Monday, August 1, 2016

Training 7/18 - 7/24 and 7/25 - 7/31

I haven't been 100% faithful to the blog, but more faithful than I thought I would. Either way, it's time for some updating.

Onto the numbers:
7/18, Monday: Off
7/19, Tuesday: (Cathance: 7.1, 1:08:15) Strangely, no deer flies to be found. Not strange, my legs were ready to roll after the down week.
7/20, Wednesday: (Mt. Ararat: 5.2, 41:41) A hill workout with 8 trips over Mt. A. Despite the heat, I felt great and really went after it. Legs had no trouble with that idea. Me likey.
7/21, Thursday: (Heath Plus: 4.2, 37:35) Even though I really wanted to run more, I knew that this was the first week of a big block, and I didn't want to overcook things. Keeping it short and mellow was definitely the right call. Also, I had a pain on the inside of my right shin just above my ankle all week. It bothered me on Wednesday, but dissipated today.
7/22, Friday: Off, except for some ankle work, foam rolling and core stuff.
7/23, Saturday (Bradbury: 19.2, 3:44:52) Some Bowdoin Cross Country legends were in town for the track reunion, so we met at The Brad for a little tour. My plan was for 4 hours, regardless of distance: mission accomplished. We all started together on a Big Brad tour, but on the way back I knew that the pace was too hot for my plans, so I dropped off the back. Some were running shorter and others are just faster and fitter than I am, but I had to put the ego away and do my own thing. By the time I turned off the Boundary Trail onto Lunchbreak Hill, I knew that I was most likely on my own for the rest of the day. I was at peace with that, since I just wanted to focus on what I needed to do. That cam into play later after I bumped into Clark. We ran together for a few miles, but he's a beast and I told him that I wouldn't be offended if he wanted to shoot off. I was happy to have the company, but I didn't want to hold him up. Eventually, he did trot away, leaving me like I was standing still. But, again, I was totally fine with it. I had to focus on not overheating. I did a great job of keeping cool by keeping the pace in check, drinking plenty, and using an ice bandana. I actually altered my route late in the run to get back to the car to refill my ice. All of that added up to the best long run that I've ever done in the heat. I think that my asthma may have something to do with all my poor results in the heat, but I'm definitely managing it better with practice and patience. All in all, this was a really solid day.



7/24, Sunday: (Cathance: 5.5, 53:15) I was very curious as to how my legs would feel today, and I was thrilled that beyond a little fatigue, I felt great. Really encouraging. Also, encouraging--my shin pain was totally gone. It was never a factor on Saturday, so it should be behind me.

TOTALS:
Miles: 41.4
Time: 7:05
Elevation: 3,383


All of that above adds up to my second longest mileage week of the year. (The first being 41.5.) It was also a big boost in elevation. There's still more work to do, but this was a great week overall.

Let's continue, shall we?

7/25, Monday: Off
7/26, Tuesday: (Cathance: 7.1, 1:09:32) Hotter than . Just happy to not melt.
7/27, Wednesday: (Highland Green: 7.3, 58:20Second try at "The Nate Dawg": 10-minute warm up, 2 x :30 hard / :90 easy with 4-minutes between sets. 12-minute cool down. Felt like garbage for the first 5 minutes, but them felt solid. Tough going in the last couple "on" stretches, which I think is the point. My hope is that workout is going to not only build speed, but also help me improve at "switching gears," which I think is critical in trail running.
7/28, Thursday: (Highland A: 5.4, 45:26) An uneventful loop, but I did notch my 100th summit of Mt. Ararat for the year. That's significant because I didn't log that number in 2015 until December 27th. I'm definitely upping the ante on the #vert this year.
7/29, Friday: Off, except for driving to Presque Isle and tackling Meatloaf Mountain.

Meatloaf this good is serious business.
7/30, Saturday: (Nordic Trail Festival, 18 miles) Stay tuned for a full race report! It deserves it. In short, it was an amazing event that wrecked me. Good times.
7/31, Sunday: Off. D and I had planned to run at the Nordic Heritage Center, but we were thrashed. A stop at the Bangor City Forest for a walk around the Orono Bog was more than enough.

Bog bridgin'
TOTALS:
Miles: 37.2
Time: 5:35
Elevation: 2,382


Honestly, a small part of me is bummed to not get over 40 again this week. But, really, that's an arbitrary number. The intensity of Saturday more than made up for it.

So where are we? I'm in the toughest point of my training right now as I'm both building the miles and intensity while trying to battle the heat of summer. I figure that if I can survive these next few weeks, I'll be in a good place. Will I be able to run 50 miles in November? Honestly, I'm still not certain. But, doubt is a powerful motivator.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Training 7/11 - 7/17

With the pattern of three weeks up and one week down, it mean that this week was a down week. Down weeks are the best!

