Oct 26, 2011

2 1/2 Weeks Away

10/19-10/25: 100.1 miles
Gain: ~10,000 ft.

Another week of training gone.  This is the second consecutive week of 100 miles and with Javalina Jundred 2.5 weeks away I'm closer to being prepared for the race.  I still haven't technically signed up yet as there is no real rush but I'm going to send a check via snail mail instead of forking the ridiculous $15 processing fee that Ultrasignup will charge me on top of the entry fee.

The week has been crammed with school and 2 runs/day with 44 of those miles on trail and the rest boardwalk.  As much as I prefer trails there are two reason why I have run road 56 of those miles: 1) It's a "flat" course.  JJ has 4800 ft. of gain which is basically negligible when you put it in context of the race distance. 2) Convenience: it's a great feeling stepping out your door and being able to run but more importantly it saves loads of time not having to drive to and from a trailhead; and I hate driving.  One day I'll have a place that's nestled against some trails but for now will have to make do.
For the past 4-5 days I've had a little cold and I can't determine whether running that much has suppressed my immune system and left me vulnerable or I just picked something up.  Anyway, it's finally starting to improve and I should be ready for November 11/12.
The next 2 weeks are going to be tricky in the sense that I don't think I'm going to taper until the last week to half-week.  The usual protocol is 3 weeks before but I think I run my best races with just about a week of taper and since I haven't raced since August and my recovery practices post-runs has greatly improved I think it'll be ok.
This coming up training week, starting Thursday, will include some night runs and get my headlamp combo (2 lights) dialed in so it doesn't become an experiment on race day, as it did in the San Diego 100.  Also having some practice in the 10 foot bubble of light is going to keep me better prepared mentally.  By the way, it's still 90 degrees in Arizona and on a course with full sun exposure I sure hope it drops in a couple of weeks!
Next week I'll talk about the race itself a little more, my strategy, and how I'm feeling physically, and more importantly mentally.

Oct 18, 2011

Training and Things...

            10/11-10/17: 100 miles
Gain: ~9000 ft.

Top of Ray Miller Trail and Pacific Coast
After those 2 days off last week where my right hip was bugging me a little I've come back better than ever.  I've hit my first 100 mile running week ever.  I've backpacked 140-190 miles/week plenty of times but never in a running setting so this was new territory.  What was surprising to me was that the mileage was not all that difficult to do; meaning I wasn't fatigued at the end of the week or anything, but the finding the time to run that much is substantial.  While trying to juggle full-time school and work it's sometimes difficult to find 2-3 hours/day to invest (weekend 4-5hrs/day) plus weight training.  So it's a given that two runs per day is going to be needed to take advantage of the small time increments in the early mornings and evenings.  Today is a recovery day and I have to catch up on school work and will soon have to make decisions on the major backpacking trip of summer '12.  We have narrowed it down to the Pyrenean Haute Route, GR11, and GR20 and I'll go into more detail on these treks (all in Europe) a bit later.
I'm one step closer to making a decision on whether to give Javalina Jundred a go on November 11 or 12 and after this good week of training I'm a little bit closer to making that commitment.   Ideally, I want to string together 3-4 100 mile weeks which I think will set me up perfectly for the run.  Although I'll be going into it without racing in my legs since August it might keep me more fresh than my San Diego 100 experience.
Kevin Chan and I course-marked a X-Terra trail run event in Point Magu State Park of the season and although wearing a large pack with stakes and a hammer isn't the most comfortable thing in the world it reminded me how fun La Jolla Canyon singletrack trails are.  The view from the top of Ray Miller Trail is priceless and running down that well graded singletrack with the view of the Pacific Coast with the  the Channel Islands as background made me feel like a kid playing in this giant playground and it was great to share that experience and feeling.  I started running with some members of the Coyotes theses past weeks and it makes running the long runs so much more fun when you're with people you like and respect.  I've always been the sort to do things on my own because of a need for that solitude, and that is still there,  but I'm starting to learn and appreciate the value of community.  A little company with the right people is a good thing.

Oct 9, 2011

Thoughts and Great Weather

Why I'm sitting indoors on this sunny Sunday afternoon is due to the fact that my right hip has been bugging me all week.  I'm not sure exactly what it is but I think it's inflammation of a fluid-filled sack, called a bursa, just outside my hip.  For the past couple of weeks I haven't been stretching after my workouts like a should (and preach) and I've paid the price. I thought I was out of this cycle of injury but I should have been cautious and doing all my preventative interventions.  Fortunately, I don't think it's that bad as I can still run (unlike my ITB injuries) with it but I don't want to make it any worse.  So I'll just have to feel awful while a glorious day passes.  Why don't you just go cross-train or something?  Simply, I like being on the trails (and off). That's what my passion is and I might act like a spoiled baby but I'm not going to cross train. I use the bike for commuting and swimming is to useful if a shark is after me.  So I'll stay indoors, recovering, stretching, doing some core work, listen to some running podcasts, and pout.  My training week is now cut short and I'll have to make it up as soon as this thing lets up (very soon I hope).
I read an interesting thing on Lauren Fleshman's blog last night and she basically states that an athlete (something I'm coming to terms with) should think of themselves as a bicycle wheel and the spokes that maintain the integrity of the wheel are: nutrition, physical training, mental training, balance, competition, mental training, and recovery techniques.  These spokes can change but if one goes haywire or there is too much emphasis on one spoke, the wheel will start to breakdown.  So I have to admit my recovery technique spoke is busted up and I need to start paying more attention to it.  There is nothing like your passion instantly getting ripped away from you and only then (at least me) do you realize how important it is in giving it TLC to maintain good health; because this not only effects one's physical well-being but one's mental health and that one seems to be really needy.
My interest in Javalina Jundred will be determined this week by how my body reacts. If all goes well and I'm able to get a couple longer runs this weekend, injury free, I'll sign up for that hundo. If not, I'll give myself even more time to recover and look at a 50km or 50 miler.  Come on body, pull through!

Denali Expedition Recap

Summit Ridge I won’t be writing about the day to day as that was succinctly put in the twelve “Denali Transmit” posts which you ...