Monday, March 28, 2011

Training Week 3/21-3/27 - Taper On!

This was another solid week, really marking the "end" of my hard training for the Eisenhower Marathon on 4/9. I logged 74.8 miles, but more importantly I had some great quality with my intervals and tempo run, surpassed 17 miles on Saturday and even managed to get up to 11,000 feet on Pikes Peak on Sunday.

My original plan was to nail a 21-miler this weekend. I just didn't have it in me for whatever reason. But ultimately I think what I did over the weekend was of far greater benefit (and more personally fulfilling), especially Sunday's 3+ hour run on the Barr Trail, getting up to over 11,000 feet. Ever feel called to the trails? That's how I felt, and it's why I headed to Manitou Springs on Sunday morning before dawn. Twenty-one miles on the road wasn't going to happen when my soul needed the trails and a good climb on America's mountain.

The Eisenhower Marathon is very important to me, just as the Leadville Trail 100 is also crucial. I believe a runner can peak only twice and maybe three times a year, and for that reason I'm properly tapering for the Eisenhower Marathon and really making it a goal race. My goal is a time under 2:55 and my stretch goal is a 2:49. For me, the fact that Eisenhower is a goal race means a two-week taper, along with a one-week recovery after the event. I'll need to hit the trails hard after Eisenhower to ensure I'm ready for the Jemez 50-mile on May 21, but right now I'm only thinking about what I need to do in Abilene on 4/9...and praying for good weather. At 6'2", I'm a rather large runner and so wind really affects me. I once ran a 2:59 at a very windy marathon (Cleveland, 2009) and it wasn't pleasant--not that any marathon is pleasant.

Here's how the week shook out:

Monday, 3/21 - EASY
AM: 4.25 miles/34:32 on the treadmill at home. Easy pace.

Tuesday, 3/22 - INTERVALS
AM: 9.7 miles/1:10:35 on the HOA treadmill, maxing out the unit's speed. 3x1 mile at 6:00 each, plus 2x800 at 3:00 each. Still not 100% from the virus I came down with over the weekend, but was strong enough for a quality interval session.

Wednesday, 3/23 - EASY
AM: 6 miles/45:58around the neighborhood. I had an early morning meeting so this was all the time I had available.

Thursday, 3/24 - TEMPO RUN
AM: 10.3 miles (8 miles at tempo pace)/1:11:13 on the HOA treadmill. Winds 30+ mph, so elected to run indoors. Tempo splits were very solid: 6:40, 6:34, 6:33, 6:24, 6:24, 6:22, 6:18, 6:17 and 6:26.
PM: 3 miles/23:56 on the treadmill.
Total miles for the day: 13.3

Friday, 3/25 - EASY
AM: 10 miles/1:10:34 on the Tomahawk loop. Stomach not feeling well this AM--very crampy. Could have been from the stress of yesterday's wildfires in Franktown, which got a little too close to comfort. Not an enjoyable run at all.

Saturday, 3/26 - LONG RUN
AM: 17.25 miles/2:11:01 in the Parker hills. Felt decent but not super, so I cut this run short of the planned 21 miles. Didn't finish as strongly as I'd like. I think I'm ready for the taper.... Foot also ached a little, likely from Thursday's temp run.

Sunday, 3/27 - LONG TRAIL RUN
AM: 15.15 miles/3:05:51 on the Barr Trail at Pikes Peak. Ran up to 11,200 feet and turned around because I was running short on time. Felt decent but I definitely need to work on my climbing endurance. Tweaked my right ankle on the descent--was moving pretty fast and turned the ankle. Could have been worse. Cloudy and misty but once over the low-lying clouds had some decent views of the peak.

Totals for the week:
  • 74.8 miles running
  • 10 hours, 33 minutes
  • 8 total runs
  • Stretching, yoga exercises, core strengthening and push-ups.
For the year: 806.18 miles

My goal for this week is to continue hitting my quality but to reduce volume. So I'll be shooting for about 50-55 miles, along with my usual mile repeats and a tempo run of about 4-5 miles. The longest I'll run is 12-14 miles on Saturday and then on Sunday not go over 10 miles.

I'm not too worried about my right ankle sprain on the Barr Trail on Sunday. I was flying down the trail and somehow turned my ankle. It could have been a hell of a lot worse. Still, I have got to do something about my right ankle because I keep re-spraining it. Perhaps I'm going to need to wear a brace whenever I hit the trails. It seems almost a given that if I'm going hard down a trail I'm going to turn it.


One final note: I'm currently reading an advanced copy of Marshall Ulrich's new book, Running on Empty. I'll have a review out shortly. Now that I'm about 120 pages into the book, I feel confident saying it's an excellent book! Whereas Dean Karnazes' new book is pretty light-hearted (though very good!), Marshall's book really delves into the ultrarunner's soul and deals with heavy issues. Marshall, who is a living legend and ultrarunner of insane toughness, bares his soul and shows you who he really is as a runner and man, making his book a great contribution to runners and non-runners alike.

Challenge Yourself. Go Long. Push Your Limits. Discover Your Inner Champion.

1 comment:

  1. Enjoy the taper! Looking forward to the book review as it is on my reading list.