Monday, August 29, 2011

Awesome run on Kitsuma

Finally met up with Adam Hill, aka Mad A, this morning for a wee bit of initiation on the Kitsuma Trail. This is one bad ass trail! It's an out/back run with 800' of climbing and 1,800' of descent on the way out. Then, the 1,800' of climbing on the way back is just brutal. Adam and I went nice and easy chatting all along on the way out getting to the turn around in a very comfortable 42:??. It's very deceiving going easy and chatting on the way out and not really paying attention to what I'm getting myself into on the way back.The steep climbing starts immediately after the turn around so, yes, the chatting ceases immediately! After the first steep climb, the climbing continued but at a little more reasonable grade, probably 10%. At this point my legs were feeling ok so I decided to take it hard the rest of the way back. The climbing never seemed to end in some places - I was in agony heaven. Felt strong and made it back in 45:44 to just dip under 1:28 for the run. This is a great TT trail, I can tell I'll be hitting every month or so to lower my times. I'll probably hit it again soon to try for a sub 1:25, which I think is a pretty reasonable first goal based on our out portion effort this morning. Then as my fitness gets better and I get to know the trail a little more I'll hope for shaving a few seconds each time out.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

No Shut-In for me.

Had heard that Shut-In was full so e-mailed the RD and he responded with "race has been full for a while."
This is the 3rd year in a row that's happened to me. Certainly not complaining about the process since I know these type of races have entry limits, but DAMN!
I'll just run the course on my own on a day when I'm feelin' well. This way I can continue to do what I like to do best. Run. And there's no pressure to train - just run. I've been a little obsessed lately doing my own TT's, so I'll continue to hit those, especially my Connect the Dots TT. In the meantime, I'm going to start to hook up with these guys - this is right up my alley anyway(except for the ultra stuff - I'm still just a 2-3 hour guy!). I really like their Fitness Challenges and plan to head over to Kitsuma real soon, then out to Little Hump in September.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Week 34 - 11,800' (411,000')

232 - 1,400' - Shut-In.
233 - 2,200 - 4 laps on the Bear Wallow loop.
234 - 0'
235 - 1,400' - Shut-In
236 - 2,600' on a mix of trails w/ a TT on Shut-In. See previous post.
237 - 500' - Roads.
238 - 3,700' - Pilot Ridge and Shut-In.
Had a solid week here and legs still feel pretty good. Today(day 238) was a tough one though. Pilot Ridge starts off with a 300' climb, then drops 2,000'. Turn around and come back up the 2,000' and down the 300'. Then over to the Shut-In that starts with a 300' climb, then drops 1,100', turn around and up the 1,100' and down the 300'. This is "only" an 11 mile run so the average grade on the climbs (and descents) are around 13%. The car is parked where the 2 trails meet so makes it perfect for not needing to carry too much.
Looking forward to following UTMB tomorrow. We have some really fast and strong Americans over there that should be running up front.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Old TT, New PR

Was just planning a moderate run this morning, but when they legs and body feel the way they did this morning I like to take advantage of it. Sort of like getting to pick the day I want to race ;-)
After 5-10 minutes of jogging and just feeling like I was bouncing off the dirt I decided to make my way around to a spot that starts an old TT that I haven't done since April, I think, where I went 23:04. This little hill is broken up into 3 distinct sections, a short steep 450' climb, then a rolling middle with 150' of climb, and finishes with another short steep 500' climb. Without killing my self I went 21:57 on splits of 6:10, 8:40, 7:07. Never looked at my watch, just hit the split button at each point. I'm sure if I looked at my watch at any point I would have run a 22:01 or something and not a sub 22:00! Great, cool morning to run, temps in the mid 50's. Went 90 minutes with 2,600' of vert.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Above the Clouds

Perfect morning for a run with some good vert. Felt a little like I knew something that most people didn't - that is was going to be a sunny day.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Week 33 - 11,300' (399,200')

225 - 1,400' on Shut-In.
226 - 0'
227 - 500' - Roads.
228 - 500' - Roads.
229 - 2,200' - Bear Wallow Mtn. where the cows are!
230 - 4,500' - Shut-In's final climb - see previous post.
231 - 2,200' - Shut-In's first big climb. - a few reps.
Had a pretty good week, certainly turned it on later in the week as I had some more time to get out. Bear Wallow Mtn, where I like to take my kids hiking has a great loop. You can either take single track to the top or a dirt road, both are about a mile and gain 550'. I opt for going up the single track and down the dirt road. Did 4 loops of this on Wednesday for some quick vert. padding! This loop works out well since Tima doesn't like to do more than 2 loops so I can put her in the car while I tack on a few more. I also never have to carry anything with me, I stash some fluids at the bottom where the single track meets the dirt road.
This morning I jogged around on some steep stuff then did 3 reps up a 500' hill. I was suprized how well my legs felt after what I tried to do to them yesterday. I'm sure they will be tired tomorrow. Atleast there was no impact recovery needed. Almost no impact on the ups yesterday and very little coming down as I was taking it very slow.
Good luck to all the PPM/PPA and Leadville racers this weekend!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

4 x 1.5 w/ 1,130' for each.

