Defn: a human male displaying evidence of devolution - exhibits distinctive "caveman-like" tendencies. This man often dribbles in public places; cannot drink a beverage without spilling it on himself, the floor or someone else; may also run into objects like lampposts & bushes; has a definite "sloopish & short legged" running style that is slow and low to the ground, often resulting in the dragging of knuckles.

These throwback neanderthals, along with their questionable diet, should clearly be avoided.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

50K training week 7

Really getting into the beginning of the heavy training blocks now for the big race coming up in 10 weeks, as a result - my body is tired, more-so the noggin than my legs.  But when I dwell on how mentally tired I am - I find myself coming up with excuses to run softer, or even not run at all.  Case in point - I was going to run 13 miles after work last Sunday, but it was snowing somewhat, so I bagged the run and read a book instead.

I have run in much worse conditions the past few months, but I just didn't want to this day.  As I then looked at other runs lined up for the week, I reshuffled things around but due to work schedules it meant that I would have 2 long runs on back to back days at the end of the week - when I would be even more tired.  So - the excuse to not run at all had the potential to upset later runs in the week.  I was not looking forward to Friday and Saturday.

Monday I did an easy and fairly unproductive 8 miles on Santa Fe Trail.  Just an out and back at an easy 8:40 pace.  In reality it was just a mileage filler.  Probably has some benefit down the road, but I couldn't on the day and can't now say it was a very purposeful run.

Tuesday was supposed to be a Mt Herman double lapper, 10 steps into my run I was looking for a place to lie down and take a nap.  I was so tired.  I had the day off work so I knew I could take all day - but again my mind was saying just don't run at all.  Adding to the lethargy was Sunday's snow was heavier on Mt Herman, especially on the Northern, heavily treed side which has yet to get the sun on most of it this year - so a snowy track made things even slower for me.  I plodded / shuffled / meandered around the first lap - my slowest time ever and I was battling the mindset to quit the whole time.  I finally finished the lap and decided that instead of bailing out on the next lap I would shuffle around for a few more miles.  I found another trail near the parking lot and went out that 1 1/2 miles and then back.  So I ended up with 11 on the day - at well over 3 hours.  Pitiful.

The possibility and likelihood of me just cutting the desired 65 mile week short was now there.  And frankly it didn't bother me much at all.  Next day I was only going to do 6 miles, then take Thursday off to try enjoy absorb a much needed rest day.  I parked at Baptist Rd where the Santa Fe Trail is really quite flat and went North 3 miles, intending to just do an easy recovery run.  I went out at an 8:30 pace, a little quicker than my normal easy run pace - and felt okay.  During these 3 miles I also came up with the idea that I had enough time (before work) to tack on the extra 5 miles from the day before.  I was actually feeling fairly fresh - so I continued on at the 8:30 average.  So, after 5 1/2 miles into the run I turned around and by now I was thinking I could turn the last 5 1/2 miles into a tempo run.  I wanted a 7:30 pace and got going - after a few steps I looked at my watch and it was telling me 7:20 average.  Okay, felt not too bad.  So I went with it - for 3 1/2 more miles.  Still feeling good.  2 miles to go, what else do I have?  How about try a 7 minute mile?  Sure enough, that was okay too.  Not easy, but still manageable.  1 mile to go, go time.  Last mile at 6:40.  Where that came from - especially being mile 11 of the run - I have no idea, but needless to say my mind funk was pushed aside. 

Thursday off. 

Friday, 22 mile long run on tap.  Started at Northgate trailhead and went North on Santa Fe Trail, up to Palmer Lake, joined the connector trail to the Greenland Trail and then followed that to the turn off to Kipps Loop.  That was 11 miles and a good place to turn around.  After going out at an easy 8:50 pace I then came back at an 8:40 pace.  Felt comfortable.  Last 4 or so miles the breeze into my face picked up, adding to the fatigue, but I managed to hang on and finish the 22 miles without slacking off the time.  A decent, but not great run just over 3 hours and 12 minutes.

Saturday: had the day off work and kids soccer games were not until noon - so I had time to meet up with Steve and we did a conversational lap of the Falcon Trail.  Was a good and easy run, 2:03, and made all the more better by sharing the trail with Steve - along with approx. 4 or 5 dozen other runners and Mtn bikers. 

So, 65 miles for the week.  A mental roller coaster that was not particularly great.  But that is behind me now and I look forward to a planned easy / recovery 40 mile week.

Monday, April 14, 2014

50K training week 6

5 runs for the week which went as follows:

Sunday: 5 miles easy in the afternoon after work (which is going well - 2 weeks in - so far so good).

