Sunday, April 29, 2012

Training Week 4/23-4/29 & Muddy Moose

M- AM: 6.0 miles in 51:14 with Jim at Purity Springs. Cold and wet and no dead moose.
PM: Black Cap fartlek (1:00 on, 1:00 off, all uphill) 3 miles, 25:31. 6 seconds slower than when I did it a couple of weeks ago, but considering I ran 22 miles a few days ago, I'll take it. Cold and wet. Horrible weather for training, but I wouldn't complain if it's like that on June 16.  1.0 wu, 3.0 cd.

Tu- 10.5 miles in 1:07:06 (6:23 pace) from Jim's house on the Silver Lake Loop. Way quicker than I would have run on my own, but I think I need some runs like that. He was dropping me like a bad habit on the climbs which were plentiful in the second half.

W- 7.5 miles in 1:11:29 up Kettle Ridge and down Red Tail on Black Cap with Jim. 41:46 to the summit. Second fastest time I've ever run up that trail. We weren't pushing just running a consistent pace. 1st time I've ever been sub-30 down the Red Tail on the way down too. 5 strides after.

Th- 7.4 miles in 1:11:14 on the Bloody Arm Loop with Jim. Felt good to go easy on the singletrack. Lunge routine after.

F- AM: 3 x hill circuit on Cathedral Ledge Rd. 3 x (:30 high knees, 1:00 tempo, :30 butt kicks, 1:00 tempo, :30 A skip, 1:00 tempo, :30 bounding, 1:00 hard, 10 squat jumps, all up a 10+% grade, jog down recovery). Quads were smoked after this. Great workout to work on leg strength though. 2.0 wu, 3.9 miles for workout.

PM: 6.8 miles in 58:21 at the Bolles Preserve in Chocorua with Jim. I felt like junk on this one and thankfully Jim took it easy on me.

Sa- AM: 8.0 miles in 1:07:53 on the Lower Moat Brook Loop w/ Jim. Nice and easy was the name of the game. Quads felt better.

PM: nice easy 5.6 mile hike into Zealand Falls Hut with Jess. I love that place and it was nice to get out for a hike with my lovely wife.

Photo by Josh Spaulding, Granite State News

Su- Muddy Moose 14 Mile Trail Race 1:25:06 (CR), 1st place, almost 3 minutes up on Justin Freeman and 3:45 faster than my course record from last year. I am super pumped with this race. I was psyched with my time last year, and honestly wasn't sure if I could run faster this year despite better training all of this winter and spring. I did know I was fit though and was looking for a good race with Double J and Justin. RD Fergus Cullen told us that the course was pretty dry, which wasn't surprising since we had a lack of winter or any rain this spring. I figured my trusty Inov8 X-Talon 212's would be perfect for the conditions though.

The three of us took it out at a pretty quick pace, but in control for the first mile or so, with Justin inching ahead before we hit the first mud pit. This first muddy section had been logged recently and was still covered in logging slash. I was able to tip toe may way through it and take the lead as we hit some drier ground. I stayed out front with Justin right on my heals as we hit the junction for the 4 and 14 mile races at around the 2 mile mark. We came through here in 11:36, about 45 seconds faster than I did last year. The pace still felt manageable though, so I stuck with it.

From here, the course dumps out on a gravel road for about a mile, and my worst fear came true when Justin went by me and upped the tempo on the fastest part of the course. I am nowhere near Justin on the flat stuff in road races, and he ran away from me on the few flats at Mt. Washington last year. I was having a hard time staying with him on the road, but I just tried to stay close and run as smooth as possible.

Right before the infamous escarpment I was able to pull ahead and take the lead as we made the hard left hand turn up the steep bank. I opened a little gap on Justin on the nasty climb, but worried that I may have worked myself a little too much on the 1/4 mile climb. Luckily when I reached the top I was able to recover a little as I shifted gears on the singletrack, which, little did I know, would be the theme of the day.

While bombing down the backside of the escarpment, I could hear Justin's footsteps as we worked our way down the smoothed out snowmobile trail. I just kept hammering along at a good clip, knowing that if I backed off Justin might go by and I might not be able to answer. We made the turn onto the Jeep roads at the bottom of the hill, which were dry and there were no puddles in sight.

Coming through the 5 mile aid station I checked my watch and saw a split of 29:16. Last year I was 31:00, so I knew our pace was still pretty quick, and well under the course record. I opened up a little more of a gap as Justin stopped for water and a gel, as my tiring legs kept motoring along. At this point I could tell I was slowing a little, but I just kept telling myself to stay smooth and let the fitness do its work. Easier said than done as Justin kept closing the gap on me on the way to the beaver dam loop.

