Sunday, April 18, 2010

Weekly Summary: April 12-18

Mon-AM: 15 miles (2:19) Green Mt. up Back down Bear Cyn, 3000'
Started really slow with Jocelyn and Martin. Felt better by the end.
PM: 8 miles (1:04) Creek Path+4mi barefoot at Kitt

Tue-AM: 15 miles (2:12) Green Mt. up Front down Bear Cyn, 3000'
Climbed in 35:50 despite tired legs and losing at least two minutes to the glacier ice on the Greenman trail. 1mi barefoot.
PM: 8 miles (1:03) McClintock-Mesa-Skunk Cyn with Jocelyn, 1000'
Ran from the Law School between classes. Finished with some barefoot.

Wed-AM: 17 miles (2:30) Bear Peak and Green Mt. up Fern, 4000'
27:25 from Mesa trail to summit post (5:10, 9:45, 12:30) and then 14:05 from Bear Creek to top of Green.  Lots of ice above the Saddle on Fern probably cost me ~1min. Fern is ridiculous--2100' in probably only 1.5 miles or so. Although historical comparison will be lost, I'm looking forward to OSMP re-routing this trail this summer and maybe making it reasonably runnable. Felt okay on the uphills this morning, awkward on the downhills.
PM: 6 miles (:47) Creek Path
Took it nice and easy, but legs felt good.

Thu-AM: 17 miles (2:26) Green Mt. and Bear Peak, 4000'
Bascially ended up tempoing the whole loop Chat-to-Chat (up Front of Green, down Green-Bear to Bear West Ridge, down Fern and back on Mesa) in 1:46. Climbed Green in 32:58 and was on PR pace before having to hike significant sections of ice on Greenman.  West Ridge of Bear in 23:15. Fern above the saddle was pretty slow descending with ice/snow, too. This run reminded me of a conversation I was having with my buddy Martin last week.  One morning we ran up the back of Green together in 41ish minutes and he asked how that compared to my "100 mile race-pace" to which I replied that it mattered what part of the 100 miler we were talking about.  In the first 60 miles of a 100 I would probably run up Green in 37 or 38 minutes.  The last 40 miles it would probably be more like 40-45 minutes, depending on how the day is going. So, in that vein, while I was cruising faster-than-usual this morning I realized that I was really just running ~50K-50 miler intensity, maybe a bit harder on the steepest portions of the climbs.  All in all, a pleasant way to get in some up-tempo, race-terrain-specific running.
PM: 8 miles (1:00) Creek Path-Skunk Creek-Kitt with Jocelyn
Legs felt great and the 4mi of barefoot was at a relaxed 7-flat pace.

Fri-AM: 15 miles (2:15) Green Mt. up and down Back, 2800'
Cool morning with low clouds. Took it very relaxed up in 38:55 and then tacked on 3mi of barefoot at Kitt at the end.  My right VMO is a bit sore/tight, so I got a couple twinges in the knee now and then.

Sat-AM: 50 miles (7:30) 2xGreen-Walker CCW-Eldo-Old Mesa-Bear
, 13,000'
Green #1: (36:40) 16:15, 17:15, 3:10; Green #2: (35:35) 16:00, 16:40, 2:55; Green via Bear Cyn: (35:10) 20:50, 11:00, 3:20; Green #4: (38:30) 16:40, 18:25, 3:25. Green ascents 1,2, and 4 were all via the standard Gregory-Ranger route. Great day of running.  Felt very solid all day except for the last 1000' of the last time up Green.  Eight gels.  Got drenched in a downpour in Bear Cyn.  Soaked in Boulder Creek afterwards.

Sun-AM: 16 miles (2:24) Green Mt., up Back down Bear Cyn, 3000'
Gorgeous morning.  Super relaxed 39:35 climb. Quads not sore, just tired on the downhills. 1mi barefoot at the end.
PM: 14 miles (2:00) Green Mt., up Back down Bear Cyn, 3000'
Huge (~2min) PR of 33:39 up the Gregory-Ranger route.  Bonked hard coming down Bear Cyn (still operating on a pretty big calorie deficit from yesterday, I think), but came out of it and finished the run off nicely on a beautiful evening.

