Sunday, May 27, 2012

5/21-5/27 - Turned 25 and Got the 90mile Week Hat Trick

8 miles - Beautiful day to go for a warm run. Temps in the 80's, but the breeze on my skin as I sat under the Royal Arch made it worth it. Lots of people out today on one of the more popular routes in the park. Monday is rest day, so I knew I was pushing it when I chased another guy up the steep part of the trail. I can't get dropped by a guy in jeans, even on a rest day, right? I think he stopped on his own accord before I officially passed him. Proof that a fast hike is often more efficient than a run. Well done, Mr. Joggin' Jorts. Well done. Felt better after the run than before, so all is well. Had to resist the urge to run more, but that sort of defeats the purpose of recovery days.

Bike commute.

AM - 10 miles - Awoke to a scratchy throat and allergies. Got out of bed not because I was eager to go for a run, but because the nasty pollen clogging my throat was macking me hack and cough. 3 milles to the Cottonwood trailhead for a 20minute fartlek. 4x90sec, 2x60sec, 2x30sec, 2x15sec. Equal rest. I'm no good at math, but I can tell I screwed this up. I'm kind of in no man's land with the group. Many are training for the BolderBoulder, so they did 13min. The group doing 20 was fast. I could either keep up during the effort parts and drop back on the rest, or vice versa. Regardless, I was left to my own devices and got a little off time. All this means for me is that my fartlek was extra unstructured compared to the rest of the group. Go figure.

My speed efforts are abysmally slow, but still serve a purpose. On the way home from the run, my allergies were catching up to me and I was getting hungry. I thought I was crawling at a 10:00 pace, but was surprised to see that I was running an 8:30 pace. The speedier sessions are helping, even if I'm a back of the pack runner at short distances. Once again, I have to remember that it's a day by day kind of thing, and worrying about where I want to be doesn't change where I am. Jog on.

Bike commute

AM - 18miles - I was really hoping for 20 today, but I woke and realized that this achy throat and cough are getting worse, not better. Hope in one hand, shit in the other, right?
Anyway, the semi-usual route up Gregory Canyon to Long Canyon, then the Bear Mtn West Ridge to the new Green Bear trail. Bear Canyon down to Skunk Canyon, then some weird gravel road to a research area that I probably wasn't supposed to be in.

I, for some reason or another, decided that I should do a hard mile on the track. Maybe it was just curiosity to see what I could do after three hours and a few thousand feet of climbing(on a single banana, thank you). Jogged some streets to Boulder High's track and ran a comfortably hard mile. Garmin said 5:53, the clock said 6:01. What does this mean?

-Running on a track in trail shoes(MT110s) sucks

-GPS watches have a way to go before they're accurate

-I am the fastest human being alive.

At first, the Watch discrepancy had me thinking. Have all my training numbers been off? Am I slower, or faster then? What does this mean for my mileage totals?
Who the hell cares?
This just goes to show that mileage and splits mean fuckall in the big picture. The important thing is to get out on a daily basis and build a relationship between our minds and our bodies. I get my ass handed to me regularly by people running fewer miles, and I've outrun people who run nearly double what I do(and the inverse). Volume is the key to running well, but so is adequate recovery, quality sessions, appropriate terrain, nutrition, etc. If you need a mental picture for "the keys to running well," look no further. I'm still a long way from figuring it out.

I unfortunately had to bail on an early AM run with Ely. I was up hacking all night, and finally passed out at about 5am. My alarm went off at six, and I knew that continuing to run in this state would be a detriment. An easy 5-8miles on the greenways might be all I sneak in today. Today is a scheduled easy day, so anything I do is gravy...which is funny, because gravy clogs your heart and kills does overexertion. Solid phrasing.

5 miles - Just a little shakeout on the creek path to keep the legs ticking over. The run yesterday was a little rough, but I seem to have weathered it well. First mile clocked at 8:00, then the middle three were sub 7:00 pace. The run wasn't as easy effort-wise as it should have been, but I had a hard time backing the pace down and still feeling smooth. Instead of fighting the pace down and running longer, I just shortened it to 5 miles and called it a day. 36 minutes of running was refreshingly short and sweet. Long runs make me love short runs, and short runs make me love long ones. (There should be a "that's what she said" in there somewhere)

Bike Commute 

AM - 5 miles - Wham, bam, and scram track workout with the club. I arrived in time to sneak a 1 mile warmup in(totally inadequate) as I coughed my way to the track. Can't seem to get a good night's rest and shake this thing. 8x400m with a 200m "float." "Float" means to hold a decent pace on the rest efforts as opposed to my typical recovery shuffle. Got my ass kicked as usual, but it still worked out to be a roughly 6min/mile paced effort on the track. The hardest part about this is remembering that my goals for track work aren't to whittle down to a certain 5k time, but rather to stress my legs to impose adaptation. The process induces a physioligical response that hopefully will provide fatigue resistance in the long run. Now that I've ever so eloquently fed myself bullshit excuses for being the club turtle, I can go meet Sam for coffee.

