I’m going to try to be more thoughtful about my running by keeping a regular weekly journal. I don’t think my current state of recording runs by “witty” Strava titles is good enough at helping me locate trends and daily thoughts that come into my mind. With the advent of social media, I (and many other runners) have learned a lot more about running in the mountains, so this blog is public in an attempt to share some ideas and open myself to criticism for the larger goal of moving faster and more efficiently in the mountains. So without further adieu…
April 27-May 3rd
Monday: Woke up early to get in a run before heading back to LA, did a short run up Mt. Williamson from Islip in some windy conditions. The sunrise from the trail packed in a lot of inspiration in 3.4 miles. 3.4 mi/1250ft/:40
Tuesday: It’s the 2nd week of VO2Max workouts, which is also the 2nd week of structured running post knee injury, which means it’s not pretty. I’m seeing progress with my knee by incorporating Active Isolated Stretching (AIS), but it’s tough to get a good stretch in my hamstrings without cheating. My legs have become so tight over years of trail running, that I’m constrained to a very small leg swing and can’t run fast without a fight. I don’t think it’s perfect, but it’s what’s working at taking pressure off my knee, which felt like it would’ve taken months to recover at the outset of pain during Gorge 100k. The 9x90 sec intervals with Katie weren’t too easy, and Katie was startlingly close to me. The 400/800m high school track star is not dead in her. 9 mi/1500ft/1:17
Wednesday: Was going to do an easy road run, but saw Guillaume at Bundy and San Vicente and decided to link up. I tried to keep up with him last Thursday heading up Westridge Drive, but he was charging and I was 4 days back into my training. Today we ran a good pace together and talked a lot about the usual Western/UTMB/AC race hypothesis. Knowing Guillaume, he might over-train for AC, but he’s going to be tough to keep up with early on in the race, which I’ve done successfully before. He’s very thorough in his planning, but ultrarunning is an ever-evolving science that keeps disproving ideals of all varieties. Regardless, I hope the Frenchman pulls off a Ram in August, and finds some personal truths and satisfaction. 10mi/1400ft/1:19
Thursday: I had planned this 5-4-3-2-1 minute interval workout in my schedule to be a fun, gradual VO2Max workout, but I woke up tired and late, and rushed the warm up through Sullivan Canyon. The first 5 min rep was barely faster than my warmup, the 4 min rep made me go to the bathroom, and the 3/2/1 reps were on the steeper exit of the canyon and made my legs complete mush. At the very least I got some ugly anaerobic running in, which felt terrible but was what my lungs needed. The cooldown with Andy and Peter was refreshing, until Andy opted for the singltrack on Sullivan Ridge. The idiot has a bruised knee and still opts for the gnar.. 9mi/1500ft/1:11
Friday: A big project at work was getting exciting, and I wasn’t getting any extra sleep, so when I put my shoes on at the Mt. Wilson trailhead, I didn’t have to remind myself to run easy. I slogged to Orchard Camp and sat down ready to fall asleep. Though the views up top would have been beautiful, I couldn’t dig another training hole this early in the schedule, so I turned around. 7mi/2400ft/1:17
Friday Night: Katie wanted to run, so on our way to Wrightwood, we stopped at Kratka Ridge (Aka Scenic Mount) and headed up the west face of Williamson. Katie was tired too, so we leisurely marched to the summit and took in the view before heading back. 3mi/1100/:47
Saturday: Though I only got a few hours of sleep, a good cup of Tom’s Coffee and a cinnamon roll had me on the trail at 8:30 to link up with Jorge at the top of Acorn. I’d wanted to get more climbing into my week for UTMB aspirations, and the North Backbone trail was in perfect condition. I however was not, and had some rough climbs to endure. We reached the summit of Baldy and talked with people in the bar-like scene of 50+ hikers and runners taking in the views. We glissaded back down towards Dawson and met Katie. One good .9mi/1300 ft climb deserves another and we turned around to head back up and join the summit party. I started to get dehydrated and my sore throat turned into a headache/fever/cough by Sunday morning, but for the day, it was a rewarding 15mi/7900ft/5:00 adventure.
Sunday: Though I was not convinced at all that I should get out of bed and do an interval workout, the sun in Wrightwood was strong and persuasive. I struggled up Acorn, and then did 10x2min on the way to Inspiration Point with Katie. It got more fun as the trail dove and picked up speed, and though Strava wasn’t convinced, I did in fact have a good workout. A 39 minute jog from Inspiration to Vincent Gap was a nice end to the weekend, showing decent mobility after Saturday’s adventure.
Total: 70 miles/20,181 ft./13:47
I’ve been following all different type of ultra runners, and I think we’re definitely in a completely different era of competition and raw performance. I don’t think there’s much fear in Rob Krar’s mind of “going out too fast” or “burning his quads” or anything similar to the former years’ ideas. His performance at the Canyons 100k this weekend shows this supreme confidence in his strength, durability, flexibility, diet, etc. etc. The sum of raw power he puts out is hugely inspiring. It’s a display of what humans are capable with a strong mind and capable body.. And I can see him running sub 2 hours down Cal Street in June, which is 25-30 minutes faster than what it took to win two years ago. #sick