Saturday, February 11, 2012

Week 8: Back in the saddle again

2/7/12: 5 miles
      Ran a quick 5 miles (well quick for me under 40 min) After a Chest and arms weight lifting session. Felt good to get a little "speed" training in. Something I haven't been doing a lot of. I have mainly just been working on building a good base or in other words lots of miles but at a slower pace so today it was a nice change of pace. The ankle is feeling better every day and after 10 minutes of running I hardly noticed it.

2/8/12: 7 Miles
      With the ankle feeling a ton better Vern and I decided to tackle Mickinnick today. Vern was kicking my butt on the first 2 miles up the trail. I could tell he was feeling pretty good and he kept rubbing it in my face as he effortlessly cruised up the many switchbacks to the two mile mark.
Vern at the top of Mickinnick Trail
He said it was due to his breakfast of yogurt and granola and just his excitement to be running that day. I really had to put in some effort in to keep up with him. At the two mile mark either he slowed down or I was feeling better (I think it was the later) because I had no problem keeping up with with the rest of the way to the top. We made it to the top in 1:05, which was our fastest time to the top since the trail has been covered with snow. At this point I need to give a big thanks to my dad and Ken for the wonderful trail they blazed last Saturday. It snowed about 12 inches over the last two weeks while I was recovering from my ankle injury. Since Vern nor I had been keeping the trails "packed down" my dad and Ken cut through 12 inches of snow when they hiked Mickinnick on their weekly Saturday hike. They didn't quite make it to the top and the last 400 yards where they hadn't blazed the trail through the snow were much more difficult to traverse than the wide hard-pack trail the two BFF's (best friends forever) had made. So THANK YOU Ken and Dad for the awesome trail you made you guys rock!
On the way down I decide to work on my video taking abilities while running so I shot some film of Vern running. Hopefully you don't get motion sickness when you watch the video, but its pretty hard to get a steady shot when you are running with the camera. At one point on a steep downhill section I had Vern record me coming down. He did a better job filming than me, but that may have been due to the fact that he was just standing in one spot and not running with the camera. After the filming sessions we continued down the trail, I was in the lead as we were coming up on a sharp switchback when a brown blur darted into the trail just feet in front of me. It turned out to be a deer and we were close enough to each other that if I hadn't put on the breaks we would of collided. As I came to a stop I saw some movement 10 yards down hill from us where there were two more deer just standing there trying to figure out what the heck had just happened. The other two deer never spooked and just started eating again around the trail. We were able to get some pictures and videos of the deer for about 5 and 10 minutes before we had to chase them off the trail so we could finish our run. After looking a the pictures and videos there is some debate on what type of deer they are. They have the rear ends and tails of a mule deer but the ears and face of a whitetail and they bounded like a mule deer. My dad thought the were blacktail deer but I've never heard of any blacktail in Idaho. Ken thinks they maybe a cross between a whitetail and a mule deer since he has heard that that has been happening in the Priest river area. Whatever they are it was a pretty cool experience.

2/10/12: 21 miles
       Woke up at 4:30am with the hopes of being out the door by 5am but I had the hardest time getting going (probably due to the fact that I only had slept for 4 hrs). At 5:30am I finally entered into the early morning darkness to start my longest run to date. It was lightly snowing as I ran north on division st towards the Mickinnick trail head which is exactly 3 mile from my front door. Arrived at the trail head just before 6am, there I put on my Microspikes and headed up the trail. Maintained a steady pace up to the second bench (1.5 miles) there I ate a Scout Bar. It was the first and last time I will eat a Scout bar on a run, the taste wasn't bad but it was extremely dry and hard to get down. It also left my mouth chalky for the next ten or so minutes. Just over the 2 mile mark it was light enough were I didn't need the headlamp anymore and by this time it had stopped snowing completely. It was foggy on the mountain so views of the valley below were limited which kinda of sucked since the views on that trail are incredible. Reached the top in 1:06 just a minute slower than Wednesday (2/8). I felt pretty good about that since it was the second fastest time I ran Mickinnick since the trail has been covered in snow. The fog lifted providing spectacular views of the lake and surrounding mountain ranges. I then ate a gel before I headed back down the trail.
Coming down the trail I went slower than normal, mainly because I didn't want to trash my quads less then 10 miles into a 21 mile run. At about a half mile or so from the bottom of the trail I stopped to fill up my water bottles at a beautiful little creek. I don't think there is a time that I haven't stopped at this creek just to take in its beauty and hear the soothing sound of the water as it tumbles down the mountain side. Experiencing the outdoors is one of the main reasons why I love to run trails, so I try to make sure to pause every now and again to take in the ambiance of this beautiful world our Heavenly Father has created. After making it back down I took off the Microspikes, and ate a lemon Larabar which has become one of my favorite solid foods to eat while running (or any time for that matter). From there I ran five miles on the road to the Syringa trail head where I reattached the spikes and ate a gel. I then ran 1.25 miles to the top of the Syringa trail and then did a 2.6 mile loop on the "backside" before running back to the trail head for a total of 5.1 miles. The whole time I was on the backside I sipped from a water bottle that had Hammer Nutrition's Heed in it (basically a 100 calorie drink with fast digesting carbs and electrolytes in it), which I feel really helps me keep a sustained energy level especially towards the end of a long run. Once back at the trail head I took off the spikes and ran the last 1.5 mile back to my house. I had a total running time of 4:24 which was faster than my 18 miler three weeks ago, but this time I didn't have to deal with blazing trail in 10+ inches of fresh snow. Not only was this my longest run so far, but it also had the most vertical ft of any of my runs. I am extremely pleased at where I'm at endurance wise given that I basically took the previous 2 weeks off from running to let my ankle heal. Speaking of the ankle its still not 100% and I had a slight burning sensation for most of the run but every day it keeps on getting better and better despite all the running.                

Total Miles: 33

Very encouraging week, legs a little sore after my long run but were back to normally in a day. I modified my program this week to help get back into running again after two weeks off. I did not run as many days, but I got in a really good long run so next week I should be back to full speed ahead.

At the top of Mickinnick 6.5 mile into my long run

Looking back at the trail from the top of Mickinnick
Early morning on Mickinnick 

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