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.

Friday, June 13, 2014

50K training week 15 - measured efforts bring favorable results

Starting out the week with 3 weeks till race day.  On the schedule that I had mapped out for myself I was chasing 50 miles in only 3 runs.  Each run with a purpose of chasing more than just miles.  Training: yes.  Results: more so.

Sunday and Monday: off - Monday was not by design, life happened.  In a nice way, hanging out with my kids is awesome and I had the opportunity to do so in the morning before off to work.

Tuesday: In hindsight an extra rest day after a tough few days last week really helped this days effort.  Also contributing was perfect weather.  Started out in the low 50's and warmed some, but not to the unbearable point. 

On tap....a double Herman, 16 miles and 4600' of gain over the 2 laps.  In the forefront of my mind was to try to run at a steady, consistent pace.  A measured effort that if I ran to the purpose would result in a new PR.  I also wanted to make sure a fueled and hydrated well.  Lap 1 went really smoothly and I made the traverse up to the Summit and then over the other side felling great.  Through Limbaugh canyon it was nice to see things getting green and really coming to life, including wild columbine flowers in patches.  Lap 1 completed in just a few ticks under 1:45.  It was about a minute slower than where I wanted to be, but I was feeling good. 

My PR for 2 laps I had set about a month ago, 3:32:40.  To beat that would take some work - the make or break was going to be the next mile up 1600' to the summit.  By this time it was much warmer, I took a minute to refuel and hydrate up and got to work.  All the while trying to move at the steady effort rather than push too much.  I summited and realized I was still on track to get close to 3:33.  But with over 6 miles to go there was still a lot of work to do - a focused effort needed to be in place.

Taking advantage of the downhill's and trying to stay steady on the climbs paid off.  With 3 miles to go I realized I was not only under the PR pace, but had a shot of getting under 3:30.  The last mile has some stinkers of rolling uphill's that really sap the energy so it took a lot to keep moving.  With 1/3 mile to go and all slightly downhill I dropped the hammer and was able to really gas it.

New PR of 3:28:50.  Taking almost 4 minutes off the previous best, negative splitting lap 2 by 1 minute which to me was even more satisfying.

Wednesday: rest day.  Felt quite good though.

Thursday: Greenland Trail - my 8 mile 1 lap nemesis in that I have tried to break 60 minutes there so many times, my best is about 40 seconds shy of it.  I woke that morning to light rain and a grumpy wind coming from the South.   The first 3 1/3 miles is uphill, heading South.  Not only did I have no chance to PR - it was a miserable first few miles.  I decided to just keep moving and get the first bit out of the way, go moderate for the climb up Kipps Saddle to the high point of the trail - then take advantage of the last 3 miles of downhill with the strengthening wind at my back.

The last 3 miles I rocked out at 20:02 - really pushing it at a surprising pace.  The overall lap time was an unimpressive 63 minutes, but I took away the last 3 miles as encouraging.

Friday: Another nemesis run on tap - Double Falcon.  Two 13 mile laps on the Air Force Academy trail.  I had not run this year in much in the way of hot weather, today was different, especially because I got an hour later start than I hoped for.  The AFA had some event taking place that prohibited access to my normal starting point at the parking lot to the North of the Football stadium.  Instead after driving around to several guard gates and getting nowhere I parked at the B-52 bomber near the North entrance, finally found the connecting trail - an additional .6 miles to get to the Falcon trail - I jogged across to it and then started my 2 laps.

My nemesis, so to speak is the second lap each time I have tried this - each time when I have gone counter clockwise I have bonked, overheated, wore out, burnt out, fell out.  Today I had more fluids, more fuel and more of a plan.  It was simple: measure my effort by a steady manageable pace, drinking and eating frequently and try not to overheat.

My goal for lap 1 was a 2:05 ish time.  But I really wasn't too concerned about the time, I rather was more focused on just managing to keep the effort level steady and consistent.  Lap 1 ended up being 2:03:40 - a little quicker than I wanted but I felt good and with the temperatures climbing I knew lap 2 was going to be a slow bake in the heat.

With the first 2 miles of the lap being a climb up the ridge overlooking the golf courses - in laps gone by this has been my undoing, or overdoing (heat-wise) - depending on how you look at it.  The mindset of just keeping moving at a steady effort seemed to pay off.   I was slower than lap 1 and I knew it, but I got up feeling okay, energy and body temp wise.

I was encouraged and kept moving, reaching the Stanley Canyon high point of the loop with what was a little less fluids than I realized would be necessary with the increasing air temps.  It would be a bit touch and go to have enough to make the last 7 1/2 miles.

I decided to ease back off the effort to try not to overheat and not be too parched.  That helped with fluid consumption.  The climb up the Fire station hill was a brute as always but I made it without walking.  Problem was at the top of it I was down to about 4 ounces of fluids - with 4+ miles to go.

I was on track time wise to beat my previous best 2 lap time (4:15:10) by several minutes - but was faced with a need to pull back the effort even more in order to finish at all.  A steady mile of downhill helped but then 2 grinding uphill's knocked me back.  The one by the stadium kicked my butt. I made it to the top but immediately felt off - I had experienced this overheating / dehydration before.  I walked for a minute and downed the last mouthful of water. 

Instead of finishing less than 1/2 mile later at the parking lot though I had to get back to the B-52 connector trail, 1 1/4 miles away.  I shuffled, stumbled and made my way forward, and felt myself getting really wobbly.  By now the temperature was in the mid 80's.  It was not an easy way to grind it out.  Finally I was done, 26 miles and somehow a new PR - admittedly by only 30 seconds.  Lap 2 was 2:11 exactly.

The next problem was the .6 mile walk back to my car.  That was a slow one.  I purposefully took my time to make it and recuperate as much as I could.  Back at the parking lot some ladies were having a picnic and I pitifully begged some water from them.  They were very obliging.

An afternoon of swimming with my kids at the apartment swimming pool has helped the recovery and now I look forward to my second to last week of training.  40 miles on tap in 3 runs.  Still will be keeping up with a higher effort on these as I back off the mileage but keep up the work.  Race day is getting closer.  I'm thinking about it more often now too.  Not anxious yet, but that will come.

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