Sunday, January 22, 2012

Weekly Summary: Jan 16 – Jan 22

The taper has unofficially begun.  Being that I don’t have a set training schedule, it also means that I don’t have a set taper schedule.  Usually my body tells my mind, when to start cutting back on the mileage.  Or is it my mind telling my body to tell my mind that it is time, only my mind knows, or is it my body.  Confusing!  Anyway, this week I took it pretty easy.  After a 116, 94, and 77 mile week, it is safe to say that I AM tapering.  I won’t go through the motions of listing every day this week.  It’s not that interesting.  Just know that it was a measly 68 miles.  I did, however, happen to run every day this week.  Finished the week, with a 17 miler starting from Hopewell Lake in French Creek with Matt.  Saturday, I ran 4 miles over a snowy Joy and Misery.  Didn’t feel the need to do anymore than that.

Weekly Mileage = 68
Weekly Vertical = ~3000ft
Yearly Mileage = 253 (22 days)
Yearly Vertical = ~11900ft
Days off = 2

Weekly Summary: Jan 09 - Jan 15

Fell off the Wagon; but climbed right back on!
Well….two weeks into the new year and I already broke one of my New Year’s resolutions. 

Resolutions are hard to keep, as I have found many times in the past.  Last year, I vowed to cut caffeine and alcohol from my diet.  I succeeded at this for about 2 months, but quickly fell back to caffeinated coffee once I started running at 5am with Matt and Jason.  The alcohol followed shortly, starting with a beer once in a while, then returning to about a beer a night.  That may not sound like much to you, but it’s more than I really want to drink.

This year, I had made several resolutions.  None of these are on paper, but just in my mind.  I know what I want to succeed at.  This year, I vowed to maintain entries on this blog (the New Year’s resolution that I was breaking, until now), in addition to, cutting the caffeine and alcohol from my diet again.

For the first two weeks of the year, which actually correspond to the last week of 2011 and the first week of 2012, I posted my mileage log.  I missed posting my 3rd week and don’t really remember what I had run each day.  I could probably remember if I wanted to really sit and think about it, but what is the use.  I know I ran 77 miles for the week with 1 day off from running, which took place the day after the 37 miler.  I didn’t need that day off.  I felt fine the day after that run.  I decided not to run early that morning, and never wound up getting out after work.  It wasn’t a big deal.  I don’t need to run everyday, as some people think I think I do.  I am not obsessive about my daily running, but rather really do enjoy getting up early and running in those early morning hours.  I know over the weekend, I ran 35 miles, which included a 15 miler on Saturday over a slightly hilly chester springs loop with Jason and Joe, then a 20 miler in French Creek on the trails with a much larger group, at a much slower pace.  I guess that leaves me with 42 miles during my 4 running days during the week.  I am starting to recall, that one of those days (Friday), included a rainy wet 4 x 1 mile workout with 90sec rest.  There is something new!  I hadn’t done a workout since before Tussey 50 Miler, and don’t really know why I decided to run a workout 3 weeks before Rocky Raccoon, but I just felt like I wanted to.  The workout went pretty well.  I didn’t know what to expect, but I was able to hit 5:55, 5:52, 5:45, and 5:41.  Not too shabby for starting the run at 4:45am!  I actually don’t remember my other runs, but I think they involved something like 10-11 miles with Joe.  Well, there ya go.  I just did what I said I wasn’t going to do, sit and think about what I did last week.  Resolution resolved!!!

Weekly Mileage = 77
Weekly Vertical = ~5000ft
Yearly Mileage = 185 (15 days)
Yearly Vertical = ~8900ft
Days off = 2

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Weekly Summary: Jan 02 - Jan 08

Mon-AM:  11 miles, Oaks/Betzwood loop, ‘337ft
Started run at 9am with Jason and Kim from the lower perkiomen valley parking lot.  We ran pretty easy.

Tues-AM:  10.5 miles, Oaks/Betzwood loop (Reverse), ‘219ft
Started run at 5am with Jason.  We ran easy.  Reversed the loop and stayed down on Perkiomen rather than going over Sanctuary.  It was a shorter run and I decided to not add anything on at the end.
Wed-AM:  12.5 miles, Perkiomen Out-N-Back, ‘269ft
I met Jason at 5am and we ran up Perk pretty easy.  The temperature was at 15F and it was cold, but bearable.  I added on an extra mile at the end for shits and giggles.
Thurs-AM:  13 miles, VFMS (1:45), only ‘750ft
I met Joe (the new recruit) at 4:45am for an easy 2 miles before Matt showed up at 5am.  We then all ran a 6 mile loop in Chesterbrook.  Matt is tapering for Bandera 100K in Texas on Saturday.  He is ready to kill it.  He is itching to move.  Afterward the initial 8+ miles, I then added another 5miles.  Run was not fast at all.  This week is not about fast, but more about keeping miles on the legs for the planned 50 mile training run on Sunday.  I also registered for the Philadelphia 100 Miler on April 7th this morning.  It’s free.  So, I can decide not to do it at anytime and not worry about losing any money.
Friday-AM:  10 miles (1:20) VFMS, 1000’
I met Joe again at 4:45am for an easy run.  We went up and over Valley Forge Mountain via Welsh Valley and Paul Lenen.  We finished down Valley Creek trail into Chesterbrook.  Nothing special with this run.  Nothing really special with any of these runs all week.  Just taking it fairly easy to give myself the best chance of having a good long run on Sunday.
Saturday-AM:  0 miles (0:00)
Off day.  Needed one of these really bad.
Sunday-AM:  37.2 miles, Kent and BJ Prizers Fat Ass 50K
My initial plan was to do a 50 mile training run.  The course is a completely flat 10K out-n-back on the Perkiomen.  Weather was very good.  Temperature in the low 30’s at the start and topped out at about 45 degrees.  I ran the first 2 loops with Kim and than ran the last 4 loops by myself, although Kim rode along on a bike for most of it.
10K:  0hr48min
20K:  1hr38min
30K:  2hr28min
40K:  3hr18min
50K:  4hr08min
60K:  4hr58min

