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, 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.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

50K training week 2

55 miles for the week.  I have only run more weekly miles once - years ago and if I remember that was when I did a long run on a Sunday, then another long run the following Saturday.

This 55 mile week went as follows:
   - Sunday a slow and steady 6 miler on Santa Fe Trail, Hwy 105 in Monument up to Palmer Lake and back.  The weather was sunny and warm, the trail was a sloppy snow covered mess so even if I wanted to go faster I couldn't, so I didn't.
   - Monday was my long run of the week.  Again on Santa Fe Trail, starting this time at the Northgate entrance to the USAFA, went North 9 miles up to Palmer Lake and back.  I wanted to make this a progression run, so I started out at a 9:25 average, then each mile I dropped the overall average by 5 seconds.  24 hours of warm weather and lots of sun had melted away most of the snow, was still muddy in spots but really only for the top 3 or 4 miles.  With the progressively faster miles I held on well for the first 9 mile, so at the turn I had the overall average down to 8:45 miles.  But by now I was getting tired, physically and mentally. After a few more miles I was to be down at an 8:30 average but just couldn't get there.  8:33 was the best.  So for the last 6 miles I backed off and just tried to finish and be done.  By the time I was done the overall average had dropped by to 8:40 pace.  Total time was 2:36, so not a great run but one to bank for time on the feet and getting it done.
    - Tuesday, a much needed rest day, plus it snowed so it was well timed / planned to have a day off.
    - Wednesday: my weekly loop of the Falcon trail was again on a snowy trail so the goal was just to enjoy the 13 mile loop and 1400+ gain in elevation.  Mission accomplished for a 2:08 time.  That was 5 minutes slower than last week which had much less snow and 11 minutes slower than the week before.
    - Thursday was a big day for me, not just for running - career changing day.  More on that in future posts.  The day also involved a bit of an appearance change.  My last haircut was back in Sept / Oct and I hadn't shaved in close to 2 months.  I have been accused recently of having an appearance of one who lives under a bridge, an accusation I deny - but appearance-wise is possibly accurate.
Okay so admittedly there would be times I would see myself in a mirror and crack up laughing at how silly I look
But with the woolly, caveman look - runs in the frosty weather were more fun
The lady who cuts my hair normally charges $7.  This time she charged me $10
And it took about 20 minutes and 2 razor blades to hack off the hairy cheeks and neck
Thursday was supposed to be a slow and easy recovery run day - but I was feeling adventurous, plus possibly 2 pounds lighter due to lack of hair and beard.  So I did my 8 mile Mt. Herman loop, finishing in near darkness.  The snow was really deep in Limbaugh canyon at the South end, like up to my shorts deep in several places.  Silly me for wearing shorts also as the postholing hacked up the shins quite painfully.  But it was sooooo much fun, was wishing I had a video of some of it.  Around the front end I had to push it a bit as I had no light and needed to get done as I am not a fan of running by braille.  With the extra effort over the last 3 miles I managed to actually beat last weeks time by 2 minutes.
    - Friday afternoon then became my easy recovery run, supposedly.  I wasn't able to get to it till the afternoon when the wind had picked up.  I started at the Woodmen Rd trailhead for Santa Fe trail and decided to take the wind on for the first 5 miles, then have it at my back for the last 5 miles.  Unfortunately it has been many, many months since I have run on paved and concrete surfaces, which this was for all but about 1/3 mile - so my knees were protesting the whole way.  I went out in a 9 minute average, turned and just wanted to be done so I came back at an 8:40 average.  10 miles for the day.

So a good and tough week, three snowy trail runs included.  A 2 1/2 hr run, 2 2 hr runs and a 1 1/2 hr run plus the short 6 miler for 9 hours of running.  I'm taking Saturday and Sunday off in preparation for a "Double Herman" on Monday - starting another 55 mile week.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

50K Training Week One

I have decided to keep track of my training with a weekly summary of it here on the blog-a-log.  17 weeks of getting ready to run the North Fork 50K.  Before getting into the training I completed 17 weeks of 40 to 45 miles per week.  In my mind that is a good base to expand off of.  It is the kind of base that is twice as much as I have started out with on previous race build ups.  The week before jumping into active training mode I ran only twice, giving myself a nice reset and refresh week before jumping into a 50 mile week this week.

I have a schedule mapped out for each upcoming week that focuses on Monday and Friday being the hardest days, Wednesday being fairly challenging also.  Sundays and Thursdays will be shorter, recovery runs and I will take off Tuesdays and Saturdays.  Of course the weather will likely impact the schedule so I will adjust if and when necessary.

So, this week started off with a flat and steady 5 miler on the Santa Fe Trail in mind, however I was feeling fresh legged after only running 21 miles the week before and this run became a good tempo run for me, completed in 38:45.

Monday was a loop of the Falcon Trail.  This 13 mile run has become a weekly staple and it is such an enjoyable run with some good variations in it and  even a few stream crossings, not to mention that it is on the Air Force Academy so it is a well taken care of trail - albeit a bit snowy and icy at times. I went counter clockwise for a 1:59 which has been about average for the past 4 months.

Wednesday morning was a bit slick with freshly fallen snow on Mt Herman that made the 1600'+ climb up a bit slower than wanted event.  However it wasn't too icy like it has been in recent weeks, although just enough new snow to be slickery underfoot.  After the slow first 1 1/3 miles I was able to get a better move on and finished the 8 mile loop in 1:58.

Thursday was a slow and easy 6 mile recovery run on Santa Fe Trail.

Friday I was back on the Santa Fe Trail, this time starting at Woodmen Rd, headed North 9 miles at an easy 9 minute per mile average and then turned and came back at an 8 minute average.  It was much harder to maintain that although by the end of the run it had begun to rain steadily so that helped with motivation to get it done, which I did, finishing in 2:33 for an 8:30 overall average.

So, it was a successful week.  The encouraging thing for me was that Friday afternoon my legs were feeling good with no ill effects from the earlier long run.

Aiming for 55 miles next week.