Monthly Archives: April 2012

2012 Training Log – Week 15

So I’m reading a lot about photography lately.  It’s what I do anytime I have a new interest.  Read pretty much everything about it I can get my hands on.  Running definitely falls into that category, too.  This article mentioned a great quote from Good Will Hunting:

and as Matt Damon’s character says in Good Will Hunting, you can learn everything you want in a Harvard degree for “a dollar fifty in late charges at the public library.”

Great reminder.  It has always been one of the things I love about the technology field I work in.  The information is available, and it’s freely available for the most part.  You can do, or even become an expert in, pretty much anything you want.  Just gotta put in the work.


Monday
6.5 miles

Easy run on trails at the Boneyard.  Did one lap at my 50k target effort (ended up 8:27 and 148 avg.).  The rest was easy.  I think that pace could go down a bit and the effort could go up, but the low/mid 8:00 range with a HR around 150 seems to be the sweet spot for now.


Tuesday
7 miles

Another trip to the Boneyard.  Rolled on the hilly trails for a couple laps at 8:05 pace and 149 avg heart rate.  Much better than yesterday (23 sec/mile faster at essentially the same intensity level), and a timely confidence boost.  My fitness is where I want it to be, now I just need to keep the legs fresh and execute on race day.

Stopped on the way to work to take this photo, and got my first offer to buy one of my pictures when I posted it on fb (btw, thanks Dana.).  Someday I would love to sell a few pictures, but for now I’m just having fun and practicing different techniques.  Lot’s to learn…

DSC_0017_tonemapped


Wednesday
8 miles

Flew to Chicago for work today.  Suck day as far as the travel, but the run was fantastic.  Got to the hotel @ 5pm and was running by 5:10.  There is a nice 1.6 mi dirt/gravel loop right out the door that I spun laps on.  Another guy was running on it in the opposite direction (first time I’ve ever seen another person out there), so we would see each other 2x per lap.  Interestingly, we were almost a perfect match.  I was just barely faster than him by 5 sec a mile I would guess.  That was a fun way to pass the time.  I ended up cruising pretty easily at 7:47 with a 148 avg.  Good predictor (I hope) for the 50k a few days from now.

Then it was off to the data center for some quality time with the servers.


Thursday
0 miles

Did 30 min of TRX before heading to work.  Felt strong.  Then spent the next 16 hours here:

I’ve always liked this song, but for some reason couldn’t stop hitting repeat on it today.  Seriously.  Probably listened to it 30x.  Fits well with the being away from home vibe.


Friday
6 miles

TRX plus a nice early am run with a couple of guys from work on the path around the hotel.  Feels like I caught a cold from the toddler I sat next to on the plane.  My throat is pretty sore and my brand-new cough sounds just like his did.  Another long day.  Finally finished work and got to bed @ 3am.


Saturday
0 miles

Woke up feeling rough.  From the late night, and the sore throat/cough.  Surprisingly got a little better as the day progressed.


Sunday

Earth Day 50k.  4:27, 8th overall, 1st 40-49.  Happy with that one, took ~40 min off my 50k pr.  Didn’t quite have my ‘A’ game due to the work fatigue and being a little bit sick, but ran smart and executed really well.  Fun singletrack with constant hills.


Total:  59 miles

The Agile Fox Friday Foto – 04.20.2012

After a year and a half of including a ‘pic of the week’ at the end of my weekly training summary, I’ve decided to move it to a separate post.  This will free me up to post more pictures along with my training entries (it never made much sense to post pictures from some of my runs, and then include a picture of the week on top of that).  I’m also implementing a rule that the Friday Foto needs to have been taken sometime in the last week.  No recycling.  I’m hoping this will keep me engaged in building my photography skills and help me to work harder for good shots.

This week’s photo was taken on a hike my wife and I went on last Friday night to the summit of Green Mountain in Lakewood.  We got to the top just as darkness fell, and I set up the tripod for a few shots that I bracketed at +/-2EV.  The wind was blowing hard as a cold front was moving through, and I thought I wouldn’t get anything usable due to the tripod shaking during the long exposures.  I held it down and hoped for the best.  The resulting shot is a composite of 3 exposures @ 3 sec, 13 sec, and 30 sec.  The HDR technique is good for bringing out the detail in the foreground, while not blowing out the sky with the slow shutter speed needed to get that detail.

DSC_0726_7_8_tonemapped

Singletrack City
f/8.0, 200 ISO

2012 Training Log – Week 14

I’ve been phoning these reports in for too long.  There are hundreds or thousands of runners doing the same type of weekly logs.  I read several, and have lately felt tempted to discontinue the practice of posting mine.  Mainly because I have hurried through writing the reports expecting the readers to hurry through as well.  Therefore saving them time and gaining their appreciation.  Lol.

Rather than discontinue, I thought I would take the opposite approach.  Try and make it something worth reading.  If I fail at that, it’s ok.  I at least want to put a little work into it.  If I can’t at least do that much, then it’s probably not worth doing at all.

This week was all about prepping for next weekend’s 50k, but not in the traditional sense of ‘training’ by blindly running long miles here, there, and everywhere – or in trying to advance my fitness by any large amount.  I wanted to focus on sustainable pace, and did 4 of my runs this week centered on that concept.  I am hoping to get the most out of the fitness I already have.

