Friday, May 27, 2011

Week 21 - 10,000' (278,780')

No BS on the shoe review I wrote on the Tecnica Diablo Sprints. I've been wearing these shoes daily on dirt roads as well as some rough single track and they are as good or better than the first week I wore them. They even look a little better with some dirt/mud on them.

141 - 1,400' - Shut-In.

142 - 1,400' - Shut-In.

143 - 2,000' - 15 mile hill fartlek - ~8:00 pace.

144 - 1,700' - Dirt Road - 7 x 3:00 on 6% - average pace 7:40.

145 - 1,400' - Shut-In.

146 - 1,600' - Dirt Road - 8 x 3:00 on 5% - average pace 7:13.

147 - 500' on neighborhood roads.

Not much to report this week that I haven't already said in the previous post.

I'm still feeling it and ready to go. Expect to put in some pretty good runs next week on 2 days of recovery training. Not looking forward to the taper, I'll need to find something to keep me busy - I think I'll take the kids swimming as much as possible and get some fun water time in as well.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Hot&Humid - Past vs Present

After reading GZ's post and discovering some mold growing on my shorts around the same time I decided to share this photo. It's been quite hot and humid here already - way too early, and highs will be around 90 the next 10 days. Looking forward to spending 4 days in CO above 8,000'!
Those little dots you see in the photo is some sort of mold/fungus growing on the back of my shorts where the shirt over-laps. Pretty gross, but not as gross as delicious single track. I hang these 9 year old bad boys up after every run, and even wash them once in a while so not sure what's causing this. Most likely it's a Hop Fungus caused by my Dale's Pale Ale sweat - it has been a staple hydration/recovery the past few months ;-)

The past few weeks I've been working my way up to a peak and have naturally reflected back to times when I've felt fit and ready to go. It's been a while since I've been where I'm at right now - atleast as far as how I feel the the effort I can hold for a duration. Can't really compare speed since I've trained specifically for the ups, but...
That said, I've been thinking alot about where I was in 2007 hoping to run BTMR and PPA as well as I could. Kind of knew we wouldn't be in Woodland Park long so I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity. I trained hard and on my own with the very little knowledge I had specific to running. I did manage to get quite fit. Early July I ran the PPA course right near the 3:00 mark and when my race goal was to break 3:00 I thought I had that in the bag then, like the amateur I was, I set a goal of 2:50. WRONG! Then a week before BMTR I decided to TT the course and ran close to the 2:00 mark - another race goal time done in training. The following weekend I made it about 15 minutes into the BMTR and pretty much bonked. Then managed to injure my achilles determined to to go as hard as my heart could even though I could barely move. So a month after that I still had achilles trouble and kept trying to get faster. I ended up injured and over-trained trying to do the PPA, and I knew I had nothing to give. I went as easy as possible to BC, then mostly hiked to the Summit. I trained hard and did alot of good things, but couldn't finish it off - same reason I was always a defender in soccer!
That was the Past.
This is the Present.
At the moment I'm dying to go - I want to train until I can't run anymore - I want to feel the pain as hard as it will come, then enjoy how great it feels to stop. But, because of the past failed experience and the guidence of Tim, I'm doing things the smart way. Well, let me re-phrase that - I'm listening to Tim - I'm only smarter now because I'm listening ;-)
My point is that I know I can get myself far along in training, but I have no idea how to fininsh it properly and prepare for race day. In the past I've never know when "the hay is in the barn." I just figured the barn always had room for more hay. At the moment the barn is almost full, when that day comes I won't try to force anymore in this time.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Week 20 - 10,100' (268,780')

134 - 1,400' on Shut-In.

135 - 1,400 on Shut-In.

136 - 2,500 on dirt roads - See this post.

137 - 500' on neighborhood roads.

138 - 1,400' with 7.5 mile TT RedLine Training.

139 - 500' on neighborhood roads.

140 - 2,400' Roads/Treadmill with 3 mile progression and 10x:30.

This week was more of a transition into going easier on the easy days and harder on the quality days and I felt as strong as ever. Going pretty light between quality days I felt like I wanted to race the quality days. I feel like I can go pretty hard every other day right now.

Mondays 15 miler was just a load of fun and simulating race effort is exactly what I need right now as I'm am just itching to go.

Wed. was a TT Redemption day. Since this 7.5 TT kicked my ass last week I was given another chance this week to go hard and practice holding that RedLine. My LT is right at about 155 and my mile split HR's for this run were 139,152,155,153,154,160,159,163. This is a nice rolling course, never flat dirt road that takes alot of effort for me to hold the redline as I'm constantly going up/down. I'll be seeing 5:30's on the descents then about 10-15 seconds into the ups I'll experience that feeling that I just went over the line, then slow down just a bit to find that line again. - lots of concentration needed on this.

Friday (today) I just felt like an animal! I did a nice 30 minute w/u around the rolling neighborhood streets, then got on the treadmill for a 3 mile uphill progression at 6% grade. Mile splits for this were 8:00, 7:30, 7:00 (22:30). After a 30 minute c/d back on the streets I felt like I had just been teased by that 3 mile progression so I set the mill at 12% and 9mph (6:40) and did 10x:30 with 1-1:30 rest between. I'm feeling much more relaxed now and ready for a busy afternoon and evening at work.

