- Mon: Laguna Canyon: 12 mi, 1907 vertical
- Tue: 10x800 on a rough track, 3:42 average
- Wed: Bolsa Chica - 10.2 mi, 9:43 average
- Thu: Part of Maple Springs Truck Trail (dead legs) - 10 mi, 2021 vertical
- Fri: El Dorado Park (road) - 10.2 mi, 10:18 average
- Sat am: Part of Harding Truck Trail (dead legs) - 4.4 mi, 991 vertical
- Sat pm: Negative Mile Splits - 5.1 mi in all
- Sun: Rose Hills Road hill repeats - 5 miles, 1635 vertical
Sunday, July 7, 2013
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
I ran the BHS 50k on May 18th. This was basically intended to be a confidence builder. I expected that I would either do ok or have problems. I figured the outcome would be the same either way: either I'd have the confidence to start running 50k workouts on weekends (if I did ok) or I'd feel the need to do 50k workouts on weekends (if I didn't). This is how it worked out.
I drove up Friday morning and checked in at the Millpond campground, site of the race start and where I was camping out that night. Then I hung around Bishop until the pre-race dinner. The couple in the adjacent campsite (Matt and Karen) was also there for the race - Matt was competing (got 2nd in the 50 mile) and Karen was going to ride her mtn bike and pace a bit. My cardiologist told me I should acclimate before the race. I thought hanging out at 4000' was adequate. It was very windy in the evening when I was setting up the tent but not that bad the rest of the time. At about sunset, I went for a walk out the back of the campground to check out thee start of the racecourse. I was reminded that it was pretty sandy (I've run the 50 mile 3 times in the past-Bishop was my first ultra).
On race morning, I ate my oatmeal, got ready and went to the start line. I didn't recognize a lot of people. I figured I'd go with a DFL start to avoid going out too fast. So I started out at a reasonable pace. I wearing some Moeben sleeves but had already warmed up by the time I past my car that I took them off. My friend Flaco was fiddling with his knee wrap when I got done dropping them off. I started back in running an easy pace. In this first part of the course, I eventually recognized a guy who had run my race - Rafael. We were running a similar pace so we were talking a bit. After a ways into the race, the long climb starts that is the trademark of the BHS ultras. No more conversation at that point. So this also means that I was climbing in elevation. Just before the 10 mile point, I saw my friend Tracy and stopped and chatted for about 20 seconds. Just after that, the altitude started to affect me. I think I walked from about 11 miles to the turnaround at 17 miles. We were at 8000' at that point but for some reason, I got acclimated at that point. I was able to run easily at this point. Pretty soon I was pulling away from the pair I had been chatting with. I caught up to another guy and ran with him for a little while. Then on a downhill into the next aid station, I started pulling away strongly. The long downhill to the finish starts at that point and I found I could run it pretty strongly. So I started hauling and running right over any rocks. I passed at least 10 people in the last 16 miles of the 33 mile 50k :-). I saw some pictures from the race at 30 miles and I had a smile on my face. I finished in 7:21 something, 4th in my age group. Nothing earthshaking but certainly a confidence builder.
Post race, I've had some good workouts but 2 1/2 weeks later, I still have yet to get back in the swing of things. So the lessons learned are these.
1) My workouts are adequate to run a 50k and possibly a 50 mile in spite of not running a long run.
2) I won't name names but I notice that I'm not the only one dealing with problems. Certainly there are people out there with greater difficulties than mine.
3) It's taking me a while to recover from the race. This mitigates against entering a lot of races - certainly ultras.
4) I need better acclimation to altitude next time.
5) I really enjoyed getting back out on a race course.
Sunday, May 5, 2013
Let's start at the start. My younger daughter told me a little story that my wife wanted me to 1) build up my arms and 2) grow a mustache. Of course, this was a complete fabrication. I was already working on my upper body so I took this as an excuse to grow a mustache. And I wanted to model my mustache after the great runners of the 70's: Prefontaine, Shorter but especially after the course record holder for Angeles Crest - Jim O'Brien. So this prompted me to Google Jim O'Brien Angeles Crest and read some of the articles. I saw one video on Flotrack where he was talking about meeting Arthur Lydiard in a shoe store and talking to him for 2+ hours. I read about some of Jim's philosophy regrading ultra running as related by Joe Franko in a Larry Gassan article. At this point (late March) I had been stuck in a rut of running 40 to 50 miles on a good week. I'd have a good workout here and there but didn't feel like I really was doing all that my body would allow. So I guess I just started out by trying to run 10 miles a day for a week. That week started out with a run up Harquahala Mountain in western Arizona. I kind of expected to have some days where my legs were dead but got through the week with 7 10 mile days. I extended that on to get through the month of April only missing 1 day (when I had a 2+ hour dentist appt) and getting 66 to 70 miles per week. At the same time, I've come close to tripling the amount of vertical (climb) per week, starting at just under 3500' and getting just under 9700' this past week. My experience in the past was basically what Frank Shorter said - "Hill training is speed work in disguise." And presently, when I do my 2 hour track runs, the limiting factor seems to be my lower legs, not my cardio capacity. So my near term goal is to be able to perform my 3 targeted workouts per week: Monday - 14 miles in 2 hours on the track, Thursday - 3500' of vertical on a particular hill in Whittier in 2 hours (or close) and Saturday - do one of the mountain runs. Otherwise, keep the mileage steady until I'm consistently hitting those goal workouts.
