Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Week 9, Jan. 6 to 12

At the mile 26 aid station of the Crystal Springs 50K. My favorite calorie source during a long run is cold sugary carbonated beverages, but the aid stations usually run out of soda later in these races. This volunteer/photographer just happened to capture that moment of joy when I discovered they still had Sprite. It's the simple things that make life.
Post-Fairbanks training panic spurred a high-mileage week of running, as my bikes sat woefully neglected on yet another unseasonably warm and dry January week. I've had several debates about my training approach with Beat, and the conclusion seems to be that any workout I do at this point will likely have little to no impact on my overall physical preparedness for the upcoming seven- to ten-day effort. Still, I tend to thrive on higher-volume endurance training; since I started this training block ten weeks ago, I have become progressively stronger as a runner. A fast-for-me 50K and an 80-mile week of trail running had no negative impacts in terms of pain or fatigue. I definitely wouldn't have been able to manage the same volume so naturally one year ago. This coming week I'm incorporating at least one "trailer-pull" and more bike rides, because actually, I can't neglect maintaining a bike base if I want to enjoy summer (not the mention the White Mountains 100.) The Iditarod will come and go and life will go on again, I hope. If I survive.

Monday, Jan. 6: Run, 1:28, 8 miles, 1,668 feet climbing. Average pace 11:07/mile. The first of three "bonk runs" this week, up the High Meadow Trail and down PG&E in Rancho.

Tuesday, Jan. 7: Run, 0:57, 5.7 miles, 635 feet climbing. Average pace 10:08/mile. Monta Vista with Beat. I became quite dizzy at mile four.

Wednesday, Jan. 8: Run, 2:50, 15 miles, 3,049 feet climbing. Average pace 11:23/mile. Black Mountain loop, also on the low-cal plan. Some light-headedness on the steep climbs between miles two and six. Felt much better after I worked through / ignored that initial low point.

Thursday, Jan. 9: Road bike, 1:30, 17.5 miles, 2,566 feet climbing. Montebello Road. I've started to use this ride as a recovery-type effort, but a flatter route might be better for this.

Friday, Jan. 10: Run, 1:04, 5.5 miles, 1,220 feet climbing. Average pace 11:55/mile. Run in Berkeley with Ann. She was dog-sitting an unruly dog who was impossible to control on a leash, so we cut the run short and jogged/walked back. I thought we'd do something longer and faster and was initially disappointed, but this turned out to be the perfect lead-up to a great race the next day.

Beat running at Crystal Springs. So smiley. :)
Saturday, Jan. 11: Run, 5:36, 31.1 miles, 6,611 feet climbing. Average pace 10:56/mile. Crystal Springs 50K. Probably my best 50K effort yet, partly due to having run this course enough times to have it "figured out." I sometimes let my imagination ponder how well I could nail a 50K if I ever specifically and effectively trained for that distance. But the truth is, I have negative interest in the speedwork it takes to get fast (injury fears) and too much love for the long haul. Plus, all these miles I do that speedsters refer to as "junk miles," I think of as "running that is actually fun for me." But I never say never.

Sunday, Jan. 12: Run, 2:44, 13.3 miles, 2,353 feet climbing. Average pace 12:24/mile. I waited a little too long to start this run, after all of the post-race zeal had worn off, and as a result struggled with motivation. Climbing up PG&E, I had one of those "I'd rather be doing something else" moments, and after that it was difficult to fight off the lazy urges. Plus, I left late enough in the afternoon, after only a small lunch, that the final half turned into the more miserable kind of bonk run. Still, I stuck with the plan, and had surprisingly little muscle fatigue from Saturday's race.

Total: 16 hours 9 minutes, 78.6 miles run, 17.5 miles ride, 18,102 feet climbing.

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