Tuesday, February 2, 2016

I'm Back...sort of

Well, life has gotten in the way of my blog posting. I could go into detail and explain why I just "disappeared" to the blog world three weeks prior to the Portland Marathon in October. But why? There are many reasons, however the most relevant is I have far less time. 

The marathon did not go as planned. Stupidly, I broke the cardinal rule of running: Do not try something new on race day. In this case, I went out and bought cheap candy because I had grown tired of the gels I was using in training. Gu. Gross. In a stroke of genius, I left it until the night before the race and in a panic couldn't think of a place (REI duh.) that would have the Honey Stinger gels I so desired. Dumb, dumb, dumb. Not surprisingly, I experienced extreme GI distress at mile 10 after whacking back my first round of candies at mile 7.I landed in the port-o-potty on four separate occasions during the race, not to mention the battle that went on in-between each pit stop. And the cramps. Oh, the cramps. 

Ultimately, I gritted and grinded it to the very end, but I pretty much knew by mile 22 I wasn't going to break 3 hours. And, that's my ultimate goal at this point in the marathon. I finished in 3:04, which is still my second best time over 26.2. I think was fit for the cause otherwise. Too bad.

I followed up the PDX Marathon with the Silver Falls 50k in November. Much more fun. I belong in the forest running up and down mountains. Holy cow was it a tough race though. Yet again I had some GI issues (had to sacrifice a glove in the woods as I watched runners pass me by). Despite this unfortunate circumstance, I was holding 5th overall until mile 29 or so. Sounds odd saying it, but I put a hard push in (maybe 7min. miles) from roughly mile 26 to 28 along a flat-ish creek path, but I just couldn't drop the dude behind me. After a rough, gut-check of a climb up to the top of the feature waterfall of the state park (South Falls - pictured below) around mile 29 my legs were done. Done in the sense it was hard for me to even pretend to run. Even so, I basically ran hobbled through the last aid station at the top of the falls in my last effort to demoralize and drop the dude behind me. For a second I thought it might've worked. However, I had to stop and walk for a bit at this point for fear my legs were about to completely seize up. The dude behind me named Justin (met him afterwards) was simply stronger at this point and passed me as I was walking. I'm normally strong at the end of races, and I tried to "chase" him down, but in the end he was better on the day. I finished 6th overall in 4:44. My buddy Alec finished 2nd overall and just a minute off 1st place in his first, and perhaps last, ultra-marathon. He had completed a 100 mile mountain bike race a few months earlier so this was nothing.

I chill ran when I felt like it from early November to basically the end of December with a few killer runs through the woods sprinkled in here and there as I felt the desire. 

For now my only "plan" for the blog is to track my running for 2016. That's pretty much it at this point. I figured I was using it as a training log anyway, might as well try and publish it monthly with a little extra detail added to it and see how it goes. There's upcoming races for 2016 that might spark a race report or two, but other than I'm just going to try and post monthly training logs.

Here goes.

Saturday Jan 2:
*Long trail run (107min, 11+ miles) - Forest Park, ran some new trail.

Monday Jan 4:
Easy run (63min, 7m) - snow and ice storm yesterday made for treacherous conditions today. Ran with Colin along Terwilliger after checking in at work for a couple hours.

Wednesday Jan 6:
*Tempo fartlek run (69min, 9.5m) 2 x 2 miles w/ 3min easy - Was feeling a little stressed at work, but felt great on the run. I decided to go old skool and ran the Sellwood Bridge loop. After a 4 mile warmup I busted out a 2 mile tempo at 6:30 and 6:24. After the jog recovery I hit another 2 mile tempo at 6:17 and 6:22. I was pushing it a little too hard probably, but I don't care. I'm planning on running the Shamrock 15k this March, so I'm going to have to get used to breathing hard. Hoping to bust out a sub-60min performance. Tough task on a hilly course, but most of it's along Terwilliger so I should be able to train hard along the course whenever I like right from work.   

Thursday Jan 7:
Easy run (50min, 6.4m) - Up Terwilliger from work.

Friday Jan 8:
Epic urban trail run (60min, 6+m) - Ran with Greg and Colin and dogs from Greg's house up through woods and into the Marquam Trail circuit. This was an epic and unexpected run. Some sketchy muddy sections and still a little snow and ice higher up in the shadier sections, but yeesh the decent was epic. We did a lot of climbing. 

Saturday, Jan 9:
*Epic bomber long city run (110min, 13.5m) - Took off for an evening long run at 5pm over and down Terwilliger, through PSU campus, up at stairway to heaven into the West Hills near the Goose Hollow MAX stop, and then up the long slog of Vista Ave through more West Hills to Fairmount, then around and down. This was a fantastic run. Old School.

Weekly Totals (Sun-Sat):
5 runs @ 352 minutes
42 miles

Monday, Jan 11:
Easy forest run (49min, 5.5m)

Tuesday, Jan 12:
60min yoga

Wednesday, Jan 13:
*Hard trail run (60min, ~7m) - Colin and I took a new route up into the Marquam Circuit. Lots of climbing on this run mixed some up-tempo running. Good workout.