Shut - In Profile.

Went out and wrecked myself in the best way possible this morning. 4 reps up the last 1.5 mile climb on the Shut-In Ridge Trail, all in under 22:00. Well, except the 3rd rep, but made up for it on the 4th, I think. Yup, that's some strength work done at about a 14:30 pace, with a total of 12 miles in 2:35 for the day at about an average pace of 13:00. Late in the climbs I was practicing my "Ugly Looking Euro Hike.", best described by Nick, while I listening to Euro-trash Girl and a few other Cracker favorites.
Based my goal times on the first rep that i did in 21:55 then went and made a goal to go sub 22:00 on each one. I went 21:55, 21:47, 22:34, 21:39. Had a full 17:00 rest between each while I carefully made my way back down. Would like to add a complete 5th rep to this work out in the next 5 weeks or so. I think I'll build on the 4 by heading up maybe 300' next time, then 500' the next and so on until I can get a 5th in in under 22:00.
Hoping to do this race, first Saturday in November, it's a classic and one of the hardest 18 mile courses I've been on. 5,300' up and 2,300' of descent. I think it's about 10-11 weeks out so I'll be getting in some more specific training for this starting today ;-). It will certainly have to be a good mix of stuff to be able to be fast on the flats, downs and easy ups and strong enought to hammer the steeps. Looking forward to getting back into the training mind again.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Look what we found on our hike?

The kids and I hiked to the top of Bear Wallow Mountain and came across some really cool free range cattle.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Run with Jim

Got an e-mail from Jim P last week saying he was headed my way and would like to get in a few miles together. I knew I'd be open most mornings and was looking forward, once again, to meeting a running blog buddy in real life. It's so nice, our little running web we have here. Read, write, comment with one another and then when the opportunity presents itself we get to do what we really want to do - RUN with one another.
Jim and his family were staying at his in-laws, a beautiful place on the other side of a ridge that I hadn't been to or explored yet so I was jazzed about getting somewhere new. Jim found the perfect all uphill 12 mile dirt road that stayed in the 3%-6% grade the whole way, perfect for running side by side at a conversational effort - somethng single track doesn't allow for. This was one of those dirt roads that kept us wondering what was around the next corner. I was thinking that we'd head up about 6 miles, then hit some single track on the way down. But true to what's written in Jim's blog title we could not stop wondering what was over the next hill or around the next corner. I think we made 4-5 decisions to turn around before we actually did! So, after an 8 mile climb it was more the constraint of time that forced us to finally turn around - I did have to go to work! After a few minutes on the dirt road, we hit some single track that we could have paraglided down in a few spots. We were back to the car quickly when Jim noticed that his Garmin showed a little under 12 miles and my altimeter showed 1,925' of climbing. There was just a slight glance between 2 guys who are a slave to the numbers and off we went to the closest hill for a 75' climb that would certainly take us to the 12 mile total for the morning with 2,000' of vert.
So, yea, Jim came to NC and took me for a run - pretty cool to be a guest in my own town! Hung out with Jim and his AWESOME family for a bit after and even took home some perfect tomatoes from his in-laws garden, THANKS!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Weeks 31/32 - 11,200'/8,600' (387,900')

211 - 500' - Roads.
212 - 1,400' - Shut-In.
213 - 2,300 - See this post.
214 - 500' - Roads.
215 - 1,400' - Shut-In.
216 - 3,700' - Mt. Mitchell Trail.
217 - 1,400' - Shut-In.
218 - 1,400' - Shut-In.
219 - 1,400' - Shut-In.
220 - 0'
221 - 500' - Roads.
222 - 0'
223 - 3,300' - 151, Shut-In, Pisgah.
224 - 2,000' - with Jim P.

Monday, August 1, 2011

A Mutt Run

That's my new name for this type of run that mixes up a few different things and really has no plan at all. As I headed out the door to make the 10 minutes drive to the trailheads, I had no idea what I was going to do. I did, though, bring a gallon of fluids with me so I wouldn't be limited. I really can't say I was feeling all that well this morning, not bad, but nothing special. So I started nice and easy with a 2 mile warm up then decided to do an 8 mile hill fartlek. I felt really good on the first few climbs and could tell I was going to have a good day. There's a 1-2 punch in the middle of this hill fartlek, there's a 3:30 climb, a 1:30 rest, then a 6:00 climb that really tested my toughness. The last mile is a 150' climb that I finished off in 7:20. I was pretty happy with how I finished, so after a few minutes at the car gulping down some fluids I went balls out up a .65/500' hill in 7:35. I was hoping to go under 8, so I was really happy with how that turned out. Jogged back down the hill and back to the dirt road where I did the fartlek and decided I would do a 2 mile cool down on that final mile. Jogged down nice and easy for a mile, then turned around went hard back up the 1 mile/150' climb hoping to go under 7:20. I did, but I had to work alot harder than when I had done it 30 minutes earlier! Jogged around a little to make it an even 2 hours. What a fun day, put in 2 hours and just over 14 miles. The humidity is sick here right now and I was soaked through for just about the whole run. Saying "right now" is a little mis-leading, it's been this way for 2 months now. I'm sick of it. Bring on Fall.