Onto the numbers:
7/11, Monday: Off
7/12, Tuesday (Cathance: 7.1, 1:07:14): Pace was aided by actually being picked up and carried by all the deer flies. Brutal.
7/13, Wednesday (Johnson/88: 7.2, 56:36): Schedule was funky at work, so I had the chance to sneak out midday. It was HAWT! Plan was for a workout that I will call the Nate Dawg: 30 seconds hard, 90 seconds easy for 8 times per set. I did two sets of 8 with four minutes easy in between with a 10-minute warm-up and cool-down. Interesting workout. Sounds easy, but it wasn't all that easy. It's basically a structured fartlek. I did have to look at my watch a lot, which annoyed me, but otherwise it's a good workout. I'll definitely be hitting this one again. Also of note: new shoes! They're amazing in every way...especially the color...


A photo posted by Ryan Triffitt (@sn0m8n) on


7/14, Thursday (Heath Plus, 4, 36:09): Dragged a bit on this one, so perhaps the workout was harder than I thought.
7/15, Friday (Vermont, 7.8, 1:12:47): Now, that was an awesome run. Headed to Vermont to crew at the Vermont 100 and had the chance late on Friday to get out on the country roads with John and Jamie. We had a blast--including sprinting into a radar gun--and I felt great despite the heat. Running is the best.


Vermont looks like this.

7/16 & 7/17, Saturday & Sunday: Off due to crewing Amy at the Vermont 100. Crewing is an endurance event unto itself. And, unfortunately, we didn't get to crew the whole 100 miles, as a foot injury knocked her out at 58.5 miles. Total bummer, but ultrarunning is a cruel mistress. If it were easy, it'd be a called a Tough Mudder...

So, there it is a solid down week. Getting back after it this week. Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Training 7/4 - 7/10

After bemoaning my lack of consistency and flow over the last two weeks, this week really came together. It wasn't perfect, but it's the type of week that should be the paradigm moving forward. And, the resurrection of the blog is what this type of course correction is all about. It gave me a solid look at how exactly how things were going and how to correct them. Since I don't have the time or discretionary cash for a coach, it's like submitting a weekly training log to a coach--you know, without the knowledge or objectivity. Otherwise, exactly the same. As always, I'm an idiot.

Onto the numbers:
7/4, Monday: No running, but we did go on a groovy little hike as a family.
7/5, Tuesday (Cathance: 7, 1:10:04): Started sluggish, but ended up being a really solid run.
7/6, Wednesday (Mt. Ararat: 4.1, 34:26): Also started sluggishly, but this one was really encouraging. I could've definitely pushed harder and added more repeats. It's still early in the training cycle, so I didn't want to overcook things. More of these to come.
7/7, Thursday (Heath Plus: 4.2, 37:22): Easy recovery jog. Again, also started a little draggy.
7/8, Friday: Off
7/9, Saturday (Brunswick: 18, 2:36:23): Prior to this run, I struggled a bit to determine the right location--I'm not really sure why. After hemming and hawing, I decided to run to the ocean from my house. And, much like my prep for this run, it was never great, but it was never awful. All that being said, this was exactly the run that I needed. The mental training is just important as the physical, and this was a mental test. I was never really into it--before or during--but I'm really happy about that. I got it done. And, in ultrarunning, sometimes that's really all it takes.

A photo posted by Ryan Triffitt (@sn0m8n) on


7/10, Sunday (Bradbury: 5.8, 1:02:04): An easy, early morning, recovery run in the rain to check the course marking for the Bradbury Scuffle. Legs felt good, and I was probably more tired at the end of the day due to standing all morning helping out during the race. With Stone Cat on the radar, I decided to not race the summer series this year, and this weekend confirmed my choice. With a Sunday race, I wouldn't have run as long on Saturday, and I would've beat myself up on Sunday. Glad I didn't take that route--gotta be smart.

TOTALS:
Miles: 39.4
Time: 6:00
Elevation: 1,870

This week really felt like a week of training. And, it should have: it was the third of three "up weeks," and an (almost) 40-mile week, which is only my third of 2016. Plus, when I start a number of runs feeling slow or sluggish, but they end up feeling really good, then it means that my body is starting to adapt--and, hopefully, get fit. It's a feeling that I vaguely remember, and one that I like for sure. Down week on tap, then back to it, and I'm looking forward to more of the process.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Training 6/20 - 6/26 & 6/27 - 7/3

This post was a bit delayed due to some work related travel, but it's tardiness is consistent with how I've been feeling about my training of late. Nothing is flowing. It's just a bit off. No idea why, but I need to start getting my act together.