Thursday, Jan 14:
Easy forest run (50min, 5.5m)

Friday, Jan 15:
*Climbing trail run to summit of Council Crest (70min, ~7m) - Colin, Carter and I took it to the top of Council Crest after work. Lots of climbing on this run. Colin was mashing it on the downhills so this ended up being a bit of a tougher run than I expected when we started. All good though.

Saturday, Jan 16:
*Tempo run (67min, 9m) 35min easy + 1 x 2.25m tempo + .75m easy + 1.5m tempo - Basically I ran from home down to the beginning of Terwilliger at which point I intended to turn around and run 4.5m tempo home. This is an uphill section and the heart of my upcoming Shamrock Run 15k goes right along Terwilliger so I intend to do several "hard" training sessions along this road. I wasn't really feeling it today after yesterday's harder than expected run, so I modified a bit. I'm sure I started running back up Terwilliger too fast as well. Listened to my body and backed off to easy for a bit and then hit it hard home for 1.5 miles. Mile splits: 6:59, 6:44, 7:47, 6:44, 6:16

Weekly Totals (Sun-Sat):
5 runs @ 296 minutes
~34 miles

Tuesday, Jan 19:
*Tempo run at lunch (~45min - no watch, 6m) - Tillicum bridge, back over Hawthorne bridge, down to Steel bridge and back. Picked up the pace for roughly 3.5 miles after a 2 mile warm up. Felt mostly okay. These types of runs are probably are lot more effective without a watch for me at this point. Body still adjusting to running fast on the road. 

Wednesday, Jan 20:
Easy birthday trail run (~55min, ~6m) - Traditional route with Colin.

Thursday, Jan 21:
Easy bridge run (~45min, ~5.5m) - Down to Steel Bridge and back across Tillicum. Felt run down today. Not enough sleep, a few tougher runs this past week, and more stress at work all factors.

Friday, Jan 22:
Easy bridge run (~50min, ~6m) - Beautiful, warm day for a city run with Colin after work. This was a nice run for the mind, body, and soul. 

Saturday, Jan 23:
**Bomber hilly trail run, hard on the uphills (113min, ~13m) - Parked at Hoyt Arboretum and basically followed Wildwood up to Pittock Mansion, down to the creek (can't remember name), back up and out Wildwood. This was a fantastic run and a perfect day for it. Caught a break in the rain as the dense fog burnt off and broke up to partial blue skies over the crept in through the trees as the cityscape sat in the background. It was perfect out. Lots of folks out on the trails this afternoon. I hammered the uphills pretty good.

Weekly Totals (Sun-Sat):
-5 runs @ 308 minutes
~37 miles

Sunday, Jan 24:
2 mile hike with the girls at Gales Creek Campground along Gales Creek Trail. Such a beautiful spot. Isla in the backpack. Everybody was happy. I'm going to run here.

Monday, Jan 25:
Easy bridge run w/ 10 x 20sec surges (~45min, ~5.5m) - such a beautiful, warm, sunny day out. It felt like spring. Surges were a nice addition.

Tuesday, Jan 26:
Yoga (60min)
*Progressive tempo run (50min, 6.8m) - 4 mile tempo effort up Terwilliger (2.5m) and back progressing in pace from 7:15, 6:52, 6:45, 6:35. The last bit was downhill so it's not as impressive as it might seem, but nonetheless this was my best, longest effort since last fall so it's a good sign. Felt pretty good most the way. Right leg got a bit floppy.

Wednesday, Jan 27:
*Medium effort hilly trail run (70min, ~7.5m) - Felt like spring. Good stuff with Colin and Carter.

Thursday, Jan 28:
Did I run today?

Friday, Jan 29:
Easy trail run (50min, ~6m) - Ran with Colin and Carter after work. Some decent hill action.

Saturday, Jan 30:
*Long, hilly Gales Creek Trail run (97min, ~10m) - Took Carter to Gales Creek Campground to run the Gales Creek Trail I found last weekend with the girls. This place is epic. It was snowing and water is running off everywhere in this amazing second growth temperate forest wonderland. Lots of creeks flow over this trail and this time of year (particularly this heavy rain/snow year) they're raging and there are massive washed out gullies where huge flows of water from past heavy rains have taken out the trail. Lots of downed trees everywhere as well. I was hoping to run a large section of this trail as it's a major part of the Tillamook Burn 50k I just signed up for on May 1. Not as runnable as I thought it would be, and 4 miles in I came to a gully that seemed un-passable for the time being. It was huge. The water was raging and the "easiest" possible spot to cross looked like a waist deep effort. I turned back and headed straight up the Story Burn Trail for a mile or so. Kind of an epic day, but woulda been better with some fellow runner dorks. I didn't even make it to the longer climb of the race route due to washout. It's going to be an arse kicker.