Friday, June 06, 2008

Bulking Up

Monday was Memorial Day (yes, I am way behind in my reports) and Freddy's team had the potential for a full day of games if they went all the way in their tournament. Unfortunately, they only made it to the quarter-finals. It did however, let us enjoy a bit of the nice weather we had on this last day of the long weekend. After some errands, I did a 4 miler with my wife and then headed right back out to knock off another 8 miles on my own. My legs definitely thanked me for the two days of rest I'd given them and I was very happy to start the week with a nice 12 mile day. Since I wasn't going to get a 50 miler in before Bighorn, I decided that this week would be a big mileage week followed by some standard mileage going into my 50K the following week. I had the idea in my head to bulk up my miles and shoot for a 70+ week. I don't know that I have ever notched greater than that number in a pure training week (i.e. not including weeks with 100K or 100-mile races).

The remainder of the week progressed along fairly normal lines (3 miles w/Zane Tue, 8.5 Wed, 8.5 Thu., 5 Fri) and I was heading into the weekend with 37 miles. My wife's schedule called for 8 miles on Saturday morning and I figured I could knock off another 8-10 easy miles in the afternoon. That would put the 70 mile goal within fairly easy reach without the need for a crazy long run on Sunday though I did want to hit some good hilly trails. Once again, my wife continued to impress me (while continuing to ignore my conservative advice) and went on to do 9 miles on Saturday even battling through a side stitch late in the run. However, she said her legs and everything else felt fine and the coming week was a planned "back-off" week for her. I had not pre-formed idea about where to run in the afternoon and just figured that wherever I could get it in would be fine as long as I brought my miles up over 50 before Sunday. Zane was heading to Miami in the morning for work and needed to head to the office in the afternoon to prepare. That gave me the idea to head over to my default Penninsula location of Purisima Creek. A nice down-and-up there would give me 8-10 miles as well as some good hills. I promised myself to take it easy, but would allow extra miles if I felt it (that would just be less required of Sunday).

Driving up Skyline the fog grew ever thicker as I watched the temperature gauge creep down into the 40s. There was certainly not going to be any heat training on this run! I brought my moeben sleeves (Miwok) and gloves as well as my windbreaker (Firetrails). I also decided to use my hydration pack on this run to test a different bladder in it. I have some new gear updates/changes recently, but I'll leave those aside for another post. At first I headed out with only the sleeves and gloves, but as soon as I entered the deep trees it was not only extremely cold, but I was getting wet from tree drippings. I immediately headed back to the car and donned the jacket that I ended up keeping on the entire time. As I headed down trail, I realized that, while I wouldn't get any heat training in, I might actually get a little mud training as things were quite wet over here. It made the trails very soft and added to the always enjoyable running in this park. For those in the know, I started on the North Ridge Trail then headed down the wonderfully switchbacky (?) Whittmore Gulch Trail. This descends about 1500ft in just under 4 miles. Always a good way to start a run. The original idea was to head back up Harkins Ridge and back over to North Ridge with maybe a little extra mileage for 8 total. However, I was feeling so good upon reaching the bottom that I decided to head up the Purisima Creek so I could cut over on my favorite Soda Gulch Trail and get more like 10 miles in. In fact, I was feeling so good upon reaching the Soda Gulch intersection that I continued climbing for another mile or so before turning back around to head back to my start point on the wonderfully rolling single-track. Despite the cold, I had a great run and managed to take it easy on the near-3000ft of climbing. The final tally for the run put me at right around 13 miles. This made my weekly total 59 and put an audacious idea into my head.

Sunday morning I had to be up at 4am to get my wife to the airport. Unfortunately, I didn't get to bed early and 3 hours sleep was not what I wanted to finish my big week of running so I went right back to sleep upon returning home. It was that good, deep, Sunday morning type of sleep and it was lovely. I finally rolled out of bed around 11 and took my time getting things going. However, I eventually got my act together and 2pm found me in Sonol running across the bridge onto the Ohlone Wilderness Trail. The goal was distant Rose Peak, the high point of the recent Ohlone 50K and one of the highest peaks in the area at just under 3800ft. I basically followed the path of the recent race, but took a few exploratory excursions onto side trails both to satisfy my natural curiosity as well as to add some extra mileage. The weather was the opposite of what I had experienced on the other side of the bay just a day earlier with clear skies and warm air. It wasn't quite as warm as my last trip here two weeks prior especially with the nice cooling breeze. I worked on my uphill pace and just enjoyed being out there on the trail alone. I don't think I saw another soul beyond the first 45 minutes. I reached the peak after about 10 miles in under 2 1/2 hours then headed down to Maggies to refill my pack and start the trip home. I took a few more short excursions on the mostly-downhill return trip. I was really in no hurry as I was so much enjoying the trail. But, I did get a late start so eventually I had to pick things up and get home to take care of dinner for Freddy. After a little more than 4 1/2 hours of running, I returned to the parking lot feeling exhausted and fulfilled, about 21.5 miles and over 5000ft of climbing. Just as I was heading out, my phone rang. I knew it was Freddy and he was probably wondering about dinner. However, rather than his usual query of "what's for dinner" he immediately asked, "can we go to sushi?" for protein, rice for carbs and a nice muscle relaxant to wash it all down. How perfect is that!

Oh yeah, and my weekly mileage total....80.7 miles. A new PR! The farthest I've gone in a week that didn't include a 100 mile race.

This week I have been taking it fairly light, but not too light. I don't plan to race hard at Mt. Diablo so I am still targeting close to 60 miles for the week including the race. I expect to be running on tired legs, but then it will be taper time so this is the final training push.


Nathan said...

80 Miles per week! That is quite a feat. I'm wondering how you have time to fit it in? I'm working hard towards 2 goals, a full Ironman and an Ultra, but I'm having a hard time finding the time. Thanks for the inspiration, I love the blog.


Eudemus said...


Well, by some ultrarunners standards 80 miles isn't all that much, but I definitely had to work to fit it in. Between work, family and other commitments, such mileage is really only possible to me by running twice a day and/or doubling up on the weekend. It isn't something I can do often.

As for the general time, I think that an Ironman actually takes more training time than even a 100 mile ultra. I have only done an Olympic distance triathlon, but between bike and swim training, it took a LOT more time than running. It isn't just the training time either as bikes require preparation and maintenance and swimming usually requires driving someplace.

Best of luck in your endeavors!