Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Weekly Summary: May 16-23

Mon- AM: 9 miles (1:05) Seacliff-Nisene, 635'
Couldn't wait to head out this morning. After yesterday's run, I was looking forward to another great day with only mild soreness in my achilles. It's still swollen, but not as bad as last week. Ran in the Cascadia's with superfeet which seemed to help.
PM: 11 miles (1:18) West Cliff, 338'
I wasn't planning on an 11 miler this afternoon, but after all the rest (the whopping 2 days!) I've been getting antsy, so I decided to extend the run. Felt solid until about the last 3 miles...lots of frustrating wind/ my achilles started acting up. Ran in the DS Trainers with superfeet...seemed to make things worse.

Tues- AM: 11 miles (1:21) Seacliff-Nisene, 310'
Legs were a little stiff this morning, and the overcast weather made it difficult to motivate myself. I knew once I got out there my mood would change, so I laced up the Green Silence's and hit the roads. My achilles (right side) felt pretty good throughout the run...before I left I taped it using a new method, which seems to be a winner!

PM: 8 miles (1:03) Pogonip, 507'
Decided to test the achilles on some hills, so I headed up to Pogonip. Although my legs were a bit sluggish, I felt good so I threw on a few extra miles and a small amount of climbing. The achilles only gave me issues at about 6 miles in, so I'm remaining hopeful! I really don't have much pain tonight...

Wed- AM: 8 miles Seacliff-Nisene (1:02), 501'
Legs felt a bit sluggish upon heading out, but loosened up. It's been a while since I've put in this many miles, so to be expected I suppose. Overall, a relaxing, mellow run.
PM: 10 miles (1:20) Nisene, 1807'

Got off work early, so I decided to toss in a few extra miles. Ran to the top of the incline in Nisene...not a particularly fast run, and I didn't feel spectacular, but I think some mellow miles are just what I needed. So glad the sun is finally back!

Thurs- AM: 9 miles (1:10) Seacliff-Nisene, 501'
Legs are still feeling sore/sluggish, but it feels great to get back into my daily running routine. Achilles was pretty much pain free.
PM: 6 
miles (:45) Pogonip, 235'
I've been so drained since this morning! I'm thinking I didn't get enough sleep/haven't eaten enough today...I've been rushing around since this morning and have only managed to put down a (fairly huge) salad. Nice little shake-out run through Pogonip before intervals at the track tonight. Hopefully I'll bounce back once I get some fluids and grub in me! Achilles didn't hurt at all =]
PM: 1 mile w/up, 3x1mile @ 10k pace +10sec w/ 1min recovery, 1 mile cool down, Track
5:38, 5:44, 5:39
After much deliberation, I decided to head out to the track for 3x1 mile repeats at tempo-ish pace. I wasn't feeling completely up to it, but after my shake-out I ate about 4 pieces of toast with jam (yum!), so other than being bloated, I felt pretty solid. I took a few warm-up laps to test out the achilles, and although there was some residual soreness, I decided to go ahead with the intervals. All-in-all, they were pretty much what I expected. I haven't done any running at this speed in quite some time, so my legs responded accordingly for the first few laps. After the cobwebs shook off, though, the efforts felt smooth and controlled, especially number 3. Interestingly, my achilles only really acted up on the recovery portions...otherwise, a really great workout! Now I'm off to class until 8:30pm, then it's dinner time! I made an enormous pot of soup with black beans, tomatos, sweet potatoes, and ground turkey the other night, and I've yet to put much of a dent in it

Fri- AM: 13 miles (1:40) Seacliff-Nisene, 909'
Overall, a pretty mellow run. My legs were super stiff this morning when I woke up, but after walking around a bit to get coffee, etc. they loosened up. The run itself was fairly uneventful...just sauntered around Aptos and into Nisene. I was completely dead the last 3-ish miles...glad I had that half banana with peanut butter! ;]
PM: 5 miles (:41) Seacliff, 218'
I wasn't really planning on my shake-out being so close to my morning run, but my girlfriend was heading out for a jog, so I thought I'd join her! It was a super mellow pace and felt good to give the legs a break. Overall, a beautiful day on Seacliff and lovely afternoon with my lady. Now time for a nap and some relaxation by the pool!

Sat- AM: 13 miles (1:41) Seacliff-Nisene, 892'
Just a pretty mellow run before work. Nothing really out of the ordinary or really any different from the previous runs this week.
PM: 3 miles (:23) Nisene, 242'
Decided to head out on my lunch break for a quick shake-out. The sun is out and summer is here! Just a really relaxing trot through the trees...

Sun- AM: 13 miles (1:41) Seacliff-Nisene, 881'
Hmmm...almost an identical morning to yesterday. A little more difficult to rally myself together this morning, but like always, I was glad once I got running. Off to work!
PM: 3 miles (:24) Nisene, 285'
Legs are pretty trashed today. I'm betting it's because I logged most of my miles this week in the New Balance Minimus and the majority was on hard-packed surfaces. It still feels good though to finally have tired legs after what has seemed like a few weeks of down time!