With Evans just 4 weeks away I have far exceeded where I thought I'd be right now in training, but also feel like I'm just starting to tap into some unknown potential. I've been saying for the past 5 years that if I could get back to the weight I was at 5 years ago I'd be a better runner than I was 5 years ago. Well, my body has responded and I'm only a few pounds off from that weight. It's like I'm "double dipping" right now. The body is shedding unneeded weight which is making me faster and more efficient and I'm getting in some great quality sessions which is doing the same. I'm benefitting from both happening at the same time right now and haven't felt this good in a long, long time. The key now is to keep this up for the next 3 weeks, then make sure I feel like this on race day!

Monday, May 16, 2011

2x3 miles on 800' climb (5%)

This is my new favorite run - the perfect mix of volume and quality.

Started today with a 3 mile w/u, then got right into a
3 mile, 800' climb at Evans Effort - 25:21(8:27).
Followed that with 6 miles relaxed then hit the same
3 mile climb with my Evans Finishing Effort in 24:31(8:10)
to finish off a nice 15 miler.

Here area few shots of where I've been spending my quality days. This is a pretty steady 5% grade that allows me to work on uphill speed.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Week 19 - 10,600' (258,680')

127 - 1,400' on Shut-In.
128 - 2,000' on dirt roads.
129 - 500' on roads.
130 - 1,900' on Shut-In.
131 - 1,000' on dirt roads - w/7.5 TT - bad day!
132 - 1,900' on Shut-In with 8x:30 on some steep single track.
133 - 1,900' on Shut-In.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Wed/Thur Endorphine Rush

As I just wrote that title I wondered why a shoe company hasn't named a shoe The Endorphine yet? I just might need to name my dream Pub with treadmills in it where drink specials are offered with vertical done on the mill called The Endorphine.

Yesterday was my first bad day of running in a long time - can't remember the last one I had. A 7.5 mile TT was scheduled and I felt like shit from the start - I could hardly move and was too stubborn to just jog it out. I suffered immensely for 5-6 miles before I bonked and finally let it go and jogged it in. Did what I could to keep positive thoughts through this, then had a nice chat later on with Tim which was a big help in keeping the positive thoughts and boosting confidence. Ate ALOT of speghetti last night and this late morning - my favorite with some olive oil and a generic tomato sauce with mushrooms.

Ran nice and easy for about 45 minutes this morning before going hard on 8x:30 on a steep climb of about 50'/rep with a :45 recovery jog back down. Looks like the spaghetti has cleared up the bad day and hope to be ready for some more hard work on Sunday.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

TECNICA Diablo Sprint Shoe Review
Have you ever been on a mountain bike that was far more capable than you? The kind where you're doing all you can handle on a steep-rocky-rooty descent and the bike is yawning and rolling it's eyes at you? Well, that's what the Tecnica Diablo Sprints did to me on our first run. So, I had to decide whether I wanted to put them back in the box or take a little of it's trash-talking and step up my game. I chose to step up my game.

I've always been on the less picky side of shoes, not thinking a shoe could make me a better runner, but just feel good and reduce injuries. I had this idea that no shoe could make me a better uphill runner, but was certainly hoping that the Diablo Sprints would help me recover better from the steep Tecnica descents I frequent here in Asheville, NC. I run about 10 hours a week accumulating 15,000' of vertical. Being the weak downhill runner that I am, I tend to run the steep descents with my brakes on - doesn't smell good either. I know this is the worst thing to do, but when I let go and just try to control the pull of gravity I feel even more uncomfortable.

It was the first 3/4 mile, 500' descnet that I heard the Diablo Sprint yawn. I was hitting the brakes as usual, but decided, after the embarrassing yawn, to let go a little. This felt pretty good, so I kept it going for the final 400' of nasty descent. As the trail eased up I was grinning ear to ear and I think I saw a half smile on the Diablo Sprints as she asked for a sip from my hand-held.

The next section was gently rolling and I felt like I was just floating through this and was now looking forward to the final 1/2 mile, 400' descent coming up. I had already decided that I was going to let go and let the Diablo Sprints show me the way. This one was better than the first. I was running fast and controlled with confidence on the descents; something that I've never had the pleasure of doing before.

The Diablo Sprints allowed for easy day to day recovery as well as descent to descent recovery during long runs. This is an aspect I never expected from a shoe that has allowed me to train smarter every week.

I was quite suprised with how the Sprints made me a faster climber as well. I noticed right away how the top-front of the shoe curves up slightly. I wasn't sure the purpose of this, but the shoe felt comfortable so I assumed that was it's function. It wasn't until I noticed I was moving a little faster on some of the steep climbs I'm quite farmilar with that I realised how much I was benefitting from the form of the Diablo Sprints. This could be very well compared to riding a bike with the seat pefectly adjusted. A seat too low and you're not using all of your leg, you're using more energy and less muscle making yourself very inefficient. The Diablo Sprints are allowing me to use all of my foot during push off making me a more efficient, faster runner. I'm looking forward to racing in the Diablo Sprints at the end of this month at the Rock2Rock.

