Thursday, October 30, 2008

Race Preparation

Just want to jot down a reminder of how I came into the WOH.

Jack was sick so my work-outs were non-existent the final week.
I did 30 min on Monday and 30 min on Thursday. I hit the sauna
a little and stretched a little. Since I haven't been stretching
much lately, I thought how perfect that would be to "strain"
something trying to stretch before a race since I'd neglected
it for months.

I had to cancel a couple of days of work to stay home with the boy and
actually walked around with ankle weights. I felt lame and smart at
the same time. Maybe I should do that more. I even tucked them under
my pants when I went to work at night, all low-pro. Walking, climbing
stair cases, doing whatever with extra weight. Lame and smart.

As for food, nothing fancy. Sleep? Slept really well (a lot) two nights
before the race knowing the eve can be rough. And it was. There were
teenagers near our campsite talking about how this friend or that cousin
is a whore, yada yada. I finally passed out, but no worries. I was ready
to race. The morning chores went well although I was coming down with
a little cold. I forget to mention that in the race report. It was in
my throat, but the cool breeze on the run hitting my sweaty chest was
not ideal. I definitely wasn't 100%. Again, the race went well, BUT
could have been faster.

So, very little effort the last week, but the hay was in the barn. Trevor
had prescribed a light week anyway; the guy is big on rest. I think that
paid off. If Jack hadn't been sick, I probably would've worked-out more.

In the end, the war isn't won in a day.

BTW, I'm chillin' this week. Work is ridiculously busy, but according to my
schedule, I'm only running very light and stretching. Until Sunday.

1.5 trail run with final 30 min at race pace. It's on.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sin City's World of Hurt 25k

This was my first race since May. I trained throughout the summer and into the fall consistently hitting about 50 mile weeks. Since mid-July I have been without HRM. August and Sept. were solid in terms of mountain running. I was able to hit some good local mountain runs and while running with other "ultra runners" compared very very well (note: I am not yet an "ultra runner"). By September, I started to implement some "speed work," but this consisted mainly of tempo. Same run I'd normally do, just a lot harder. That was pretty much it. A good base, dating back to the days of the MAF regime (before that kingdom fell to the leagues of common sense). The consistency has been the key. I run a lot.

Enter the fall/winter cycle. Two races FINALLY find their ways onto my calendar: WOH 25k, and XDuro World Championship (open this year but I did qualify at Vail Lake -- whoopdeedo).

Also enter Trevor Glavin whom I link only because he's a very successful coach/athlete and I want to anything I can to encourage growth of his business. He was going to be in Hawaii for XDuro as well and by the generosity of his soul he offered to help me out with some preparation for the race. This guy is the former Xterra Age Group World Champion. He wins. He loves to train and race and enjoy life, but he wins. That's key.

Some of my first reaction to the schedule was "is this enough mileage," "is there enough hill work" yada yada. He said yes. Do the work. So I started doing some of the work-outs, and as it turns out I couldn't actually complete some of them. Those "little" hill repeats made me feel sad and uncertain whether or not I had ever stopped smoking weed. The work-outs have been brutal and I haven't even really nailed them. At all!

So, I have a plan that dials me in for Worlds in Dec. This past weekend was, again, WOH in Boulder City, Nevada. We camped at Lake Mead and ran with the likes of Hal Koerner, Scott Jurek and Ian Torrence. Ultra trail legends. They were running the 50K. I stuck to the 25k. The course had a lot of climbing, a very technical course (I ate shit early in the race running behind the women's overall winner before I went by her and wished her luck :-)

I went out really easy and stuck to a plan GZ kinda suggested - first 1/3 warm-up, next 1/3 training, and last 1/3 teeth are sweating. Because of the climbing, such a plan doesn't really hold, but I did go out nice and easy (compared to Vail Lake!!!) and probably should've gone out harder.


In the end, super super impressed with my climbing. I never felt over-worked, never walked, just found a gear (probably too light a gear at times) and climbed. Never got passed, but instead reeled people in. If I saw them I worked on them. The last such pass happened on a 3-4 mile steady climb to mile 15. I passed a guy and although he and another who was in my rear-view most of the day tried, I put distance into them easily and comfortably. I had much left as I crossed the line in 5th place. I never saw the guys in front really which means they went out harder and hit the huge climb at mile 2 harder. I could've tangled with them!

What a killer race. The course, my preparation, my nutrition. Everything went so well. I did have a little discomfort in my hip flexor and patellar, but such is too be expected I guess from such a technical course and from a guy who needs to stretch more! But the climbing was a real revelation. I'm impressed with the work and I know the hill work I've been doing (anaerobic intervals on steep hills) are making me fast. I will look to push things much more in Hawaii.

As for my time, that's just incidental. The PE was the key (I felt so relaxed and strong - actually fast!), and the course, the trail experience. I brought my MP3 but never turned it on because the natural sounds and rhythm of the run were too pure to interrupt. But the time isn't all that bad. Sure I was 5th of about 30 runners, but my split is in the "ball park" where I want to play. More work (consistency, strength/speed/hill work) will spell success.

