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.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

50K training week 13 - my mini olympic week

Ok so the Olympic thing for me, as you will see below in this weekly check in - is a stretch, in reality the closest I have ever and will ever get to Olympic level happened 15 summers ago - when I spent the Summer landscaping the US Olympic Training center in Colorado Springs.

But this is my blog and I can put whatever I like on the Title.  So, picture with me the Olympic circles - the logo with the 3 circles on top, interconnecting with 2 circles below.  Keep that in mind as the report unfolds......

Sunday: An easy and refreshing 3 miles on the open space trails behind my apartment. Just a comfortable pace and short run to start out a long week of training - my most ambitious ever.

Monday: An early start and a beautiful morning to get 1 of 3 long runs in for the week.  This being the shortest, flattest and easiest of the week.  Started at Northgate and went North on the Santa Fe Trail, up through Monument and on to Palmer Lake.  Felt good the whole 9 miles up at an easy 8:50 pace.  Stopped the watch at Palmer lake for a few minutes to release some ballast and then decided to get after the pace a little for the return 9 miles.  8:10 pace seemed a nice goal so I set out at that and found it really coming easy, so I upped it to 7:55 pace.  As the morning warmed and the miles clicked by it became a good challenge - but I succeeded in holding it throughout the whole way back.  18 miles on the day, 705' of elevation gain and a total time of just over 2 1/2 hours.

Tuesday: a rest day

Wednesday:  I was off work and therefore ready to get to running work.  On tap - my first ever attempt at a "Triple Herman".  This is not an Olympic Ice Skating move, or an X Games Skateboarders trick - this is three laps of Mt Herman and Limbaugh Canyon.  The goals going in were 1) Finish.  2) Keep moving.  3) Work on Hydration and fueling.  4) Time goals were to hopefully get in under 6 hours for the 24 mile, over 7000' of climbing.  5)"A" time goal was lap 1 = 1:50, Lap 2 = 1:55, Lap 3 = 2:00.

Lap 1 started well with a summit time of just over 37 minutes - this is a 1.25 mile climb, gaining almost 1700' right off the bat.  It gets the majority of the lap climbing out of the way to start with - but with that puts one immediately into "worked" mode.  The rest of the lap is a lot of descending over rocky terrain, 4 stream crossings, running past a shooting range which is always a little hair-raising and throw in another 700' of gain throughout.  At the time I got started on lap one I didn't see anyone else on the trails until I had about 2 miles to go.  Lap 1 completed in 1:50 and a few ticks.  As I made the lap turn I kept the clock running as I refilled water bottles and soaked 1/2 a bagel in water and slurped that down.  Onto lap 2.

Going back up the Summit I was slower than the first time but still managed to keep decent forward momentum, passing a hiker about 1/5 mile below the summit on his way up.  I ended up gaining the summit  in just over 40 minutes.  By now other hikers had made it up top - coming the "easier" way up the trail from Mount Herman Rd.  The Air Force Academy Graduation had just started and people were coming up to see the F11's doing their thing a little later.  Lap 2 progressed well.  Getting my shoes soaked through the puddles and high flowing streams was a little uncomfortable, yet at the same time the cooling it gave to my feet was nice.  Lap 2 ended up in 1:54:45 - right on track, a pleasant surprise.   A quick refill of fluids and inhaling of a banana and I set out on the next Summit.

It was warm now, I was tired and the climb up was tough.  Momentum was much slower and I was feeling dehydrated despite my efforts to keep on top of that.  I decided to dunk my head in a small creek, so cool and refreshing and the water looked clean and clear enough.  So I drank some, knowing it was risky and could get me a bit sick.  But in growing up in New Zealand where we did it all the time I knew enough about how water does filter itself to some degree if you drink it at the right places - at the base of the fastest flowing sections.

Anywhoo....3/4 mile up I passed the same hiker as before who was on his way down now - he asked me what was I thinking doing 2 laps and I replied, well I'm actually on my 3rd.  He was floored and yet impressed, also very encouraging.  It was a good boost and I kept shuffling up.  I'm not sure of my summit time for the 3rd lap, definitely several minutes slower than the previous 2 laps.  Lots more people up top now and the Air Force Thunderbirds were doing their thing to the South.  I caught a few glimpses of them at times.  Was cool.  A group of hikers I had passed on their way up on my lap before recognized me and I had the same quick conversation with them as the hiker a few minutes earlier. 

As I made my way down through Limbaugh Canyon it had clouded over and even dropped a few rain drops on me, which was nice.  I stopped twice more at creeks with cleanish enough looking a fast flowing water - small drinks and dousing the head.  With 2 miles to go and a rolling traverse across the front of the mountain I was dragging, trying to stay within reach of my goal of a 2 hour lap.  Some brutal, albeit small sections of uphill knocked me back behind the schedule.   Finally, with 1/2 mile to go I realized if I could sprint then I might make it.  Sprint?  After over 5 1/2 hours?  No thanks.  Wait.  Why not try?  So I threw myself at it and barreled it back to the finish.  2 hours exactly on the button. 

Time goals achieved, total for the 24 miles was 5:45 and 7200' of gain.   My most challenging training run in a very log time - if not ever.  Certainly if I don't include Pikes Peak / Barr Trail training runs.

Thursday: 4 miles easy recovery run on the Apartment open space trails.  Legs felt okay, albeit a little weary, but I kept the pace very easy.

Friday:  A "Double Falcon".  This is my nemesis.  I bonked the last time on lap 2 - taking 1/2 hour longer than lap 1.  I have yet to really nail pace, hydration and fuel on this run - and as a result, I have walked away from it feeling defeated.  Today I was trying to be smarter with all 3 aspects.  The issue was 2 days earlier I had run the Triple Herman.  So, going into this run I was weary to say the least.  My goal was to just finish - stay working at a manageable and hopefully consistent pace throughout - forgetting about any time goals.

Immediately upon starting out (clockwise) I felt sluggish, but I welcomed this because it reminded me to not try to push, just let the effort come and try to keep it steady.  And steady it did come as I got into the grove of things.  I carried extra fluids and fuel than in previous attempts and also just ran a lot more by feel than watch watching.  Lap 1 completed in 2:09, not fast at all but also not too bad - as I kept the clock running in the parking lot - I refilled both water bottles and ate another water soaked 1/2 bagel.  I decided that instead of turning around and doing lap 2 on the more difficult counter clockwise direction, I would stick with going clockwise.  This was a mental check in the positive for me.  I ended up taking 2 running minutes at the halfway point.  Then I set out and after a few sluggish minutes to get rolling again I managed to get into a good and manageable rhythm. 

The temperatures didn't get much above low 70's during the run, and a breeze picked up - contributing to a successful 2nd lap.  Including the 2 minutes standing still at the beginning of the lap I completed the lap in the exact same time.  Taking out the 2 minutes at halfway - I actually ran this lap 2 minutes faster. 

But the time all adds up - to a 2 lap total of 4:18, 2640' of gain.

So, 75 miles for the week and I completed the Olympic rings of 3 loops of Mt Herman, 2 loops of Falcon Trail.  The Russian Judge gave me passing grades for my Triple Herman, Double Falcon efforts.  Feeling good now, knee pain is still observable but it is getting much, much better.

On tap - 60 miles for this next week and then heading towards a taper.  4 weeks till race day and I am getting a little more excited - plus with a really solid week under my belt, the most miles and most hours on my feet for a week ever - feeling a little more confident, albeit a little weary.

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