Every year I take the left hand turn on this loop as I like to run the technical section uphill rather than downhill. The downside to this is that you have to get wet at the beaver dam crossing and your feet and legs might be numb on the climb from the cold water. Today was no exception. The water was about mid-thigh deep this year, but I managed to splash my whole body with frigid water as I tried to keep my momentum going forward. It took a little while to get warmed up again, but my legs were on fire once again when I reached the top of the hill. I still had Justin in tow though and couldn't afford to let up. Soon after, I passed Double J going in the other direction and he warned me of the rough footing ahead, but I couldn't manage to squeeze out a warning about the beaver dam.

After exiting the loop, I was able to open up my stride a little as the trail turns into a smoother Jeep road and has a slight downhill. I didn't dare look back to check on the gap, and kept my head down and watched out for rocks, roots and washouts. I came into the 9 mile aid station to the encouragement of Tad and Sheri Thomas in 54:06, compared to 58:00 last year! I had to double check my watch as I didn't believe that I had actually cut more time from last year's pace. At this point I couldn't hear Justin, but I still didn't dare to look back.

The last 5 miles I had to constantly switch gears as the course changed from Jeep road, to brutal climbs, to singletrack. Each time I changed my stride though, I would recover a little and use a different set of muscles to keep barreling along. The mile long gravel stretch was tough, especially with the head wind, but I was determined to keep hammering. I was slipping all over the place on the last muddy sections, but that was not surprising as my legs were tired and the trail was pretty rutted from 200 runners passing through it earlier.

I crossed the line in 1:25:06, 3:45 ahead of last year. I had no idea I would run that fast, especially after a less than stellar time at The Rivah. This raced showed that the work I have put in this winter and spring has really paid off. I probably wouldn't have run that fast without Justin and Jim pushing me though. I would rather run a fast time against competition and risk not winning, than win easy in a slower time with no competition. Also a big thank you to Fergus Cullen for putting on another great race.

2.0 w/ Jim, 3.0 cd w/ Jim and Justin (bonk fest).

Totals: 78.10 miles, 10.47 hours A pretty good week. Two solid workouts and an awesome race. Some of the "easy" days with Jim are a little quicker than I am used too, but I need that little kick in the butt, and I think we're both going to run better as a result.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Training Week 4/16-4/22

M- 12.5 miles on the Mt. Washington Auto Road. Progression run past the 6 mile mark (57:55). 8:09 9:15 9:06 8:57 22:26 from 4 mile mark to past the 6 mile mark. Road was clear of snow and ice until just past Cragway. 56:35 down

Tu- 5.1 miles in 48:12 at Whitaker Woods fun run. Earliest we've started these that I can remember. Ran most of it with Jim. Drills and strides after.

W- AM: 6.6 miles on the Conway Rec Trail with Peter Haine in 52:19. Nice and easy.
PM:  4 x Cathedral Ledge Rd. (0.9 miles, ~10% grade avg., much steeper in spots) 7:19 7:16 7:44 7:39. Goal for these was to run tempo effort and I went way too hard on the first two. Settled in nicely on the last two. 1.6 wu, 0.2 cd.

Th- 9.0 miles in 1:24:12 on the Upper Moat Brook Loop plus dirt road add-on. Felt ok. Just tried to run easy as my quads were fried from all of the downhill running so far this week.

F- 4.9 miles in 55:05 with Jim on Hedgehog Mtn. Good solid run and Jim was pushing the climb, so I just tried to stay with him. Quads still not feeling great, but that's part of training. Soaked in the Swift River for about 2 minutes after until I couldn't take it anymore.

Sa- 21.8 miles in 5:20:27 up and down and around Owls Head with Jim and Troy Shellhamer. What better way to get your legs to feel better than to go for a 5 hour trail run? This run was a lot of fun and it was good to run with Troy as I have known him for a few years, but we've never had a chance to run together. The conditions were mixed, but it was good running, especially for mid-April. Soaked in river after.

Coming down the Owls Head Slide

 Lincoln Brook "Trail"

Nice swimming hole / water refill station near 13 Falls

Su- 7.3 miles in 1:04:27 with Jim on the Wal-Mart Singletrack (Outer Limits). I forgot how much that trail climbs. I also forget when the last time someone ran away from me on singletrack on a training run was, but now I know it is April 22. Lunge routine after. felt surprisingly good.

Totals: 76.2 miles, 13.6 hours. Solid week. A good amount of volume, two good workouts and some up-tempo running in there. I'm not used to getting pushed on training runs, but I definitely need it. Good first week of mountain specific training. 8 more weeks until Washington.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Training Week 4/9-4/15 and Racing on the Rivah

M- 11.0 miles in 1:16:13 with Double J on the dirt roads of South Conway. Original plan was to do a few miles easy as a warm-up, then 12 miles of 3 min on 3 min moderate, but neither one of us was feeling great, so we just ran steady 7 min pace on the hilly roads.

