Thursday, May 15, 2014

                Recovery from my back-to-back long races at Lake Sonoma and Boston has gone really well. Taking a couple days off immediately after each race and getting massages (thanks Erika!) helped me start feeling normal again much sooner than last year. After a couple of down weeks, I ramped my mileage back up to 95-100 with the intent of keeping in that range and hopefully hitting 100+ a couple of times between now and Western States. I’ve had decent workouts the past couple weeks, 2 x 2 miles and 1 x Creek to Cardiac last week and 3 x 1 mile on the Bay to Breakers course 2 days ago in preparation for the annual West Valley centipede. We’ve got a solid group of guys and are ready to run fast on Sunday.

                Outside of the structured workouts, I’m mostly concentrating on listening to my body. Looking back on my training log, I’ve noticed that a lot of my “recovery” runs weren’t really recovery runs. They were a bit faster than they probably should have been, so I’ve really tried to run by feel on the non-workout days. If I’m feeling good, I let myself go, but if I’m not, I tell myself that it’s ok to run a slower pace. The legs need it and will appreciate it in the end.

                In other news, Rachelle is down here for the summer, which is awesome. She drove from Vancouver to Portland last Friday, while I flew up to Portland to meet her and made the rest of the drive with her on Saturday and Sunday. I had never been to Portland so I was excited to see a new city. My friend Peter was kind enough to take me around the city and some nearby trails on Friday evening and it was absolutely beautiful. Friday night Rachelle and I had a very good dinner in Portland and then were up early on Saturday to go for a run with some Nike employees my trail guys put me in touch with. Jeff and Scott took Rachelle and me out to the Columbia River Gorge. It was absolutely stunning. We ran on the Eagle Creek Trail and I had a great time. The weather cooperated and there was even a bit of sun towards the end. After the run, Rachelle and I went over to the Nike campus in Beaverton. Very cool to say the least.


Looking up Eagle Creek Trail

                Then, we headed south towards Ashland, where we were staying on Saturday night. We made a quick, mandatory stop in Eugene to drive by Hayward Field and visit Pre’s Rock and arrived in Ashland around 8pm. We had dinner at an amazing restaurant called Smithfields where it’s safe to say I had the best brisket I’ve ever had. I highly recommend it if you’re in Ashland. But be sure to make a reservation. We wanted to come back for brunch on Sunday morning but were informed it was not an option since they were completely booked. After dinner, we went to bed fairly early again, as Sunday morning brought another run on new trails with Eric and JC. They took us up into the mountains around Ashland and the views and trails were awesome. Following the run, we wandered around downtown Ashland for a bit, stopped in Rogue Valley Runners (David and Ryan were out of town racing Transvulcania), and then hit the road. We drove the rest of the way back to the Bay on Sunday afternoon and had a nice Mother’s Day dinner with my parents in San Rafael.


Pre’s Rock



Mt. Shasta

               It was really nice to get out of town for a couple of days, and seeing new trails always reminds me that there are so many places to explore. This week, as I said before, saw a good workout on Tuesday. I’ve got something a little different planned for today, and then I’m heading up to see some of the Western States course on Saturday with some good friends. Sunday will be Bay to Breakers, which is always a good time on the WVTC centipede.

All in all, training is going well. With States looming at the end of June, I think I’m a bit less focused on Dipsea-specific training than I have been in past years. We’ll see how it plays out, but with Galen and Rickey in the invitational section this year, the competition will certainly be stiff. I’m really excited to see what those guys can do in the race. Then, it’s Tahoe Relays, Double Dipsea, and Western. It’ll be here before we know it.

Finally, congrats to those who got Western States spots at Ice Age this past weekend. #seeyouinsquaw

About afvarner

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

  1. That river and trail look awesome. I went running by the Rogue a few years ago, another great place to run. Go Dipsea, Go Pelican.

  2. Scott Robertson says:

    Hah, had a great time out there Alex! Sorry we made you wait for 2 hours! Great to meet you and best of luck at WS!!! Jeff (came in 10th) and I (20th, we like round numbers) ran our 50k last Monday, both PR’ed (big time), and simply had an awesome race. Digging the blog posts.

    • afvarner says:

      Congrats man! No worries about the waiting – I had a fantastic time on the trail. Very impressive for both of you on the PR’s! Keep up the good work.

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