-Miles: 189
-Hours: 27h 30min
-Vertical: 36,800'

2010 Summits (Day 108)
-Green: 124
-Bear: 6
-SoBo: 1
Just a great week all around.  As usual, by Wednesday I was recovered from the previous weekend and was able to put in a solid climb up Fern Canyon.  As the snow melts out above the saddle on that trail I'll definitely be looking to get back there regularly (once a week?) and hopefully get a decently quick time in eventually.  I was going to say something about how solid Thursday's run was then, too, but I've generally just been climbing extremely well all week long.  To the point where I have to start thinking that a 33min ascent up the Front side of Green is pretty typical, as is 36 or 37min up the Back side.

My run this evening, though, was certainly notable in my eyes.  Jocelyn and I were at the public library putting in a standard Sunday afternoon study session, but I couldn't resist the incredible weather outside so I slipped on my 5oz. hot orange slippers, shucked my jeans and shirt, and bolted out the doors for a late afternoon voyage up my favorite local peak.  On the warm-up to the trailhead via 6th St. I could feel some surprisingly good bounce in my legs (considering 50 miles yesterday and the run up Green I'd already completed this morning), so was excited to hit the uphill trails.

(Forget training, shoes this hot will take 2min off your PR all by themselves!)
I chose my standard Gregory-Ranger route because I knew it would have the best footing with just one significant section of slippery, slushy, packed snow remaining on the upper switchbacks.  My custom configuration of New Balance's MT100s are certainly extremely light and low-profile, but the featherweight outsole doesn't always offer the greatest purchase on non-dirt surfaces.  Once headed up the mountain, I could tell right away that the legs were there.  This was confirmed by my time-checks on the bottom half of the climb: 5:35 to the 2nd Bridge, 12:40 to my-rock-at-the-beginning-of-the-flat-section-before-the-creek-crossing, and a PR 15:25 to the Ranger Cabin.

Above here I wasn't sure how my legs and aggressive pace would respond to the stubborn patches of snow on the steep ridge section, so I just focused on dialing in the effort and was very careful to not overstep the boundary between sustainable oxygen debt and an unsustainable accrual of lactic acid.  I've found that striking this delicate balance is the essential aspect to attaining one's absolute best effort in a hill-climbing test.  Because, once that line is crossed, the mountain rarely offers any sort of opportunity for recovery and one is forced to slow down significantly in order to get back on the right side of things.
Fortunately, I did a fairly good job of keeping the effort reasonable and hit the Crest in 23:20 and the last-log-before-the-final-switchbacks-start in 28:00.  From there to the 4-way junction, I was certainly slowed by slick slush and snow and was forced to hike a few steps, but still hit the final time-check in 30:52.  The remainder of the climb was a hypoxia-induced haze of gasping, grunting, and high-knee stepping up the rocks until I reached the summit (but not the summit rock cairn...people were in the way) in 33:39. 

I would definitely be interested in knowing what the FKT is on this route.  With a completely snow-free trail and rested legs (as in, not the day after a 50 miler), I think I could maybe shave another full minute off this evening's time.  My best empirical guesstimate is that the Gregory-Ranger route is ~3min longer than the shorter, steeper Amp-Saddle-Greenman route.  Considering that Rickey Gates has slayed that in a stunning sub-29min time, I would bet that he could do something in the sub-32 range on the backside route.

However, tonight's sprint up the hill only makes me even more excited at the prospect of being able to some day soon have a legitimate shot at breaking 30min up the front.  We'll see.  We need to organize a reprisal of last Spring's 8er Time Trial series, don't you think, Jeff?

Finally, TV On The Radio is without a doubt at the top of my list of Bands I Still Want To See Live (okay, The Kills might give them a little competition), especially given videos portraying such peformances as this:


Unknown said...

Awesome week. Have you run Miwok 100 before? Any target times in mind?