Tu- 3.2 miles in 35:57 with Double J and Roger after timing the KHS track meet. Roger and I were ready to skip the run, but Jim guilted us into getting out.

W- 4.0 miles in 31:55 from Jim's house on the roads to the McNair easement, then the trail around the pond. Another day where I wanted to take a zero after hiking 12.2 miles up and down Cranmore for work.

View from my office for the day, Cranmore Mtn.

Th- 5.0 miles in 44:49 with Jim on the trails behind my house. I don't run there very often because most of them are dead ends. I really need to get out there and do some trail work to make some loops.

F- 6.1 miles in 48:06 from Jim's house over Chamberlain Ledge, Modock Hill Rd. and Pound Rd. Solid run.

The gloves say it all

Sa- Merrimack River Trail Race, 1st place, 59:13, 16 sec ahead of Tim Van Orden. Decent race. My legs felt like garbage all week, and race day was no different. No soreness, just felt like I had battery acid running through my veins all week. My goal was to just run smooth the first half and hope I could run a harder effort the second half.

I passed the first mile in 5:09 in the lead, right about where I am every year and was a little surprised as it felt slower that. I took my splits and tried to not think about times, more about the effort. I was running fairly quick despite how my legs felt. I wasn't breathing terribly hard, so I knew I was running smart. All the while I was being dogged by a mysterious runner, but I didn't dare look back to see who it was as I don't look behind me in races. The mystery runner stayed behind me all the way until just after 4 miles where we hit Powahline Hill. He was close on the hill, but I recovered quicker and was able to open up a good gap by the time we hit the 5 mile turnaround. I had 28:59 on my watch at half way, which I knew projected out to about 59:00 for the full race. I was hoping to run a couple minutes faster when I started looking at splits a few weeks ago, but I didn't feel like complete ass back then.

Making my way back I saw that my pursuer was TiVO. I was a little surprised to see that it was him, but I shouldn't have been as he's been running really well this winter and spring and is tough on the trails. I just tried to stay smooth knowing that I wasn't going to set a PR, but I wanted to put in a hard effort. I made my way back through the masses, each mile split a little slower than on the way out, some from running into oncoming traffic, but, mostly from fatigue. This race course should be right in my wheelhouse, but I've only managed to run really fast on it once.

Around 8 miles the course climbs up from the river onto a high bank and I had to opportunity to look behind me without turning my head, and I spied TiVo about 10-15 seconds back. I was running hard, but wasn't in the mood to have the race come down to a kick, so I put in some hard work in the last 2 miles to make sure that didn't happen. As bad as I felt the last 2 miles trying to run hard, a kick would have hurt a hell of a lot more.

I crossed the line pretty light headed, mostly because of my dead legs and not because I was breathing terribly hard. My face was encrusted in salt too. I'm guessing I have been dehydrated all week after the head cold I had last week and my 12 mile hike at Cranmore on Wednesday. I pounded 1/2 gallon of Gatorade on the ride home and drank more water when I got home. A good night of sleep helped.

A big thank you to Double D and Petey for putting on a great race.

3.0 wu, drills, no cd

1 5:09
2 5:20
3 5:55
4 5:50
5 6:43 28:59
6 6:57
7 6:13
8 6:14
9 5:30
10 5:19 30:15 2nd half

Previous River Results:

57:46 2008 1st
58:58 2005 3rd
59:05 2010 1st
59:07 2011 2nd
59:13 2009 2nd
59:13 2012 1st
59:35 2006 2nd
59:48 2007 2nd

59:06 avg. time, 1.75 avg. finish. At least I'm consistent.

Su- 11 miles in 1:26:24 with Peter Haine at Lincoln Woods. We ran the Wilderness Trail out and the Pemi Side East Trail back. Some crazy damage from Hurricane Irene on the East Side past the Wilderness boundary. Soaked in the river for a few minutes after, but it was too damn cold!

Totals: 53.3 miles, 6.71 hours. A ho-hum week. It would have been a lot worse if Jim didn't drag me out the door a bunch of those days. Tim and I cut out the morning runs this week in order to catch up on sleep and get the legs feeling good again, but it didn't work. I didn't realize that dehydration was the problem until after the race on Saturday. A little disappointed that I didn't get the strides and drills in this week. This coming week leaves 9 weeks until Mt. Washington. I know I'm in better shape than last year and will start doing mountain specific workouts. It's going to be a fun build up.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Training Week 4/2-4/8

M- AM: 5.3 miles in 1:02:45 with Tim and Double J on the Wal-Mart singletrack. 6 strides after.

