Sunday, July 24, 2011

Get Ready! Here we go!

For the past four months I've been focused on one goal...finishing my first 50 mile race. By finishing I hope I don't mean limping or crawling in, I want to finish on my feet, uninjured with a decent time for a first time 50 mile runner. I thought it would be fun to offer up a summary of the past 4 months of training along with some thoughts on how things have gone, what I will likely change in my next round of training, and which training runs were my favorite of the bunch.

First some notes on the math, I'm going to be offering weekly and monthly totals. Adding up the weekly mileage won't really equate easily to the monthly totals because of the way in which the weeks fall month to month. I personally just think it's interesting to see weekly vs. monthly. Weekly is much more helpful in determining overall training volume but the monthly numbers are nice ego boosters.

April Training

Week of April 4th - 30.05
Week off April 11th - 38.47
Week of April 18th - 35.54
Week of April 25th - 17.42

April Total - 127.48 Miles
Elevation Gain - 11,0059 Feet

April was a tough month. I was coming back from an extended vacation in South America that lasted the entire month of March. As such I was basically attempting to ramp up my training volume from zero. I ended up with an injury shortly after an excursion up on the Tiger Mountain trail which caused the drastic drop off seen in the week of April 25th. More core training was necessary. Sadly...I wouldn't really learn that lesson until early June.

May Training

Week of May 2nd - 41.19
Week off May 9th - 47.46
Week of May 16th - 44.48
Week of May 23rd - 55.27
Week of May 30th - 48.07

May Total - 200.09 Miles
Elevation Total - 15,779 Feet

May was pretty awesome. I finally started to feel pretty decent week to week and noticed some remarkable pep in my legs when climbing. My favorite training run had to have been the memorial day weekend 30+ mile run around the Mt. Rainier area. In fact I felt it was so awesome that I wrote a blog entry on it earlier in the year.

June Training

Week of June 6th - 61.05
Week of June 13th - 44.91
Week of June 20th - 65.05
Week of June 27th - 50.79

June Total - 232.03 miles
Elevation Total - 21,953 Feet

June was another really solid month. I spent a bit more time in the rainier area, familiarizing myself with the white river route while taking in some pretty spectacular vistas. Snow continued to be a problem at the higher elevations but we have such extensive trail systems out here in the Pacific Northwest that it was still pretty easy to link together long runs without topping out on the buried ridge lines. I didn't really have a single training session that I would call my favorite this month, though the June 30th jaunt up to the Ranger Creek Cabin (and a little beyond) was pretty spectacular. Unfortunately I bonked pretty hard and had to cut the run short.

July Training

Week of July 4th - 70.27
Week of July 11th - 20.23
Week of July 18th - 32.0

July Total (So Far) - 152.5 Miles
Elevation Total - 12,500 Feet

July has been interesting so far. My training called for a pretty nice even taper but the chest cold that I came down with after my 70 mile week forced me to reduce my training volume a lot more than I would've liked. I had anticipated the week of the 11th coming in around the 45 mile mark with the week of the 18th being around 30-35. I'm pretty confident though despite my forced reduction and am feeling great heading into the final week before my race.

Another 63 miles forthcoming this week, 13 from some training and another 50 from a single race coming this Saturday, July 30th. That will push me over 200 miles for the third month in a row. Am I ready? I certainly think so. I probably should've done a bit better job ramping my mileage up to my max of 70 but I got there and didn't completely destroy myself doing it. As can be seen from the weekly totals I had a difficult time increasing week over week and ended up ping ponging a fair bit between low and high mileage weeks. Still...I was able to ramp up to 70 miles without my joints failing so I'm fairly confident that I'll be able to move up into that volume again in preparation for my October races.

The race this Saturday will be awesome. If I bonk, it will still be rad, if I nail it and can move consistently through to the end then that will be even better. will be a fantastic day on the trails. Hopefully I'll see some familiar faces out there but if not I always have the Mountain.