Weekly Summary 6/23/2014-6/29/2014 & 6/30/2014-7/6/2014

Alright, two weeks to cover today.

6/23/2014-6/29/2014

Goals (from last week): 60-70km, 5k race on Wednesday (20:30ish?), work on foot, don’t push the distance too hard.

Tuesday, 6/24-  10km, pavement, easy.

Got some cautious easy running done. My foot was still a bit sore in the morning from an 18km run the previous Sunday, but it held up fine and wasn’t even noticeable. Racing 5k tomorrow. If things hold up Ill aim for 2x12k and a 20ker this weekend.

Wednesday, 6/25Sunset Series #1, 5km, pavement, race (19:35 5k, PR).

Check out my race report here.

Friday, 6/27- 12km, pavement, easy.

Got some easy miles with no leg or foot troubles. Feeling good.

Saturday, 6/28- 14km, groomed trail, easy-ish, 201m elevation gain.

It was hot today, and I skipped lunch to go get some miles on the Chedokee Trail. I tried to keep it slow and easy- the trail is a slight grade all the way out, and you don’t notice it except in your pace, really. I took an extra stab at Bedoe Hill on the way back. I stopped a couple times to make sure the effort wasn’t too hard and to cool off some as best I could.

Sunday, 6/29-18km, groomed trail, long.

I wanted an easy 20k along the DVCA Rail Trail, but it didn’t turn out that way. In an attempt to get out early(-ish) and beat the heat I skipped breakfast. It was hot anyway. Plus I don’t think my legs were quite up to staking milage like this yet. It was undoubtedly one of the toughest runs I’ve ever had. A real fight just to keep moving forward. My average pace was something like 5:30/km, which is in my ‘Long run’ pace zone, but it hurt.

My comments on Strava about the run: “Wanted an easy 20. Fatigue, heat, no breakfast, not a good run. Probably one of the toughest Ive ever had just to keep going. But I got 18, and next week starts tomorrow!”

Sometimes I’m awesome.

Thoughts on the week: Nice to see the speed is there, even if the endurance isn’t. Keep it slow, keep ramping up the miles: 80-90km next week.

Weekly totals: 61.4km, 5h16m, 410m elevation gain.

6/30/2014-7/6/2014

Monday 6/30- 12km, pavement, easy.

I waited until the sun went down tonight, and it was wwaaaaaayyyy cooler out. I got swarmed by NoSeeUms, but that’s life at night near the water. Felt like a good run.

Wednesday, 7/2- 14km, pavement, easy+some hill reps.

I thought about adding in a few race pace kms along the way but I had a hard interval session scheduled for the next day. This week is mostly about testing the legs to see if Im ready to start marathon training at around 100-110km/week. My legs felt tired, but it was mostly just soreness from Monday’s gym session. They’re fine, just needed a good run.

Thursday, 7/3- 17km, pavement and track, 5kE+5x(1k1+3min jog)+4x(400mR+400m jg)+2kE.

That was tough to plug into the Garmin. I wanted to take a stab at a Daniels style interval workout. His program combines long and short intervals and rotates these workouts with a threshold/tempo based run every other week. The Hanson plan base I used for my previous training had an interval day (e.g. 3x2mi) and a tempo day each week. I like the idea of only two hard days/week (interval/threshold+long run), since that leaves more time for recovery and pushes the distance up on quality days.

7/2/2014 IntervalsThis run went fairly well, I think. I ran faster than my goal pace on every interval. I was using a vDOT based on my 30k result and the assumption that I could run a 1:35ish half marathon- vDOT=48. But apparently my 5k result (and these interval times) put me closer to a 51. The scary thing is that a 51 vDOT is associated with a 3:11 marathon time, a full 5min faster than my 3:16 goal. Should be a fun summer!

1k interval goal: 4:03, 400m interval goal: 89s.

Friday, 7/4- 12km, pavement, easy/recovery.

Just an easy 12k to recover from last night’s workout and get some milage in.

Saturday, 7/5– 10km, pavement, easy.

