Monday, January 10, 2011

The Beginning of a New Semester

As the reality of the new semester dawns with this mornings unsurprisingly snowy start, it is back to the old task to try and find a balance between school and of course running.  But the first order of business is to take a short break from logging the miles.  I have had a surprisingly extended streak of solid training, even though it wasn't exactly what I had planned for mileage wise.  The weather will sometimes get the best of you and ruin your plans.

In the past 8 weeks I have averaged just under 50 miles a week (49.8 to be exact) and that load is starting to effect my body.  This is the longest streak of my running career at this volume.  My legs are just feeling dead and my turnover is suffering.  So a good two day break is called for with some minimal mileage later in the week.  I may throw some mile repeats down on Wednesday in preparation for this weekends Lakeside 25k just to get used to some quicker turnover on this flat beautiful course.  But other than those two blazing days, I'm going to take it super easy and probably only log 20 extra miles on top of that for a weekly total around 35 miles.  This will probably help my aching ankle as well (a problem that is becoming quite persistent and one that I would like to see go away).

Looking towards Grandfather from the summit
View towards 3 Top, Jefferson, and Phoenix Mtns
On another note, yesterday I had a great time enjoying the only break of snowfall in Boone this week by taking advantage of the weather and getting a sweet hike up Elk Knob.  The views were even more amazing in the winter.  On the last pitch to the summit, snow drifts were mid-thigh deep!  Elk Knob is were I usually log my hill/mountain running workout.  The trail to the summit is 1.8 miles of ~10% grade.  Run hard up and even harder down and repeat.  No breaks really other than soaking the views in at the summit for a bit.  I usually average about 19.5 minutes up and 12.5 minutes down.  Here is a link to that workout: Double Elk Knob Summit.

After the hike to soak in the views, I drove back down to Rich Mountain Rd to log some actual running on the plowed gravel surface.  This road has access to some amazing views as well.  Its pretty darn tough too.  The first 1.7 miles consist of a 800 ft climb to the beautiful Rich Mtn Gap and then gently descends towards US 421.  I only ran about 3 miles of this 5 mile road and then turned around, but those 6 miles got me close to 1200 ft of gain.  That's pretty stout and I averaged 8:57/mile on super tired legs.  A pretty good last workout before a mini break.

1 comment:

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