-Miles: 127.3
-Time: 16hr 21min
-Vertical: 8,283'

Well, it seems like ages since I've posted anything on here, and even longer since I've gotten in any quality miles. After the WTC 50k I took it easy the following week and tried to gradually build my mileage again for AR 50. I logged a solid 127 miles the week prior to AR, which left me feeling confident and strong. The week of the big race, I was rested and somehow landed 13th place overall in a time of 6:49:17. (!) I completely surprised myself, and although my race was far from perfect in terms of strategy, I do think I ran it close to the best of my abilities. Most likely, I went out too hard on the paved bike trial early on (thanks for setting that awesome pace, Jacob!!) which left me with a pretty weak kick in the hills. However, I also think that I wouldn't have necessarily pushed myself harder in the hills had I been fresher. Who knows though! Anyways, the week after AR hit me pretty hard, as I constantly walked the line between having a cold/being dead. I took a few days off and got a lot of food in me, which seemed to do the trick!

After a couple of recovery weeks (about 75-80 miles) I tried to ramp up the running again, hitting 131 miles then 118. The second week left me with a bum achilles which I babied for the next couple days and only managed to log ~45 miles. I'm glad to say that everything seems to be functioning normally now, and the training is back in full-swing for Vermont! It's incredibly unnerving and a bit surreal that in only 8 weeks I'll be attempting to complete my first 100 mile race. Who knew that so much could happen with only one year of running experience? Never in my wildest dreams...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I'm Back...and SPONSORED!

Well, for a while there school sort of caught up with me as I struggled to finish papers and cram for finals. It's been a while since my last post, but I assure you I'm still running! The past two weeks have been a rollercoster in terms of running and life in general. I'll throw together a little recap of my past weeks' training (although it might be a little dry) as well as a race report for Way Too Cool 50k. I know it's been two weeks since the race, but I've always wanted to try my hand at a write-up!

In other news...

I received an email yesterday from Gu notifying me of my acceptance into their sponsorship program...needless to say, I'm absolutely ecstatic! 

"Thank you for your application to the 2011 GU Energy Labs Sponsorship Program.  We appreciate your commitment to GU Energy Labs and we are excited to be able to offer you sponsorship through our highly exclusive Pro Deal Program!"

Although I'm not entirely clear on the details, I look forward to representing an awesome company that provides invaluable products for my training and racing! Now if I could just get off the warm couch and out into the pouring rain...might just have to make it a Bikram day.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Weekly Summary: Feb 14-27

Mon- 11 miles (1:25) West Cliff, 445'
Not really feeling as sore as I thought I would, so I decided to extend my shake-out today. Took it really easy down West Cliff and even ran into my parents along they way! They came down from Sacramento to camp for 2 weeks, so it's been great hanging with them. My heels are really sore, and it was a bit difficult falling asleep last night because of the pain, but all-in-all I think I'll recover nicely.

Tues- AM: 6 miles (:45) Seacliff, 203'
A cold, but beautiful morning for an easy run. I did an old route through the Aptos neighborhood which was a welcomed break from West Cliff. Legs are feeling good, but heels are (not surprisingly) still sore. 
PM: 11 miles (1:27) Nisene, 1150'
Hung out with the gf for a bit before hitting the trails in Nisene. Not much to report on this run...felt good on the way out, but started to drag coming back. Kind of skipped lunch, but made up for it with some cookies. =]

Wed- AM: 12 miles (1:34) Nisene, 1421'
Not too much to say. Beautiful run in the park and met up with the parents at Costco before class. Had a mocha freeze and trail mix for lunch...not ideal, but tasty!
PM: 8 miles (1:03) Pogonip, 540'
After a little debate, I finally headed up into Pogonip for an easy stroll. There was a little break in the rain which made for a gorgeous run. Legs are feeling surprisingly chipper.

Thurs- AM: 14 miles (1:49) West Cliff, 610'
Kind of a sucky run. Sunday is definitely starting to catch up to me. I had two pieces of toast for breakfast and got ravenous about 6 miles into the run...as a result I bonked pretty hard on the return home. Had a big bowl of greek yogurt with blackberries after...yum.
PM: 1 mile w/up, 3x1mile @ 3k pace w/ 400m jog, 1 mile cool-down, Track
5:59, 5:49, 5:48
I was really questioning whether or not to hit the track tonight because of how tired I've been lately. If I didn't make it to the track, I was planning on an easy shake-out, but not wanting to run in the rain alone I decided to suffer for an hour with my teammates. Once I warmed up, the intervals were rather effortless. Coach had us run the first lap at 3k pace then add 20 seconds to the second, then back to 3k, and finish the fourth lap at 20 seconds slower. It was difficult at first to judge how slow I was running the 'recovery' lap, but I got into a groove. I never found myself really struggling which may be neither good nor bad. Overall, it felt like a solid workout.