Another evening easy run along The Standard Route. There was a race going on- I think the Sketchers Series-so there were more people out than usual. Still, nice easy work to set up tomorrow long run.

Sunday, 7/6- 26km, groomed trails, long.

Not bad. Not bad. I was hurting at the end, even after trying to keep the pace no faster than 5:15. I only had a small breakfast, and no coffee. And this was the final run of my first week over 65km since mid-May, and the longest run I’ve done since AtB training- I maxed my Sulphur Springs runs out around 25km. Cadence was good, form felt fine. Took a water bottle and brought a gel in case but didn’t use it.

Thoughts: Seems like it’s going to take a bit to get the long run endurance back up. Good, pain free week. Time to start marathon training next week!

Totals: 92.2km, 7h56m, 419m elevation gain.

Goals for next week: I will be a lower km week since Im racing twice (Wednesday night Sunset Series 5k and Saturday 5Peaks RattleSnake Harbour Enduro). Go hard at the races, but take care on any technical terrain on Saturday so as not to screw up your foot. Let’s aim for 85km total.

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Runner’s Den Sunset Series #1 & Setting a new 5k standard

Two weeks ago I set a new 5k PR- 19:35. I hope to knock at least another 36s off that this summer.

My local Runner’s Den shop is putting on a 5k&10k race series this summer. Races go every other Wednesday night. Check it out at Sunset Series. The races start at Princess Point and head out and back along the Waterfront trail, aka my everyday route. I signed up for the 5 races ($15/ race or $60 for the series).

I wasn’t too excited for this race, since I hadn’t run hard in over a month. I wasn’t expecting too much, maybe a 20:30 5k. After chatting with some other racers we got off. I knew two runners who were both a bit faster than me so I stuck just behind them for a while, until Callum took off, anyway. I was pushing, but not too hard for the first few km:

3:46, 3:56, 4:01

By the time we got to the 2.5km turnaround I was starting to work. I had caught another runner (Murray, who I know from other races) who I know was probably 30-60s faster than me for a 5k and decided just to hand onto him for the rest of the race. With some 200m to go let out a kind of battle-cry—well, more of a struggle-grunt—and pushed to try and catch Murray. The runner behind be had dropped about 100m back so I wasn’t worried about getting passed. Just seconds after I pushed Murray grunted too and kicked, leaving me in the dust.

4:03, 3:52.

19:35 for 6th overall.

Sunset Series #1 Results

Sunset Series #1 Results

This was a fun race. It was competitive but good-spiritied, and it seemed like everyone from the winners (at ~16min) to the back of the pack had someone to race or run with. It was a small race with maybe 30 finishers in the 5k and probably 10 in the 10k, but it was chip timed and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. Dan from the Runner’s Den was giving away random draw prizes at the end of the race, and there will be Mizuno shoes for the series points winners and greatest improvements. I don’t think I have a legit shot at either, but I could really use some new Hitogamis.

Oh yea, I shaved a minute off my 5kPR. Well actually, almost 2.5min. I hadn’t run a 5k since my first race way back in March 2013- the Bay and Back 5k at Around the Bay. I ran 21:54 there and was really happy with that. Since then I’ve been under 21:00 in various training sessions, but never really went for it. If I can knock off 19:35 as an under-trained, just-off-an-injury runner, it’ll be interesting to see what I can do with a month of marathon training under my belt come August.

 

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Weekly Summary 6/16/2014-6/22/2014

My original goal for this week was to ramp back up to 85km. But the previous Sunday’s 20km left my leg a little beat up and I had to make revisions. I just wanted to get some mostly pain free milage in.

Monday 6/16- 11km pavement, easy.

Set out for 12km recovery. That was probably an aggressive distance given my foot, but I went for it. I ended up with a nasty cramp in my arch and my quad and took the next two days off.

Thursday 6/19- 10km pavement, easy.

I wanted to do a cautious 10k to see how things felt. My leg was fine, but my foot got a little achey. I had been rolling and stretching pretty aggressively, as well as doing some strength work, and it seemed to be paying off.