Weekly Mileage = 94
Weekly Vertical = ~2800ft
Yearly Mileage = 108 (8 days)
Yearly Vertical = ~3900ft
Days off = 1

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Rocky Raccoon 100 Mile Race Preview

Last year, we had the opportunity to watch Ian Sharman demolish a stellar field with an astonishing 12hr44min performance.  With five consistent 20 mile laps (2:29, 2:25, 2:29, 2:35, and 2:46), he beat Anton Krupicka by 34 minutes.  Will he be able to do it again?  This year will be slightly different for me.  After watching the race unfold on in 2011, I will be toeing the line against Ian and others.  Here are my predictions.  None of these are hard and fast.  It is just what I think could happen.  Who knows?  #5 could finish #1, although I wouldn’t put money on that!
1.  Ian Sharman:  No explanation needed.  Although, I don’t think he will come close to his course record.  The field isn’t as strong as it was in 2011.  Prediction:  13:20.
2.  Karl Meltzer:  Again…no explanation needed, but I will give one.  Karl finished 4th last year in 14:27.  This also appears to be Karl’s PR at the 100 mile distance, which isn’t too shabby for a 44 year old.  There isn’t enough elevation on this course for Karl to use all of his skills.  Prediction:  14:30ish
3.  Jay Aldous:  He might as well be named Jack Pilla.  This 50 year old just ran a 50+ age-group world record in 13:52 at the Desert Solstice 100 Mile (on the track).  This followed a phenomenal 3rd place at Javelina, a 1st at Pony Express, and a 2nd at Burning River.  This gentleman is on fire and could give Ian and Karl a good challenge.  Prediction:  14:45.
4.  Oswaldo Lopez:  He’s a strong runner.  He finally broke through with a nice sub 24hr win at Badwater after 2 consecutive 2nd place finishes.  He also has some fast 50M and 50K times, but doesn’t have any fast 100’s.  Prediction:  Sub-15
5.  Joshua Finger:  Yeah…that’s right.  I am putting myself up here in the top 5.  With a recent 6:33 at Tussey Mountainback 50M and a marathon PR in the 2:30's, watch out.  The one downfall is my first 100 mile completed at Vermont in 2011, in a paltry 21:19 (walked last 15 miles), I will bounce back on a relatively flat course and break 15 hours.  How far under?  Who knows?  Prediction:  Sub-15
6.  Josh Katzman:  I only put Josh out of the top 5 because he has no 100 mile experience.  He finished extremely close to Mike Dixon at Vermont 50 mile and grabbed a WS100 ticket.  He more recently took 1st at Stone Cat Ale 50 mile.  He does have a 12 hour victory to speak of at the Race Around the Lake, running 80 miles.  He can definitely keep a fast pace on a flat paved course, but how will that translate to Rocky’s rooty trails?
7.  Dan Vega:  We know he can beat the Speedgoat.  He did that at Antelope Island 100 Mile with a 15:31.  He also has a 2nd at Leadville back in ’05, but that was 6 years ago.  Dan will definitely run strong and could make it into the top 5.
8.  Scott Eppelman:  Ran fast here before and can do it again.
9.  Tony Clark:  An overall 3rd place finish in 2010.
10.  A handful of others could have really good days.  There are many others out there with experience at Huntsville State park including:  Bill Sutherland, Brooks Williams, Francisco Garza, Eric Herzog, Luis Guerrero, Nathan Echols, Neal Lucas, Peter Vrolijk, and Wade Barrett.  Robert Shaw and Drew Burnett could have good showings as well.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Weekly Summary: Dec 26 – Jan 01

Mon-AM:  15 miles (1:48) Chester Springs Loop, 1500'
Started run at 7am with Jason from Great Valley High School parking lot.  We started out easy up the first hill, but then started pushing a little harder the rest of the run. Pushed the hills pretty hard and averaged 7:12/mile, which isn’t that fast pace-wise, but when you add in some of those hills, they definitely slow the pace down a bit.  I finished the run with a 5:50 last mile.  It’s nice when you can run later in the morning and not have to worry about getting into work.  These holiday shutdowns are a nice added bonus!