By the way, i have taken the liberty of socializing your blog amongst my running friends. Just to show that guys like you exist. :)

Anonymous said...

That ankle cut is curious. No matter how carefully I angle the cut to avoid foam contact with my skin it still manages to irritate me a lot. I've even gone so far as to stitch some thin fleece over the top.

I'm interested in seeing what New Balance does with the new minimalist models you mentioned in yesterday's comments. However, I don't think I'll purchase another pair of their shoes. The only thing that might interest me at this point is a 5-7oz zero-drop RL-3 last (or wider) shoe with 5-8mm cleats--basically a mud racing flat.


Anton said...

Well, yeah, I don't envision NB (or any company but Inov-8 or Ice Bugs or Walsh) building any mud-racing flats in the near future.

However, rest assured NB is working on some innovative new minimalist shoes (both road and trail) built on a brand-new, barefoot-specific last.

Building a new last isn't a trivial thing in the shoe manufacturing world, and despite my obvious bias and interest in NB, I think many will see some of the new shoes they're working on as definitely pushing the envelope a bit and showing a serious commitment to the less-is-more ideal.

As for the heel issues on the 100s, NB is absolutely aware of them. I've had some issue with mine, but the specific cut in this shoe I've had to do in almost every pair of shoes I've ever owned because of nasty-deep cracks I get in my achilles during the winter from not wearing socks while running through snow. It's not something that's unique to the 100s, for me.


Thomas said...

thats awesome looking forward to those new shoes, do you know when they will be coming out? Also ive seen your irunfar interview before last years leadville and now i see a picture of your shoes, do you just shave of the back midsole heel and chop down the foam at the back of the ankle or do you make other mods to your 100's considering you mentioned them weighing in around 5 ounces?

thomas said...

also are those special 100's specifically made for you or something cause the whole midsole and outsole looks a little different

Anonymous said...

is not that heel a little bit too high ??? :)I will cut it

Michael Shane Helton said...

That is not the MT100 sole. Pretty sure it is the NB790 sole.

Tony, I would put money on you breaking the 29min mark on that climb.

Anton said...

Regarding the shoes, Michael got it right. I don't make any modifications other than lowering the heel's midsole a bit. The 101s will be out in October and the barefoot-inspired shoes should be early 2011.

Eh, Rickey's quite the mountain runner...29min would be a definite stretch for me on the front side of Green.

Barry Bliss said...

Anton, reading your posts has been very helpful to me.
I have some other things that I do seriously and I was a bit worried that an occasional run of 8 miles or more would use up too much energy.
Seeing how many miles you successfully run in a week lightened my concerns quite a bit.
I would still like to give you a free cdr of my new songs, but I am not sure how to do it.
If I give my email address and someone emails me I won't know if it's you.
If interested in receiving this gift do you have any suggestions?

Unknown said...

Anton, as ever your posts help inspire my running efforts over here in the UK.

It confirms though that altough we both like running, we're doing very different sports. I'm sitting here feeling like death after my pathetic long run for this week of 23 miles which includes only hills that you wouldn't list for elevation change!

The only thing that might make you a little jealous is that this year I shall be "enjoying" my UTMB entry, but the crux is I'm there to complete whereas I hope we see you over here sometime to compete for it! I intend to get full value for money and make maximum allowance of the cutoffs at each checkpoint, but whilst I hope it's not too sycophantic to say, it's posts like yours which will keep me going through the training and race itself.

Keep having fun, and best of luck for the season!

thomas said...

thanks tony

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Burt said...

Awesome week. The recovery from the 50 mile run is particularly impressive. My apologies if you have addressed this previously, but I am curious as to what, if any, stretching or strengthing work you do?

Rick said...

Great week! I was flying home Saturday and noticed on the little display that we were flying at just under 36,000' so I looked out the window, but didn't see you. You must've been about a 1,000' above us;-)

Anonymous said...

You are a rare talent for sure.

2 quick questions though....Do you put a pencil and a small notebook in the front of your Daisy Dukes to keep track of all your splits up and down and around all of the mountains that you run?