Fri: AM: 9.75 miles (1:11) West Cliff, 404'
I'll be honest...kind of a miserably run this morning. Although my pace was surprisingly quick, it was a sufferfest the entire way. Lately I've been feeling completely drained even though I've been sleeping about 8.5 hours a night. I'm probably not as recovered as I thought, so I'm going to monitor my body pretty closely at this point.
PM: 7 miles (:52) Pogonip, 377'
Went for a quick run through Pogonip before my History of Life mid-term (yikes!) and surprise, surprise I felt like garbage! This should be a red-flag to back off the training, but of course I'm too stubborn. I'm also wondering if my performance this week has been struggling because of my diet...it's been pretty heavy in the sweet's/junk food department. I think I've eaten more chocolate, cookies, and pizza this week than I have ever in my life, but who knows. At about 2:45pm and with ~2 miles left in the run, I remembered that my class started at 3:30 and not 4, so it was a mad-dash to get home, change and make it up to campus for my test! Luckily, I made it with some time to spare, and even did quite well on the test.

Sat- AM: 16 miles (2:05) Nisene, 1571'
This week has been pretty Nisene-heavy, but I've enjoyed the mix-up in my training. I had a banana with peanut butter pre-run, which apparently wasn't enough. I bonked with about 6 miles left and just felt totally crappy. The return home was painful, but I refueled with some egg whites and fruit.

Sun- AM: 16 miles (2:01) East Cliff, 584'
Mixed things up this morning with a long run on East Cliff. Set out with SCE for a planned 18 miles, but turned back early for a total of 16. The last miles were yet again a struggle as a few of the guys decided to throw down some sub-7min miles. It's time to really focus on performance and dial back the training in preparation for WTC. I some greek yogurt post-run and lunch was pizza with about a million cookies. I feel gross.

-Miles: 117
-Time: 15hr 01min
-Vertical: 7,355'

I'm not really sure what's been going on with my training this week. Part of me thinks it's my diet and part of me says I'm just not completely recovered from Sunday...maybe both? In regards to my diet, I've been having difficulty keeping on weight, so from here on out I'm going to begin tracking what I eat in an attempt to fill in the holes. Having come this far in my training, I cannot afford to mess things up because of sloppy nutritional habits. WTC is quickly approaching, and the more I think about it, the more I feel this could be a break-out race for me. My original plan was to semi-taper for it and use it as a tune-up for the AR 50, but I'm beginning to see my potential in 50k races. I really don't have much experience in 50 milers, and with WTC bringing huge talent from across the U.S., I think it'd be foolish not to give it my all here. I can feel my attention slowly slipping away from this blog as my appetite grows, so I think it's time to go destroy a burrito...and hopefully get out of this calorie deficit! 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Weekly Summary: Feb 14-20

Mon- AM: 13.3 miles (1:48) Pogonip o&b, 1132'
Have to be honest...I kind of slacked off this week with keeping a running log, so most of this is by memory! Just too much to focus on this week. If I remember correctly though, I felt pretty good today. Just tried to keep it fairly easy and soak up some of the remaining sun!
PM: 5 miles (:38) West Cliff, 199'
Super easy shake-out...nothing special. Took me a bit to get motivated, but I'm glad I got outside. My legs are feeling pretty strong from yesterday's workout.

Tues- AM: 8 miles (1:03) Nisene, 700'
My foot's been hurting, but not enough that I can't put weight on it, so I decided to head out for a few miles. It was chilly this morning, so motivation was lacking. The foot started acting up around mile 4 and my Garmin's battery died, so I decided to head home. =[
PM: 6 miles (:43) West Cliff, 220'
After a trip to Costco to stock up on groceries and a new Droid X (both compliments of the parents!) I headed out for an easy run. Unlike this morning, I actually felt good, but the top of my foot still feels funny.

Wed- AM: 12 miles (1:32) West Cliff, 410'
Bleh. Super windy run this morning and my legs were heavy. I managed to miss most of the rain, but got hailed on while coming home. Needless to say, I kind of just wanted to get back to the apartment and veg in front of the TV.
PM: 6 miles (:46) Pogonip, 230'
Well, I wasn't planning on running again today, but the sun started to peek out, so I threw on my shoes and sauntered up to Pogonip. Lots of puddles and mud, which I absolutely love to splash through...got hit with a little drizzle on the way home. Watching the sunset from Pogonip with the light rain was amazing. =]

Thurs- AM: 8 miles (1:02) Nisene, 692'
Just a bit of a shake-out in preparation for tonight's track workout. My legs felt really strong, so I had to remind myself to keep the pace easy.
PM: 1 mile w/up, 3x1mile @ tempo w/ 1 min recovery, 1 mile cool-down, Track
5:43, 5:38, 5:38
Another solid track sesh! Not too many SCE peeps were out there tonight due to the rain, but I'm glad I braved the weather. I haven't done one of these tempo runs before, so my track coach, Aaron, gave me a time to shoot for, and I hit it every split. Surprisingly, I only felt semi-uncomfortable. Maybe this is good? Not quite sure what to expect from this workout.

Fri- AM: 10 miles (1:19) Pogonip, 925'
After holding out until the absolute last second, I laced up the 101's for a run in the rain. It was actually pleasant once I got soaked. I didn't really want to push it too hard on the mile climb through Pogonip, so I settled into an easy pace and focused on good form/footing for Sunday. All in all, a cold, but very enjoyable run. 

Sat- AM: 6 miles (:44) West Cliff, 216'
My original plan for today was ~10 miles, but I decided to cut it short and save the legs for tomorrow. Not too jinx myself, but I'm feeling very strong and hopeful for tomorrow! The sun disappeared for the last 2 miles of my run and was replaced by rain, but the forecast is showing beautiful conditions for tomorrow!

