Monday, January 28, 2013

American Canyon 50K Training Week Seven: Two Steps Forward, No Looking Back

Stinson Beach

Week seven was a volume PR, I ran over 60 miles. A couple visits to my new chiropractor helped work out the niggles midweek, and my weekend back-to-back runs culminated in Stinson Beach for the Steep Ravine Trail Marathon, which lives up to it's name with hundreds of steps carved into the side of a... (wait for it)... steep ravine! My body continues to amaze me as I push through discomfort in search of more endurance. Sunday night brought some gnarly cramping when I sat long enough to get stiff (e.g. in the car on the way home and while elevating my legs post-shower), but I could walk relatively normally and my ankles felt looser than they had in weeks, as if 27 trail miles was just what the doctor had ordered!

Here's the week:

Tuesday: 90 minute hill workout on the treadmill

Wednesday: 45 minutes on the treadmill, 8:30 pace

Thursday: 90 minute tempo (7:48 pace)

Saturday: 90 minutes easy

Sunday: 5:25:43 - 7th at Steep Ravine Trail Marathon

Totals: 61.16 miles, 7605'/7428' (does not include treadmill hill workout), avg HR 142

My previous chiropractor moved her practice to the South Bay last fall, and I had not found a replacement until a Facebook friend invited me to a stress fracture seminar last week at Innersport Chiropractic in Berkeley. They have ART practitioners, they accept my insurance, and they could not be more conveniently located, so I made an appointment for the day following the seminar.

I met with Sandy Baird for a session on Wednesday, and another on Friday. The therapy included ART, Graston Technique and some prescribed core strengthening exercises. I liked the facility and atmosphere, and Innersport's connection with Cal athletics and local endurance events give me the confidence that they have the 'know how' to keep me running. I plan to continue twice a week ART with Sandy through Way Too Cool and as needed building up to American River. Having a good physical therapist will make the increased training load more comfortable, and as I venture into the unknown, I need a good supporting cast.

This week felt like my training has broken through to the next level. My niggles are reduced, in spite of putting up my biggest weekly volume to date. 36 miles over the weekend left me satisfyingly sore, but not hobbled. The marathon was an awesome training run for the American Canyon 50K, having 50% more vertical and less mileage. My fueling and pacing went well, and my biggest issue is a potentially lost toenail, which I am surprised has not happened yet (it is only a matter of time, or miles). I will post a race report on Steep Ravine, so watch for that post in the next couple days. It should be a good read, as I got a top ten, and suffered my first fall on the trail, finishing a little bloodied, but in good spirits.

This week is a forced taper, of sorts. I have my annual birthday ski trip to Tahoe this weekend, and Coach Tim has graciously given me all four days to ski and celebrate with no running on the schedule. However, he dropped my base pace by thirty seconds for my mid week maintenance runs, which will be enough discomfort to see me through the weekend!

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