Sunday, October 26, 2008

10/26/08: Weekly Training Log

This week's training started out with a 12 mile run on Saturday and the Potomac Heritage 50K on Sunday, so I was pretty tired for the rest of the week. I ended up skipping my usual track workout on Wednesday night because my legs were still too sore.

I managed to talk myself into mile repeats on Thursday morning, but I only ended up doing 2 since my legs were STILL sore. I was able to hit 5:45 for the repeats, so I was happy with that part. Her's the breakdown of the week:
  • Saturday - 12 miles easy
  • Sunday - Potomac Heritage 50K in 4:58
  • Monday - 7 miles easy
  • Tuesday - 10 miles easy
  • Wednesday - 12 miles easy
  • Thursday - 7 miles w/ 2 x 1mi @ 5:45
  • Friday - 6 miles easy
  • Total - 85 miles

I ended up running 85 miles for the week but was pretty tired by the end. I took an unscheduled off day on Saturday to give my legs a bit of time to recover.

Jen and I also helped out at the Brooks section of the Marine Corp Marathon expo. We were there with a bunch of other people in the Brooks ID program, and we had a great time meeting everyone. There were a lot of fast marathoners and some ultramarathoners as well. The people who work for Brooks were also awesome. They gave us a lot of free gear for volunteering our time, so Jen and I made out pretty well.

Hopefully I'll be able to get my legs back next week and get in some more hard runs before Philly. Wish me luck!

Monday, October 20, 2008

10/20/08: Potomac Heritage 50K Race Report

On Sunday I ran the Potomac Heritage 50K. It's a really low key "race" that the Virginia Happy Trails Running Club puts on.

I did a lot of hard running with 80 miles total the prior week (including 12 miles the day before), so I wasn't really planning to go all out. I was just looking for a good training run and to get some company while running.

The race starts at someone's house in DC. When I got there I saw Keith Knipling, who is an extremely badass ultramarathoner that lives in DC (he's won several of the hundreds in Virginia). When we started running I decided to try to hang with Keith. He's definitely faster than me, but I figured it would be fun to meet him. I also had no idea where I was going, and he knew the course well.

The first 9 miles were fairly flat and runnable. We were running at a pretty good pace, probably somewhere around 7:30 miles. The weather was perfect, and I was feeling good and having lots of fun.

The race really started after the aid station at mile 9. That's when we hit the Potomac Heritage Trail, which can be really rocky and technical in spots. The next 16 miles or so were on the PHT. I stayed with Keith until Mile 13, and then he took off and dusted and me. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.

I haven't done many serious long runs since Vermont in July, so things started getting tough about halfway through the run. My legs were fine, but I've lost my ability to eat and drink on the run (my major weakness in ultras).

My stomach went steadily downhill, but I was still moving at a decent pace. At mile 29 I finally hit the breaking point and threw up on the side of the trail. While I was throwing up, the woman who had been running in 3rd place passed me. She was nice enough to make sure I was ok. I told her I would be fine and that she was running a great race.

I felt MUCH better after emptying my stomach and just cruised in the last couple of miles. I finished in 4:58 and 3rd place. I definitely could have run a lot faster if my stomach cooperated, but it was still a really good training run and lots of fun.

Hopefully I can do a lot more running with the VHTRC in the future. There are a lot of cool people in the club, and they put on great events.

10/17/08: Weekly Training Log

Well it’s been a great week of training. DC had beautiful weather, and I had some really good runs this week. Here’s the breakdown:

Saturday – 19 miles with 15 hard at 6:46 (ran w/ DC Road Runners)
Sunday – 18 mile trail run at Seneca Greenway
Monday – 7 miles easy
Tuesday – Off (traveling for work)
Wednesday – 12 miles with 7 x 800 @ 2:46
Thursday – 10 miles easy
Friday – 8 miles easy
Total – 80 miles

I was especially surprised by Saturday’s long run. I hadn’t done any long runs or speed work in 3-4 weeks with the wedding and honeymoon. I started out running with the lead pack and figured I’d see how far I could make it. They really started pushing the pace around mile 7, but I was able to hang on.

I did pay a price for it, though. Between that run and the following day’s 18 mile run, I was still a bit sore for the Wednesday night track workout. I still ran pretty well, but the workout was a bit harder than it should have been.

I’m also starting to get my race schedule set for next year. I signed up for the Bel Monte 50 Miler on March 28th. It’s on a pretty serious course out in George Washington National Forest with 11,000 feet of elevation gain and descent. This should be a really fun, challenging race, and I’m looking forward to it. I’m also planning to sign up for some 50Ks in February and March and may do a 50 miler/and or 50K in April.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

10/14/2008: Honeymoon running!

Well it has certainly been far too long since my last post. The big news is that I got married on September 19th! It was a beautiful day and everything went really well. Jen and I then headed to Greece for two weeks for our honeymoon. We had an amazing time.

We actually did some great hiking while we were there. Our first stop was the island of Naxos, which is home to Mt. Zues, a 3,000+ foot mountain that is the highest point in the Greek islands. It was a really fun hike up it and was very technical and rocky. The view from the top was also unbelievable.

Our hotel in Naxos also had a treadmill, so I did a few quick runs on the last two days we were there. At the next island, Paros, there wasn’t really a very good way to run. I didn’t mind the relaxation too much though. We also went on a nice hike again one of the three days we were there. Santorini was an ideal place to run, and Jen was really good about letting me head out early in the morning to get an hour of running in. Santorini was formed by a massive volcanic eruption 3,500 years ago, so the island is basically a half moon shape with a thousand foot cliff at the edge going straight down the ocean. There is a great stone path/trail that runs all along the edge of the cliff. I ran along that most morning we were there, and Jen and I hiked the whole path one day to get to another town on the island. It’s tough to imagine a more beautiful place to run. Now I’m back training hard again. Usually I feel like I lose a lot of fitness on vacations, but I came back with my body feeling rested and ready for hard training. I ran 52 miles this week from Monday to Friday and had a great track workout with the DC Road Runners Wednesday night. The workout was 20 minutes hard, 2 minutes rest, 15 minutes hard. I ran 6:08 pace for the first 20 minutes covering a bit of 3 miles. In the 15 minutes, I ran 6:00 pace for 2.5 miles. This is very fast for me, and I was shocked that I was able to run so well after being on vacation. I’m really feeling good about Philly and looking forward to it.