I have to be honest, I’ve been letting you all down….A LOT!!
I was thinking during my long run this weekend….my training has been pretty solid but I can't help anyone if I never post about my training. It's been over a weeks since my last post...hello….dropping the ball!!
Not sure how many others are training for an ultra but the point is that I’ve worked through a lot of good things over the last couple months and someone could really benefit from all that trial and error that I had to go through to get ready for this 50k.
So below is that first true recap that I’ve done in a while starting with last weeks runs. I’m planning to throw up posts until the week of the 50k so I can share details about my 50k training.
Small heads up, a few weeks back I had to change to a Mon – Sun schedule because I started doing my long runs on Sunday mornings.
Monday, October 17th – Planned: 6 miles with hill repeats Actual: 5.14 hard miles
Little background on this run. My running buddies and I run the same two routes each week. One is a 5-6 mile out and back and the other is 4-5 miles of hill repeats. Because we run the same trails each week, I always see Strava records pop up on my account. This had me wondering what kind of effort I could throw down on the Out and Back segment.
I was still on vacation Monday so I was able to start my run a little bit later. Everything fell in line and this quickly turned into a Strava chasing attempt. This segment is 5 miles and includes just under 800 feet of elevation gain. The top spot is holding at 36 minutes and I honestly thought I could snatch up that top spot. How wrong I was lol.
First off, I didn’t even know what the d#@$ segment actually was. The first quarter of a mile I warmed up at a very slow pace to where I thought the segment started. I checked the time on my watch and off I went. The first 1.5 miles is a long steady climb rising about 300 feet. My goal was to get to the saddle and I would be able to coast the down hill that came on the backside of this climb. I got to the turn around point a little behind where I wanted to be but was sure I would be able to BOMB the downhill after the saddle again and make up that time. I was grinding through the climb back to the saddle and even took a small section to power hike to catch my breathe right before the downhill. Got to the downhill section and just put my head down and plowed down the trail. I got to the point where I thought the segment started, checked my watch and thought for sure I was looking at 39 minutes or so. From that point I pretty much walked back to the parking lot. When I checked my time on Strava it was showing as 44 minutes….WTH!!! As I looked further, the d#@$ section that I used to warm up and that I finished by walking was a part of the segment…..YOU IDIOT…..LOL. Needless to say I missed the Strava record and ended up with the 11th best time overall. Looking over the segment I had two major takeaways:
- I need more hills!! That 300 feet of climbing should be a piece of cake and I need to do more repeats so that slow steady climb is a piece of cake for me.
- Know the d#@$ segment!! I know I can crack the top five if I run the whole segment. Not sure when I will get another attempt but I can gurantee all of you, I will be going after it again.
Training wise I was supposed to do hill repeats but I think I more than made up for it with the amount of effort that I put in during this workout. I was really happy with this run.
Tuesday, October 18th - Planned: 5 miles Actual: 4 miles with hill repeats
This was supposed to be a straight forward run but the guys were running hill repeats so I decided to jump on board. We typically run about 3 or 4 laps that add up to the 4 miles. This ended up being 4 miles with 1100 feet of climbing. Nothing special here, a lot of grinding through the burn.
Wednesday, October 19th - Planned: 8 miles Actual: 9 miles
I am really loving my Wednesday runs. I start out at 4 am with my group of guys. We did hill repeats again and day 2 is always a struggle. With the first group I was able to get 4 miles. The second groups starts at 5 am so I grabbed some water, threw down a banana, and then headed out with the second group. With the second group I was able to get an additional 5 miles. The total for the day ended up being 9 miles and 2000 feet of climbing.
Thursday, October 20th - Planned: 5 miles Actual: Rest Day
My legs were pretty shot from all the elevation gain so I shut it down, slept in, and just used the day as a rest day.
Friday, October 21st - Planned: Rest Day Actual: 5 miles
To make up for my missed run on Thursday, I turned my rest day into a nice easy recover run. Met up with the guys early in the morning and knocked out the 5 mile out and back trail. Not nearly the pace that I had on Monday when I was chasing the Strava segment but it felt good to shake out my legs. Run ended up being 5 miles with 800 feet of elevation gain.
Saturday, October 22nd - Planned: 8 miles Actual: 7.5 miles
This was a rough run. We had youth sports at 8am and I didn’t feel like getting up super early to get my miles in before our plans. After my son's game, I headed to the mountain to knock out my miles. The gauge on the truck said that temps were hovering around 90*…great! I made sure to fill up on water and really focused on taking my time throughout the run. It really sucked grinding through the heat but I'm really glad that I'm getting some heat training in right now. We should have cool temps at the 50k but I want to be prepared if that sun is beating down on me all day. This run ended up being 7.5 miles with 1000 feet of elevation gain.
Sunday, October 23rd - Planned: 20 miles Actual: 15.5 miles
One of only a few long runs left before things start to taper off. I decided to head to the actual trails where the 50k will be taking place to start getting familiar with the trails. Man oh man am I glad I decided to get out on these trails. I've never run at this park before and I actually spent a lot of time making sure I was on the right trails and not heading in the wrong direction. The majority of the race takes place on one main 15 mile loop and has additional smaller loops added on throughout the race. This 15 mile loop was where I wanted to start.
This run couldn’t have gone any better. I started a bit later than I wanted but did manage to get a few miles in before the sun came up. Even when the sun came up, things stayed pretty cool and it wasn’t until the end of my run that I really started to feel the heat. As I was going along the trail, I made sure to stopd at each trail crossing/junction to look at the course map and make some mental notes of where everything was at. There are a few more trails I need to scout over the next few weeks so I should be fully familiar with the course by the time the race comes.
My hydration was perfect, I had two flasks and some back up water in my bladder which was plenty for the entire run. My fueling was spot on as well, I went with my PB&J sandwiches for my solid food and supplemented with electrolyte powder. This was my first time using electrolyte powder and I could significantly notice that I wasn’t losing as much salt and did not have salt deposit all over me after the run.
There were so many positives I took out of this run. I was seriously confident after I was done and made sure to message my coach after the run beacause I was on cloud nine. This run ended up being 15.5 miles with 800 feet of elevation gain.
Totals, October 17th - October 23rd - Total for the week was 46 miles and 6500 feet of elevation gain.
Only thing I can say is that this was a solid week and my confidence is high.