Sun- AM: PCTR Lake Chabot 50k (3:36:41), 4243'
I don't want to go into too much detail since I'm in the process of writing a race report, but...I (somehow) won! I toed the line as close to the front as I could and took off strong, holding the lead for the entire race. Looking at my splits after the race, I was shocked to see most of them in the low 7's with a handful in the 6's. Although the course was a bit short (I think it totaled around 29.5-30 miles), I still put forth a strong effort, and it paid off! Even with the added 2,000' of vertical gain as compared to the Folsom Point 50k, I shaved 10 minutes off my PR. I never had the feeling of "Oh my god, this sucks" like I felt at the last 50k in November...in fact, I kept waiting for it to hurt, but oddly enough the sensation never came. Not sure if that means I should have gone harder, or my training is paying off? Either way, I'm thankful that I was given the opportunity to race and need to remember that my main focus is still on WTC/ AR 50. Full report to come!

-Miles: 109
-Time: 13hr 53min
-Vertical: 8,967'

What an absolutely crazy week! I honestly wasn't expecting to perform like I did on Sunday not only because I haven't raced in ~3 months, but also because of the amount of mileage I've been logging. These last few months have been a huge learning curve as I experiment and dial in my training, so my decision to include a mini-taper this week had me second guessing myself. During the week of my last 50k, I ran about 15 miles leading up to it, while this week my taper was ~80 miles. Granted I run more than twice as many miles compared to three months ago, but even still the doubt persists! I'm not sure my win from the Folsom Point 50k had totally sunk in yet either, and that just put more pressure on myself to perform and prove that it wasn't a fluke. Anyways, I'm happy to see results from my training and am thankful that the amount of time I spend running isn't all for naught! At this point, I really cannot ask for much more...I'm performing better than I ever thought possible, while still enjoying training/running as much as ever! Looking forward, I'm not sure if I'll continue with the 140 miles/week, but I do plan to stay above 115. I think that constantly training on tired legs was key to my success on Sunday, and at least for me, I find comfort in knowing that if I can run 140 miles in one week, I can absolutely run a strong 30 miles in one day. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Weekly Summary: Feb 7-13

Mon- AM: 22 miles (2:52) Pogonip-Wilder-West Cliff, 1748'
Not much to say here. The legs were feeling pretty exceptional, so I thought I'd extend my planned 16 miler to 22.
PM: 5 miles (:39) West Cliff, 189'
Nice shake-out. Legs are feeling surprisingly light and responsive.

Tues- AM: 6 miles (:45) West Cliff, 229'
I got up a bit earlier than normal and after finishing a bit of homework, I decided to head out to meet the sunrise. What a gorgeous run on West Cliff. A slight breeze, but fairly warm for 7:30am. I'm feeling strong from yesterday.
PM: 14 miles (1:50) Wilder-Pogonip, 1542'
Despite the gnarly ~20mph headwind up through Wilder, this turned out to be an awesome run. Based on this morning's strong shake-out I knew this afternoon would be enjoyable. My first couple of miles were in the low 7 minutes, which surprised me considering yesterday's 27 miles...this might have actually been one of my fastest Wilder-Pogonip loops to date!

Wed- AM: 20 miles (2:52) Ohlone Bluffs-Wilder-West Cliff, 1656'
Met up with local ultrarunner and new friend, Sean, for an awesome trail run this morning. I've never been in Wilder that early in the morning (7am), so it was awesome to experience the sunrise from the Ohlone Bluffs. We made our way along the ocean to 6 Mile Beach and ran into another runner who tagged along for a few miles before we headed up the Wilder hills. I think we hit the Enchanted Loop trail, Wilder Ridge, Wild Boar, and Engelsman...probably another one, but I'd never been out that far before, so who knows! My legs felt really strong today, despite the miles from Monday and Tuesday, and as far as I could tell was floating up most of the climbs. The majority of the run was pretty mellow, which didn't bother me one bit! I was planning another shake-out this afternoon, but I'm feeling pretty tired so I'll just use my time to get some work done. Looking forward to doing this again next wednesday. B-fast was: cereal and coffee

Thurs- AM: 5 miles (:39) Seacliff-Nisene, 378'
My legs were feeling a bit tight this morning, so I decided to get in a few easy miles before this afternoon's trail run and the track workout later tonight.
PM: 13 miles (1:48) Pogonip o&b, 1100'
Legs are still pretty sore after the run, but I took it super mellow so I'm hoping it won't affect tonight's workout. I'm definitely not feeling as fresh as I was last Thursday prior to track, but that's probably because of yesterday's 20 miler. Before the run I decided to have some whole wheat french bread with a little hummus, and what a bad idea that was. The entire run I felt a little queasy, and I'm still feeling it now.
PM: 1.5 miles warm/cool (:17) w/ 6x600m @ 5k pace, 300m rec. jog, 3.5 miles (:25) Track
2:01, 1:55, 1:54, 1:55, 1:55, 1:55
Solid track workout...definitely more intense than I thought though! Today was 6x600m repeats @ 5k pace. Like last week, I wasn't sure what pace to shoot for, so I just sort of went out with the faster guys. My 400m splits were between 75-79sec, and I was around a sub-5 min/mile for most of the efforts, so I think I pushed myself pretty hard. By the end of the repeats I was ready to keel over. A great day of running, but still feeling weird from today's hummus incident.

