Back on Track

Thursday, October 17, 2013

                Training is going well. At least this far into the season, I’m managing to keep myself fresh and feeling good for the most part. I’m trying a new formula in preparation for the Bootlegger 50k in a couple of weeks. More specifically, I’m running one workout during the week with the team which is geared towards xc races, although I am making the effort to do longer/slightly slower versions when the options present themselves. On non-race weeks, instead of running something faster later in the week, I’m opting for 2 long runs instead on Saturday/Sunday. The idea is to feel good on the first one and really get some climbing in and then just slog through the second one on tired legs in an effort to accustom to myself to running in a depleted/fatigued state which will ideally prepare me for the last 10-12 miles of the 50k. So last week, I missed the Tuesday workout due to our annual advisory board meeting and instead chose to run a 7 mile tempo. I wasn’t quite sure how it would go since it was the first tempo I’d done since the season began, so I went into it planning to run by feel and see where that put me pace-wise. I ended up running the last 3-4 miles sub-5:15 pace and felt quite comfortable, so I was rather pleased. Then, I went out on Saturday and ran 22 miles with 600+ ft of climbing all over Mt. Tam. It was great. I was totally spent afterwards, but that’s what I wanted. Despite a late night and early morning, I felt all right on Sunday at the outset. However, I quickly realized that all I wanted was to get the run over with. So 6 miles in I found myself counting the miles. It was a long run in all senses of the word. But, again, I was in a beautiful area (King Mountain/Dawn Falls were highlights), so I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I’ve done the double long run once or twice in the past couple months and was able to bounce back relatively well within a couple of days, but Saturday was the most climbing I’ve done since Headlands, so I planned to play it by feel come Tuesday’s workout.

                Monday was pretty slow. I was tired as expected, but found a rhythm about halfway into the run. It’s been absolutely gorgeous these past several days, so getting out the door isn’t hard, but the first couple of miles can be challenging. Tuesday’s workout was either 9 x 1000 or 3 x 2 mile on the track. It’s getting darker earlier and earlier, which sucks, but I was excited to be back on the track in a more controlled environment and to see what running faster felt like. The k’s sounded awful for some reason, so I opted for the 3 x 2 miles. Within the reps, we were supposed to run the first and fifth laps at 10k pace and then slow a bit to half marathon pace for the rest of the laps. Malcolm and I got through the first two with relative ease (10:19, 10:16), and I felt really strong heading into the third, so I decided to pick it up a bit and hit 9:55. We did a good job of switching paces in the 2nd one and I was able to carry that over into the last rep and I left the track feeling very good about the workout. I’m heading to DC this weekend for the last wedding of the season and I’m excited to get in some good running around there. It’s not terribly hilly, so the pace will be a bit quicker than on the mountain, which will be a good change from the slogging that last weekend saw. And with the government shutdown ending, the C&O tow path should be open allowing for some nice river running. Right now, I’m planning on another double long run weekend, although maybe not as intense/long as last weekend. Saturday’s run will probably be 20-22 miles, but flatter and faster, and Sunday will be 17-18 once I get back to Marin in the afternoon. I think that’ll put me over 100 miles on the week. Oh… that’s another thing I’ve been focusing on heading into Bootlegger: keeping my weekly mileage up. I’ve been around 90-100 miles a couple of times in the past several weeks and am looking to stay there until I start to taper for Bootlegger, which means I’ve got another week or so of high mileage. It’s coming up quickly and I can’t wait. I think I’m fitter than I was going into Headlands and there is less climbing, so I’m excited to see what I can do, especially with the added fact that I’ve run a 50k and know a (tiny) bit more about the distance. I’m also enough of a rookie in ultrarunning  that I don’t know any of the names of the people showing up, so I don’t know whether or not to be intimidated by the field. I think that’s a good thing. I’d rather go into the race not knowing who’s who and just hang with the leaders until I can’t. Or vice versa 😉 

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About afvarner

Runner. Donuts. Sneakerhead. Not necessarily in that order. Nike Trail Elite. Picky Bars. Gu. Vicory Sportdesign.
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