PM: 5.2 miles in 52:35 with Roger on the Experimental Forest roads. A little cooler in Bartlett than in Conway.

Tu- AM: 6.0 miles in 1:04:31 on singletrack and Corridor 19 with Tim, Double J and Sarah. Nice and easy. 4 strides after.

PM: 6 x mile at half marathon effort, 3:00/400m recovery 5:08 5:13 5:11 5:09 5:11 5:15 (5:11 average) Good workout. Not very smooth as I ate junk at lunch and took advantage of Ben & Jerry's Free Cone Day mid-afternoon. Did this workout with Double J which was a big help. I would lead the first two laps of each repeat, and he would take the second two. I had a hard time keeping up with him, but I just tried to stay smooth. On the last three, Jim led the first two laps and I pulled us to the finish. My stomach got the best of me on the last couple, but I made it. Jim got a bad calf cramp on the last one, so I ended up leading the whole thing.

2.5 wu + drills & strides, no cd

W- AM: 3.0 miles in 31:26 on Corridor 19. SLOW and sore. Good head cold going too.

PM: 3.3 miles up Mt. Willard in 1:38:18 w/ Roger. Combo run/bushwhack. We were hunting for the elusive tri-county marker on the side of Willard, but had no luck finding it. Great view on that little summit though.

Roger on Mt. Willard

Th- 8.6 miles in 2:06:57 on Carter Ledge and Middle Sister with Double J. Lots of climbing to redline some trails on the side of Chocorua. Windy and cold up high, but some cool views.

Jim on Carter Ledge

F- 7.8 miles in 1:09:05 on the Lower Nanamacomuck w/ Double J. I was hoping to do a workout today, but I'm still pretty stuffed up, so I figured I'd push it to tomorrow. Lunge routine after.

Sa- 0 Real life took precedent as we did some spring cleaning to get rid of a bunch of stuff that has accumulated in our condo over the years. Probably need the rest.

Su- 0 again. I really had no motivation to go for a run. Head cold is mostly gone, but still lingering at the end of the day. The last two nights I got 9.5 hours of sleep each night, which is a sign that I need some rest, as I rarely sleep that much. Got out for a nice 5 mile walk at Rob Brook with Jess though.

Totals: 49.0 miles, 9.52 hours. OK week until the weekend. The rest is probably needed though and I want to kick this thing before The Rivah this weekend.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Training Week 3/26-4/1: What The Hell Was That?

M- 3.7 miles in 45:14 with Tim on the Green Hills singletrack. Pretty tired. Planned on doing a 6 x 1 mile workout later in the day, but procrastinated. I probably needed the rest anyways. I may have overdone it last week. 6 strides after.

Tu- 8.3 miles in 1:04:47 at Purity Springs with Double J. We saw a dead moose, and I didn't feel much better than he looked. Lunge routine after.

W- 4.4 miles in 56:48 on the Green Hills singletrack with Tim. Felt ok.

Th- 0 surveying conference in Claremont all day. Left Conway at 5AM and didn't get home until 10:30PM. I was planning on doing a token 2 miles before I left to keep my 28 day streak alive, but I didn't want to get out of bed.

F- 11.1 miles in 1:31:42 with Double J around and over Foss Mountain. We made an awesome loop using Class VI roads and the trail over the mountain. We had about 4 miles of pavement on Rte. 153 and Snowville Rd., but even that was nice. Not an ideal pre-race run, but I need to get back into a routine. 1600 ft of elevation gain on this bad boy.

Sa- Gilmanton 5k, 16:15 (14 sec course PR), 2nd place, 8 seconds behind Brandon Newbould. Hard race on a hard course. I managed to stay with him until just before the mile (4:51). At the 3k mark he probably had 5 seconds on me as we hit the hairpin and started climbing for the next kilometer. I closed the gap at the top of the hill, but Brandon is a strong runner and took off from me on the downhill in the last k. I made a couple of valiant efforts to reel him back in, but it didn't happen. Still felt a little rusty trying to race a 5k, but it was a solid effort and a coursre PR there is a sign of good things.

2.0 wu + drills & strides Brian Fox, 4.0 cd w/ Brandon

Su- 7.2 miles in 1:29:09 w/ Paul up Cranmore and Black Cap. 24:30 to the summit of Cranmore, 45:35 to Black Cap. We were scouting out some ski trails for this year's Cranmore Hillclimb. I was planning on adding on some peaks in the Green Hills, but I was pretty sore.

Totals: 43.8 miles, 6.88 hours. Not what I was hoping for, but I probably overdid it last week and paid the price. Once again proof that consistency is way more important than just sheer mileage. I should have been able to get in another high mileage week, but I didn't plan my days very well and my running suffered. I am happy with the race though and am looking forward to getting back at it this week.