Friday 6/20- 10km pavement, easy.

Felt stronger than yesterday. My foot only complained a little but sorted itself out. This was progress.

Sunday 6/22- 18km pavement, easy.

I told myself to go get 15. But 16 is a nicer number so I aimed for that. Then I thought ‘ok, 20.’ But I played it safe when my foot got cramps and settled for 18. My energy levels were low, and I could tell I lost some endurance. Overall, though, Im happy with this.

Totals: 50km, 4h15min.

Thoughts: The foot seems to be getting better. What soreness is left is along a couple tendons so I need to continue to work on flexibility and strengthening that foot and ankle. Keep ramping up the distance but not too aggressively.

Goals for next week: 60-70km, 5k race on Wednesday (20:30ish?), work on foot, don’t push the distance too hard.

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June 2014- Battling Flukey Injuries

Since notching back to back 85km weeks in early May I’ve run 86km total. That’s less than 20km/week, a long way from the 100-120km/wk I want to run in the peak weeks of training for my first marathon this fall.

So what happened? It seems that the left side of my body has given out. But there’s also an emerging and alarming pattern of success and injury in my spring-summer running.

Those back to back 85km weeks were mostly on trail and were gearing up for my first goal trail race: Sulphur Springs 25km. The Monday following the second week- the Monday before the race- I had some inflammation/tendonitis pain in my upper left shin. I could run through this. It only hurt at near-full knee extension, ie. when I walked but not when I ran. I took the week leading up to the race off. Almost.

That Friday-the night before the race-some friends asked me to play for their baseball team. I play regularly, but these guys were two leagues up from my team. I figured sure, what could go wrong?

Some background: Last spring I ran my first 5k. Following that race-which went awesome-I started pushing the distances up a bit to quickly and ended up taking most of April and May off with IT Band troubles. Just as the IT Band problem was going away (physio and strengthening routines work well) I got smacked with a line drive right in the crux of my left ankle. It didn’t hurt at first but about an hour after the game I could barely walk myself out of the pub. Overnight my ankle swelled up and I was incapacitated. I got X-rays and they couldn’t tell if it was a fracture or a contusion/bone bruise.

Nursing baseball injuries. I think I took one off the right shin too.

Nursing baseball injuries, that’s a bucket of ice water. I think I took one off the right shin too.

More background: When I was 18 or 19 I messed up my left foot pretty badly. The context was stupid, but I was in a wheelchair for 3 weeks with a fractured left foot/ankle and a sprained right one. I’ve mostly gotten past this, and doubt that it affects me much. Though apparently the crack is still visible on X-rays. My baseball-induced foot pain was determined to be just a bruise/contusion, so I spent a couple weeks in an air cast and on crutches and then got back to running.

I made it through my first half marathon and 30k just fine on that foot. This included a couple 100km weeks, and many weeks over 80km. I thought I was in the clear.

Fast forward to May 2014: I should have seen this coming. My feet and ankles were a little tender from all the trail running. You know, bombing down rocky or muddy or otherwise unstable terrain for a month can do that. I figured it was pretty normal training soreness and wasn’t worried.

That Friday night though, the Friday before a goal race, something went wrong. It was either running the bases or running in the outfield, but I pulled up lame a couple times due to some distinct pain on the top outside of my left foot. I couldn’t put weight on my midfoot without pain.

I DNS’d the race and took a couple weeks off. Another April-May injury. Again, baseball related and flukey.

Fast forward to last week: My foot was feeling better so I aimed for 55km running every other day, and maybe a back to back on the weekend.

Training Summary for 6/9-15, 2014

Training Summary for 6/9-15, 2014

Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday all went well. Some soreness, some complaining legs, but nothing worrisome. I felt on Thursday and Friday that I could have went 20+km without issue. I was in the clear!

