Wednesday, May 29, 2013

2.5 miles of uphill running!

While nothing overly exciting has happened in the past week or so (apart from insane wedding planning, but I'll get to that some other time, if that), I have been trying to focus on training.  Lots of training.  My Mt. Hood 50 mile race is coming up in just under 7 weeks and I gotta make sure I'm ready.  I'm not too worried about elevation gain given that it's 5,000ft over 50 miles on what seems to be a pretty rolling course (vs all up and then all down).  The biggest climb seems to be 600ft over 2 miles (again, not too intimidating when you train where I do).  

Mt. Hood Profile
My attempt to focus on training came after a very relaxing week in Hawaii where I did everything but run.  Then I got back and got a reality check that my race was creeping up on me and I needed to start REALLY training.  It started with a lame 2 mile run where I about died, followed by a windy Dash and Dine and an ugly 45min trail run.  But Saturday was my day.  I connected with a running buddy: Laurie, who used to be my neighbor.  And she introduced me to Sam.  They invited me for a long trail run on Saturday last week and that was the start of a GOOD training week.  So here it goes: 

Bear and Green Peaks
In a week, I got a ton of trail running, good track workout and a decent 5K.  I summitted Bear Peak once, Green Peak twice, Pikes Peak once and a random 13er.  My run with the ladies was long, yet mellow.  We focused on running all the flats and downhills and power-hiked the uphills. We went up to Bear Peak via Fern Canyon which is quite steep but pretty good for a legit hike. The weather cooperated nicely and we had a successful run.  My run that day was followed by our engagement party and I don't want to even describe the pain in my feet later that night.  I did a mellow 1 hour run on Sunday which involved part of the trails we ran the day before but was able to jog the whole way, even parts that we had walked the day before.  My approach was different though... considering I was going on Saturday and shorter on Sunday.  When I run shorter distances, I'm able to push it harder.  Weather was great again Sunday afternoon. 

Laps and laps and laps...
Mondays are always my days off... and I LOVE THEM.  I try to run errands, rest and go to bed early.  The rest of the week I ran the Dash and Dine as fast as I could, but my legs were obviously tired.  I warmed up for a mile and gave it my best.  Surprisingly, I ran the exact time as my first Dash and Dine, which has been my 2nd fastest 5K yet, which was good enough for a 3rd place in my Age Group.  I was content.  Wednesday I ran a recovery run and Thursday I did some speedwork at the track.  The weekend came by and I again went after Green Peak with my man and had one of the nastiest falls I've ever had while trail running. I embraced it and continued on, I like to get dirty on the trails!  :)

Bruises... a real trail runner's leg! 
I also got a good run in with my running buddy Lindsay.  We didn't quite run the trail we meant to (we got lost) but still got a really good run in with lots of sun exposure on an 80 degree day.  I was THIRSTY.  Apart from the heat and feeling tired, there were lots of good things I got out of this run. For starters, quality time with my Maid of Honor (yep, she's the one... she's my go-to girl for basically everything), some additional weekly miles and some heat training on some cool single track.  It encouraged me to look up what the weather will be like in Oregon, which hadn't been a concern since my training season has been accompanied by amazing mellow weather.  

As for elevation training, which is what we Coloradans do and then go out-of-state and brag about... I was talked into running/power hiking Pikes Peak.  I was planning on a more mellow run for the end of the long weekend, BUT since I've committed to supporting my man and he wanted to go after that peak, I went with him.  It was hard to run after we got to 11,000ft since it was all covered in snow, but I managed to get some hill repeats (on snow and at elevation) and some jogging where the grade was mellow and the trail was not covered in snow.  We passed many groups that had been hiking for many more hours than we had and we summitted in 3.5 hours.  Seems like average time for this is 6 to 7 hours.  We went up and down (counting breaks) in 6.5 hours, the average roundtrip time is closer to 12 hours. I felt good and feasted on amazing not-so-healthy, yet, like I said: AMZING Hooters food. Had a stomach ache and then I slept 11 hours.  

Summit!!!  :)
I meant to finish off with a mellow run on Monday, but I couldn't get myself out of the house (or even out of my pajamas), so I slept, and watched movies and napped and ate.  After all, that's what holiday Mondays are for, right?  

All in all I ran: 57 miles in 8 days with a total elevation gain of 13,450ft which equals 2.5 miles.  Not too shabby.  I'm content.. and my new running shoes finally got dirty!  

Have had these shoes for less than a week and they already have 34 miles on them! 

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