Photo courtesy of Andrew King - D4 Productions

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Mar 21 - 27

Here we are again. Two posts in one week? Amazing. Where does the time go and who decided to only have 24 hours in a day? The weekend went by blazing fast in which I was able to get in a couple of key runs early in the morning before the family was up and at 'em.

I am amazed at how resilient my body has been lately. I can basically race a hard 50K and turn the next week into a normal training week. Previous years it has usually taken me a good week to feel normal. I have been building a huge base since the beginning of the year and now it's time to enter a new phase of the training program. The next 8 weeks will involve, well... to tell you the truth, I don't know what it will involve. Lucho just said to buckle up and get ready. That's the excitement of having a coach, the mystery of the workouts and see if I am capable of doing them. I have a feeling I'll be in for some hills, heat, leg turnover stuff, and more volume. Perfect. American River is in two weeks and I hope to be hitting my stride by that time. My PR for 50 myles came at AR a few years ago (6:24) so my goal would be to establish a new PR in the 6:10ish range, we will see.

Here is a recap of the week:

Monday - 6 myles San Diego TM
Tuesday - AM 8 myles San Diego TM
PM 5 myles San Diego bay
Wednesday - 8 myles San Diego TM
Friday - 6 myles Tulsa TM

Total - 88 myles, 11 hrs 43 mins, 3206 ft of climbing

Last week 3/14 - 3/20 - 64 myles, 8 hrs 50 mins, 11,040 ft of climbing

Friday, March 25, 2011

Chuckanut 50K - 4.09:39 15th

Where does the time go?? Nearly a week later and I'm finally writing something about my race. I went straight from Seattle on Sunday to San Diego (my hometown) and then onto Tulsa until today. Whew! Since the time has past I know I have lost most of those intricate details that make up the race so I will do the best I can:

The week leading into the race I had traveled to Oklahoma City and Grand Junction but I managed to get my daily runs in so it was nice to finally get into Bellingham and let the mind settle a bit. I got out on the trail with Josh Brimhall, Darcy Africa, and Dan Brillon for 45 minutes to shake the legs out. Seemed OK. The weekly mileage dipped a bit (63) but that was by design to get ready for a fast, fast race. I remember feeling confident in my leg speed but also envisioned about 15 guys making a separation along the flat 6.3 myles to the hills and trails. I have been building a huge base and very little leg speed but still confident I could crack off 6:45s on the front and back side of the 6.3 flat myles.

Sure enough the race started and a group quickly formed. I tagged along on the back side and then looked at my HR - yikes 170 already and I was breathing pretty easy. I did the best I could to bring it back down but I as I did they slipped away. My HR dropped to mid 160s by the time I got to the first aid at 6.3 and my split was right on 42ish (6:43 pace).

Now the climbing and single track starts and I was thrilled! I ran with a guy who was wearing racing flats so I made the assumption it was just a matter of time before I snuck ahead. We probably climbed for 1500 ft and I felt like I was just hitting my stride, although my HR was tapping out at 173 bpm. I wasn't concerned because I was racing and knew this monitor was for data collection only. No sooner did we get to the top did we drop to the next aid, around mile 11, and then start a long gradual dirt road. The road (Cleator I think) was pretty straight so I could see about 3 runners up ahead and I made a point to close the gap. 3 myles later I only caught one guy but the other two were right there.

Aid station 3 was about 13 myles and this is where I come ALIVE! The start of some technical single track on Chuckanut Ridge trail. I was buzzing and soon came up on two runners, teammate Josh Brimhall and Joe Uhan. Josh wasn't feeling it in his legs but still moving well. We ran together for a couple myles and then separated. Now I was running behind Joe Uhan, who was running really well uphill. The downhill I would close the gap and yo-yo with him all the way through Chinscraper where he would finally gap me.

The single track I had no problem keeping pace with Joe and so I assumed I would be gaining on anyone in front of me but just as the single track started, it ended. And
thus began Fragrance Lake road. Joe slowly pulled away and that was it. At the bottom we are now back at the fast, flat 6.3 myles we started on. My goal going into the race was to have an exacting split in and out. Not quite but pretty close - 45 minutes coming back (7:10s). Another goal of mine was to place top 10, not quite either - 15th overall. Results

Photo by Glenn Tachiyama. More photos

I am extremely pleased with this race! I'm pleased primarily because I have done literally no leg turnover stuff but yet I was able to hold my own. Even if I had done leg turnover stuff there was waaay too much fastness going on up front for me to hold pace. I am amazed of the talent at this race. You look at the top times ever at this race - 5 of the top 10 times -EVER- were clocked this year - simply amazing! I feel very good with my current fitness, especially my ability to hold my pace 4 hours into a race. I was steady all day with solid energy thanks to my two flasks of EFS liquid shot - the only calories I took in all day. And to cap off the race recovery I took my Ultragen in immediately following the race.