Sunday I went out to get that 20. The first 10 were no problem, but about halfway out I got a pretty good cramp/strain/pain in my left quad, just above my knee on the inside. Where that big bump of a muscle is if you bend your knee in all the way. I thought no biggie, just a complaining leg. It was definitely a muscle pain so I wasn’t worried. Eventually my feet (both of them!) started to get achey, and I got a bit of a cramp in my left arch and midfoot. I made it through the run anyway, but was probably more sore than I should have been.

Because the pain was muscle soreness I though a nice recovery run would be fine. So yesterday (Monday) I set out for an easy/recovery 12km run. I was never comfortable out there with my mechanics, and my foot and leg cramped up again. I made it to 11.3km, but not without stopping a couple times to stretch. Hills-up and down-hurt the most.

I took my shoes off and walked around the park stretching my foot and leg and trying to sort out my landing and toe off. I think the leg pain is because Im landing and/or toeing off in a way that protects my foot, or accommodates a newly-limited range of motion/flexibility. Hopefully some stretching and rehab work will get this sorted out in quick time.

My plan was to get up to 65-70km this week. I think I might have to cut the milage down some. Im taking today off, and we’ll see if Im up for 12km tomorrow. Maybe just 8, or two runs of 6-8, will work better. I feel as if Im mostly in the clear, but don’t want to make things worse. Muscle pains and aches and mechanical issues are fixable pretty quickly, I’ve found. So I’m staying pretty optimistic.

——

But this is exactly the problem- I have success, get a fluke injury, then rush it back and end up with some other issues to sort out. Maybe Im not rushing it and this is just the normal swing of injuries? I recall reading Anton Krupicka blogging about all sorts of problems occurring while fighting hip injuries. (Check out AK’s blog here.)

So this is where my May and June went- rest and rehab. Im going to do all I can to get things sorted out in June. I know injuries don’t really work that way, but I’d like to start training for my early-November marathon in the first week of July. Hopefully this latest setback is nothing and I can be in 80-90km/week shape by Canada Day.

Oh yea, and I screwed up my left rotator cuff a bit at the gym yesterday. But hey, I put 10lb on my bench press PR!

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Weekly Summary 5/19/2014-5/25/2014

Goals (from last week): It’s kind of a taper week, so just take care of that leg and don’t do anything stupid.

Well I sure messed that up…

Monday, 5/19: 9km pavement, Recovery

Felt fine in the morning, when I got up to run I felt a minor twinge in my upper, outer shin/lower outside knee. Nothing big, just some soreness I thought. Easy enough run. No problem.

As the night wore on that little pain became a pretty major pain. It was the same kind of pain as ITBS, but lower on my leg. Some inflamed tendon I guess? I decided to play the rest of the week day-to-day and ended up taking all of the days off.

Friday, 5/23: Baseball game and injury.

I ended up playing for another team a couple divisions up from my usual team on Friday night to help them out. I must have hurt something trying to slow down running the bases because as the game went on my left foot got quite painful- to the point I couldn’t run on it. It didn’t swell up much, but it hurt enough to put my Sulphur Springs race into question.

Saturday, 5/24: Sulphur Springs

On Friday night and Saturday morning I could barely walk normally. I DNS’d the race, but went up and met some awesome people I know via twitter. It was a good day, but I’d much rather have run.

Thoughts: Fuuuuuck. Another late-may baseball injury that de-rails my running? Again? Hopefully this one will heal up pretty quickly.

Goals for next week: Rest the foot. Use your air cast and any means necessary to heal up.

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Sulphur Springs Trail Run Preview and Strategy

On Saturday I’m running the Sulphur Springs Trail Run put on by Burlington Runners. The race has distances of 10k, 25k, 50k, 50mi, and 100mi. Awesome. I wanted to do the 50k, but after some sober thinking I decided the 25k was enough- no point killing myself jumping from a 30k road race to a 50k trail race in 2 months.

