Jan 19, 2012

Where's Winter?

All quiet in the mountains; maybe until this weekend.  It's been quite a dry winter so far and even though the runner side of me has no complaints the rest of me is wondering what the heck is going on.  It really only started to get "SoCal Cold" this past week so winter might be getting a late start.  After all, the past 2 years have been monsters so we're due for a dry spell.  This weather has certainly been ideal these past months for getting out on the trails.  Since the new year commenced I've also started my full-time 4-month internship (final one!) at a local PT orthopedic clinic.  The hours are 8-6 M-F forcing me to run in the early morning and waking up at 540 five days a week isn't my strong suit; however if I am serious in what I want to accomplish this year I simply have to do it.  I'm glad to say that so far it's worked out.  God knows I despise the first 0-20 minutes after I get up and you'll often hear common mumblings like "Why the hell am I doing this?" and "Daaaaamnn, it's too early to run!" Plus to get the adequate and necessary rest and recovery, I need to be tucked in by 10 pm.  It can get exhausting if you have other interests but this is my self-created world for now.  The crazy part is that I'm guessing a lot of ultrarunners have similar schedules or are even more hectic.  My hats off to 'em.  I could in fact get up later and run on roads but that is something I'm not willing to do.  I'll wake up the extra 45 minuted early and hit the peaceful trails with elevation involved.  I AM training for mountain races, so why would I train on the roads? It's a simple concept called specificity and if you know a lick of exercise physiology you know what that truly means! Plus it's better for my psyche; I love the natural world called Earth!
With that said the last 3 weeks have included an easier week and two subsequent solid ones.  I'll start from the oldest:

December 29-January 4, 2012:  69.25 miles, 17,000 gain: Wanted to take an easier week after the past two intense weeks and that was the case.  Had arguably one of the worst "runs" of the year December 30th where a lot of hiking was involved.  I got out of bed dead tired and I couldn't run the first 50 meters of the run! But those types of days happen so I wasn't too down about it.  Other than that run/hike up Old  Baldy on the first of the year was special and great way to kick of 2012.  

January 6-12, 2012:  83 miles, 18,100 gain:  Solid week that saw a climb up Mt. Wilson (via Eaton Canyon), a calorie-less (metabolic system needs training too) long-run lollipop loop in Topanga State Park, and an unexpected PR to Parker Mesa Overlook.  

January 14-19, 2012 (6 days): 82.4 miles 17,600 gain: A compacted week, almost the same as the previous week but take away one day and it's obviously more intense.  Saw a  PR on Bulldog x2 which I have to sadly admit was my longest training run (non-race) ever, 29 miles.  I also was pleasantly surprised that I was able to run both loops completely, which was also a first, and shattered my race PR (Bulldog 50km) that takes place at the same location by 10 minutes.  This is an indication that the training plan I'm putting together is the right one and the fact that I ran a patient and conservative run.  I wanted both loops to be within 10 minutes of each other; I got 8.  2:20, 2:28.  Overall extremely happy with the week and tomorrow's recovery day is well deserved.  I get to sleep in until 7, woohoo!

I think for me incorporating a 6 days/week training plan with 1 day for recovery will get me to the starting line physically and mentally ready; not injured and burned out.  I'm going to get out of it what hard work I put in so I'm really excited for what's coming up.  My race schedule is starting to come together with the addition of Old Goats 50 miler March 24 and possibly San Diego 100.  SD100 has been gnawing at me ever since last year where I know my inexperience and end-of-season lackluster showed bright on race day.  My competitive side won't let me swallow this one because of the fact I can do a ton better than what showed up that day.  It's very strange to plan races this far in advance but this is the culture of the ultra scene now.  Sign up for those coveted few spots or risk losing out.  It's forced my hand a bit but I'm confident that these races, spaced appropriately apart will be the right set-up for me. If I get lucky enough to get into SD100 I'll explain in a later post the rationale behind entering two 100 milers 6 weeks apart.  Be prepared: there might not be anything worthy.

Major Race Schedule for the 1st half of 2012:

Ray Miller 50mile (2/25/12)
Old Goats 50mile (3/24/12)
Boston Marathon (4/18/12)
Bishop 100km (5/19/12)
San Diego 100mile (6/9/12)
Angeles Crest 100mile  (7/20/12)

Running Los Liones with The Onion

Backbone Trail

Old Baldy

Down Devil's Backbone

Sunrise at Westridge

Morning runs

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 ...