Monday, September 28, 2009

SNER...HOT!...HOT!...HOT!..First up on the way to 2010

This past weekend was the unofficial kickoff to my 2010 Western States...Yes it's nine months off..So lets review what this past Saturday had to offer. The title says a lot. It was hot! Go figure today is two days since the race and the weather folks are saying that this should be our last 100 weekend for the year. JEEZ! This years Sierra Nevada Endurance Races had a new twist with a marathon distace along with a double marathon and 100k for those still needing longer runs for the year.
This was a very laid back event...very small with 50 or so entered for each event and a 6:30am start. I saw Mark Lantz, Scott Dunlap and others as the pre race began in a warm Saturday morning.

My goal for this was to review the use of my heart rate and keep the pace slooooow. As the gun went off so to speak we began our run from Cavitt Stillman school and head up to the American River Trail with my finish at world famous NoHands Bridge.
With temps being in the high 60's I had two water bottles filled,roctane and S-CAPS to fuel me between aid stations. With the start came a slow pace yet my achilles tendons in both legs where tight off the bat..there where a few minor hills as we wound our way up the levee towards the first aid station 4miles away. Pace was low, and I was just out observing what the other runners where doing as they ran..This was a training run for me after all not a race so might as well observe. I did little to no talking with folks and just focused on the achilles...As I ran through the first 3 miles or so it settled down and did not bother me after that. Pace seemed about right..I was looking at level of effort, my breathing and the heart rate monitor as I moved along. With the first aid station came into site about the time I projected...Comfortable I did not stop and headed on towards Buzzards Cove and the first tough section.

Between the fist aid and Rattlesnake Bar (about 12 miles into the race) is the section on AR known as Buzzards Cove..I have exploded here before so today I settled in behind two women and pace on through. My heart rate was high, but breathing and level of effort low..what would happen if I kept this up..I would find out soon enough. Aid station stops the first 2 and half hours where minimal, just enough time to take a gel, fill my bottles. I was taking my S-CAPS as it was starting to get warm. By about 11 miles in the race I was thinking..gad I have to be the last person in the race
My first low level of focus happended about 3hours just past the power plant and heading toward the river. With that I had noticed I needed some extra fuel so extra gel and two S-CAPS did the trick. I was getting close to the river base and climb up Cardiac Hill when I took it down real low and walked for a few minutes. I finally heard a runner come up..Diana Kressy (excuse the spelling) she asked how far to Maidu and with the climb to go I said about 2miles..she had run out of fluid..I gave her a portion of my second bottle as we started the climb up Cardiac..Damn if that hill did not take a long time. It was a chore to get up to the top..I stopped every few minutes and streched out my calves..this was taking foreeeeever! A 100k runner was losing it on the way up. It was hot now and taking its toll. Thankfull to be on the canel I stopped a few minutes and cooled off on my way to Maidu Aid...Ken and Ellen Crouse greeted me with ICE COLD COKE and water..with only two miles to the Overlook and about 6miles to nohands. I was toast.

Finally at the Overlook about 40minutes behind schedule I saw Mark (he dropped), Rena and Erik Skaden...I stopped long enough to grab a coke and shout to Erik he should run with me...That was a joke..but here he came! Erik was my coach the last 4 miles...This stetch is pretty easy but on this day with the canyon in this section being fully exposed to the sun temps where near 100! Erik kept chattering as we passed a women with 3miles to the finish..Erik said we had to keep this up and not let her catch me..It was about dignity he said...don't let someone pass you as you finish! Erik with his wins at TRT and 3 time 2nd place WS finisher can give out this advice and mean it..I was so fried but I kept moving along..Finally a half mile to go and the bridge is in sight...Erik says to pick it up and finish strong..I turn on the jets to finish it off with a 8minute pace..I thought I was flying...As I learn later it was also my highest heart rate of the day....!

