Week of July 31, 2017

Welcome to the Adirondacks!

Finally made it out of the Whites and five hours due west to the Adirondacks. This trip was planned in January - take a few camp kids anywhere you want and just make sure they get back to camp on Friday. With a blank slate it was difficult to make a plan that wasn't too ambitious for the 16 year olds. After browsing the forums and getting some input from friends / social media, I settled on Lake Colden to bag the popular hikes (Marcy / Agonquin) and then drive over to the nearby Dix Range to get out of the chaos that is the High Peak Wilderness. Camping at Colden Lake was busy but a great location. We were able to make a loop out of the MacIntyre Range (Iroquios, Algonquin, Wright) and looped back over Avalanche Pass. The second day I woke up at 2:30am to go climb the Trap Dyke to summit Mount Colden. This was a great adventure and was rewarded by a star-filled sky and beautiful sunrise. That morning we climbed Mount Marcy on an out and back and stopped at several swimming holes on the Opalescent River. The last day we hiked out and drove to Elk Lake where we looped Dix Mountain with passing thunderstorms. It cleared up as we made it to the summit revealing all the peaks we had just climbed the previous few days. The trip was a huge success and made me start considering a bigger, badder summer and winter adventures. 

Saturday was also the 20th TD Beach to Beacon 10k road race. My legs were still feeling the mountains but I was able to hold a respectable pace and finish 140/6800 in 36:24. Planning on getting a PR at that race in the future! 

Moving forward it's the Wellinghurst 5k on Tuesday and the Ragged 50k on Sunday. Going to hit the roads for a couple weeks before heading to Chamonix. 

Week of July 24, 2017

Another weird yet productive week of training. The big trail runs wear me down requiring a few days to get back into normal efforts. Wednesday I joined Noah Hoffman for a Pemi Loop - I thought it would have been easier given that it was the third one of the summer but it was still a grind towards the back half. The ascent up Lafayette was a solid push for me (Noah was definitely still aerobic) and I was able to PR on that section. A few photos from the loop below. Still squeezing in a little work with a proper workout on Saturday but next week I'll be off in the Adirondacks! 

Monday: 10 miles
Tuesday: Off (at Fischer HQ for videos)
Wednesday: Pemi Loop - CCW, 7:38
Thursday: Pine Island loop walk/run (3 miles)
Friday: South Doublehead Hike
Saturday: Workout - 2 x 10 miles, 1 x 5 miles. (8.2 miles)
Sunday: 10 miles

Week of July 17, 2017

A scattered week coming off a massive vert build up the previous week. At this point in the summer I'm just trying to squeeze in whatever I can where it fits. This meant trashing my legs hiking the section of the AT that transects the White Mountains. I was able to check off 30 of the 100 miles and will continue this effort later on in August when I free up some more time. More on that project later. Still managed a track workout and WW5k effort on the week. 

Some photos from the week:

Monday: Off
Tuesday: WW5K - 18:27. 
Wednesday: Bike (1:27)
Thursday: 4 x 4 min Workout
Friday: Hike - Moriah, Carters, Wildcats (AT Video Project)
Saturday: Hike - Pinkham to Airline
Sunday: Run (6.5mi)

Week of June 26, 2017

Volume ⬆️

Big jump in volume this week thanks to a Pemi Loop and four rides. Managed to get plenty of mileage in and recover well from the big run. Knees are achy but no red flags. I'm confident that with rested legs, dry trails, and a focused effort that I can dip below 6:30 and hopefully closer to 6hrs. Breaking 6 will definitely happen at some point so why not give it a shot! 

Bond Cliff & Pemi Wilderness

Bond Cliff & Pemi Wilderness

Monday: AM Bike (1hr), PM Run (10.3mi). Enjoying the bricks since they force you to run tired without the extra wear and tear. 
Tuesday: Whitaker Woods (Wk 4) - 18:22. Slower than last week but legs were tired. 5.7mi on the day.
Wednesday: PEMI LOOP - 29.3 gps miles in 6:55. Thought this was going to be more in the 7:30 neighborhood given the rain, all the stops for photos, and my first loop of the summer. The moving time was 6:25 which means I left a lot of time on the table. Went hard descending the Bonds since I knew I could sneak under 7hrs. Going to start going for speed with a sub 6:30 as the first goal and sub 6 FKT being the main objective. 
Thursday: Bike (1:14) in the rain. Recovery, legs were dead but not broken. Rain slowed things down even more.
Friday: PM Run with Jim (8mi). Deer flies made their presence known. Had to bail off the dirt roads when we were swarmed. Left knee ached about six miles in, zero aches the day before so that was concerning.
Saturday: AM Bike (1:16), AM Run (5.1mi). Another solid brick. Knees felt achy on bike but better on the run.
Sunday: PM Bike (1:45). MTB with Hilary and Dave trying to figure out all the trails in the Marshall Conservation Area. Poked around some news ones that have been flagged and raked but not fully cut. Ended up biking out behind Hussey's Farm - even locals get lost sometimes. 



