Sunday, July 31, 2016

July And A New PR

The largest mileage that I had ever run in a single month was back in July of 2012, and I ran 393 miles.

This July... 421 miles. So there's a new PR at least.

Okay week this week, had to jink some things around a little because I ended up doing the Four Pass Loop on Thursday. But I still got a good 81 miles in this week with a good 20 miler up in Leadville yesterday followed by a 20 mile run up Indy Pass this morning. (Sort of set a huge PR on that one today too.)

Past that, not much else to report from the week.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Done With The Heavy Lifting

My last BIG week of training is done. Rest day today. YAY!

Last week - 100 Miles Running - 23,009 Vertical Gain - 18:58 Running time.

Friday was an awesome day. I parked at the old Monarch Lodge and ran up Highway 50 to the top of the pass and then headed south on the Monarch Crest Trail. 5 Miles up to the pass, ten miles out on the trail, then turned around and headed back. 30 Miles total, a crap ton of gain with an average elevation of 11,337 feet. Pulled it off in 5:59:01 which was awesome because I was really shooting for six hours.

But I have to say, running that trail and looking back at when I rode it on my mountain bike in 2013... if I had to guess, I probably did not enjoy it all that much. Of course I said it was "fun" when I wrote about it in 2013... but I wonder how much of that was me hyping it up because I felt that was what I was supposed to do. I just remember thinking a lot this past Friday that I was for sure a lot happier running it that day than if I were riding it again.

As I have alluded to earlier... the whole bike thing just escapes me now... no love for it at all.

But yeah... I am done with all of the heavy lifting in regards to my training for Leadville this year. In some regards the planning and strategizing began a year ago right after the Silver Rush 50. After the LT100 run last year I began to focus a little more on it as time passed. In April, at the beginning of training block #1 was when I really put my foot on the gas and with the exception of a couple of bumps here and there, I really haven't let up.  If you are wondering, this is what life - week by week - since April has looked like.... 

18 April 2016   Run        81.3 Miles        6368 Vert        14:14 Time
25 April 2016   Run        70.4 Miles        9602 Vert        11:48 Time
02 May 2016    Run        81.6 Miles        9874 Vert        13:54 Time
09 May 2016    Run        84 Miles           10,126 Vert     14:10 Time
16 May 2016    Run        83.3 Miles        13,750 Vert     13:49 Time
23 May 2016    Run       94.2 Miles        12,900 Vert     15:36 Time
30 May 2016    Run        81 Miles           14,187 Vert     14:47 Time
06 June 2016    Run        92 Miles           18,067 Vert     16:17 Time
13 June 2016   Run      81 Miles           11,369 Vert     15:02 Time
                        Bike     28 Miles              4,691 Vert       2:19 Time      17:21 Total
20 June 2016   Run      47 Miles           11,977 Vert     13:05 Time
                        Bike     106 Miles         14,696 Vert        9:42 Time      23:49 Total
27 June 2016   Run      79 Miles           20,639 Vert     17:47 Time
                        Bike     28 Miles             7,273 Vert         4:11 Time     21:58 Total
04 July 2016    Run     98 Miles           28,491 Vert     21:05 Time
11 July 2016    Run     101 Miles         18,174 Vert     19:46 Time
18 July 2016    Run     100 Miles         23,009 Vert     18:58 Time

But what do all these numbers mean? In a way nothing if I can not execute a good race come August 20. I have goals and I hope that the work gets me there, the rest is just the rest as you never know what can happen in a 100 mile race.

Something that I have not shared with anyone (well on my blog anyway) is that back in March I sort of had a nightmare. In my dream I crossed the finish line in Leadville in 23:18 - again. But the weird part was that 1. I did not remember running it and 2. I had this really bad and nagging feeling that I did not put out any effort or tried to do better that day. If I had to say, all of the hard work and mileage has been my way of preventing that "dream" from becoming a reality this year.

So yeah... lots of heavy lifting...  but that is over now...

Now to back down... 80M this week with two days off... two days off EVERY week between now and Leadville actually to start unloading fatigue. Part of me wonders if I realize just how tired I really am. I guess as I start to bounce back and feel better (or worse) I will get a full sense of it all. But that won't be for another two weeks or so I guess.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Leadville 100 Training Block #3 - June 20 - July 19

The first day of my Aspen Mountain Double-Double Crossing weekend.
Training block number three is done and the numbers look like this.

Training Block #3 Actual Miles Ran = 360 - 79 hours and 33 minutes of running time.

Training Block #3 Miles Riding the Mountain Bike = 134 - 13 hours and 53 minutes of riding time.

A note on the bike. I did not spend too many days on the bike just the days that I HAD TO in order to help mitigate the injury that I was dealing with. Once I could run again it was all back to that as I learned that I am really not fond of pushing a lot of time on the bike, at all.

Some game-changers and neat things that came into play during this training block...

1. Trekking poles - Bob Africa spoke highly of them in the Leadville 100 Run training camp and I listened. Personally I have always wanted to give them a go but feared they might prove awkward and maybe even a waste of money. For the past week and a half, I have been using them a lot on my big vertical days and all I can say is I sort of feel silly for never trying them earlier as I took to them like a duck to water. I got a pair of Black Diamond Carbon Distance Z Poles 110cm on Ebay for $117. WORTH EVERY PENNY. To be clear, as far as I am concerned this is the greatest discovery or change I have made since switching to Hokas back in 2012. In a weird sort of way I think they are fun to use. They WILL be part of my Leadville strategy for certain.

2. I did a huge 32 mile long overland altitude run (LOLAR - and yes I made this up) last weekend and there was no running or potable water anywhere along that route. Instead of packing a ton of water in my pack I packed my old First Need Water Filter  for the trip in my pack and it was great. A fraction of the weight of a liter or more of water and I was able to continually get cold water for the bottles and the bladder when I needed or wanted as there were many streams around. The bonus thing that I learned is that the attachment connects to both my Ultimate Direction water bottles as well as the opening to the Osprey water bladder in my pack so it was super easy to use.

3. I did a 20 mile run last Thursday afternoon and it was warm out and I had to carry water in my pack so that I could mix fresh bottles after two hours. Not wanting to have warm water or mixed fuel in my bottles the last part of the run I got the brilliant idea to put in a freezer pack, you know those gel packs you put into the freezer for small coolers or using on injuries, in my running pack with my water bladder. Of course I was not happy about the extra weight but damn it was nice to have cold water when I filled my bottles after two hours. So if you run with a running vest or pack with a bladder and don't mind some extra weight to keep your water cold it's well worth it.

All in all things are good. This week is my last big week (100+ miles) before I start chopping the volume down and I can say that I am honestly ready to just that. Looking forward to this weekend as Melissa and I are going over to Chaffee County and Friday I am running my last 30+ mile training run on the Monarch Crest Trail. The rest of the weekend is dedicated to just goofing off and having fun as really I am on vacation this week from working as I do need the break but I can also focus on this last big week without any distractions too. It's a win-win.

But yeah... we are in the last training block before Leadville... all of the big work is done except for finishing out this week. I just keep telling myself that all I have to do is make it to the 25th (next Monday which will be a rest day) intact and I will be good to go... Just have to make to Monday.... :)  

Thursday, July 7, 2016

June And Everything After - Video Blog

So... not that I am being lazy but there is just too much to try to write out in one article and not wanting to write multiples... I thought I would do a video instead. :)

I hope that everyone is having an awesome summer!