Much like a golfer spends hours at a driving range ‘grooving’ their swing, I wanted to try and do the same thing with my 50k target pace.  I don’t know much about the course I’ll be running, but am expecting a steady barrage of hills mixed with twisty singletrack in the trees, and some exposed flat sections.  I found an area with a two mile dirt loop that mimics what I expect the course to be like.  Then I did progressively longer runs on that loop during the week at the pace I am hoping to run during the race.  During each run I would set my Garmin to display average pace and payed close attention to what the effort felt like on the combination of climbs, descents, and flats to keep it in the range where I wanted it to be in.

Not a practice makes perfect approach…, but perfect practice makes perfect.  Or something like that.

credit: nms-golf.com

Hopefully, this will help me settle in during the race and just hold my pace rather than getting caught up in running against others.  I’ll save that for the last 6-8 miles if I have anything left.


Monday
10 miles

Had a hard time with this one.  I think the run up Carpenter Peak took a little more out of me than I thought.  When I’m in this phase of recovering from a 100 miler (2 weeks ago), I often have strong days where I push the pace.  The difference is that I don’t bounce back from those days very fast.  I’m racing again in 2 weeks so I picked a moderately hilly route and aimed for a steady pace.  Trying to emulate the terrain and speed of the race.  I felt slow and holding the pace I wanted was harder than I wanted.


Tuesday
7.5 miles

Another grinder.  Didn’t push too hard, but didn’t slack off, either.  Legs are tired and not very snappy.

Bike – 10 miles

Got out on the mountain bike for the first time since October!  Wow, I have really neglected one of my favorite activities.  Gotta be careful not to turn into a running robot.  Anyway, the ride was great.  The scout troop I work with is taking a big multi-day trip to Fruita to ride the trails so we took them out on a warm-up ride for the big event.  It was a great time.  We practiced riding some curbs and stairs at the school, then made our way down into Chatfield for some good singletrack riding.  I’ve been in kind of a funk that last few days, tired, cranky, and just feeling negative in general.  It only took a couple of miles of swooping through the trees for me to have a big dumb grin on my face.  That was some much needed diversion!

I was hanging back with one of the least experienced boys and started wondering to myself what kind of shape the water crossing was going to be in.  I figured it’d be pretty high with it being spring time.  Sure enough, we came around a corner to find everyone stopped and eyeballing the liquid expanse between us and the continuing trail.  I kept rolling right on through and into the water.  I could see the bottom, and it was a long way down!  I was committed and gave it my best shot.  Definitely one of the deeper crossings I’ve made, and fairly long as well.  The tops of the tires were well underwater and you had to ride at an angle against the current to keep from being pushed downstream.  There was a second where I thought I was done for, but I muscled through and made it.

After that, we all spent the next 20 minutes or so riding back and forth, taking pics and video and such.  It was a great time, and a good reminder to me that there is much more to life than just training for training’s sake.

AM approaches the deep stuff. He is a great rider, and I gave him huge admiration for making it across. But I also gave him endless cr@p for stopping to take his socks off first.


Wednesday
7 miles

One of my fastest runs of the year.  Low percieved effort which is always a huge bonus.  Great feeling!  Last night’s ride did wonders for my attitude, and also for my calf.  I’ve had a nasty knot in my right calf for weeks that has been very stubborn.  Today it felt like it was about 85% gone.


Thursday
12 miles

Solid day of 50k training for the upcoming race.  Held 8:30 pace on hilly trails with an average HR of 147.  Seems like I could push harder, but I will target this pace/effort for the first 20 miles of the race and see how it goes.

Flirting with a 2 year low on the scale today.  Time to take the belt down a notch.


Friday
6.5 miles

Legs were ready for a rest.  Jogged with Stu over at the Boneyard for the first time in several weeks.  Great to get over there again and the miles flew by.

Hike – 2.5 miles

My wife and I hiked to the top of Green Mountain (Lakewood) with headlamps.  I practiced getting some long-exposure night shots of the city, it’s such a great view from up there at night.  A cold front moved through about 5 minutes after we made it to the top.  The wind was blowing so hard I have my doubts about how good the pictures will turn out, and haven’t had time to review them yet.


Saturday
15 miles

Another day of grooving the pace on my 2 mile race simulator loop.  Perceived effort seemed pretty high today, but I think if I back off and rest for a little bit things will come together.  I don’t usually train like I have done this week, it’s been a nice change.  Usually, I train at harder intensities with the hope that things will feel easier when I back it down to race pace (for an ultra).  Today I was wondering – why race at all if you are just going to run by heart rate and average pace like a robot?  I could do a solo run like that any day.

I guess the key will be to start out that way, and then ‘race’ later on if there is something left.

Today’s run was tough mentally.  I was tired and just not into it very much.  I’m glad I stuck it out, though.  I ended up dwelling on a problem at work for much of the first hour, then actually had one of those total lightbulb moments where I came up with an excellent solution.  That was nice!


Sunday
OFF


Total: 61.4 miles / 9:53

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