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.

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.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

50K Training Week Three

This was another 55 mile training week for me, but I did it with one less run than last weeks 55 miler.

Monday started with a "Double Herman" - my first 2 lap effort of Mt Herman where it was an unknown to me as to what kind of time I could pull off.  I was expecting somewhere around 4:10 to 4:20 total time.  Conditions on the first lap were quite icy in many areas but I managed to be cautious and responsible and not fall on either lap.  By lap 2 the ice had softened in many areas so I could be a little less cautious and push further.  With the improving trail my second lap was actually 1 1/2 minutes faster than lap 2 - a nice bonus.  Even more-so was for the 16 miles I came in a minute under 4 hours and over 4800' of elevation gain.  So I am quite happy with that.

Tuesday was a rest day and I felt really good - no ill effects at all from Monday

Wednesday was a clockwise effort of the Falcon Trail (13 miles) and I was feeling quite good.  I purposefully decided to run by feel the first half lap up to the high point of the lap and was happily encouraged by a halfway split of 1:01:20.  I then felt good enough to get after it on the second half of the trail which was in nice shape.  I ended up running about a minute faster than ever for this 6 1/2 mile stretch.  Final total time was just under 1:54 which is my 2nd fastest time ever - in either direction.  I mark this down as a good sign of improving fitness and expect to do better in future runs.

Thursday was an easy 6 miles at 8:45 recovery pace on the Santa Fe Trail on a cool and crisp, beautiful early Spring morning.

Friday was a 20 miler also on the Santa Fe Trail, starting from the Woodmen Rd trail-head and up to almost Baptist Rd before turning and coming back.  I wanted to do a comfortable effort up and see what I had to work with on the way back.  Starting out with cold temperatures into a chilly wind blowing in my face from the North was difficult to get motivated but after about 7 or 8 miles the wind died down and temperatures gradually got warmer.  I settled into an 8:50 per mile pace for the 10 miles out.  Then on the way back I was feeling peppy so I picked up the effort and got down to 7:55 pace.  I held this quite strong for about 6 miles until both fatigue set in and the wind had by now shifted to be blowing from the South - stronger than it had been from the North a couple hours earlier.  Not very nice.  I struggled over the last 3 miles or so to not fall off my pace but still managed to keep the overall average for the final 10 miles to 8 minute pace.  Final time was just under 2:49 for the 20 miles.

So it was a good week with a 4 hour run, nearly 3 hour run, a 2 hour run and 1 other short run and on each of these I felt good and surpassed my loose expectations and hopes.  About 9 hours of running for the week to tally up the 55 miles.  Giving myself a reset / easy week next week - I have built these in every 4th week in this training block.  So far things are progressing well for the 50K race coming up in now 14 weeks.