Along the way, I run into various problems and then come up with a fix. So in trying to do everything right, I've come up with this list:
- I have two sets of exercises mainly to work on core and upper body strength.
- Use the foam roller after workouts on my legs.
- Stretch after workouts
- Eat something right after a workout. After yesterday's mountain run, I ate a tamale, chocolate soy milk, bagel and baked potato on the drive home.
- Get enough sleep. Can be difficult during the week.
- Keep the callus on my foot in check.
So I've been consistent over the last 5 weeks in miles run but have been progressing in terms of vertical. Those numbers are 66.8/3487, 69.7/7562, 66.3/5545, 70.2/6472, 74.2/9697. So I'm going to keep my workouts pretty consistent, trying to improve the pace on Monday and Thursday in particular and putting a lot of effort into recovering from each workout.
Monday, February 18, 2013
|Laguna Canyon trail run - 9.1 miles||Laguna Canyon trail run - 9.1 miles||12xRose Hills Road hill climb||10.1 mile easy run in Tempe, Az along a canal||10.3 mile easy run in Tempe, Az along a canal, along with 8 short hill repeats in the middle of it.|
Sunday, February 10, 2013
|1 x 1k||6 repeats - Rose Hills Road (muddy)||12 repeats - Rose Hills Road||Easy 11.8 trail, pm gym||10 miles in 1:29:36||Easy 11.8 trail|
|10 miles in 1:27:28||Med Ball throw and kick||Easy 11.8 trail||14.25 in 1:59:51||Rest|
P.S. I've been doing a set of 15 (now 16) exercises most weekday mornings.
P.P.S. I just went back and looked and saw that I ran 14 miles in 1:57:50 on 1/22/2012. My pace this week was about 3 seconds per mile faster and of course, there was that extra quarter mile. That workout was on the same track - Cypress College.
P.P.P.S. The 14 miles wasn't that difficult. I kept keying on 1) Lift your heels and 2) don't wallow or in other words stay tall, especially on my feet and hips.
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
After the rain on Friday, I tried running Harding Truck Trail on Saturday but it was pretty muddy and slippery. So instead I made the mistake of going on a 17 mile road run. That left me with the usual small but persistent pain in my right soleus. I think it's best if I just stay off pavement. So here's what happened this week.
|10 miles on track in 1:33:01 with a big speedup over the last 4 miles||Failed interval workout at Larwin Park||7.6 mile out and back in Laguna Canyon||7.6 mile out and back in Laguna Canyon||nothing (rain)||17 mile road run to Seal Beach||nothing (pain in soleus)|
Sunday, January 20, 2013
While running and thinking about these actions, I decided both these actions would exacerbate water caused erosion rather than limiting it.
- Cutting brush is obvious. If you remove brush and especially if you kill the plant, you take away brush that slows the flow of rain and you kill roots that would help hold soil in place.
- The idea behind water diversion dams is that if rain runs down the trail and causes erosion, a water diversion dam will divert water off the trail before the water picks up too much speed. However there is little erosion of the trail due to rain. The only water related erosion on this trail is where water is diverted off the trail down the side of the mountain. One of the gullies that results is about 15 to 20 feet deep. So by diverting water off the trail, they'll just cause more of the same erosion. The drain gutters that they put in will just speed up the water and focus it on a particular spot on the hillside, causing even worse erosion. If you want a good indication of what this will do, look at what has happened on Harding Truck Trail.
This link shows pretty severe erosion at about the 3 mile mark of Harding Truck Trail, pretty obviously caused by one of the rain gutters installed since the fire
Enough of that negativity. I was back down to 138 pounds this week and had a few days where my legs felt dead. I have a strategy though and the main idea is to get complete protein, for instance by mixing peanut butter with my oatmeal.
|10 miles on Oxford track in about 1:33||5x1k||9.1 mile Irvine trail loop||3xRose Hills Road climb - foot was tight||Nothing (went to Cirque Du Soleil with family||10.5 Trail loop in Rowland Heights. Stopped and rested on one climb||Silverado Motorway in 1:43 - not bad|