Monday, March 18, 2013

AR50 Mile Training Week One: Another Bay Trail Ultra

My recovery from the Way Too Cool 50K went well; much better than post-American Canyon 50K. Continuing amazement at the body's ability to adapt to stress over time keeps providing me the motivation to get out there and RUN!

I had a good tempo run on Tuesday, only two days after setting a PR in Cool. Again, life trumped training on Friday and an hour fell off the schedule, but the miles accumulated none-the-less. Here's how the week played out:

Tuesday: 90 minute tempo

Thursday: 60 minutes easy

Saturday: 4.5 hours on the Bay Trail

Sunday: 90 minute recovery jog

Totals: 50.6 miles, avg HR 138

Wednesday I stopped by San Francisco Running Company to demo the new Montrail FluidFeel, and I promptly placed an order for a pair, hoping for a good daily trainer that I can take off road but still pound some pavement in. The mixed surface of American River has me considering a shoe change, and it is possible these shoes can serve me for the entire race. We'll see next weekend.

Despite a lack of niggles from last weekend's race, I could tell my muscles were still fatigued. Thursday's run felt weak, contributing to the skipped run on Friday. Saturday's long run, however, was great. A marathon plus a mile along the Bay Trail, with Twirly and a friend biking along for company in the first hour. I backed off the pace compared to the same run three weeks ago, trying to dial in a 50K pace I can sustain for the duration. The weather was spectacular, as was visibility across the Bay.
Egret chilling in Cesar Chavez Park, Mt. Tam on the horizon
Twirly set up another aid station for me around mile 16, and I chugged a bottle of Cytomax and another of Nuun before setting out on the home stretch. The kites were out in force at Cesar Chavez Park. There appeared to be a kite fighting contest happening.

Fighting kites in the distance

Likely a result of the slower pace, I felt much better at the finish than three weeks prior (three quarters of a mile shorter, as well). I recharged well, but ninety minutes of recovery jogging with Twirly biking at my side on Sunday felt horrible. Easy pace ended up being 10-11 minutes per mile, and pain in my hips prevented me from enjoying the morning, despite continued nice weather. A fat corned beef and cabbage dinner for St. Patrick's Day was a nice finish though, and I feel good about putting in over 200 miles in the last thirty days.
Bay shore cairn, San Francisco in the distance

I can't complain, really. In the last five months I have raced two 10Ks (here and here), a half marathon, a road marathon, a trail marathon, and three 50Ks (here, here and here). When I take into account that I have been running for less than four years, and I'm 41 years old, the fact that I can walk after such a winter speaks volumes. My coach has me on track to succeed at American River 50 Mile Endurance Run next month, and although the nerves are building, I know I'll be ready. One more long run next weekend (5 hours) and then a two week taper. I'll be ready.

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