Week of June 13, 2017

If there's one thing I learned during this run block, don't race during a building phase. Mount Washington capped off a run block where I built my mileage up from scratch over six weeks. The result - exhausted. I could have been a lot faster, perhaps faster than last year if I had limited my mileage and focused just on workouts. But that wasn't the driving goal - my motivation was to focus 100% on running which meant nearly all my volume stemmed from runs whereas in the past two years I've incorporated a large chunk of hiking, biking, and swimming.

This "experiment" proved what many I'm sure already knew, build up base mileage, then add workouts, then race. The legs never had a chance to recovery and adapt since mileage was building week-over-week. My weekly exercise volume suffered because my hours per week were capped at 10 once I cut out cross-training. 

The good news is that I avoided injury and have a solid base to build off now. I'll be lowering my mileage to focus on workouts and will try to ride a few times per week to keep building cardio while letting the run muscles recovery. There aren't any major races on the schedule until August so July should be a productive month.

Monday: 3mi recovery with Jim - was going to take this day off or go for a ride but Jim sucked me in. So exhausted.
Tuesday: Whitaker Woods Fun Run (Wk 2) - 7.4 mi total. Slightly faster than last week (probably because it wasn't pouring rain). Hard effort but trying to conserve some energy for Mount Washington. 
Wednesday: Boulder Loop with Hilary and Squall - 3mi. Did a 30s on/off run on the way up and ran down. 

Boulder Loop View.

Thursday: Loop around the neighborhood including a short climb up Pound Road with Jim - 5.2mi. 
Friday: Goodwin Town Forrest Trails with Squall and Brian - 4.7 mi.
Saturday: Mount Washington Road Race - 16.5mi total.
Sunday: AM MTB, PM 7.4 mi recovery - chest hurt from working so hard on Saturday!

Mount Washington Road Race

Just when you think you have it figured out... 

There's not a whole lot to say about the race, but my weeks leading into Saturday's performance pointed towards a tougher than normal MWRR. I knew going into Saturday that my run fitness was good but my body wasn't recovered. I expected to be in the 1:14 - 1:16 range this race which would have been a disappointment since I was hoping to keep improving on my time. My recent 5k / 10k race times indicated that I was likely going to be in the 1:16 range this year. 

Little did we know, it was going to be legitimately hot and humid for the race. A few degrees can make a big difference in performance, especially for the big guys who typically don't shed the heat well. After my warm up it was clear that a singlet would be a bad idea as sweat was already starting to pour off my body. I took my spot a couple rows back in the starting line and picked a few targets for the race. 

Nothing unusual in the first mile. I was breathing hard but it's a hill and there's an adjustment period where you back off and settle into your pace. The problem was that as I backed off, my breathing and effort still felt too high. That second mile I felt really bad and even had thoughts of dropping out. Gaps were forming and were hard to swallow. Not to mention that I was drowning in the heat and we hadn't even clicked off the second mile yet. 

There would be no walking though and I did what I could to relax but still try to be competitive. I stopped looking at my splits and focused on finishing. After the halfway point we popped out above treeline and I was waiting for that cool revitalizing high alpine breeze. Nope, not today. Now I was legitimately overheating. I took off my hat to see if that helped but it only made things worse. The dirt section is punishing as is but was compounded by the stagnant hot air. 

At the last water station I finally walked and took in a few cups of water. Kevin Tilton, who I had been running with for most of the race, continued to run and gapped me. I was impressed that he kept grinding and ran right up the next turn, one of the steepest in the race. This year I walked it and didn't care. I was trying to minimize the suffering. But this race is unrelenting, no matter what your pace is. When I resumed a running shuffle my legs had already stiffened up. A good reminder to never walk in this race.

The last half mile was grueling. I finally got back in a rhythm and attacked the wall only to see that I didn't break 1:20. Across the finish line I heaved myself over the corral railing and caught my breath - lightheaded and dizzy, I was elated to be finished. 

Even with a poor performance evident by the fade in the splits, I was really happy to battle through some demons and finish the race. I went and got some food, water, and shoes to run down in. Hilary finished not too far behind and we ran down together. We took home the Clydesdale / Filly wins which just secures us spots for next year's race where we've already promised to train specifically for. Looking forward to those hill repeats next spring.

Strava | Results

2015 - 2016 - 2017. 

2015 - 2016 - 2017. 

Fresh pavement on the Auto Road plus snow still hanging around in the Great Gulf.

Fresh pavement on the Auto Road plus snow still hanging around in the Great Gulf.