Onto the numbers:
6/20, Monday: Off
6/21, Tuesday: (Longest Day 5k at Libby Hill: 2.4 warm up/2.8 race/3 cool down; 8.3 total) The training plan called for starting speed work this week, so I jumped right in with a 5k. Perhaps not the smartest move, but I survived unscathed with a decent look at where I am right now. And, right now, my cherry picking sucks, and I can barely outkick a 13 year-old. I ended up 6th overall, but I was the 4th old guy. And, yes, I did need to outkick a small child. That being said, it was a fun time with a bunch of Trail Monsters. Plus, the Libby Hill trails were fun. It would've been fun to race on more of the singletrack, but perhaps I'll get to explore more there someday.
Respect your elders...
6/22, Wednesday: Off. Plan was to run today, but a variety of life related factors made it a zero.
6/23, Thursday: (Highland A: 5.4, 43:46) I'm starting to dig this loop.
6/24, Friday: Off. Thought about running, but decided against junk miles.
6/25, Saturday: (Topsham ATV Trails: 15.2, 2:24:25) While I didn't feel perfect every step of the way this was a great run. Sometimes I just need to be out there alone to put it all together. This was one of those days. And, I wasn't totally alone...thanks, deer flies...
6/26, Sunday: Off...sorta. Again, a run was in the plan, but it didn't happen. However, we did get out for a hike with the whole family in Camden. My hike ended with a run to get the car, since the child was having a major meltdown around possibly pooping her pants. Oh, the joys of parenting...

TOTALS:
Miles: 29
Time: 4:24
Elevation: 1,768

6/27, Monday: Off
6/28, Tuesday: (Lakefront Trail: 6.8, 53:29) My work schedule landed me in Chicago, so the Lakefront Trail was my best option. I decided that some early morning tourist running was a good option, so I head north from my hotel towards the city. While it's not my style, the Lakefront Trail is a great asset to a city the size of Chicago, and it is well-used. I can't imagine what it's like on a beautiful Saturday, as it was pretty busy with runners and bikers. Some of the bikers were ripping along, so that was a bit unnerving, but, otherwise, it was a fun, mellow run.
A photo posted by Ryan Triffitt (@sn0m8n) on
6/29, Wednesday: (Lakefront Trail: 7, 52:03) Second morning in Chicago, and my second workout in the cycle. Four-mile tempo at 6:55 pace. No idea why four miles or why 6:55 pace. It was uncomfortable. That being said, the south end of the Lakefront Trail was much quieter.
6/30, Thursday: Off. Had planned to run, but my travel and work schedule left me exhausted.
7/1, Friday: Off. No excuse.
7/2, Saturday: (Heath: 3.9, 35:26) Combined with the happiness of flying into Portland on Thursday, I was really happy to be back on home turf. I'm very lucky to be able to live in an awesome place. (Read: the Midwest kinda sucks.)
7/3, Sunday: (Cathance: 15, 2:40:29) Unlike last weekend, I was happy to company on this one, especially someone I've been running with for 20+ years. Nate and I solved most of the world's problems as we wandered through the Cathance and out to Head of Tides. We tacked on four trips up and down Mt. Ararat at the end for extra vert and manliness. Solid run.

TOTALS:
Miles: 32.8
Time: 5:01
Elevation: 1,270

Three days one week. Four the next. It's just not as consistent as I would like right now. There are some great moments in those numbers and some solid runs, but I need to be a little more buttoned-up. I'm probably nit-picking, but I know I can do better.

Most importantly, I'm officially registered for the Stone Cat 50 Mile in November. Four months to get ready. I'm very much looking forward to it.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Training 6/13 - 6/19

Another week, and that means another post! Maybe this will be a habit once again.

Plan for the week was to make this a step back week to remain consistent with the pattern of three weeks of build and one week to step back. As it turned out, I don't think I stepped back as much as I should have, but I felt good on all my runs. As always, I proceed with caution.

Onto the numbers:
6/13, Monday: Off
6/14, Tuesday: (Cathance: 6.7, 1:07:23) Easy cruise down to and along the river. Legs felt good, but the rest of my body felt "kinda draggy." Sometimes running in the evenings isn't the easiest.
6/15, Wednesday: Off. Last week was my first week with three, consecutive midweek runs, so resting today was the biggest part of the step back.
6/16, Thursday: (Highland A: 5.3, 43:05) Name for the run is derived by adding up and overs on Mt. Ararat to the "traditional" Highand Green Loop--yes, very creative. Consciously tried to hold myself back, but still managed a "snappy" pace. No complaints with that. I was a bit tight, which was only a slight bother.
6/17, Friday: Off
6/18, Saturday: (Southwest Harbor: 11.3, 2:17:49) Our annual end-of-school tradition has become a weekend in Southwest Harbor, and with my parents along, D and I were able to get out together. In short, this run was awesome. Nothing else to say...just awesome.