PM - 8 miles - I only had an hour and a half to run in the afternoon, so I headed up to Chatauqua and ran the Ampitheater trail, some of Gregory Canyon, and scrambled over the the Flagstaff trail to head down. I came home and found out Sam was working late, so my hurrying was all for naught from a social standpoint. It was nice to have an extrinsic motivation to run fast. Instead of hiking up the Amp trail, I sprung up the knee high log stairs until I reached the top. I about puked, but I did it. Instead of a long up and a long down, it was nice to do three short climbs and descents.

AM - 8 miles - Hopped on the creek path for an hour on the creek path up into the Canyon. 4 miles up, 4 miles down. Really mellow on the uphill; just sort of felt the climbing muscles burn subtly and stayed steady. The downhill, as usual for this route, is steep enough to practice quick turnover and keep from working against gravity. If my lungs can keep up, I just keep catching myself as I fall down the grade.

PM - 4 miles - 2 hour hike with Samantha at White Ranch Park in Golden. I swear that girl can hike the steep stuff at my long run pace. I'm not a huge fan of hiking, but the slow, steady, methodical climbing makes my legs burn and I get to spend some time outside with my partner in crime. Again, some may be irked that I count hiking as training miles. To make those people feel better, I'll count myself out of the imaginary contest between them and me...whoever they are.

66 miles so far. Better get to steppin' on that long run.

30 miles - I was shooting for 40, but was also supposed to be out the door by 4am. Considering that 4am is about the time I actually fell asleep, I figured it wasn't going to happen. The goddamned allergies are netting me about 3-4 hours of sleep nightly. From home to Chatauqua, then ran the Mesa trail out to Dowdy Draw, then a convoluted series of cayon and foothill loops around there. Reversed the route and headed home. My watch died about 3.5 hours in, so I had to estimate the route's disatance with the map and by time(which is probably as accurate as a Garmin anyway. Things went pretty smoothly, energy-wise, and there were no flat sections on any of the trails. Some nice steady downhills to beat up the legs and some uphills to stress the lungs. No summitting today,which kind of makes me feel like a puss, but its my birthday, I'll do what I want. Took a shower and walked around downtown drinking beer all afternoon.

Total: 96 miles. I really thought I had a good chance at clearing 100 this week, but the Sunday long run was shorter than planned. I can't seem to get a good night's sleep with this cough, so I just did the best I could. I think I could have rested a bit more during the week and banked up some miles for the long run. Instead of resting, I ran up a canyon the day before, and did quality doubles the day before that. Still averaged 90miles/week for the month of May, which us in precedented for me. I'll stop whining and just hope I'm getting in decent shape. I don't feel sore or fatigued, but I'm running a higher volume than I've ever run before. It's probably because I've finally got enough running under my belt to start putting in real mileage. This is only my 4th year of being a "runner," so maybe it's finally starting to catch.


  1. GPS sampling errors tend to cancel out in long straight runs, but amplify on windy trails (or tracks). It's odd though that the watch had you running faster as the errors tend to cut corners and shorten distance. Maybe you really are the fastest human alive...

    Oh, and gravy may clog your arteries, but, for legions of chain-smoking Quebecois, is also a tasty topping for french fries and cheese curds. When you think about it, gravy probably helps prevent death from lung cancer in that province (due to early death from heart attack). So you see, it's not all bad.

  2. Good analogies, my good man. I typically just round down to the nearest mile and call it good when I have a GPS, and estimate my pace conservitively and divide by time when I don't have it.

    Gravy is one of the hardest things to ignore when experimenting with vegitarianism. Being a Michiganian at heart, our neighbors to the north have shared their gravy covered goodness at many a tavern while snowmobiling. mmmmmm...gravy sure would make this vegan burger into a nice salisbury steak! :)

  3. congrats on the rock n' roll training and the bday! looks like the move to boulder has been excellent!

  4. Just started reading your blog, love it! I've been scrutinizing my Garmin ever since I got it (comparing it to my iPhone's time, MapMyRun distance, ect) and find it to be more off with the shorter runs than the long. I have a question about your MT100's. Do you like wearing them with or without socks? I just got a pair, a little snugger than I'd like, but I'm used to wearing socks with mine. (I also took them on a run around my neighborhood and was annoyed that they wouldn't transition very well from trail to road).

  5. Hey, we have the same last name!

    I've only worn socks with my 110s(I'm assuming that you mean 110s, but same goes for the 100s I had) once, and that was because it was January and I was running in powder. I only wear socks with my Nike Streaks, because I love the fit and feel of them, but they give me heel blisters. Honestly though, I think my hatred of washing, sorting, and folding socks is the main reason I don't wear them.

    As far as the Garmin goes, I just sort of blindly write down what it says and use it as my "standard of measure." It typically reads short, so at least I'm not cheating.