Fri- AM: 4 miles (:30) West Cliff, 224'
Got out earlier than normal this morning for my shake-out. I have class at 8am, so I laced up the shoes and headed outside around 6:45 for an easy 4 miler. I'm feeling awesome, and the sunrise was beautiful over the ocean!
PM: 13 miles (1:50) Wilder-Pogonip, 1546'
Definitely one of my slower days in Wilder, but I think the miles are finally catching up. I've been feeling completely drained this entire week, so I tried not to push the pace and just focused on recovery.
PM: 3 miles (:24) Western, 83'
I decided to throw in a few extra easy miles to see if I couldn't shake the cobwebs off the legs. This run probably walked the line between junk miles/recovery, but I'm feeling better...still tired though. Hopefully some homemade sushi tonight is the answer!

Sat- AM: 14 miles (1:54) Pogonip-Wilder, 1704'
Bleh. Today was just one of those runs that kind of suck. I was hurting from the get-go, and by the end just couldn't wait to get home. My legs feel a bit crappy and now the top of my right foot is starting to hurt. I think I might have bruised a metatarsal head from the 101's, so I'm going to monitor it closely and take it easy. I was hoping for a solid 16-18 miles this morning, but it just wasn't in the stars...plus I don't plan on pushing through the pain in my foot for an 2 miles. I'm still absolutely exhausted, which is strange because I've been getting 7-8.5 hours of sleep each night. Having said that, I've been finding that I wake up sporadically because of my super firm/uncomfortable futon mattress. Oh well.

Sun- AM: 6 miles warm/cool (:47) Levee, 284' 
12 miles @ 6:29/mile (1:18), West Cliff, 298'
Considering yesterday's run, I anticipated needing some extra motivation for today so I met up with ma boy Jon for a run! He's training for Boston, so my plan was just to run the tempo workout him. I figured we'd be able to motivate one another and get some speed in my legs. After an easy 3 mile warm-up, we set out on West Cliff for 12 miles @ 6:30 (his marathon pace for Boston). I was fully expecting to drop off the back at about 2 miles in, but to my surprise I stuck the whole workout without feeling anything more than a little uncomfortable! I think I've been underestimating my fitness, especially considering Thursday's track workout and today's tempo-ish run. I probably could have easily ran ~20 seconds faster/mile, which I'm thinking is somewhere around my marathon time. We go a bit over-zealous at one point (mile 4) and hit a 6:18 split, but to my surprise I recovered within ~.25 miles and once we slowed back to the 6:30 pace, I felt like I had settled into a pretty easy jog. My legs started to get heavy towards the final 1.5 miles, which I accredit to not having eaten during the run and only a piece of toast beforehand. We finished with a super mellow 3 mile cool-down through Pogonip. Jon put in an awesome effort today, so I think he'll have no problem hitting his goal in two months! Hopefully this is a good predictor of how I'll perform at Sunday's 50k too!

-Miles: 142.5 
-Time: 18hr 59min
-Vertical: 10,981'

I'm writing a few days later than I would have liked, but this week has been amazing. Like most of my training, it lacked structure, and I just sort of ran as to my heart's content. At first I thought this would be problematic because I wouldn't recover properly or wouldn't be running workouts as hard as I could; however, I've found that by simply listening to my body and taking it easy when I feel tired, I am able to string together back-to-back-to-back 20 milers with no problem. This became most evident on Thursday when I hit the track. Besides last week, it's been years since I've done any sort of track/speed work, so to have ran those splits makes me pretty darn happy...and not to mention excited for Sunday's race. I surprised myself again on Sunday with a solid tempo run, which left me only a little winded/uncomfortable. However, having said that I do believe it's time for a small recovery/taper week in preparation for the Lake Chabot 50k and because of the questionable foot pain. My plan for the upcoming week is to log around 80 easy miles prior to Sunday. I want to go into the race feeling almost recovered, but at the same time use it as a tune-up for WTC. Not entirely sure what to expect, considering that the last time I raced a 50k my peak mileage was around 70mpw, and the week of the race I ran only about 20. We shall see!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Weekly Summary: Jan 31-Feb 6

Mon- AM: 16 miles (2:10) Nisene-West Ridge, 1734'
Went back to Nisene as promised, and wow, what a trail! The lush forest completely surrounded me with sunlight poking through, highlighting a very gentle mist. Amazing. Felt kind of slow heading from the house to the West Ridge trailhead, but I think that's due in part to the slight uphill. Played around on the single track for only a few miles because I didn't bring water/food and didn't want to get stuck in the middle of the forest. I figure I'll go out Saturday before work and do the full WR/fireroad loop...should be around 23-24 miles. The footing was pretty sloppy and technical at times because of yesterday's downpour mixed with the 101's...the super low-profile tread obviously didn't excel in these conditions. My legs started to loosen up with the ups and downs of the trail, and at a few points on the downhills I had to check my speed. =] Finding a new trail (single track, no less!) and exploring the unknown always reminds me why I run. Also, I can definitely feel that I'm getting stronge/faster on the hills, which I owe to running Wilder everyday. Glad I've moved the majority of my miles to the trails. Breakfast was: two slices of double fiber toast w/ peanut butter & jelly (unfortunately, all I could find), coffee.
PM: 6.3 miles (:47) West Cliff, 293'
Lovely shake-out run this afternoon. It was a great way to de-stress after my French test. Headed out around 3:20pm and was a little crunched for time since I had class again at 5pm, so I pushed the pace a little bit. Nothing all that fast, but more so than usual.

