Monday, March 25, 2013

New River Training Week 4 (rest...sorta)

Mon - yoga - 90min - Really feeling good about putting this back in my training, but I might be shortening this thing down to an hour.  90 minutes is just a bit too long.

Tues - off - drove straight to Asheville afterwork to see Local Natives play at the Orange Peel.  No time to run.

Wed - 39min/ 5m/ 400' - Warren Wilson - After a late night on the town, Kevin and I finally dragged ourselves out the door to hit the trails before we had to head to work.  I didn't feel to well and am not a morning person, so this run ended up like you'd expect it to, terrible.  But the views and trails were nice and it was good to run with a friend.

Thurs - 78min/ 10.2m/ 700' - DART+ - Decided to run from Hannah's pad over to Summit to meet the DART crew.  I needed the extra miles after having a slow start to the week.  I easily jogged the 2 miles over there in about 18 minutes and then ran the Davidson XC 8k with Fam.  First time actually running with Fam.  I was near my tempo pace with him while I'm sure he was at his recovery pace.  After everyone had finished the 8k and chatted it up, I headed back to the house.   Great run!

Fri - 54min/ 6.6m/ 800' - Hobby Park - Hannah and I headed up to Winston to hang with her family this weekend, so I decided to give Abran a call to come join up for some runs.  Friday, we hit Hobby Park, known for it's steep drops, relentless climbs, and tortuous twist and turns.  I told Abran that I wanted to take it easy, but Abran's easy and mine are not the same.  Needless to say I only ran this thing 3 minutes slower than my PR on this route.  The legs were feeling pretty terrible as well.

Sat - 3hrs/ 16.5m/ 3500' - HAROC - The second run Abran and I had planned was a nice mellow and easy HAROC or Hanging Rock Challenge, a 16 mile, technical as hell, route to every major peak/rock of Hanging Rock State Park.  I created this challenge almost a year ago and was waiting to head back out there as Abran owns the FKT on the route.  We both decided to take it easy on the way to Tory's Den, but of course, Abran's easy is not my easy.  Winded and legs hurting, we made it to Cook's Wall (first split) in 49 minutes, 4 minutes faster than my previous split.  Luckily we took it kinda easy on our way to Hanging Rock, but still managed to run the next split in 73 minutes, one minute faster than last time.  After exploring the overhang that Abran had yet to go to in all his trips to the rock, we speed our way down to the base of our final climb.  Abran was flying and luckily my legs had started to feel better so I tried my best to hang on.  Then came the stairs up to Moore's Knob.  Two miles of grueling stone steps to reach the highest point in the Sauratown Mountains.  At the summit tower, I managed to cut 7 minutes off my previous split.  After soaking in the views for a minute, we both dropped down the technical ridge, and back to the smooth sailing downhill of Tory's Den trail.  I was feeling really good at this point but was not trying to put the hammer down so I could save what was left of my legs.  I still managed to run this split 9 minutes faster than last time.  I was quite astonished that I had just beaten my previous PR by 20 minutes and finished in 2:45:12.  I think that the cooler weather had a big part to do with that and the fact that I bonked on the first attempt.  I'm definitely going to have to head back out there soon to really go at it hard and see if I can take down Abran's FKT, but that would require another 14 minutes of time to shave.  Although we did waste about 2 minutes at each summit.  Either way, it was a stellar run!

Sun - off - nasty weather kept me inside enjoying some March Madness.

Totals =

Time - 5hrs51min
Miles - 38.8
Vert - 5500'

Well this was supposed to be an easier week of running on the plan, and looking at the mileage it was, but I was still supposed to run 6 days and almost all of that easy.  Instead, I ran only 4 days and almost all of that hard.  Hope the extra days of rest acted as enough recovery.

Profile of HAROC
Finally, some trendy music for your listening pleasure.  Hannah turned me onto these guys this week.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

New River Training Week 3...The Dump

Mon - yoga - did the P90X yoga routine which is quite intense.  It last like 1.5 hours and is broken up into 30 minute parts of strength, balance, and stretching type poses.  Felt great!

