Thursday, September 13, 2012
2 week update
I've spent the last two weeks actively trying to become a runner again. Not in the sense that I wasn't running before, but that I wasn't concerned about mileage and pace. The weekly totals seem to reflect this with a bit less climbing and a bit more mileage. As much as it would seem easier to run for less time and have less vert to handle, it's definitely made my legs much more sore. I feel like a few miles at 6:30 pace feel cardiovascularly easy, but awkward muscularly.
When hiking up mountains, my calves elongate more to give my strength, balance, and power. Meanwhile when I'm running fast terrain, they're contracting smaller and tighter to allow for faster articulation of the foot. There's many more contractions/minute and speedwork ironically makes me calves sore like the first time I started running steep trails, just in a different way.
I suppose I'd look at it as a cost-benefit thing to keep in mind in training. I enjoy going fast and racing graded trail, but I love the challenge of a good climb. The terrain at UROC demands a lot out of every runner coming from various backgrounds, and my outlook has been mostly positive about having a lot of different terrain that I'll handle well based on my AC training. Trainig for Hardrock I had the muscular part of the equation down, but the altitude acclimation was just out of reach. However for UROC, I feel like I've noticeably raised my VO2 max this year, I just need to re-tap my fast twitch muscles. I've had a few workouts that seem to verify the noted "awkwardness" in my stride, but the speed has definitely started to comeback. The only question is whether it'll be in time for the race.
August 27th - Sept 2nd
80 miles, 15,000 ft.
Spent the weekend backpacking on the JMT (north lake to south lake loop). Definitely humbling how slow and still hard things are as a backpacker.
Sept 3rd - Sept 9th
86 miles, 16,500 ft.
Did some speedwork 1mi downhill at 6% 4:50, 1/2 uphill 6% at 3:20, again at 5:00 and 3:15. Went out and ran Islip to Chilao (27mi/4:02) and surprised myself running every section under course record except Cooper Canyon that I was only 3 minutes over. I definitely didn't feel fresh in the morning and didn't feel like I was going to have a good day, but I seemed to start each section unassumingly and build momentum. I sprained my ankle 3 miles in coming off williamson, and I actually ran with a bit of pain all day. I'm eager for UROC and next year on the AC course..
Cougar - Appomattox