 6 climb, somewhere around mile 6 or 7. In the distance you can see Iowa Amphitheater.

This photo was also taken along the County Road 6 climb, this time looking back from the direction we came. I think that is Mount Massive in the background.

One last photo of the climb along County Road 6 looking at Iowa Amphitheater.

Taken at the summit of the initial climb overlooking a valley below. You are at 12,000 feet here so there are no trees.

A photo of me at the summit of the initial climb -- to my left is the decent toward Printer Boy.

This is a good photo as you can visualize the County Road 6 route down below and see County Road 2B in the upper right, heading downhill toward Printer Boy.

The crew descending into Printer Boy. To our left and down the hill is County Road 2.

This photo was taken along the private trail (near County Road 1A) about half way to Rock Garden aid station. In the background, you can see Turquoise Lake in the distance and the town of Leadville just below.

This is a picture from near the Rock Garden aid station, once again looking back west at Turquoise Lake and Leadville. Once again, that is Mount Massive in the background (on the left).

Me in the final snow field near the summit of the Ball Mountain climb.

Chuck showing how he floats on snow in his Hokas. Oh, and that is still Ball Mountain.

Here I am starting the steep decent into Stumptown from the Ball Mountain summit. You can see the Leadville mining district down below (sort of right in the middle of the photo), but you descend down the road and bend to my right before making your way into the mining district.  

Weekly Training Wrap - 6/17 - 6/23

This was an amazing training week! We headed up to Leadville for the weekeend to train. The total stats over three days were 42 miles, 10 hours, and 11K of vertical climbing.

On Friday, we ran the Silver Rush course outbound because it is the harder direction. We took a bad route early and missed one non-critical mile. And we were not allowed to take a portion of the course that is private (it opens only on race day). So we were roughly 2 miles shy of seeing the entire course. Here are a few of my thoughts about the course:
  • Altitude is tough! It makes you feels like you are struggling when you are not. Some of the big climbs were difficult to push my HR beyond Zone 1 because my mind and lungs were telling me to slow down. When the altitude sets in, I start to feel bonk-ish despite being hydrated and eating well. Unfortunately, a few days here and there isn't enough to acclimate to altitude, so you just have to learn to "deal with it" on these training runs.
  • Miles 14 - 18 outbound are hard. They are relentlessly uphill with some loose, technical trail. And, as I recall, they come in at a point in the race when it is getting hot (about 9 or 9:30 am). It seems the people that come in around 9 or 10 hours usually average somewhere around 13 - 15 min miles in this section. It will be important to stay positive and grind here. 
  • Miles 1 - 10, while relentlessly uphill, were not as hard as I remember. I think it will be really important to grind on these miles early in the morning while fresh and the temps are cool. Another benefit would be getting out in front of the crowd early because the top section of trail is wet and sloggy and people spend too much time trying to step around it all. It will be tough, but I'd like to average about 11 min miles in this section.
  • This course is always either uphill or downhill, that means it is a course that rewards patience and strength.
  • Based on Strava's vertical data, I am estimating that about 57% of the vertical climbing is in the first half of this race. It is very much a race to get in the second half if you stay patient and stay on top of nutrition and hydration. I nearly even split in 2011 despite having a lack luster last 14 miles. I'd like to negative split by about 15 minutes this year.

Friday total: 5 hours, 23 miles, 4500 feet of vertical

The next morning, five us climbed Mt Elbert to get some vertical training and high altitude mind control work. I felt the 2:20 ascent was only so-so. That said, we lapped everyone on the mountain that morning. My quads are pretty beat up from running down such a steep grade (20% in places).

Saturday total: 3.5 hours, 10 miles, 4500 vertical feet

Finally, on Sunday, Chuck and I ran Powerline to May Queen as our "easy" day. Despite overall fatigue and sore, tired legs, we made a respectable 48 minutes on the 3.5 mile, 1500 foot vertical ascent. Then we coasted into camp as our reward for a hard weekend of training.

Sunday total: 1.75 hours, 9 miles, 1800 vertical feet

In total, the weekend closely approximated the entire SR race (distance, time and vertical). It was a huge push and my legs are tired and a bit stiff as I begin to cut back mileage for taper. My ITB is still a concern and flashed some warning signs this weekend. I hope the reduced mileage and PT can keep it in a healing path these next three weeks.

Day Miles Notes
Monday 5Easy
Tuesday Off PT and Strength Training
Wednesday5 Easy
Friday23 SR Course Preview
Saturday 10Mt Elbert
Sunday 9Powerline to May Queen
Total 52About 11500 Feet Vertical

Monday, June 17, 2013

Weekly Training Wrap - 6/10 - 6/16

This goes in the books as a cut-back week since I dropped 12 miles from last week. But, I managed to increase the intensity with some hill repeats, MP miles, and race specific trail run (as part of a B2B). My overall trimp (training stress score) went up even with fewer miles. I started having some symptoms of ITB again on Tuesday and Wednesday, so I took two days off and started seeing a PT for some dry needling. The weekend went really well and I am hopeful I got in front of the injury this time.

This weekend we have 40 miles planned over 3 days in Leadville as we finalize our training for the Silver Rush 50.

Day Miles Notes
Monday OffBiking
Tuesday 7 Easy/MAF
Wednesday7 Hill Repeats
FridayOff PT and Strength Training
Saturday 16MP miles
Sunday 14Trail Run
Total 45About 4800 Feet Vertical

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Weekly Training Wrap - 6/3 - 6/9

Another solid week of training. Despite putting in a few more miles, my overall time and trimp score dipped a bit because of reduced biking, less trail miles, and easier trails. I still managed over 8K of vertical (closing in on 100K for the year) and a nice long, long trail run. And I put in a B2B with nearly 40 miles combined on Saturday and Sunday. If I can get there healthy, I think I will be pretty well prepared for the Leadville Silver Rush 50.

Day Miles Notes
Monday 8 MAF Running
Tuesday 5 Recovery
Wednesday7 GA Miles
FridayOff PT and Strength Training
Saturday 10Easy Trails and Incline
Sunday 27 Easy Run
Total 57About 8300 Feet Vertical

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Weekly Training Wrap - 5/27 - 6/2

Crazy good week of training, with two longs, fifty miles, and over 8K of vertical gain. My last four runs of the week were all accompanied by some really good HR scores, meaning I am fit. That means it is time for the hard work to begin. I need to do some harder efforts and step up my long runs another notch (one or two B2Bs and one or two four to five hour efforts). And, I need to get a little more specific, particularly in the realm of eating on the run and heat training. But, I have a shot at racing Silver Rush if thing continue like this over the next five weeks.

Day Miles Notes
Monday 17 Deer Creek
Tuesday Off Biking
Wednesday9 MAF Workout
ThursdayOffPT and Strength Training
Friday6 Easy Run
Saturday 17Deer Creek
Sunday 5 Easy Run
Total 53About 8300 Feet Vertical