Tues-AM:  15 miles (1:55) Perk and Betzwood Loop
Woke up a little late and missed the start of the run with Jason and Kim.  But, still got out and ran up Perk to meet them on their return trip  After they finished, I continued on for another 9 miles in Betzwood on River Trail.  Flat with virtually no hills.  Didn’t run fast.  Just felt flat.

Wed-AM:  11 miles,  Sanctuary Suicides
We haven’t done this workout for a long, long time.  The Sanctuary hill isn’t that long, but has a ~10% incline.  This workout has 3 sets of 4 hills, each hill is longer than the first.  The first one in the set goes up to the start of the fence (~30 sec).  The second goes about half way up the fence (~45-50 sec).  The third goes to the top of the big climb, where the pavement levels out (~1:10-1:15).  The fourth goes further up the slight incline before the left turn (~2:15-2:30).  The key to this workout is recovering fast as you head back down to the start of the hill.  When I had run 27:48 for this workout, I went on to run a marathon PR at Philly in 2:38.  Now that I have trained on hills and have become a much stronger climber and runner, I thought it would be interesting to run this workout again and see if I am anywhere close to the shape I have been in the past.

Jason and I met at Oaks and warmed up easy for 2.6 miles to the hill.  It was pretty cold, but I figured having gloves, hat, and jacket would be to warm.  After the 2nd hill of the first set, my hands were pretty cold, so I stopped at the bottom to put on a pair of gloves.  That set me back about 10 seconds, but I was quickly headed up for the 3rd hill.  I went through the first set leisurely in 9:30 (with the 10 second glove break).  I picked the pace up a bit on the 2nd set and finished that one at 18:40 (9:10 for 2nd set).  Over the 3rd set, I worked a little bit harder to finish in 27:29 (8:49 for 3rd set).  I had thought my PR was 26:45 for this workout, but looking back at my old log on athleticore, I realize it was 27:48.  I am pretty surprised that I ran this faster than I had in the past.  I guess I am in better shape than I used to be.  That doesn’t mean that I could go run a 2:38 marathon now, but maybe with the proper marathon training, I might be able to run a marathon PR.  Hmmm!  Should I maybe run Philly this year?  Would be interesting considering only 5 weeks removed from Grindstone!

Cooled down with a 4 mile recovery jog.

Thurs-AM:  14.5 miles, Chester Springs from Route 113 parking lot.
I met Jason and Matt at 7am for an easy run from the parking lot near Route 113 at bottom of Elbow lane.  We ran just under 8min/mile.  We went over a new route which included Art School Road to Miller to St Matthews to Flowing Springs to Beaver Hill to French Creek to Hoffecker (?) to Hallman Mill to Lucas to Severn Stars to Hares Hill to Kimberton and back to Art School.  Wanted to go longer, but didn’t really feel like it.

Friday-AM:  19 miles (3:00) Joy-Misery Loops, 3750’
Matt, Jason, and I wanted to get some good hills in today, so we met for Joy-Misery loops.  We didn’t run them hard at all.  Originally I was planning to run 4 loops.  Jason joined me for 3, Matt joined for 4, and I ran a 5th alone.  I thought about running a 6th loop, but didn’t take much nutrition, so I was starting to run out of steam.

In the evening, we went to Jason’s to watch “Unbreakable”.  Pretty good documentary on 2010 Western States.  Wish I got a lottery spot.  I will have to wait until next year, hopefully!  Otherwise, I need to try to qualify through Montrail Ultracup race.  That is getting pretty hard to do for old guys not named Mackey.

Saturday-AM:  28 miles (3:39), Perkiomen
I started run at a bit before 6am and was able to get 8 miles in before meeting Matt, Jason, and Kim.  Then went out for a 20 miler with them.  Kim turned around after 7 miles.  We went out in 1:20 for the first 10, then came back in 1:13.  We were rolling pretty good at the end hitting 6min/mile for the final mile.  Not a bad long run.  A good end to the year. 

Wish I had kept track of my mileage for the year.  I think I was probably somewhere around 4000, but I don’t have the records.  Not my longest mileage year.  That happened in 2007 when I averaged 93miles/week and that was with the last 5 weeks of the year off!  I am going to log 2012, at least until Doomsday!  Hence the purpose for recording this week’s mileage on this site.

Sunday-AM:  14 miles, Champagne run from Knox’s
I met Matt for an easy 6 miles before joining the Valley Forge Striders and the Fasttracks running clubs for their Champagne run.  We headed out from Knox’s to top of Diamondrock and back.  Starting pushing up Diamondrock and was 2nd to the top.  Terry dropped me toward the very top, but I kept the pace going while he recovered.  I run hills like this everyday, so doesn’t take that much out of me.  Dropped the pace to 6:09.  Patrick caught me during that mile, which I was pretty surprised with.  He says he isn’t in any sort of shape, but I beg to differ! 

Good start to the year!

Weekly Mileage = 116
Weekly Vertical = ?
Yearly Mileage = 14
Yearly Vertical = ?
Days off = 0