Based on my hungover MEC 12.5 trail race result (race report here) I figured I could aim for a 5min/km pace at Sulphur Springs. That is about 20sec/km slower than my 30k pace from Around the Bay and would put me in the 2h05min time range. This is the plan, anyway. However, I’m questioning my fitness right now. This might be due to the fact that my long/easy pace on trails is 20-30sec/km slower than it is on roads. For example, the last couple of long runs I did for Around the Bay were in the 5:00-5:15/km range, and these trail runs are closer to 5:30-5:40/km (some Strava data here and here). I’m not used to that pace, even on recovery runs, so it has me feeling a bit low and wondering if I can knock out 5:00-5:10kms on race day with the elevation changes and terrain. I’ve not yet questioned if I can keep a goal pace before a race. Usually I worry about whether I can keep it long enough or if I will blow up, or nutrition issues. So this is the first time I’m headed to a race with shaky confidence.

I’ve also suffered a bit of an injury, some inflammation on the outside, lower bit of my knee, where that big muscle on the front outside of your shin connects to the boney bump just below the knee. It hurts mostly at near-full extension, so I think I can run through it. I’m resting this week, hopefully I can get a short run in before Saturday to test it out. If not, I’m going in hurt and am just going to have t see what happens.

Regardless, my plan is to run balls to the wall on Saturday. I know I can cover the distance at race speeds (2:19 30k at Around the Bay), and I’ve put in some good time on the trails, if  those miles were bit slow.

I’m breaking the route into 4 sections:

Section 1: 5km “Spur”

The route starts with a 5km “spur” that heads down Martin rd. hill-no joke of a hill- and out Headwaters trail a little bit then back. The section on Headwaters is entirely runnable, but the climb back up to the start line that early in the race is a bit of a killer. Also, starting the race on a big downhill might thrash your quads very early on. My strategy here will be a measured effort down the hill, then some good running followed by a steady effort back up the hill. I think. I don’t really have a plan for climbing Martin Rd. the first time. We’ll see what happens.

Section 2:  Start/Finish-Main Loop-Monarch-Sulphur Creek-Main Loop (Km5-12-ish)

Once done with the spur, the 25km route does one lap of the 20km course. We go back down the hill and then take some runnable, rolling terrain along Hilltop trail and Lookout trail before joining the Main Loop in time for what I called in my MEC Race Report The Hermitage Climb and The Peak. I plan to take my first gel on the runnable stretch before the hills, this will be around km 7. I think. These hills are both tough, but there’s room to recover after them. I had to power walk up sections of both of these on the second lap of the MEC 12.5km race, but I know if I keep my head here they are entirely runnable.

After those two climbs there is a very runnable stretch along Monarch Trail that gets tough when it turns onto Sulphur Creek Trail. At this point the trail heads downhill very steeply via a muddy section with a natural spring in the trail and then back up very quickly before taking 3 or 4 tough rollers along Sulphur Creek Trail. The descent from Monarch-Spring Creek is tricky footing, but if you’re willing to get muddy you can stay to the uphill side of the trail and bomb through the creek part. The really difficult part is the steep, nearly straight single track the rest of the way down that is littered with roots and rocks. I’ve taken this section at various speeds during training and am mostly confident on it. If there are no runners in front of me to crash into I’ll just bomb down it- I can take a fall- but if it’s crowded then I’ll go with the flow.

The rolling hills along Sulphur Creek Trail are not easy, and this is where I took a big spill on one of my training runs. Most of the uphills have some mud down the middle of the trail, and ditto for the downhills. Running downhill fast in the slippery mud is tricky, so there’s a tendency to run on the drier, raised sides of the trail. However, these are littered with tree roots, AKA booby traps for runners. Aside from the first climb up to Sulphur Creek Trail I don’t think this bit is too hard, but it’s easy to get caught up here and let your heart rate rise. If I can keep my breathing steady along here I’ll know I’m where I want to be.

