Back in the Mountains (Whites and Alps!)

Monday: Madison & Adams with Caitlin Patterson and Co. 10 miles, 5.8k' Hanging out with the Craftsbury nordic crew. Really enjoy the opportunity to hike / run with them in the mountains. They were going for a longer presidential traverse while Squall and I took it 'easy'. Ran into Liam Davis doing a traverse as well. 
Tuesday: Kinsmans and Haystack. 18 miles / 7k'. Third big day in a row but couldn't miss out on catching up with Karel Sabbe on his AT FKT. Met up with him on S. Kinsman and he was moving well but easy to keep up with... until he started going up, which he loved. Very impressive seeing that sort of strength on his 35th day of logging 50+ mpd. I was gassed and it didn't help carrying all the camera gear but well worth it.
Wednesday: Off - travel day - wish I had time to get a short run in but I had a million things to pack.
Thursday: Off - long layover in the Paris airport. I did walk a couple miles with heavy packs. 
Friday: Chamonix welcome hike/run with Sarah. 14 miles / 5.5k' Up to Refuge Albert 1er, a first for me out of Le Tour. We looped across the way and down to Col de Montets. We missed the bus so ran a mile back to the train we took originally. 
Saturday: Up to Le Brevent! 12.8 miles / 5.3k' with Sarah and we got stuck in the clouds. Missed out on the views and traversed over to Les Houches.
Sunday: Lac Blanc + Col du Brevent. 16 miles / 7k'. Photos and videos with the ladies (Sarah, Aliza, Corrine) up at Lac Blanc but unfortunately we were stuck in the clouds. Still managed some nice photos but had to drop down lower. That evening I went back up to Col du Brevent to see what I missed and caught a sunset before running down the access road. The VK course up under the Planpraz gondola is a must-do for Chamonix.

Total: 70 miles and 30.1k vertical feet in 5 days. Massive week back in the mountains and while I was concerned about my aches and pains, they seemed to back off by the end of the week. Love this place and can't wait to do a few more exploration hikes before settling for the UTMB events.

Back to the Basics

Hunter Cote recharging for a night hike off Franconia Ridge.

After a summer full of experimental training, it's time to reset and start looking at what went right / wrong with my running this summer. First, the goal was to set myself up for the VT100 and that meant hop on a 100 mile plan averaging 50-70 miles per week running on similar terrain (hilly dirt roads) and add in a little bit of biking. 

The result was fairly low volume plus some nagging tendonitis and almost zero time in the mountains. With some time to reflect on this training block, there were a lot of things I never realized about my previous years of training. The first is that my cardio suffered. Without mixing in all the extracurricular activities (mountain biking, hiking, and swimming) I didn't have the base to build off of. The second issue was coming out of ski season my arch / run muscles were weak and prone to injury - HIKING FIXES THIS. It's amazing how I overlooked the benefits of hiking but it puts your heart rate over 100bpm for hours at a time, elevating your aerobic capacity across the board. It also strengthens key muscles that are critical for running ultra distances and high volume. The last thing is recovery. Clearly I need plenty of recovery before jumping in other events. 

Where to go from here. The plan is to adopt a nordic skier style training program focused on a few different phases - base / threshold, base / race tempo - speed, race season / recovery. All this will be guided with heart rate to ensure the level of effort is in the wheelhouse I'm training for. 

The most important thing is to get back into the mountains and be consistent with my running. I have a few really interesting projects lined up for the fall but I need to scrape together some last minute training to make it happen. Looking forward to sharing the journey as I continue to learn from all this data I'm collecting.

Monday: 1 hour recovery ride. Stiff after Ragged, right knee tight but biking definitely felt good.
Tuesday: AM 3 miles, PM 3.5 miles. Last week of Whitaker Woods fun run. Knee not happy with running but kept it very easy.
Wednesday: Bike - 1hr 45mins. Keeping it super easy.
Thursday: Hike up to Lafayette (3.8 miles / 3.5k). Heavy pack.
Friday: Hike out (1hr 40mins).
Saturday: Bike: 1hr 45mins.
Sunday: Run on the Beast of the East course with Hilary & Squall (12 miles / 3 hrs)

Total: Run/Hike 7hrs 30 mins, Ride 4hrs 24min 

100 Miler Recovery

Cupping has been a big part of recovery.

I escaped the 100 unscathed. The sore quads are now just "flat and lifeless" quads but most of the pain subsided by Wednesday. The tendons on the other hand are still angry but nothing stopping me from my recovery program. I won't be running much these next two weeks - some experts recommend taking a day off per 10 miles of racing. I'm interpreting that as take things week by week and there's nothing to be gained by pushing it except an injury or prolonged fatigue. That said, I did do the Whitaker Woods 5k on Tuesday and I could barely duck under 8 minute pace. The lungs were burning but it was fascinating to see just how wrecked my system was. Biking has felt really good although there's something tight outside my right knee . Overall it was a restful week. Next week will be more of the same with some biking before Beach to Beacon 10k. If that goes well (sub 40min?) then I'll be racing the Ragged 50k for sure on August 12.

Monday: 2 mile walk. So stiff but felt much better once I started moving. 37 minute bike ride to get my truck which was left in town before the weekend.
Tuesday: 3 miles. Whitaker Woods 5k. All out effort landed me a 22:30, about 4 minutes off my normal pace. Was fun racing in the mid pack though. 
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: 3.3 miles - half walk, half shuffle. Trails down by Purity lake in the rain with Squall. 
Friday: 2.8 miles - running up Black Mtn x2 for FNV7. 
Saturday: Bike - 21 miles / 1:07. Feeling much better.
Sunday: 1.5 mile walk. 

Total: ~17 run/walk miles / 32 mile biking.