Monday: Had the day off work so on tap was a Double Falcon.  Was snowing when I started and for some reason the road up to the parking lot by the football stadium was closed - so I maneuvered my way through the Air Force Academy to the Chapel Overlook Parking lot, which is almost the high point of the loop.  I had never started a run from there before and was expecting a tough finish for each lap because in either direction the finish is always uphill.  So the first lap, in which it snowed on and off and the trail was covered, I went clockwise at a comfortable pace - my goal was just to get the 2 laps in and experience 26 miles.  Just over 2 hours and 7 minutes for lap one - as I made the turn I then turned around and went counter clockwise.  For the next 3 miles it was quite snowy, but then the sun came up and soon the snowy trails melted away and even got a little muddy in places.  Lap 2 was tiring but with about 4 miles to go I found a mini second wind and managed to stay on track - so that my lap time was less than a minute slower than the first lap.  Overall time for the 2 laps, 26 miles and 3100' + elevation gain was a couple ticks over 4:15.  I have run the falcon double lapper twice before and this was my fastest time by over 10 minutes.  I will be doing several more of these training runs for the 50K coming up in 11 weeks.

Tuesday: Rest and recovery day.

Wednesday: My weekly Mt. Herman lap was on much better trails than the week before.  This time there was more snow and less ice, plus I had put the screws back in my shoes so I could get better traction on the icy spots.  It was still slick but much more manageable than last week and I completed my lap in a reasonable 1:52.  I was still a bit weary from the Falcon effort 2 days before.  I think it was good though because this loop is a tough one and to do it in this time 2 days after a 26 mile run was a nice achievement for me.

Thursday: 6 miles easy (9 min pace) on Santa Fe Trail - recovery run.

Friday: Parked at the Woodmen Rd trailhead and went North on the Santa Fe Trail 10 miles - which is almost to Baptist Rd.  Went out at a 9 minute average on a beautiful day to run.  I was feeling sluggish however, so at the turnaround 90 minutes in I tried to pick up the pace and do the return 10 miles at a tempo pace.  Alas - the goal of 7:30 pace went almost immediately out the window.  So I then just held on to 8 minute miles for the next 6 miles.  Then with 4 to go I was spent and just endured through till the end - finishing the last 10 miles at an average of 8:20.  For the 20 miles this meant my pace was 8:40.  This was a sure sign of being weary, a combination of being work weary and running 65 miles for the week.

65 miles: my longest week ever.  A 4+ hour run, an almost 3 hr and an almost 2 hr run included.  Needless to say or write that I think my endurance is building up, admittedly with very little speed - which I am mostly okay with.  On tap is another 65 miler before I take an easy week.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

50K training week 5 and Week 1 at the new job

Tired, long week with starting a new career - which I am getting more and more into every day - as well as running 60 miles - longest week of running ever.

2 days into my new job I called the other new part time job that I was supposed to start at this weekend and declined the job - schedules are just not going to work out, plus I can pick up OT eventually at the new place - which is requiring my full attention getting these first few weeks getting familiar with it.  But in short - I am excited about this new chapter in my life and as the pages unfold - where it will lead.  So far, I'm fitting in well and doing okay also - it seems.

But this is my running bloggy / journal - so on to that......

Sunday I stole a few hours to get in my loop of Falcon - I was pressed for time so I decided it was as good a time as any to throw my best effort at it.  2 days earlier I had run my second fastest lap (in either direction), that being in the clockwise direction.  Sunday it was counter clockwise direction - I consider this a better / faster time for me going this way, but other people consider clockwise faster.    I knew that if I wanted to break any previous good times, I needed to be as close to 60 minutes by halfway (which I had never got under in previous efforts) so as to then gun the 2nd half which has much more downhill.   I pushed hard the first half aiming for the magical 60 minute mark - in hindsight probably a little too much was spent early, as the second half I felt myself falling off the wagon.  But the first half exertion was worth it as I passed 6 1/2 miles at 57 1/2 minutes - an almost 3 minute advantage over previous bests!

I was stoked, but had a long way to go - including a tough and unrelenting hill going up past the fire station.  I basically just tried to maintain my effort for the rest of the way and try to get the uphill sections over and done with.  I was doing well, the fire station hill was manageable, albeit slow.  Then the meandering down towards the football stadium I managed to recover okay.  With a mile to go I was essentially spent - but by now so far ahead of previous best times I needed to see just how low could I go.  After the final uphill 1/2 mile till the end - admittedly that I almost had to walk up - I was so spent - I pushed with what I had left and made it back to the parking lot.  Of course the loop is just under 13 miles so I always run around the parking lot at the end of each lap to bring the total up to 13 miles.  After 13 miles a new PR: 149:48 - beating my old PR (in either direction) by 2 1/2 minutes.  Of course I am thrilled with that - especially because I have run a lap of this trail each week since Sept / Oct and too drop so much time off my previous best was really rewarding.