Section 3: Main Loop to Headwaters 

After joining the Main Loop again and taking the DVCA Switchbacks we head out back along Headwaters. This is somewhat hilly but you can still fly through here, and there is plenty of time to recover from the switchbacks. From there we take a quick but hilly section along Reforestation and G. Donald Trail and then uphill via Martin Road to re-join Headwaters. Reforestation has a couple singletrack-ish climbs and descents, but you can run it pretty hard if you’ve got quick feet. The real obstacle is that it ends on a pretty good climb back to up to meet G. Donald Trail. The hill is a straight shot so you can see the top and it looks pretty daunting. But I think it looks worse than it is. I’m going to run hard up it, since there’s enough time to recover along the muddy but not-overly-difficult G. Donald Trail. I would characterize this section as ‘tricky’ more than tough.

Reforestation was mostly dry on the weekend, but G. Donald had some nice mud patches. After a slight climb on G. Donald we take a single track downhill to join Old Martin rd. This section is technically difficult, since it’s downhill and narrow. I’ll probably run cautious here. On the weekend there was a tree down across the route here. Maybe the trail marking crew will remove it, maybe not. The tree isn’t big enough to have to use your hands but big enough that you’ll have to jump it or step on top- if I remember correctly. Old Martin rd. is crappy running, it’s clay-like and has been worn down by bikes and runoff, so you’re constantly going left-to-right and in and out of ditches and stuff. Eventually the road gets better, and when it does prepare for a short climb and then a right turn to Headwaters trail.

Somewhere along Martin road before the hill I want to take my 2nd gel, around km 15 -16.

Ya, it's muddy out there. This was after running through a couple creeks that washed a lot of it away.

Ya, it’s muddy out there. This was after running through a couple creeks that washed a lot of it away.

Section 4: Headwaters to Finish

Headwaters on the outward stretch is pretty quick running if you can avoid the roots and mud, but then you hit Three Sisters on The Lollipop section, and this is some of the hardest climbing on the course. It’s a set of hills (there’s more than three though) that has you climbing for probably a mile. Just remember that you’re not done climbing until you come out of the forest to the orchard, but that even then there’s another hill a few hundred meters down the line. I want to take my time here and then make it back by bombing down the hill at a hard effort. The downhill is wide enough that you can let it rip, but watch out for tricky footing on rocks. There’s enough time to recover between that downhill and the final climb up Martin rd that I think I can really push it there and make up some time if the legs are up for it. There is a bit of a hill at the end of Headwaters to re-join Martin rd., but you can scramble up it pretty quickly.

Putting the start/finish line at the top of Martin rd. hill is kind of cruel, as it’s a big, switchback-ing hill that is deceptively large: each time you reach a corner you think you’re nearly there, but it keeps going. I want to take this hill slow at first and the gain speed as I climb. It’s the end of the race so if about halfway up I’m burning and puffing I’m just going to dig into the pain cave and push hard. If you’re suffering, run harder.

Have you run Sulphur Springs before? Do you know those trails? What’s your strategy? Leave any tips or comments below!

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Weekly Summary- 5/12/2014-5/18/2014

Goals (from last week): At least 2 trail runs, one over 25km. 6+3. More mobility work and foam rolling.

Monday, 5/12: 12km mixed, Easy. Upper body at gym.

I hit some trails in the RBG territory and Princess Point on the way out to the Standard Route. I was feeling good and moving fast.

Tuesday, 5/13: 13km trails, medium effort.

We had some serious thunderstorms Monday night and Tuesday morning but I wanted to get a good trail run in, so as soon as the rain let up I rode out to Little John Park to do the Monarch-Spring Creek-Main Loop route. I had thought this would be around 16km, but it was only 13 or so. It was nice and muddy though. My plan was a kind of ‘trail fartlek’ in which I would push hard on some hills and take it easy on others. It was a good a medium effort run.

Wednesday, 5/14: Off. Hard lower body workout at gym.

Lots of running specific work at the gym- 100ups, hip thrusters, single leg balances- along with heavy squats and some single leg work. I was feeling it the next day.

Thursday, 5/15: Off. I think the weather was funky and I knew I wanted to get some good miles on the trails on the weekend so I took an extra rest day.

Friday, 5/16: 18km, mixed, hilly run.

