Thursday, March 31, 2011

Uphill. Both Ways. In The Snow.


Continuing the catch-up theme, I'll do a little time-traveling back to Sunday.  The Vermont weather for my long run has been pretty consistently mid-20s and windy for weeks on end.  I suppose I can't be too foul; it's only been really ugly one day, but it would be uber-nice to take a long run without layering!

I missed doing the full 20 miles on my schedule last weekend and my nutrition was still somewhat suspect from being on the road for a week, so I stuck to my planned 13 mile run.  As I was preparing to go out, I stopped and realized that I was approaching this as "short, easy run."  13 miles.  That's just not right!

Knowing that I'd had an easy week I chose a challenging route that had over 1100' of elevation change (elevation map, below).  Some of the hills were rolling, some were long and steady, one was redonkulous.  It truly seemed like 60% of the run was uphill, 30% was flat, and 10% was downhill.  After the first major climb I took a couple of minutes to walk out a bit of the downhill.  I knew already my quads were going to be sore for a few days and I wanted to make sure I still had enough in the tank to get home!  There were about 4-5 miles of this run that I'd never even driven before and, while the map didn't look that bad, I wasn't exactly sure what was in store for me.

I think my biggest mistake was assuming I knew where the ridgeline peaked on the run.  While I more or less got it right, what I didn't take note of was that the were a few hills after the peak.  Considering that my mental picture for the run was "after the peak, downhill all the way home," you can understand my disbelief that I was (still) running uphill (again) only 3 miles from home.

It ended up as a good run and, considering the route, my ~8:30 pace was a solid effort.  Writing this on Wednesday, my quads are still sore, but some of that is from yesterday's run.  Running hills is great training and running a course like this certainly improves mental toughness, but I think my next few long runs will seek out flatter terrain, letting the distance be the challenge.
2011-MAR-27 Run Stats (RunKeeper)
2011-MAR-27 Run Graph (Nike+)
2011-MAR-27 Diet Log

Monday, 03/28 -Wednesday, 03/30:
Briefly, Monday's gym class had a new trainer (apparently we scared off the other guy!).  The trainer now is the guy who runs Wednesday's Kettlebell class, so Monday will likely focus more on upper body and Wednesday on lower body.  My shoulders, arms, and chest were definitely a little shaky after class!
2011-MAR-28 Diet Log

Tuesday was a return to "normal" intervals.  This week's prescription was 2 x (6 x 400m) with a 1:30 RI (Rest Interval) between intervals and an extended 2:30 RI between sets.  I ended up going for a 200m RI to keep the distances easy to remember.  The "fast" pace put me on 15.0kph and I ran the entire first set at this pace and the first half of the second set at this pace.  For the last 3 intervals, I bumped the speed up a third of a kph with each interval, ending my last doing 400m+ at 16.0 kph.  It felt good to complete a workout and be right where the plan says you need to be (or a bit ahead).  Of course, that's gotten me thinking about giving my training pace a bump to bring a bit more challenge to the weekly runs!
2011-MAR-29 Run Graph (Nike+)
2011-MAR-29 Diet Log

Wednesday was "Daddy-Daycare" day.  Laura had clustered several appointments together today and this was the first day our contractor was out here starting drywall repair from the water leak we had a few months ago.  Opportunities for exercise were minimal, but I did manage to get out for a 5k walk with the family.  As I said yesterday, training reports are quite easy to write when no actual training occurred!
2011-MAR-30 Diet Log
2011-MAR-30 Walk (Runkeeper)

That gets me pretty well caught up on the exercise portion.  In the coming weeks, I have a half-marathon "race" (in quotes because I'm still not sure how I'm going to approach the event), another business trip, and hopefully a bit of exploration into diet and nutrition, possibly some new shoes, and probably a little bit of running.

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