I recovered well with no ill effects on the sticks - which was good because Monday was my first day at work and it involved a lot of walking.  After work I then ran 20 miles.  Ending in the dark.  Started at 8th St Wal-Mart and went North on the Santa Fe Trail up to about a 1/2 mile past Woodmen Rd and back.  The first 10 miles were at a steady 8:45 pace.  The last 10 miles I dropped down to an 8:30 average for a few miles, but then fatigue caught me and I slowed.  Still ended with the overall average at 8:35 pace for 20 miles.  The last couple miles in the increasing darkness were especially tiring.

Tuesday a much needed rest / recovery day from running.

Wednesday I didn't work till the afternoon so in the morning I attempted a Double Herman (16 miles w/ 4800' of gain).  I bailed out on the second lap after experiencing way too much ice and several resulting hard falls in Limbaugh Canyon.  I did go back up to the summit for the second lap and then continued on exploring some other trails that lead off the main trail just before going down into the canyon.  After exploring I then took Mt Herman road back to my car - a  nice 3+ mile gentle downhill that rounded out 15 total miles and 4500'+ of gain.

Thursday it was snowing on a 6 mile easy run on Santa Fe Trail.  Going North for 3 miles into the oncoming , driving snow was a bit harsh, but after turning it was pretty nice to have the wind at my back - I even could keep my eyes open on the way back - not the case on the way up most of the time.

Friday worked out that I couldn't get a run in due to work commitments.

Saturday morning before kids soccer games I got some (moderate) tempo in for 6 miles on Santa Fe trail.  Didn't want to go too nuts so I ran an easy first mile, then a 7 minute 2nd mile, easy 3rd mile, turned around and did 7:30 pace coming back up for mile 4.  Mile 5 was recovery and the last mile was hang on and just finish - ended up a 7:20 pace for that.

So, 60 miles on the week with it starting out awesome on Falcon, by weeks end I was tired.  Next week I will hopefully be better adjusted to a new work schedule as I navigate another 60 mile week, including a "Double Falcon".

Sunday, March 30, 2014

50K training week 4

An easy, recovery week for me with only 40 miles.  To me to write "only 40 miles" is quite an achievement in itself as for most of my running a 40 mile week has been the maximum.  But I am attempting in training for the 50K much more than 40 mile weeks.

4 runs on the week starting with the 8 mile, 2300' gain Mt Herman loop on Monday.  It is still quite icy on this trail, especially on the initial 1700' climb and then in several other areas which don't see the sun at all through Limbaugh Canyon.  But a combination of decreasing ice and increasing fitness resulted on Monday in my first time completing the loop in under 1 hr, 50 minutes.  So a new PR is 1:49:22.  I believe I can go faster too once the trail clears up.

Wednesday I did a 15 mile progression run on Santa Fe Trail, starting at Northgate and heading North.  Started out at a 9:10 average and then each mile I increased the overall average by 5 seconds.  I initially did okay with the goal but by the time I was heading back in order to increase the overall pace, I was needing to go sub 8 minute miles.  And with 4 miles to go I needed to do 7 minute miles in order to finish with an 8 minute overall average.  I was gassed and unable to do so, so I just dialed it back and stayed at an 8:15 overall pace through the end of the 15 miles.  So I didn't quite achieve what I wanted, but it was a tall order to expect anyway.

Thursday was an easy, flat 4 miles on Santa Fe Trail at an 8:40 pace.  Recovery run day.

Friday was Falcon Trail and after last weeks 2nd best lap ever I was wanting to beat that time.  Running clockwise this time (I alternate directions each run) I set out to beat my previous best effort which was about a year ago.  I decided to not look at my watch the first 6 1/2 miles - instead to run by effort - that effort to be a determined push.  So at the half way point, also the highest point on the loop, I was at 60:22.  That was right on time with my best effort - which happened to be going the other direction.  So now I knew I had a chance to get a new best time.  So I now really pushed, the trail was clear of ice and snow so I was able to not worry about footing.  Success, averaging 7:56 pace for the last 6 1/2 miles I achieved a new best lap time of 1:51:55.  I would like to one day maybe get to a 1:50 lap - but that may be out of reach.

So, a good, "easy" week in which I set 2 new PR's.  The goal this upcoming week is a 60 mile week. 

And now for a personal "life update".....
Tomorrow I am starting a new career (My new place of employment) and then by the end of this week I will also be taking on a part time job at this place for the next 4 to 6 months, all the while doing a few hours a week of work transitioning out of my old job - doing that till near the end of the year if I can.  My weeks are about to get much busier (I need to pay some bills), running will be put much lower on my priority list - but I still hope to get training in for the 2 50K's I have coming up, at the end of June and the first Saturday in October.