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.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

50K Training Week 16 - A look behind and a look ahead at race day

So last week was the last week before race week.  40 miles on tap, covered over 3 runs.  The goal was less mileage on the week, but with equal or more tenacity / effort on these 3 runs.

Monday (6/16) did a Double Herman.  It's not that I've got these double 8 mile loops dialed in, but I have overcome the mental barrier of completing a lap, looking up 1600 or so feet and saying to myself: "do I really want to climb that thing again"?  Now I don't think much about it - or glance up - just keep on moving.

Monday's effort was a little sluggish - still feeling the effort of the 27 miler the Friday before, nevertheless I was able to do my second fastest double lap - (3:35) - just a couple of minutes off the previous best time.  I was hoping to beat that and in fact get below 3:30 for the 16 miles and 4680' of gain - but instead just put in a solid effort.

Wednesday I decided on a progression run for my 10 miler on Santa Fe Trail.  Started at Northgate and went up 5 miles and back.  First 2 miles at 9 min pace, next 2 at 8:30, next 2 at 8 min, next 2 at 7:30 and then a challenging 7 min pace avg for the last 2 miles.  I managed to pull it off and was pleased and a little surprised I could eek the last 2 out on rolling terrain.

Friday:  Back to Falcon Trail and using the .6 mile B-52 connector trail to get on to the trail / loop proper - I had ambitions of trying to get a new PR in for the 13 mile loop.  So I set out way too fast and ended up falling short of a new PR - but not too shabby in hindsight.- sans a PR.  Still ended up with a lap time of 1:51 which is fairly decent for me, better than almost all other efforts.

On to this week and just 20 miles to run prior to race day.  By now I can't really gain much , if anything before race day.  But I decided on Monday to see if I could put in a race day like effort on Mt Herman.  That and just to see how decent of shape I am in......

As I type this - on Wednesday - 2 days after the Monday effort - having just run an easy paced 8 miler today and feeling quite sluggish throughout - I know Monday's effort was bordering on too much.  But with that being said - I should be fine by Saturday, and will do a super easy 4 miler tomorrow to stretch out the legs a bit more.

Back to this past Monday and while I am still suffering a bit today..... I am still quite stoked about the run on Monday.  The weather was perfect and I was feeling really good as I set out.  Previous best lap PR was 1:39:50.  Previous Summit PR (set at a different time) was 33:45.  I started out for the first 1/2 mile of gentle climb at a measured / moderate effort, then the approx. 3/4 mile climb up almost 1600' began and I went to work and pushed as much as possible, even managing a jog on a few of the less steep sections.  Turned out a new Summit PR of 32:30 - a full 75 seconds off the old best and an immediate confidence boost into the run.  Still had 6 3/4 miles to go.....

I kept working hard, trying not to crash as I went down the other side of the mountain and connected to the Limbach Canyon trail.  I kept pushing as I tried to keep a sharp mental focus throughout and managed to keep up a solid pace, under PR time. 

Surprisingly there were several groups of hikers out early in the morning but I managed to navigate around them and with 2 miles to go around the front traverse of the mountain I realized I was not only well within beating the old PR - I was within reach of crushing that time and setting a new PR.

I pushed, hard, legs were complaining now - more than they have in a long time - but I was determined to succeed.  And I did - taking exactly 5 minutes off the old best - the new PR for the 8 mile loop with 2300'+ of gain now sits at 1:34:50.  A huge confidence boost going in to the race this Saturday.

And so we come to this coming race day on Saturday - without wanting to sound overconfident - I am really pleased with how well I have trained and are really excited for the race.  I have put in a lot of miles, way more than ever before for any other race.  In fact, my year to date miles are over 700 miles more than last year to date.  Way more than double.  The extra mileage per week has really helped with fitness and endurance.  I also expect that my strength has increased with a boatload more vertical.  I sit nearing almost 140,000' for the year so far  - 90,000' more than this time last year.  My Mount Herman runs have really accumulated the vertical, Falcon Trail on the Air Force Academy has been a valuable and close training ground too.

So, I have banked the work, I think I have figured out fueling and hydration - in essence: eat a lot, drink a lot of fluids and if I start to overheat or over-exert - then back off for a bit.  The weather forecast for Saturday looks favorable - mid to upper 70's which is warm but not intolerable.  The course has 4600' of climb, some of it quite exposed to the sun apparently so I will need to run smart and take advantage of the (apparently well stocked) aid stations.

I don't really have a time goal.  First priority is to finish, I will be a little irked if I don't go under 6 hours and would ultimately like to beat the time I set for my only other 50k last September (Devil Mountain Ultra) of 5:42:12.  Maybe a 5:30 finish time?  I really don't know because I don't know the course.  I guess I will find out and will look to enjoy the run throughout.   I'm excited for the opportunity and grateful for good health and good fitness going into it.

1 comment:

  1. 5:27. Nice work Craig - good luck on Saturday!