Thankful to be done..I just wanted ICE COLD COKE...Tim Twietmeyer saw me and said a few things..all I could do was head to the cups of cold beverage. Nothing like heat training in September! This training run lasted over 5 hours and I learned a lot..It was nice to have Skaden push me. Upon return to Cavitt I got a massage from the Monsters and hung out with other runners the rest of the day. A nice afternoon indeed.

Post Race. Legs have recovered pretty well, Achilles still tight. Need to work on that with some extra stetching. I am thinking some additional 4-5 hour training runs before Quad will be a must....

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Next Up--Training Race and 11 Days till WS Application

With the first day of fall on the horizon weather in NoCal seems to have forgot its time for some chillier temps please. 90's and a day or two of 100 scheduled as we move towards Sierra Nevada Endurance Race next weekend. With me on running the marathon distance I see no reason to taper as I am building back to the base level.
With about a month of running up K2 I returned with the Garmin Heartrate monitor to access where I was..With a 4mile warm up the ascent begins. As I started up this steep section my breathing was not as labored, nor was my heart rate jumping off the charts as much...So things are coming back and some strength is building back in the legs for climbs like this...Running near Auburn during the weekdays this fall and winter I should put this in once a week and have stagecoach on the list as well. Granted every run seems to start with a downhill and end with a climb so that will be fine. The SNR marathon distance has a run through Buzzards Cove ($#$%) a short steep ascent up Cardiac Hill but for the most part its a training run on area I am very familiar with..I will run with the heart rate monitor and access some performance vs heart rate and level of effort. It will not be really fast except the last four miles from the Overlook to NoHands..More on this next weekend..

Fall or some shape of it does bring the opening of the Machado Orchard in Auburn which means two things..fresh pressed cider and hand made pie!!! I recommend this to anyone in the area. Stop by, its not as popular as Ikeda's but seeing the staff peeling apples, cutting peaches and then pulling out the pies from the oven is the bomb. If you run far enough you can always have a slice of pie...

I am getting kinda excited knowing that the application process for Western States opens in about 11 days. It has me thinking about the experience and what others have done to get to the race..its a lot of work. A lot of time spent on the trails with friends running, hurting etc..Come January 1 life goes into high gear for running and I hope many of you can join me....


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Been a few weeks but lots of running and experiments

No Pictures today but I have been out and about running and testing some new ways to train. Also signed up for two more races this season.

Last we talked I was coming back down from Lake Tahoe and busting my lungs at altitude and tired on those climbs. To combat that I have taken to the hills so to speak with more running focused on building better climbing skills. On steep climbs I have taken to way too much walking always hearing the term "walk all hills" when running ultra races..well these are not races these are TRAINING Runs so why not hurt a little now and have that pay off later.

That said the past few weekends have been trying to get my self up K2-aka Training Hill as fast as possible, and additional weekday and weekend runs up Stagecoach. I must admit that things are getting better on both of these sections. Each range from 1.3 to about 2.4 miles of climbing. K2 is not really runnable, while Stagecoach has all sections one can run...One friend offered to help me and give me some climbing lessons on running up K2---I still think that sounds funny, but will be open to seeing how it can be possible.

It seems that the air quality in the late afternoons has been difficult on my mild asthma. Mornings are much easier this time of year. With that in mind I began to review how my heart rate is affected during my running. By bringing in the old garmin 305 I am noticiing where I start to work a bit too hard early on in these runs and take it down to not spike the heart rate so much. It is a slower pace but as I return to better fitness levels this will focus more on aerobic vs. anerobic conditioning.

With training now underway for next June..I see I have a lot of work do accomplish. I am focusing on very moderate weekly mileage between now and October 1. I have a training race the last weekend in September and will focus on working on the heart rate for a trail marathon distance. I am going to work on just that and not get caught up in placing..It follows the John Nichols training mindset tough but it will pay dividends in the future. I also signed up for Quad Dipsea in late November. I hear this is tough..always wanted to sign up for that but felt that the stairs would kill me. Now I get my shot...