Tues- AM: 20 miles (2:32) Pogonip-Wilder-West Cliff, 1694'
Felt amazing on this morning's run, and I think I owe it to my breakfast! Took a while to motivate myself to get outside, but as soon as I hit the pavement I was off. I could tell I felt strong, so I pushed the pace and hit a PR on the climb from my apartment to the Twin Gates (~907' ascent in 6.25 miles- 53 min). Hit the descent in Wilder pretty hard, and decided to throw in a few extra miles on West Cliff. My planned 16 miler turned into 20...it's exciting knowing that I can throw down 20 miles on any given day, especially with no fuel during the run. =] Breakfast was: half sweet potato w/ Udo's oil and agave nectar, coffee, a few honey-wheat pretzel twists (my new addiction)

Wed- AM: 13.5 miles (1:44) West Cliff, 434'
Legs were pretty shot this morning. There was a pretty gnarly headwind on the way out, which made things frustrating. It was the first time in a while I contemplated turning home early, but decided to stick it out. Overall it was a beautiful morning! Breakfast was: lots o' coffee, small bowl of Life cereal, and two pieces of toast w/ almond butter post run.
PM: 5.5 miles (:41) West Cliff, 241' 
Well, ran a little faster than I probably should have to make this a true shake-out, but I was crunched for time and had to be back to take a mid-term. Legs were sore, but I surprised myself with the pace! I'm pretty tired today...looking forward to some Chinese food with the bestie and gf. =]

Thurs- AM: 5 miles (:38) Seacliff-Nisene, 325'
Felt awesome this morning...decided to get a light run in early and hit the trails once it warmed up. Legs were surprisingly light and reactive, and I completely enjoyed myself as opposed to yesterday's frustration-fest. I've spent a very relaxing morning just drinking coffee and getting homework done, but I feel like a bit of a couch potato at this point, so I think I'll go log some miles in Wilder. Pre-run breakfast: lots o' coffee. Post-run: two pieces of cracked wheat w/ almond butter, an apple, some soy nuts. 
PM: 14 miles (1:50) Wilder-Pogonip, 1456'
Lounged around the apartment a little longer than I planned before hitting the trails, but the extra rest was awesome! Got a good amount of homework done (which needs to be my main focus anyways), but started feeling kind of lazy and almost wasn't able to lace up the shoes. Leaving in the earylish afternoon (12:45) always throws off my eating patterns, so of course I got really hungry just before taking off. Raided the fridge and had two (very small) pieces of my leftover gluten-free vegan pizza. Definitely was not a good idea (DUH) because I was tasting it again and again on each downhill. Oh well. Took it super mellow on the climbs and just enjoyed the sun. It's kind of last minute, but I think I'm going to head over to the track tonight to suffer some 4xmile repeats with the team. It'll be my first time on a track in like 6-7 years...should be interesting! Now, time for some a solid couch sesh and cereal/ toast.
PM: 7 miles (:45) Track, 30'
1mi warm-up, 4xmile @ 10k racepace w/ 400m rec. jog, 1mi cool-down
5:35, 5:26, 5:25, 5:24
Wow...my first 3-a-day! Did not think I could run that fast! It's been probably ~5 months since I've raced a 10k and since I've put in some solid speedwork, so I really didn't know what pace to shoot for. I decided to just pick someone fast (thanks Marty!) and try to hang with him. I think it was a solid pace for me, and I definitely was feeling it, but probably could have cranked it a little harder, since I didn't slow down on the last mile. Overall, I'm extremely pleased with my performance, especially having run 19 miles earlier in the day. Thursday night track sessions will now be added to my schedule, but I need to keep a close monitor on my body at this point. I wouldn't be able to forgive myself if I caused an injury this close to my big races. On that note, a little bump/ tightness has developed on the outside of my right knee. I've been icing it, hoping that it's just a little fluid build-up from the miles. Fingers are crossed!

Fri- AM: 16.25 miles (2:06) Pogonip-Wilder, 1595'
Wasn't as sore as I expected from yesterday's pretty intense workout! Legs felt great and just seemed to cruise up the hills. The bump on my knee hasn't gotten any worse, so I've just been icing it and taking NSAIDs. Had the usual two slices of toast for breakfast with coffee =]
PM: 5 miles (:39) West Cliff, 203'
Really enjoyable run on West Cliff tonight. The weather was perfect and even got to catch a bit of the sunset. I was pretty tired heading out, but my legs loosened up around mile 2.5, and it didn't feel like such a struggle.