Tues - 60min/ 7.5m/ 1000' - Hickory City Park - Another good run on the HCP loop of mine.  The training plan said tempo, but the achilles said, "Take it a little easier", so that is just what I did.  Just a nice and steady run.

Wed - 2hr10min/ 12.5/ 2600' - SOMO - Wow what a run today.  Took my camera out and ended up making a video of quite possibly the best loop in the park.  Route was river, high shoals falls, upper falls, jacob branch, fox, lower CCC, upper falls, shinny, headquarters, river.  This route is really only 11.5m, but I did at least an extra mile while running back and forth in front of my camera for footage. The video is at the bottom of the page.  Love the South Mountains.

Thurs - 48min/ 5.6m/ 500' - DART Run - Joined Dave and Tommy for the Wolf Spider loop with some other roads thrown in for a nice mellow day.  Felt a bit tight and weak today but the achilles is feeling pretty good.

Fri - 31min/ 3.3m/ 500' - Warren Wilson - Got some new shoes in the mail and decided to try them out on Suicide Ridge.  I really like the grip of the Hagios, but man the midsole is super firm.  Not used to that firm of  a sole in a show.

Sat - 3hrs6min/ 18m/ 3500' - The Dump -  Meet up early with the WNC Trail Runners for this inaugural running of multiple loops around the county's landfill mountain bike trail system.  There was a nice crew assembled and after shoving down homeade doughnuts made by Kevin, we began and soon found out that the dump is no joke.  I was half expecting typical mtb trail of the piedmont as the trail stays pretty much in a 200 ft range of elevation.  I didn't realize that it was going to go up and down that 200ft like a bazillion times!  Add to that the irregular early Spring heat wave, and things we getting rough.  I had originally only planned to do a marathon worth of loops, but after the first one, I knew that the second one would be my last.  My legs felt dead and my energy levels were out of whack due to the heat.  I still had a great time after I was done hanging out and cheering people on.  Even managed to go out for another half loop with Phyllis, which hurt really bad, after sitting around awhile.  Of the 25 people who started, I think only 4 people completed the full 50k.

After the run, Kevin and Kate invited everyone out to their farm to enjoy some majestic views, delectable cuisine,  and some pleasant conversations.  We even got to see there new baby calf that was just born earlier in the week.  Check out Kevin's farm, Homemade in Marshall here.

Sun - 2hrs28min/ 11m/ 3000' - Graybeard - Met up with Lauren in Montreat to show her one of the best trail running routes around in Asheville, one that I actually put in my article for  We kept the pace easy and relaxed for the day, especially considering participating in the Dump yesterday.  I love this route.  We climbed up the Graybeard trail, through the trestle switchbacks, picked are way down the extremely fun West Ridge trail, and then bombed down Big Piney back to the car.  Like I said, I love this route.

Total =

Time - 10hrs
Miles - 57.9
Vert - 11,100'

This was a great week of running and the achilles held up to the volume.  I didn't really try to test it with much speed, but will check it out this week.  I really didn't stay to the training plan either and kinda just did what I felt like doing, which was having adventures in the mountains.  These are the best types of weeks in running and are the reason I do this in the first place.  Having a training plan is nice, and sticking to it can give you a since of accomplishment, but nothing compares to some great long hours on steep mountain trails, exploring new places, and enjoying that time with friends.

Here is the video of the run I did in the South Mountains.  Enjoy!

Monday, March 11, 2013

New River Training Week 2...sorta

Mon - off

Tues - 47min/ 5m/ 1000' - Crowders - Got out late from a staff meeting at school, but was still able to make it out to the trails since the park now closes at 8pm.  The rain started coming down steady as soon as I started.  I took a headlamp just in case, but turned around a litte early due to the rain and some leftover pain in the shins and lower calf after last weeks speedfest.  I think I'll be fine.  Took today easy although it called for hill repeats.

Wed - 40min/ 3.6m/ 700' - SOMO - Headed up Saddleback only to have the achilles say "uh-uh", so I turned around very early and put my legs into the freezing cold Jacob Fork River.  Last week's speedfest did more damage than I thought.


Thurs - off

Fri - off

Sat - 66min/ 8.2m/ 800' - Lake Norman - Had a really good run with Tommy on the Hawk Loop and a bit of the road.  The achilles pain was acting good today.  Just a twinge sore so I didn't take any chances by adding too many miles.  Great run!

