"Perhaps the genius of ultrarunning is its supreme lack of utility. It makes no sense in a world of space ships and supercomputers to run vast distances on foot. There is no money in it and no fame, frequently not even the approval of peers. But as poets, apostles and philosophers have insisted from the dawn of time, there is more to life than logic and common sense."
- David Blaikie

Sunday, November 30, 2008

weekly log: Nov 24 - 30th

  • Mon - 21 mi (am: 12 mi; pm: 9 mi) Rough 12 miles starting at 4:30 but then felt great through a negative split 1:09 Ocho loop in the afternoon.
  • Tues - 8 mi on the Uwharrie course. Started at the 20 mile trailhead and worked my way in 4 miles and back out.
  • Wed - 21 mi (am: 16 mi; pm: 5 mi) 4:30 am start with dorph, blade and fleet feet mike. FF loop in the afternoon at 40 mins.
  • Thurs - 5 mi fast pace on the ocho while the turkey was cooking
  • Fri - 7 mi (am: 5 mi; pm: 2 mi) PR Freaky Friday birthday run in 38:17. Came back in pm to run long but knees hurt.
  • Sat - 23 mi 4:30 start with dorph, monk and pav. Great 4 hrs on feet.
  • Sun - 16 mi negative split double Ocho

Weekly Total: 101 mi

1st week in training for the 2009 season. From June 21 (Bighorn) to Nov 23 I logged 967 miles with a weekly average of about 45 miles. Nice off season numbers and now I'm ready to get back at it. I'm definitely feeling the extra miles this week in a few places, but overall am running better than I have at lower mileage. I may not keep the weekly mileage >100 over the next few weeks but it felt great this week and was relatively easy to fit into my schedule with W, Th, & Fri off for Thanksgiving (and 3 x 4:30 am runs!)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

NB505 RX505CB

Introducing the newest members of my closet, the New Balance 505s.

I love the fit and feel of the New Balance790s for the lighter end of the spectrum, but have been wanting a more aggressive tread on them. The La Sportiva Crosslites have the tread I like but are just too narrow up front. So I've been on a bit of a quest. What I really want is a pair of those experimental 790s that Kyle Skaggs wore for Hardrock this year. I tried signing up to be a New Balance tester, but no word.

Enter the 505s, an aggressive racing shoe for x-country, indoor or outdoor track. Weighing in somewhere around 7.8 oz (for my size, 9.5) they are even lighter than the 790s, yet the forefoot protection (with Rock Stop
®) feels solid. They come in 2E which my feet love. As for traction... a little more than the 790, but really it's the 6 removable metal spikes that are the story there. I know from drilling screws into shoes that spikes aren't going to be good for rocky trails, but I'm looking forward to sinking them into some softer single-track. Would they stand up to Uwharrie 40 or Massanutten 100? You'd have to be completely insane to try it...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Uwharrie 2, Weezyl 1

Saturday's run at Uwharrie wasn't pretty. The rain cleared out of the area leaving us with partly sunny skies and warmer than expected temps (70). A beautiful day actually. I was hoping this would be a good test of my recent training approach of faster pace, lower mileage and technical trails. I was also looking at it as a good benchmark before the 2009 buildup, but alas, Uwharrie got the better of me (again) and I'm not sure what conclusions I can draw.

The first 8 mi split 1:21 was 4-5 mins slower than I was looking for. Okay, I took a wrong turn, the leaves were thick, and the creeks were high, but I don't think that really contributed more than a minute or two. From mile 8 the run deteriorated quickly. I had a couple Honey Stinger gels and shortly thereafter emptied my stomach around mi 13.5. I forgot the S! Caps which would have come in really handy at this point (duh). Dehydration set in and by my mile 16 I was feeling pretty wonky and turned back. I tried a couple times to get something going on the way back but I had nothing. Legs felt fine, but no energy.

32 miles for the day. Ugh.

So, not sure what to take away from this. Certainly, 1) don't forget the S! caps, 2) aid at 8, 11, and 20 isn't enough for a warm day, and 3) more experimentation needed on the Stinger honey before I try that in a race.

On the positive side, I remembered Uwharrie being much more technicaly challenging and hilly. That may be a good sign that all the technical training is paying off.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Uwharrie 40 *wet* run

I've been planning a dry run of the Uwharrie 40 course this Sat to see where my fitness is and to kick off the training season for 2009 events. Looks like this will be a very *wet* run instead of a dry run.

Weather forecast for Troy, NC changed overnight and now they're calling for thunderstorms tomorrow morning and "steady" rain later in the day. At 7 am it's supposed to be 63 and going up to a high of 68. With the rain they're getting today the streams will be swollen and there will be some good slippery, muddy sections.

Between the mud and the leaves I've given up on time goals for this run, but it will still be an interesting benchmark. I wouldn't dream of canceling this due to the weather. Perfect opportunity to see the course in less than ideal conditions.

Gear considerations
From my collection of trail shoes, I'll select the La Sportiva Crosslites for this run. They drain pretty well and have the most aggressive tread. Not bothering with a rain jacket because of the warm temps. I have an orange long sleeve patagonia shirt which will probably be too warm but It's the only thing I've got that the hunters will see (tomorrow is opening day for deer hunting). Wet clothes stick to you in different places than when dry so I may be taping or lubing a few sensitive areas. I think I'll swing by a Wal*Mart to pick up an orange hat too.

I'm driving out to the course this afternoon to stash some water and goodies. Here's the elevation profile with my aid stations marked (1-3):

The plan
Start: 2 hand bottles
AS1 mi 8: drop 1 bottle
AS2 mi 11: drop 2nd bottle, pick up my Nathan pack
AS3 mi 20: refill Nathan
AS2 mi 29 drop Nathan pack, pick up hand bottle
AS1 mi 32 pick up 2nd hand bottle

Should be fun! I'll write a report for my next post.