The weather was pretty nice so I headed out to Dundas to run Syndenham Hill and some trails up to Dundas Peak and Tews Falls. It was a good elevation and trail workout. The climb was tough- it was mostly one big 4km uphill from the bottom of Synednham to Tews falls- but my biggest problem was negotiating the muddy and rocky descent in my roadies. I took extra caution coming down and ended up walking some of the more muddy/rocky bits. My right knee and left hip were a bit sore so I didn’t push too hard. I think I was just sitting back and landing out front instead of letting the legs swing back. In retrospect I should have paid more attention to these minor pains and done something to fix them Friday night.

Saturday, 5/17: 16km pavement, Easy.

10miles along the Standard Route plus some extra bits of the Waterfront Trail along the bay. I probably ran faster than I wanted, and still had some lingering pain from yesterday. I know the left hip pain is glute/itband/tightness related, and the right knee is some weird niggle that I had physio and X-rays and ultrasound for but there’s nothing really wrong. I was more worried about my hip and left leg than my knee, as I know the knee pain doesn’t get any worse and goes away with some icing. I think I had some sloppy form here too.

Sunday, 5/18: 27km trail, long run.

This was my final long run before Sulphur Springs (this weekend!), and it was a grind. Instead of riding out to DVCA and taking the 20km Sulphur Springs loop from there I started at Little John park and headed out via Monarch Trail and it’s mud and hills, and then did the 20k loop. I figured that way I couldn’t back out of the extra 5-10k I wanted to get to simulate the 25k race distance.

The hills were tough, but I only walked/power hiked a couple small sections of the two biggest hills- The Three Sisters and the Martin rd. climb. I brought a get just in case but didn’t take it. I think it’s better to train without, and I know my stomach can handle them on race day. My hip flexors and quads were complaining on the first handful of climbs, but them my hammys and flutes took the brunt of the latter half. I need to work on my climbing form. Most of my hill work before this month were short- 1:00-2:00- hard effort repeats, which is not the same as a long, slower climb.

The race loop is 580m of elevation, that, plus the climbs on Monarch trail, puts me close to 700 on the day. Not bad. As I’ve said before, Garmin and Strava seriously underrate the elevation changes around the escarpment. Maybe because it’s rolling terrain, maybe because the trails are mostly under the cover of trees. No biggie. I’m just tracking the bigger numbers for my ego.

I felt fine after the run, but when I got back to my bike my rear tire had completely deflated, and I didn’t have a patch kit or tube or anything. So I had to walk of shame my bike the 4km or so back home after running for 2h30min. Between the ride out, the run, and the walk back I was on my feet for about 4 hours. I wonder if it was the walk that hurt my leg. I haven’t “walked” for an hour or more in quite some time, I don’t think. Imagine that, running 80+km/week and taking spills on the trails but getting hurt walking.

Totals: 86km, >1061m elevation gain, 7h47min. Not a bad week.

Thoughts: I got three trail runs, one over 25km and two solid shorter efforts. I only got 2 gym workouts and 5 runs, but that’s fine. My upper body was pretty tired on the weekend runs- my shoulders fatiguing at the same time as my legs!- so Im laying off the gym until after the race. I got some ok foam rolling in and lots of stretching and mobility work.

However, I’ve been laid up with an injury since Monday. On Monday afternoon I felt a slight pain in my lower leg, the same kind of inflammation pain that comes with ITBS, but about 6″ lower on the leg. The pain is right where that boney bump on the outside of your lower leg is, just below out outside your knee. So I think it’s a tendon that connects there and runs down the side of the calf. The pain was minor so I went for a recovery run, and all was fine- no pain while running. But as the evening wore on the pain got worse. I iced, then later spent a couple hours rolling and stretching and doing mobility work, then more icing. On Tuesday the pain was worse, but it only hurts when I approach full knee extension (straight to about 30 degrees). So I think I can run on it. Icing doesn’t seem to help, but some stretching does. Kind of. I’m just going to RICE and hope for the best.

Goals for next week: It’s kind of a taper week, so just take care of that leg and don’t do anything stupid.

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