Sat- AM: 17.5 miles (2:07) West Cliff, 558'
After a good amount of time wasted deciding between trails and road, I eventually settled on West Cliff. I figured I could use a flat, mellow run as opposed to all the hills. Also, I thought not having the pounding descents might be better for my right knee. Anyways, I pushed the pace more than I intended and actually felt awesome! Got in a couple miles around a 6:45 pace...not terribly fast, but definitely surprising considering this week's load. The bump seems to be getting better...still a little tightness when straightening my leg, but nothing serious. Had some yummy toast for b-fast, per usual. Off to work!

Sun- AM: 14 miles (1:57) Nisene-Seacliff, 1224'
Amazing weather! I was sweating around 6:45am...it couldn't have been any more perfect! Also, another inspiring run with the Fleet Feet training group! I actually got to lead everyone this week, which was an awesome feeling! I'm loving getting to know everyone and can't wait to see how they progress! As for my run, I sort of did a bunch of out-and-backs on the fireroad to make sure everyone was doing okay. I kept the pace really mellow...think the week's mileage finally caught up. The legs are pretty dead, but today was a nice shake-out. Did a few miles in the Green Silence, and wow are they quick! Definitely going to start using them for my weekly track sessions, and possibly as an everyday trainer. Finished the run in my 101's, of course. =] I was planning on a little 5 miler this evening, but work was so hectic today that I'm just too wiped! The knee is also feeling better and range of motion is almost normal! BUT, that dang blister on my pinkie toe from the sockless run is acting up (probably infected) and hurts pretty bad. B-fast was the usual toast and coffee...didn't really get a chance to eat lunch because we were so busy, but I did some damage on a bag of pretzels and some peanut butter, with a few apples thrown in. And now, I'm just waiting for some buds from work to meet me at Planet Fresh for a tasty vegan burrito! Can't think of a better way to end such a tiring, yet accomplished week.

-Miles: 140
-Time: 18h 6min
-Vertical: 9,787'

Wow, am I tired! It's been quite a physically/ mentally draining week, but I wouldn't change a mile of it. It seems like I've been saying this frequently recently, but I can't believe how much my running has taken off! This has been, without a doubt, the best week of training yet, and based on how my body is responding, it has me excited for the coming weeks! I'm planning on racing a 50k in two weeks as a tune-up for WTC, and with a solid taper at the beginning of March, I'm hoping that I'll put up a pretty respectable fight. Right now the plan is to use Cool as more of a tune-up for the AR 50 miler, but I still want to race hard, so I'm not going to completely train through it. Most likely, I'll ramp up the training again after Cool in preparation for the AR 50 miler, focusing on doing some longer 25-30 mile runs a couple weeks out to AR, then backing down for ~1.5 weeks. It seems like everything (weather, training, school, work, etc.) has been cooperating with me perfectly, so I'm just going to roll with it! 

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Weekly Summary: Jan 24-30

Mon- AM: 17 miles (2:16) West Cliff-Wilder, 1643'
It was one of those mornings where lacing up the shoes proved to be more difficult than normal. Kept debating if I wanted to run longish, or if I could squeeze in my normal two-a-day. In the end I decided to do the same loop as Sunday. Legs are noticably tired, but the run went great! Averaged a little faster pace than yesterday, which surprised me since I thought I was kind of slogging along. The 101's are amazing, but I think the added shock from a lack of cushion is causing me gnarly quad pain. For breakfast- water, half a sweet potato w/ Udo's oil, banana, half cup of naked juice. Felt light, but energy levels started to wane in Pogonip.
PM: 4 miles (:33) West Cliff, 201'
Felt a bit stronger than I expected on the shake-out. My left quad is pretty sore though. I think it's from running in the 101's. Ankles feel great, surprisingly, but legs are shot.

Tues- AM: 20 miles (2:36) Pogonip-Wilder-West Cliff, 1715'
Amazing run this morning! Decided to do my usual route in the reverse direction...pretty crazy how different everything looked. I really enjoy heading up Pogonip and making my way through the woods while the sun is still rising. Felt really strong on the climb to UCSC. Was only planning on ~16 miles, but I felt so good that I threw on a few extra miles on West Cliff. Also, today was my first sock-less day. Once the blisters heal I might give it another shot. I like how natural it feels, but for now it's back to the SmartWools. Breakfast was: half of a sweet potato w/ tsp. Udo's oil, banana and tea. It was really surprising how much energy I had considering I barely ate anything before and nothing during the run.