That night I got a chance to hang out with my Pearl Izumi teammates, fun times all around. Next year Chuckanut is going to celebrate it's 20th anniversary so put it on the calendar now, you won't be disappointed with the race or the nightlife in Bellingham. Thanks to Krissy and the amazing crew of volunteers.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Mar 7 - 13

I miss blogging everyday. Not that I ever had anything interesting to say, I just enjoyed the freedom to express my raw thoughts. It was some sort of therapy I guess. But it's all about life balance right? And blogging everyday had to take a back seat to my new job. I still have the time to blog, I just don't have the mental energy to put thoughts down. I still solve the world's problems while out on my runs but those solutions stay stuck in my head and by the time I get to my weekly recap, I've forgotten all of them. I will get better though. The balance will be restored sooner than later. Real quick though (before I forget), last week I spent almost all my runs on the treadmill and I gotta say going to the gym is a great place to people watch. I'm in my own little world with headphones on but still notice quirky things like this: have you every seen someone get on the treadmill, crank it up to something like 20%, and then walk as fast as they can while leaning back and gripping the front of the treadmill? It is the funniest damned thing I have seen at the gym in a while! Do they think they are getting a better workout because they cranked it up? I dunno maybe they want to get an upper body workout too. Cracks me up! Who am I to judge though, they probably laugh at me when I'm making all those funny sounds during a 10 x 30 second sprint session.

Onto my weekly recap:

Monday - 4 myles Grigs
PM 8 myles Bluffs
Wednesday - 8 myles Sanitas
Thursday - 6 myles Des Moines TM

83 myles, 12 hours 34 minutes, 11,492 ft of climbing

The key workouts this week were:
1) Sanitas on Wednesday for the 2 x 20 minutes at HR 165-175. It's the first time in 3 months that I've touched that range. First time up was a little short because I went up the East Ridge and it only took 13 minutes, hurt my lungs a little there. Second time up I went up the Mount Sanitas trail which was 19.41, felt much better. It's almost as if my body remembered how to deal with the stress. I had a avg. HR of 172 and it felt good, wanted to go faster but that 175 was the absolute cap this early in the building stage.

2) Deer Creek on Saturday which is the first time since Ponderous Posterior 50K that I've hit the 4K mark for climbing. This run represented the middle 30K at Chuckanut. It was slow because of the bullet proof ice and I should have known better to bring my microspikes for the wall. During this run I practiced my race day nutrition and hydration which consisted of 1 powerbar, 1 EFS liquid shot wild berry diluted in water, and 1 scoop of Pre-Race in a smaller sprint bottle. The Pre-Race is new to the regimen so I wanted to make sure it would not upset my stomach, like last time. All is good and I got a huge boost mentally from it. I took it 1.45 into the run, started to work at 2 hours, and lasted through 3+ hours.

3) HR tour de trails today is the last of the key workouts. Significant because I ran the last 10K in 40:22 (6:30 pace), not blazing, but on tired legs so I'll take it. This is especially important because Chuckanut ends the same way on a flattish 10K. I kept the HR avg. to 159 so that is pretty comfortable to me but I can tell the leg speed is lagging a bit. Truth be told I haven't done hardly any leg turnover stuff in this building phase so that is to be expected. It will come in 16 weeks, I promise.

I just glanced over the Chuckanut start list and I have to say it's impressive! Looking forward to fast and beautiful race next Saturday. And I hear Bellingham has some good local brews.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Feb 28 - Mar 6

I'll start this post by saying this week sucked! Lucho knew I'd be confined to a treadmill all week so he kindly re-arranged my runs to break up the monotony. In addition, I was also confined to a training classroom all week up on the 14th floor with big floor to ceiling windows peering out to the San Francisco hills. Yes I was day dreaming, wondering what the elevation gain and grade was on a particular trail that shot straight up the ridge line. And then I was so rudely interrupted by the instructor "Scott what do you think about all this? You have been really quiet..." "Umm, well, (trying to remember the last thing I heard) Yes, I agree and I'd also like to circle back to..." Gibberish basically. I never did get out to that trail because the day started at 7:30 AM and didn't get back to the hotel until the sun had set. So be it. The week is in the books with the most myles in a week thus far for 2011. Here's what it looked like:

Monday - 8 myles San Fran. TM
Thursday - AM 8 myles San Fran. TM
Friday - 4 myles San Fran. TM

87 myles, 11 hours 22 minutes, climbing 5422 ft - 319 myles in February

The hyperlink workouts on the TM are really only there for HR purposes. No elevation gain but rather leg turnover stuff. For instance, on Tuesday the instructions were to keep HR above 150 for 30 minutes, which turned out to be 9 MPH with an avg. HR of 157. Then on Wednesday I did 10 x 30 seconds at 5:27 pace and was able to hold my HR at 165. So as you can see leg turnover stuff because Chuckanut has 20K of the flat stuff. Next week I'm sure I'll be working on the middle 30K of Chuckanut which is about 4K of climbing.