And the camping was great. Although some of the race administration has something to be desired, I'm probably back next year just for the trail.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

10/13 - 10/19

Monday – 1 hr of aerobic exercise including stair-stepper. Hit the sauna per some copy-catting.

Tuesday – 40 minutes of core work including some jump roping. Legs and feet feel pretty strong. 4.5 miles at night around school. Very hilly.

Wednesday – My hill work-out. 4x2 min on a very steep hill and as much flat LT as I could tolerate. Pretty much pure suffering. Very humbling. Around 6 miles.

Thursday – 1 hr of aerobic exercise including stair-stepper. Hit the sauna.

Friday – 2nd quality work-out. 3x 2k LT followed by 1k all out on flat terrain. Your basic speed work. I varied a little.

Based on what Trevor has suggested, I have to build toward some of these work-outs. Now there’s a concept. I have to get fit enough just to do some of the suggested work-outs. Hawaii is the big race so I have about 6 weeks. It just so happens I get to test the engine in a week in what should be a world of hurt.

Saturday – 1 hr. aerobic stuff, followed by the sauna.

Sunday – Nothing. Family. But no worries. My Osgood Slaughter is feeling better. I feel refreshed. Since I’ve been training for a looooong time, fairly consistently, this taper-like stuff is okay. Sure I missed a long run. Oh well. All of this schedule flexibility is another reminder that I’m not ready for ultra.

Monday – Very solid 5 miles. Legs feel great. The sauna is sick. I love it.

Trevor sent me a schedule for the weeks between WOH and Worlds. The guy is money. I can’t wait to see how his coaching feeds into Saturday’s result. I will be fit and ready for Worlds for sure.

Tuesday (today) – Was going to do about 12-14 as a 2 a day. My 4 ½ year-old is sick. So I’ll only get in the 4.5 hilly run tonight, in the dark. Hmmmm. If you look at people’s programs that have maintained early general consistency but include a little late sickness/injury that requires some shutdown, many times they tend to have successful races. In other words, as long as one has built responsibly, the (some might say big) cut in mileage leading up to a race can spell b-a-m.

The rest of the week is mellow with some light efforts. Then the road trip. Then the 25k.

(It’s About Time!)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

10/6 to 10/12 . . . . 35 miles

Monday - Wednesday off minus "the hump" of the daily grind.

Thursday - 1:10 aerobic exercise.

Friday - Caveman-esque hill work-out, 8 miles, pretty freakin hard.
These make me feel slow. Seriously, I think I was stronger on hills a month or so back - maintaining this regime for so freakin' long is killing me. Two weeks before WOH. Scott Jurek's signed-up now, too. Should be a good weekend. I just hope I can get psyched and tap some of this running I've been doing for months and months. I guess I'll start to stretch, too. Pretty undisciplined. Going stale.

Saturday - 22 miles, one run, very aerobic. Ran with Jeremy. Talked a lot. Over 3000ft. of up. My legs are pretty beat up. This is partly because of the back to back. That's the real problem with taking-off the first part of the week. All of my work was done in three days back to back. I feel slow and tight. I need a strong/big week.

Sunday - Errands and family stuff. And some football. Backs against the wall, Bolts!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

9/29 to 10/5 . . .about 40 miles

The season is definitely changing. My long run today hit the coast and the ocean has definitely announced the change. The swell, the colors and crisp air bespeak the fall. Of course, football season is here. MLB postseason is under way and I'm definitely a fan of Bball playoffs. Then there's the holiday season. First up, Halloween. My wife made some pumpkin muffins/cup cakes. Tasty and pretty kid friendly.

Needlesstosay, there are some big races this month too. JW hopefully abused Xterra Nationals. The big race in Kona is coming up. Xterra Worlds is a few weeks away. And, of course, my little tangle in the desert. That's just a tiny selection. I guess it's that time of year to "harvest," to assess the summer "growth."

Monday: about 6 miles easy.

Tuesday: 4.5 miles night running at about 9:00pm around SDSU. I need to use a head-lamp next time. Lots of big hills. Humid. Pretty much hammered.

Wednesday: Off but I walked a lot and climbed a lot. I consciously moved.

Thursday: 9 miles with the hill work-out. 3x2min + 5LT, 3x1 + 5LT and enough on the trail to get in 9 miles. PQ canyon. Really worked me. Been fighting a little bump in my immunity since. Run started at 9:00am and it was baking!

Friday: 4 miles on the treadmill. Went easy but felt hard. Felt like I was going to throw-up.

Saturday: 6 miles, the hill work-out. A reduced version but I did it on the treadmill. NOT THE SAME. But I killed it. Felt great. Pressed for time. Did this on the way to pick-up Jack's cousins.

Sunday: 11 miles, 1300ft. ascent. 1:28. This is the long run. Not very long, but better than nothing. I'll go 2:00+ next week (goal). I (sorta) hit my three key workouts with a couple more sessions. Not bad.

Trevor said he'd help me get a little more specific since the schedule is a little tight. Anyone looking for a coach? It's him.