Do you ever just run and not worry about the logbook and the watch?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous(April 20, 1:44 PM)asked some great questions... In a similar vein: Tony, how much your running is about endless counting all those numbers, hours and minutes, splits and elevations? In your interviews I can hear a free-spirit guy who loves running for its own beauty and sake. And I love it! But, when I read your detailed "reports" I see a kind of pedantic competitor. I don't wanna sound rude, I just don't get it...

Barry Bliss said...

If you work a job and also do art you understand there is no conflict here.
Most of us shift back and forth between business and art daily.
Speaking for myself (and obviously not Anton), I have no problem pushing a button on my watch, letting go of all expectations and running for the joy of it, then pushing the button on my watch again.

TrailClown said...

Is the innovative New Balance "barefoot-specific last" shoe going to be similar to the Vasque Transistor shoe released this year?

Erik Sagerdahl said...

Good luck on the Miwok 100...I dont think you need it though. Ijust came across your blog and would love to know any advice you have on how to increase milage and stay injury free...

Faceless Ghost said...

Sorry to follow up on the (seemingly hostile) anonymous thread above, but it raises an interesting question--how do you maintain the balance between work and play in your running?

When I first took up road racing (cycling) my training was similar to yours--lots of miles, lots of climbing. And it worked well. But at some point things went wrong, and after a bad season I started working with a coach. Although my fitness returned, the sport was never the same to me. I think the biggest reason is that I went from getting to train to having to train. Riding up and down mountain passes felt like play, but lactate-threshold intervals felt like work.

In an attempt to decompress, I've recently moved from cycling to running, and my training involves mostly just running, using trails and hills to build strength and speed for me. But of course, as I start racing there's the desire to win, which leads me to think about how I can change my running to maximize my improvement, which increases the chances of tipping the balance from play to work.

So, to get back on topic, how do you balance the work aspect (workout tracking, splits, speedwork, etc.) with the play? I remember reading one of your posts about sacrificing an "aesthetic" run for a "goal-oriented" run in preparation for Leadville. How do you go about keeping the scales balanced. Or do you not worry about it at all?

Anton said...

Ah, nothing like procrastinating, so I guess I'll dive in here:

To the Anonymous commenters: if you're not willing to claim ownership of a comment, that's a pretty good sign that it's not a worthwhile contribution and you should probably just refrain from hitting the "Enter" key. But, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt (because you both do sound vaguely interested), and respond.

A) I just have a really good memory. No pencil and notepad needed. Seriously, my watch doesn't even have a split function.

B) I have degrees in both Physics and Philosophy. Such a dichotomy should indicate to you that it's been a long time since I've tried to put myself into a pre-conceived box. On a daily basis, I try really hard (but, of course, don't always succeed) to extend the same respect to everyone else.

No. The Transistor is just more of the same-old, same-old--huge midsole, built-up heel, etc. The new NB shoes--although still in the early prototype stage--should prove to be very viable footwear alternatives for someone who appreciates the benefits and freedom of barefoot running but recognizes that sometimes you need a little more than just, say, FiveFingers. Especially if you want to run fast over technical trail.

Sorry, man. I have no secrets. I've had more than my share of injuries, too. It's just about listening very carefully to your body and realizing that adaptation is a gradual process that can't be forced.

Great question. I err on the side of "keep it fun". For me, that means charging up and down mountains, and even timing myself and taking splits! That typically does NOT mean doing structured speedwork on the road or track, quantitatively paying attention to my heart rate or lactate threshold (I definitely tune in to these things on a more intuitive, qualitative level, however), or doing much in the way of stretching/strengthening exercises. My whims may change, and my way certainly won't work for everyone, it's just what I like. Find out what resonates with you on something deeper than an ego-level and pursue it with all the passion you can muster. For me, one of those things--maybe the primary thing--is running in the mountains. And yes, I'll reserve my right to continue looking at my watch now and then, because I still got me some ego...;-)


Runescape gold said...

That is not the MT100 sole. Pretty sure it is the NB790 sole.