Saturday, April 28, 2012

Week 19: My First Ultra Distance

04/23/12 - 04/28/12
Monday. 6.2 miles
       Started the day with a 1 mile run before a upper body weightlifting secession. Directly after lifting I drove over to Syringa to run the 5.2 mile loop. I started out slower then I wanted to but my legs were just not warmed up yet and it was cool outside. By the time I got about a mile up the trail my legs and lungs were ready so I took off at a pretty good pace. It was a beautiful morning the sun was out and the air was clean and crisp (I love mornings like today). As I started my decent on the backside I tried to keep a fast pace but controlled I didn't want to push it too hard and end up dieing on the uphill portion. When I hit the bottom of the hill (2.75 mile) my watch read 24 minutes. I didn't feel tired at all so I decided to run a much faster pace on the ascent then I normally do. The ascent back to the top went really well, I didn't over do it but I ran faster theb I ever had on that section. Once back at the top I was still feeling good so I took off back down towards the trail-head at a really good clip. I completed the 5.2 miles in 44 minutes and 50 seconds which was a PR for me. I already think that I could cut another 2 minutes off that time just by warming up before I start running and pushing it a little harder in some sections. Overall I felt like it was a great outing and I think my goal by the end of summer is to run that loop in 40 minutes or less.

Tuesday: 10+ miles
         The Temperature has been much warmer the last few days with highs in the 70's. Today was no exception and since I need to acclimate my body to the heat I ran mid day. I started from my house with just a handheld water bottle and ran over to Syringa. By the time I had made it 2 miles up the trail my shirt was soaked with sweat. I wasn't dieing in the heat like last week despite it being hotter and that I was running faster. About mile 8 I noticed that my right shoulder was hurting really bad. I had never experienced such a pain like this while running and I can only attribute it to the 24oz water bottle that I have been using for the last week or so on my longer runs instead of my backpack. By the time I was a half mile from my house the pain was so bad that I had to hold my shoulder with my left hand which made me run like I was wearing a straight jacket. I didn't stop running because of pain and having to run so awkwardly. I guess I was working on my mental toughness. I'm not going to be running with a water bottle in hand any time soon and if I do I need to build up to it easier so I don't injure myself again.

Wednesday: 3.5 miles
      Light on miles today so my legs are fully recovered for Fridays 31 miler. So today I ran a mile at the gym before a back and shoulder weight training session then directly after lifting I went to Syringa and ran 2.5 miles there. The weather was amazing with temps in the mid 60's. It was really nice today. On today's run I also tried out a new waist pack that I'm planning on using for my race so far I like it but the real test will be on Friday's long run.

Friday: 31 miles
      It rained all Thursday and the forecast for Friday morning when I was planning to run wasn't looking good but I decided to run even if the weather sucked; Hey it would build some mental toughness right. I woke up Friday at 3am so I could be done running early enough to let Katie workout before I had to go to work. I was out the door and running at 4:10am. I started my run by running 3 miles on the road to the Mickinnick trail-head. It was cold and windy out but no rain. I then started my first of two ascents on the Mickinnick trail. I was feeling pretty good at this point but decide to speed hike most of the was up to the 3 mile mark. I did this for two reasons first was to use my energy efficiently since I was planning on going for 31 miles. Second is that it was great race prep for Pocatello since I will be doing some hiking on that course, epically when I'll be covering 1300' to 1600' vertical ft per mile on some of the sections on the course. There was no snow on the trail until I hit the 2.5 mile mark then it was hard packed snow to the 3 mile mark. At 3 miles I turned around and ran back to the trail head. Once back down I turned around and did it again. I will say that coming down was defiantly a quad killer since the trail is very technical with lots of big rocks littering the trail. With all the rocks you had to constantly be picking a line to run down that was full of breaking and bouncing from rock to rock, oh and its pretty steep too. This made the going slower and left my legs sore. After my second ascent and descent I ran back to the house to resupply.

      After stopping at the house or should I say my car (I put a drop bag in it so I wouldn't have to go in the house) I was off to Syringa. It was right after my stop at the car when my legs decided to stop working, they were sore and hurt but my mind told me they should still be working just fine. I was only 18 miles into the run. Well for the next 40-60 minutes I battled with my legs to get them going and I ended up hiking a lot of trail that I would normally run. I finally had to pee and when I did it was dark, dark yellow and then the light bulb went off in my head that I was dehydrated so I started drinking much more water then I had all day and with in minutes my legs came alive again. From that point on (somewhere around 23 miles in) I ran everything, uphills and down. I finished strong and arrived at my house sprinting the last 300 yards to finish 31 miles in a total time of 6:39:13 (that includes all stops). I felt great and could see my self doing more.

      Side notes: I wore my new hip pack and I love it, and I think it will be great for racing in. It has enough space for food, camera, phone, and two 20oz water bottles. I can also strap a rain jacket to it. I also am really liking my new shoes they are doing a great job and my feet feel fine. For future long runs and races I need to make sure I drink enough fluids I dropped 5 lbs during my run or about 2-3% of my body weight which means I was pretty dehydrated. The run I did today is very close to the elevation gain of the first two legs of the Pocatello 50 and my goal is to run those 2 legs (32 miles) in 7 hrs so today's performance put me right in line with that goal.

Saturday: 1 mile "active recovery"
      Today I was suppose to do active recovery, which is something that gets you out and moving but it does have to be running. So I decided to go lift weights. I ran a mile to warm up then worked out pretty hard, training my back, shoulders and even some leg exercises. I don't think what I did was really recovery but it felt great.

Totals Miles: 51.7

      Great week! Friday was my first ultra marathon distance and besides some dehydration issues it went really well. Which has now left me wondering home much faster could I have done it without those issues, and how much faster can I do that distance in the future. I guess I'll have a chance to answer that in August with Angels Staircase and in October with Mount Spokane. But first things first and that is Pocatello which is 22 miles longer than what I did on Friday. I feel good about the race and the more I learn about myself and running long distances has kept building my confidence that I can do it. With that being said the thought of doing 53 miles is still pretty humbling.
Early morning looking over Sandpoint

Further up the Mickinnick trail

I ran in to a lot of mule/white tail cross deer on Mickinnick on my long run I saw 12 in all can you see the ones in this picture.

Second ascent on Mickinnick

View of the mountain from the Mickinnick trail-head. Its steeper then it look here.

Spring Flowers on Syringa Trail

Took this video while running down Mickinnick and this was one of the least rocky sections.

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