Wed- AM: 13 miles (1:53) Pogonip-Twin Gates o&b, 1154'
Legs were not there this morning and HR was definitely higher than normal. Did an out and back to the Twin Gates through Pogonip. Yesterday's run caught up with me for sure, but it was absolutely beautiful out. Not sure if I'm just making this up, but I think a lack of caffeine this morning aided in my exhaustion. Woke up really hungry around 1am last night and noshed on some cereal. =] Breakfast was: green tea, half of sweet potato w/ Udo's & agave nectar, banana and apple.
PM: 5.5 miles (:43) West Cliff, 251'
Really good shake-out. Ate a piece of cracked wheat toast and apple before hand with some coffee. Definitely felt a pick-me-up from the brew, but the food was a bit too much fiber. Was a little dehydrated, but felt strong after about 3 miles. Had an apple when I got back since I was crunched for time. Didn't end up eating lunch until about 2 hours later, which sucked! (hummus wrap, granola bar, and tea)

Thurs- AM: 22 miles (2:53) Pogonip-Wilder-West Cliff, 1670'
Wasn't really feeling the run early on because my legs were so dead. Started with the climb to Pogonip and just felt like I was getting nowhere, plus the blisters on my pinkie toes hurt. I always seem to doubt my training/running when I'm grinding through the miles, but I think in the long run (no pun intended) it'll be useful having trained on tired legs. Took it really easy to Wilder until finally the legs started to loosen up on the downhills. Finished up along the coast at a pretty good clip. A homeless man yelled to me that I was skinnier than him...so maybe it's time to eat more? haha Anyways, beautiful run as always. I'm still absolutely in love with the 101's, but they felt a little sloppy today on the downhills, probably because I was compensating for the painful blisters. Glad I brought water this time around...and a Gu. Breakfast was: two slices of cracked wheat toast w/ almond butter and agave nectar, tea. Had the rest of my vegan baked mac and cheese, steamed veggies, half of a vegan quesadilla w/ hummus, and an apple for lunch. Yum. =]
PM: 5 miles (:41) West Cliff, 198'
Pretty nice little shake-out run. Legs were feeling kind of rubbery, but to be expected. Just tried to keep the pace nice and easy and enjoy the awesome sunset over the ocean. Kind of curious how I'll be feeling tomorrow. Brewed up some decaf coffee when I got back w/ a piece of almond buttered toast, an apple, and ~Tbs. of some soy nuts. Burrito for dinner!

Fri- AM: 12 miles (1:32) West Cliff, 413'
Felt good to just hit some flat roads. Kept the pace mellow to loosen up the legs from yesterday. It was pretty windy coming back from the wharf, which was frustrating, but the ride along the ocean was awesome so I can't really complain. My legs were a little rubbery when I woke up this morning, but I feel a lot better than I expected. I think I'm adjusting quickly to my increased training! Broke out the old DS Trainers since I've gotten used to running in "less" shoe. The Trance's feel like boots now, and all I can hear is them slapping the pavement. Just ordered some of the Green Silence's, which I'm hoping to use as my main road shoe. Breakfast was: two pieces of cracked wheat toast w/ hummus and almond butter, an apple, and two golden oreos. Yumm. Had a bigger lunch than usual when I got back. Some sweet and sour tofu w/ white rice and another piece of toast plus a few more oreos. I guess that homeless guy's comment from yesterday is in the back of my mind. =]
PM: 5.5 miles (:45) West Cliff, 270' 
Decided to head out for a few more miles this afternoon. Got bored around the apartment, so I enjoyed the sunset on West Cliff instead! I always feel kind of light headed/weird when I run in the afternoon, but after a jacuzzi sesh the legs are feeling awesome! Excited to hit some trails tomorrow before work.

Sat- AM: 17 miles (2:15) West Cliff-Wilder-Pogonip, 1622'
Felt really good this morning, but was a little slow on the hills. Legs are pretty shot...I'd imagine just from the week's load and the pounding on the pavement from yesterday. Wish I had time to put in a few more miles. Breakfast was: two pieces of whole wheat toast w/ almond butter, coconut water Naked juice

Sun- AM: 14 miles (1:52) Nisene, 1394'
First run with the Fleet Feet training group, and it was awesome! I can tell that I'm really going to enjoy helping coach this program. I took it easy in Nisene Marks and looped back and forth a bunch to keep track of all the runners. Felt pretty queasy out on the run. bleh. But, I found some single-track that I haven't explored, so I'm going to head out there probably tomorrow and run til my heart's content! Legs feel awesome, especially having such a big week. I think it was definitely a good idea to take it slow today. Also,I ran sock-less again in the 101's with no new blisters! Breakfast was: hummus on whole wheat toast, mandarin orange, a little cereal.

-Miles: 135
-Hours: 18h 4min
-Vertical: 10,531'

What a training week! I somehow managed to rack up 135 miles without really feeling like I was putting in work...they just seemed to fly by, which is ideally where I want to be in my training. There were a couple of days where heading out the door was a challenge, but I just have to remind myself that once I hit the trails it'll be worth it. Today's run in Nisene was the most fun I've had in a long time. I already know that working with the No Boundaries training groups is going to be a blast, and I can't wait to get to know everyone better! Also, stumbling upon that awesome single-track has rekindled my love for trails...as soon as I began running it I had a grin from ear to ear. =] I'll probably head back out there tomorrow morning to see where it takes me.

Two-a-days seem to be working out great for me as long as I keep the second run around 5-6 miles and slow enough so that they aid in recovery. I definitely don't want them to turn into junk miles. Overall, I can tell that I'm more tired from the increase in training, but on the same note I'm adjusting quicker than I expected to my 13-17 mile standard morning run. Hopefully I can keep up this level of running as I believe it'll definitely pay off at WTC and the AR 50. Looking forward to a fresh week of training and putting more miles on my 101's! I'm hoping to write up a mini-review of these amazing shoes soon.