Monday, July 28, 2014

Weekly Training Wrap - 7/21 - 7/27

Two weeks in a row of writing a training wrap... I must be training again?! Summer has just been nuts and time is flying by. This weekend we were up in Vail to do some rafting and watch my son play in a soccer tournament. Another four days of fun in the sun and I am exhausted! But, I found a way to squeeze in a nice mountain run on the Two Elk Trail in Vail (almost 5K of vertical in 19+ miles). That makes my second week in a row of a big mountain run to cap my week, so I feel good about that.  This week I am doing the Power of Four 50K trail race in Aspen. Almost 10k of vertical gain in 31 miles -- another BIG mountain run, which is good since that is what I am training for. With that race coming, I will be doing mostly easy running once again this week. Though I am starting to try and keep some structure (sprints and strides) in my daily routine. And, I am trying to do strength training at least once a week.

Looking back from near the Two Elk Summit

Great view of the Aspen Trees and some wild flowers

One of the two back country ski lifts I came across
Overall, July was somewhat off a cut-back month. (Do those even exist?!) I was down about 30% from my average of 250 miles the past three months and quite a bit less vertical (25K versus a three month average of 30K). But, as I suggested last week, I was prepared for that. Overall I made the most of the time I had available to me for the month and feel prepared to attack what I hope will be a big month in August.

Day Miles Notes
Monday OffRest
Tuesday 9Open Space
Strength Training
Wednesday6 Easy w/ Hill Sprints
Thursday9Open Space
Friday19 Two Elk Trail
Saturday 8Boneyard Trail
Sunday OffRest
Total 50About 7,900 feet of vert

Monday, July 21, 2014

Weekly Training Wrap - 7/14 - 7/20

Hard to describe training lately, which is why I have not written a post in a few weeks. The week after North Fork was always supposed to be a recovery week and a time to enjoy with my family on vacation. However, somewhere along the line I developed a few injuries in my right leg of the nagging variety. Most of them were present before North Fork and none of them bothered me during the race. But we did a ton of walking on vacation (probably 4-6 miles per day) and my right shin and knee really started to bug me. So, I backed off for an additional week in hopes of being prepared for training the end of July, namely on our training camp trip to Leadville. I logged a few miles early this week and then took a few days to rest before we headed up on Friday.

After arriving in Leadville early on Friday, we made a quick call to attempt an afternoon ascent of Mt Massive. We were within a hundred yards of the summit and turned back due to a storm coming right at us. We couldn't see the storm -- until we were near the summit -- because it was on the other side of the mountain. We quickly descended down, but it was too late as the storm was coming fast. Incredibly, it went right around us. We had a nice evening and camped out along Halfmoon creek and got up early do a double crossing of Hope Pass. Chuck wasn't feeling well and we got caught in another rain storm -- this time we hunkered down at treeline to avoid heavy rain, hail, and lightning. And, Tony lost his car keys on the mountain so we had to spend some time getting that situated. It was a long, long day. We got exactly what we wanted out of it, and may have even been slightly faster than I expected, but it was a draining day. We wound up breaking camp Saturday night and heading home, where I did an easy recovery day Sunday.

Early on the North side of Hope Pass, fresh and happy

The view from the summit is always worth seeing

Stumbling up the back after the rain

Arm warmers and cold hands

The sum total of it all was a decent week training. The significant uphill stuff isn't so bad, but I am way out of my grove right now in traditional flat, easy running. That is when my nagging injuries bug me the most and my base fitness feels terrible. I the latter is just my body adjusting to a swift arrival of summer. I hope. Even morning runs are warm and heart rate control is a real struggle. Fortunately, I knew that July was packed with family events and I always expected it to be a struggle to train. That said, it sure hasn't made it an easier to deal with the reality that I have a 100-miler in 2 months and feel off kilter right now. I will be in the mountains for a soccer tournament with my son this weekend, so it could be another up and down training week. After that, the calendar clears up as the kids start preparing for school!

Day Miles Notes
Monday 9Open Space
Strength Training
Tuesday 6Easy
WednesdayOff Rest
ThursdayOffStrength Training
Friday13 Mt Massive
Saturday 19Hope Pass Dbl Cross
Sunday 6Easy
Total 52About 12,500 feet of vert

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Bear 100 - Course Profile and Expectations

Well, it is time to turn the page, I think. I have been riding high on my North Fork 50 finish for the past few weeks and enjoying lots of family time. But, the time has come to start thinking about the next (and last) big event for me, The Bear. I signed up for Bear 100 mostly to enjoy running a 100-miler with my buddies Steve and Tony and to get a Western States 100 qualifier. I declared all season long that North Fork was my goal race. And having that goal race come and go in exceptional fashion, my expectations for Bear 100 goals are somewhat muted. I also have to be patient because the next 6-weeks of "life" are just crazy. There are a few tune-up events in there, but also just a lot of family obligations that will make training a challenge. When I think about running my second hundred, a harder hundred, in a faster time, it is somewhat daunting. Then I think, why not? I've proven twice already this season that I am as fit as ever, and more efficient. It is exciting to think the possibility ahead of me after the season of racing I've had, but there is a real chance I just don't get to train hard the next 8 weeks. So, for now, I am laying out what I think are potentially fast (24 hours) and slow (28 hour) finish times for me.

Destination  Miles Cum Miles Ascent Fast Time Slow Time Cutoff Time Notes
Logan Peak 10.5 10.5 3900 2:30 2:45 - No Crew
Leatham Hollow 9.1 19.7 500 4:00 4:15 -
Richards Hollow 2.8 22.5 500 4:30 5:00 - No Crew
Cowley Canyon 7.5 30 2500 6:00 6:45 -
Right Hand Fork 7 37 1000 7:30 8:15 - Pacing Starts
Temple Fork 8.2 45.2 1400 9:00 10:00 -
Tony Grove 6.7 51.8 2700 11:00 12:15 25:00
Franklin Trailhead 9.6 61.5 1000 13:15 14:45 27:00
Logan River/Steep 7.1 68.6 1800 15:30 17:30 29:00 No Crew
Beaver Lodge 7.2 75.8 1100 17:15 19:45 30:30
Gibson Basin 5.4 81.2 1600 19:00 21:45 32:00 No Crew
Beaver Creek CG 4.1 85.3 300 20:00 23:00 33:00
Ranger Dip 7 92.3 1200 22:00 25:30 34:00
Finish 7.5 100 1000 24:00 28:00 36:00

We plan to drive out on Wednesday September 24th and return home on Sunday September 28th sometime. The race starts on Friday, so that means I can sleep their and recover a bit Saturday night. We rented a huge cabin and should have a great time.