The confidence I've gained on the descents due to the traction/support, and the the speed I've gained on the ascents from the form of the shoe should not have suprised me since Tecnica has been a world leader in footware for a long time. Just like Tecnica has perfected clipping a boot to a ski, they have now successfully connected my feet to the trail like no other shoe I've worn.

If you have the opportunity to let the Tecnica Diablo Sprint take you for a run on some great single-track - don't pass it up - it just might be the awakening you need to see your true potential.

Tecnica Trail Running - New Introductions for Spring '11
•Inferno Max: Features TRS MAX technology with a 30% larger footprint, asymmetrical tunnel construction with race last, quick lace system; oversized trail running shoe in a race package. Superior downhill performance, race performance. Weight: 1 lb 8.33 oz. Men's only.
•Diablo Max: Features TRS MAX technology with a 30% larger footprint, asymmetrical tunnel construction with all mountain last; oversized trail running shoe in an all mountain package. Superior downhill performance; great all around trail shoe. Men's & women's. Men's weight: 1 lb 9.39 oz.
•Inferno Sprint: Features carbon Snapback Core-Tecs plate, asymmetrical tunnel construction with a race last, quick lace system, TRS Technology (an energy and cushioning system for superior energy transfer forward, cushioning and grip). Light, fast, perfect for uphills; race performance. Men's & women's. Men's weight: 1 lb 4.81 oz.
•Diablo Sprint: Features composite Snapback Core-Tecs plate, asymmetrical tunnel construction with all mountain last, TRS (an energy and cushioning system for superior energy transfer forward, cushioning and grip). Ideal all around trail running shoe; powers uphill. Men's & women's. Men's weight: 1 lb 5.86 oz.
Key Benefits of TRS MAX (found in the Inferno Max and Diablo Max trail shoes):
Enhanced cushioning
Greater stability
Better absorption
Rolling transition
More propulsion
Reduces fatigue and stress
TRS MAX Technology: This oversized technology uses proprietary premium materials and Tecnica's oversized and custom geometry to delivery maximum rolling, cushioning, and stability in a lightweight package. Stability and cushioning is priority. Comparison to traditional trail runners, TRS MAX has twice the cushioning, 30% bigger footprint (98 mm in heel, 80 mm in middle, 120 mm in toe) and an oversized rocker profile that has a 55% greater toe and heel rocker height that optimizes energy transfer and propulsion.
Key Benefits for Snapback Core-Tecs (found in the Inferno Sprint and Diablo Sprint trail shoes):
Energy return
Powerful transmission of energy
Light in weight
Rolling transition
Snapback Core-Tecs: A technology developed by Tecnica that uses proprietary premium materials and spring mechanics to deliver exceptional progressive energy return and transmission, great longitudinal and torsional stability, and best in class lightness. The ultimate race day shoe that excels in shorter distances with a lot of climbing. A carbon or composite plate found in the midsole construction of the shoe.
Story Angles: new technology; minimalist vs. max; other max brands: Hooka One One; benefits of; alternative footwear; options in running footwear
Link to website:

Friday, May 6, 2011

Week 18 - 12,000' (248,080')

Is this the Hypoxic Marmot that took 2nd at Mt. Evans a few years ago?
120 - 1,400' up/down on Shut-In.
121 - 3,900' - Did 7 miles on a nice rolling road with 1,300' of vert, then immediately hit the mill for a 10 mile climb on 5% at an 8:55 pace staying within my AeT throughout.
122 - 1,000' on roads.
123 - 2,000' up/down on Shut-In.
124 - 1,100' with a 3-2-1 ladder and 5x:30. See this post.
125 - 1,200' with a 9 mile pregression run. See this post.
126 - 1,400' up/down on Shut-In.

A pretty good week where I worked alot on effort and just going by feel. Wednesday's ladder was all done by perceived Evans race effort and the last 3 miles of yesterday's progression was run in the way I'd like to finish the last 20:00 of Evans, very much tettering on that LT line.
Looks like I'll hit the 250,000' of vert this weekend which will put me about 8 weeks ahead of pace. I'm not much with superstition, so I'll go ahead and say it - I would expect to be near the 700,000' mark come the end of the year. However, I have enough superstition in me not to change the title of the blog ;-)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

I like it Back to Back

This is the 4th week of Evans specific training and my favorite part of every week is the Wed/Thur back-to-back quality days. Some weeks it's 800's followed by a Tempo, the next week a Tempo followed by mile reps. This week I did a 3-2-1 ladder, 3:00-2:00-1:00 x 3, then 5 x :30 yesterday followed by a 9 mile progression run this morning on a rolling dirt road - did the last 3 miles in 19:14, so I was quite happy with getting some turn-over speed back - this will help alot on Evans. These back-to-back quality days work very well for me - I seem to have a big window, more than 24 hours, before any fatigue sets in, and I usually feel better on Thursday's than I do on Wednesdays. By the time Wed. comes around I'm well rested and recovered and have a great quality day that seems to just prime my body for Thursday. This also allows for more recovery before my Sunday Long Run - my weakness.