Sun - 86min/ ~11m/ 1200' - Salem Lake - Meet up with David Olsen and he gave me a tour of the mt bike trails at Salem Lake.  There were really nice and my achilles felt great!  After about 7 miles of the mtb trails, we hit the super highway that is the lake "trail" and cruised on back to the cars.  Stellar run and I think that the achilles issue is about to go away.

Totals =

Time - 3hrs59min
Miles - 28.1
Vert - 3,500'

Well, due to my accidental speed runs last week, I tweaked my achilles and I decided to back way off the intensity and miles this week to hopefully get rid of it fast.  I do think that I have accomplished that, but time will tell.  I did some light icing and foam rolling from Wednesday to Saturday and took two days off during the week and I think it is good to go now.  It still feels a bit tender, but if I stick to the flats and rein back the speed this coming week then all should be well.  Hopefully, I'll be able to get back on the plan.  I definitely haven't lost any fitness over it so that is good and it happened early in the training cycle.  Here's to an injury free rest of training!  Fingers crossed.

Monday, March 4, 2013

New River Training Week 1

I have recently signed up to compete in my second ever road half marathon at the beginning of May.  The New River Half Marathon in Todd, NC looks to be a fairly flat half and a PR course for me.  My goal is to go sub 1:30, but I have a lot of work to do to make that happen.  I will be chronicling my training over the next 10 weeks to see if I can capture another PR this year.  To help achieve this goal, my speed work will consist of long downhill repeats, tempo runs, mountainous easy runs, and a bit more pavement than I'm used to.  First week below:

Mon - off

Tues - 64min/ 7.5m/ 700' - Hickory City Park - 1.5m downhill repeats x2.  Today I did my first speed session of downhill repeats.  The greenway at HCP is 1.5 miles and loses 200' steadily during the last 1.2m.  I feel that the workout went well and I ran the first repeat in 8:59 and the second in 8:56.  17 minute warm-up, recovery, and cool-down all on trails.

Wed - 78min/ 8.5m/ 2000' - SOMO - Nice run in SOMO today.  The water was up, so I decided to run by the falls and it was well worth it.  Took it pretty easy for the first half, then realized I had 40 minutes to run the last 4.5 miles before the park closed its gates.  Ran pretty hard down Shiny Trail, HQ, and River trail to get back in 35 min.  That was a little quicker than planned.  Didn't mean to get two downhill workouts back to back.  Well worth it though.

A lot of water today

Thurs - 48min/ 6.2m/ 600' - DART - Ran from Hannah's to meet the crew for the Wolf Spider loop.  Took it easier over there and then Tommy wanted to run a bit harder than I did, but I stuck with him.  Ran the loop in about 33 min.  Good run, but too hard after the past two days.

Fri - off - felt a bit beat from the past 3 days.

Sat - 2hrs40min/ 18.5m/ 2000' - Tour de Lake Norman - Meet up with a bunch of great folks and friends to run around Lake Norman State Park.  The pace was comfortable most of the day, but took the paved 1.5m section hard.  Not sure of the exact split, but it was somewhere around 9min.  This was a great run and we had a nice after party in the parking lot once everyone had finished including free drinks and guacamole.  Thanks Don, Terri, and Craig for the munchies.  This run is one that needs to be done again. 

Tour de Lake Norman crew

Sun - 80min/ 7m/ 700' - Fisher Farm - Wow did I feel terrible on today's run.  Seemed to have zero energy and ended up walking the last 1.5 miles.  It was a recovery run anyway, but still.  I guess I tried to put too much speed in one week.

Totals =

Time - 7hrs10min
Miles - 47.7
Vert - 6,000'

Felt fast all week, but started to feel run down by the end.  Need to ease in a bit. Hopefully, I can fulfill the actual training plan this week.  Feel about 1 hour short this week.

More pics from the tour....

Legend...wore this hat all day
pic: Don Rice

At our aid station
pic: Terri Marshall

Huffing it up one of many hills
pic:  Terri Marshall

Scott B. run the Hawk Loop
pic:  Terri Marshall