Monday, March 25, 2013

American River 50 Miler Training Week Two: New Shoes and a Sunset Cruise

Only three months into the year and I hit my second falter of the season. Not surprising, considering that I have not taken a break since December of 2011. Wednesday's tempo went horribly awry and ended before it really began. Warming up, I could tell my left leg was more stiff than usual, with some new niggles speaking loudly. After fifteen minutes, I picked it up and cruised along at sub 8 pace, fighting the growing cramps in my leg. High knees, deep breaths, relax, run tall... 

"Remember that half marathon when you ran 20 seconds faster for an hour and a half?"


After a measly mile the top of my left hamstring had had enough, and forced me to a sudden stop. I walked a bit, and then tried again, only to be shut down just as quickly. I have been fortunate that this does not happen more often, but when it does, I really have to fight hard against the pity party. But that's one reason I have a coach, and we had a good talk within an hour of my shower; some fine tuning of the schedule, and by Sunday night I felt like I was back on track.

Here's the week:

Wednesday: Pity party tempo - 30 minutes

Friday: 45 minutes at base pace on the treadmill

Saturday: 90 minutes at base pace on the Bay Trail

Sunday: 5 hours - second hour at base pace

Totals: 47.18 miles, avg HR 134

Cap'n and Junior
My father (Junior) came into town for the weekend, and we took Kuani out for a sunset sail on Saturday to check out the new Bay Lights installation on the Bay Bridge. We had a nice romp across the slot, cresting 8 knots with reefed sails! Give that boat a little wind and she is off like a greyhound chasing a rabbit, I tell you. 

Twirly at the helm

Sailing, take me away...

San Francisco bound

After a reaffirming 45 on the mill Friday, Twirly and Junior joined me on my 90 minutes to the horse track and back, and then we took the boat out with a marina neighbor. On Sunday, the long run Tim prescribed kicked my ass, once again. Junior rode my Pista the whole five hours, providing support like I have never had. I went through over a gallon of water, and with half an hour left, he rode ahead to refill my bladder. Not to mention he got some great pix of me running the training route. My new Montrail FluidFlex shoes performed well on Saturday's ten miler, but at fifteen miles they began rubbing my ankle bone, so I switched to my Wave Riders at Twirly's aid station around mile 17. The hour at base pace really gave me an opportunity to assess what kind of effort I can expect to hold for the last 35 miles of American River. I battled some bonking, which came early as a result of the hour "tempo", but got through the low and finished well.

Berkeley Marina

Berkeley Pier

Cesar Chavez Park

Twirly's aid station

Ten miles to go

My recovery continues to improve, I can walk normally and the cramping is manageable. I got right back to it on Monday, and have a few quality workouts before the taper begins in earnest on Thursday. I'm ready, willing, and slightly off my rocker, to run 50 miles in eleven days time.

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