A photo posted by Ryan Triffitt (@sn0m8n) on


6/19, Sunday: (Heath: 4.1, 36:02): After downing a couple beers and a full rack of ribs, I'm not sure what exactly I was recovering from. Despite holding up my belly, my legs felt great.

TOTALS:
Miles: 27.6
Time: 4:44
Elevation: 2,707

So, like I said, not as much of a step back week as it probably should have been, since the miles were right, but the time was only 10 minutes less and the elevation was about 80% more. I try not to worry too much about numbers, but they do tell part of the story. I'll keep tabs on things this week and adjust if need be.

A photo posted by Ryan Triffitt (@sn0m8n) on



Monday, June 13, 2016

Training 6/6 - 6/12

As promised, it's another post! And, speaking of that post, I'm totally shocked and surprised at how many people read it or responded to it. More than that, the number of people that identified with my thoughts was pretty remarkable and humbling. My intent with the post was for my own cathartic review of the past few months, so it was comforting to know that I wasn't alone and gratifying to hopefully help others with their own running challenges. Yay Internet!

With that, my hope for these weekly recaps is for me to get a snapshot of my training. I also hope it will help me know, beyond the numbers, exactly where I am in my training. For example, if I write my weekly recap and note that I felt tired on all my runs, it will be a flag to rest a bit more the following week. That's my hope.

For those that do read these updates, I think it'll be interesting to find out that I really don't run all that much. From afar or through Facebook, it may appear that I'm crushing a ton of miles. Not true. In reality, my two biggest weeks in 2016, while training for an ultra, were only 40 miles. (More to come in my 2016-so-far recap.) There's something glamorous about running 100-mile weeks, but that's not for me. I'm just too fragile. Running a little is better (way, way better) than not running at all.

Onto the numbers:

6/6, Monday: Off. I pretty much always take Mondays off.
6/7, Tuesday: (Bradbury: 5.1, 54:42) Due to the need to be in Freeport for a meeting (was still late), I snuck in a run at The Brad with Half Bomb and Nate Dawg. Easy, conversational pace. Well, conversational enough for me to complain about the overuse/lack of care of the trails from a certain constituency. Felt good...and the run, too.
6/8, Wednesday: (Mt. Ararat: 4.2, 35:32) In the future, Wednesdays will be "Workout Wednesdays," but today was just some easy hills. Might have gone a little quicker than "necessary," but my legs are starting to come around.
6/9, Thursday: (Heath: 4.1, 36:00) First time running three consecutive days since Grayson Highlands, and my legs made certain I was aware of that fact..
6/10, Friday: Off. I pretty much always take Fridays off.
6/11, Saturday: (Fatherland: 4.6, 35:07) We traveled down to my parents' house midday, so I could attend a retirement party for my high school cross country and track coach. Scheduling was tricky, but I was able to get out for a leg-mover in the afternoon. Felt fresh, which was a good sign.
6/12, Sunday: (Willowdale: 11.9, 2:13:21) After the evening's festivities, which would only be considered festivities at my advanced age and were really only excessive eating and moderate drinking, we didn't get too early of a start. Emphasis on "we" in that last sentence, as D and I were able to get out together, thanks to my parents. (Although we did miss mini-golf.) And, despite the aforementioned festivities, I felt great. We headed to Willowdale State Forest to check out the "new" Stone Cat course. (Research, perhaps?) The running at Willowdale is pretty great and fairly easy: relatively flat and not too technical. But, trying to follow a specific route at Willowdale is nearly impossible: the trail system is a twisted spiderweb thrown into a blender. The time above does not include the 30 minutes of stops to look at the map and read the course directions. With each of those items, however, we were able to follow the course, which is smoother than I remember, but just as twisty. I had a blast out there and really enjoyed being able to spend some quiet time on the trails with my favorite adventure partner.

The ferns of Willowdale
TOTALS:
Miles: 30.1
Time: 4:54
Elevation: 1,509

All in all, a solid week. Nothing spectacular, but a good building block week. It was the third week in-a-row that I've increased my mileage, so next week will be a step-back week. And, yes, I increased to 30 miles and will be stepping back. Like I said, I don't actually run all that much. The primary focus of each week is to stay healthy, with a secondary goal of quality miles that best mimic my goal race, if there is one.