Current Training Status: not blogging... running.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

7 Sisters Ridgeline

Leaves are on the boughs, ahhh spring!  The Pocumtuck ridgeline was home turf, the same toothy basalt as East Mtn.  Got lost, backtracked for 12th place which felt great.  Saw the familiar dedicated crowd from last year's Grand Tree races.  The next day I did run Mt. Toby, twice, and that is not as homey.  Completly different rocks there, awesome climb.  I did both sides, the race course climb and the Telephone Trail.  After visiting the bluff above Ashley today I tallied the month's climbing, over 13,000'.  In the last three days I climbed 3,100, more than the previous week!   This weekend brings a greater test, close to 4000' in one grueling morning.  
The 7 Sisters map is an approximation, such an amazing and immeasurable trajectory across those peaks.  In the year since last race I have not been back, though I've gotten an eyefull of the ridgeline from route 9 and 91 every week.  Bringing the training from other locations to 7 Sisters seems a better test of myself.  The same ridgeline of extruded magma lies west of the CT river, I've run that so many times.  So decisively separated from 7 Sisters, water dividing the handiwork of earth's fire, and the story of some guy who used to swim the river to continue the trail south.
Wapack is the following Saturday, over 4000' of climbing in 21 miles.  Do I flatten out my running between the two?  I'll want to stretch the legs like I did today on the little summit run.  Wearing my new racing flats feels incredible, a short climb like that is therapeutic and the rest of the week should be the flat races etc.  The easiest answer for the next month is to  explore that monstrous Mt. Tom run I mapped to 26 miles.  After Wapack I 'll do parts of it.  Focused, slow workloads of thousands of feet twice a week. 

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Trail Season Begins 4-27 10 AM

Sunday the 27th, Highland Parks Challenge.  The inagural race, I believe.  Twice across the Pocumtuck ridge, 7 miles.  Why was this race begun?  Someone likes that ridge, it is really the Pocumtuck Challenge.  Lots of roads, what shoes for gnarly ridge and road?  Add rain and I wear the Crosslites, Sportiva's trail shoe that is also ironically a homonym for traffic signals.  Perfect.  

Then, Monday, a repeat of Mt. Toby.  Twice for 6.5 Miles and 1775'.  Maybe only once, it will be raining.  No further heroics till 7Sisters, Sunday, May 4.  There I shoot for a PR without being totally wasted like last year.  This is my chance to get the hydration issues under control.  Last Tuesday, skipping Lane Quarry I ran 17 miles of the East Mtn. Complete course.  My good 1st 13 and my second try on the last 11 add up to a possible 4:30 for the 24 mile course.  I did not bring extra water, just diluted my Hammer drink more.  I will dilute even further for 7 sisters and guzzle some water at 4, 6, 10 miles, carrying gels and E-caps.

Someday I'll run the Complete course again, the brief obsession/infatuation with East Mountain must be left behind for greater peaks.  I will race on Thursday as I have been, no heroics, maybe a sunset summit cooldown.  No need to hunt for climbs till Wapack, though I may unwittingly wander over Mt. Tom.  Haven't ran the summit road since glacier season.  Best training I've heard for MWRR, a guy doing 3.5 miles on a treadmill with bricks for 12.5% grade.  Ascutney at $3.50 a gallon? 

Monday, April 21, 2008

Same Mtn. Different Day

Tomorrow I'm taking another shot at the East Mtn. Complete course.  I goofed up the hydration last time, there were inner ear/sinus problems that interfered with breathing, the course is relentlessly rocky and offers feet no relief from stoning until the last 2 miles.  Ahhh, but I did complete every summit of East Mountain.  The last 8 miles sucked, because I couldn't breathe well.  2:15 at the half was very good, I think.  5:15 at the end of 24 miles was unfortunate.  I want to do it about half an hour quicker tomorrow morning.  I walked so much of the last 8 miles, I logged it in halves.  I felt fine the next day and took a day off as scheduled anyway.  Then I wrenched my back on Saturday, and didn't run Sunday resting my back.  I rode my bike with Nye though.  Today I ran while Nye rode and felt pretty good, a bit sore.  I will do my therapeutic excercises tonight, and set off tomorrow for whatever I can, with extra water stashed.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

East Mtn. Complete 26.2

I stood in the Westfield River, on what was the waters edge last summer. I stood there for about 2 minutes in water up to my waist. Couldn't go further, turning back I almost took a dive in the strong current. The icy water had sapped all the strength from my legs. So that Marathon is definitely put off till a dryer season, but I can always find another these days. Thursday everything is arranged for me to do the East Mountain Complete. The course is mapped in part above and completely by these links:

The plan is to strike out at about 2 - 2:30 and finish before 7 - 7:30, while the weekly Elks 5K is winding down. Marathon Distance this time, 26.2 Miles and 2700' of climb in less than 5 hours.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Summit and River Crossing

Today after a dentist visit, I'll do 5 miles to the summit of Provin Mtn. and back, then try to cross the Westfield River.  I don't know what kind of barrier this is.  Will it be impassable?  I doubt it.  Is it just a matter of getting totally soaked? I think so, it may only be slow and a cold shock even if waist deep.   I may encounter forces beyond my imagining and not do it, who knows?  If I do it I can mentally gauge what it will mean at mile 7 of a 26 mile run.  This is the height of flooding season of course.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Sunday Morning Mt. Toby Repeat

The East Mtn. trails were excellent in the light rain yesterday. Just a hike today, need a rest day but will hike up Mt. Tom to get my climbing over 2000' for the week. Tomorrow morning I will rise early, drive up to Sunderland and run Mt. Toby before picking up Nye in North Amherst. Toby is taller than Mt. Tom, but I don't recall really much about it since my race there last year was lousy. The 45 minutes of driving and maybe 45 minutes of running will have me getting up at about 7:30 am on my day off.

Monday will be a rest day with a trip to the Dentist and Job hunting to do. I may try to sneak off to the Noho 5K, but will definitely do the East Mtn. Complete run of 23+ miles on Thursday, may go for the marathon distance! That will end the distance projects for the time being, any other 'Found Marathons' must wait till after MorFun Wapack, and should be put off till July. I may substitute these for races to save entry and travel $, enforced savings.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Eagle & Eyrie

This was the best spring has offered yet, warm breezes and sunshine in the 60's.  I am sore from Hebert, my left calf and tendons are complaining and  are in no condition for 20+ miles.   East Mountain Complete, maybe next week.  
A group actually took up an invitation I posted to a 'Sunset Summit Cooldown' after tonight's race.  After I ran a course PR somehow, I had a good run with them, great time on a good hill.  The invite was meant to  inject some fun into a running club obsessed with bickering.  Success also against the Mile Blight, our mile marker is discovered and will stop defacing the res.  
Plenty of miles, just a few more tomorrow in the same hills.  It doesn't bother this injury to tackle that terrain, somehow the flat reservoir hurts it more.  Two days more or less off, and then little runs before the Complete, next thursday.

Monday, April 7, 2008

East Mountain Complete

I will not be volunteering at TNF Bear Mountain, due mainly to $$$ issues.  I ran a P.R. at Hebert, 55:17, which has me pretty sore.  All of this makes it much wiser to hold off the long run until Saturday.  Unless the weather forecast looks too cold and wet that is the plan.  If I feel fine Wednesday, and the forecast is no good, I'll run long on Thursday while everyone races at the res. This East Mountain Complete Course is my new favorite.  Very excited to try it again and finish the last mile of ridgeline this time, in daylight.  The course is mapped in part above and completely by these links:

Either day the plan is to strike out at about 2 - 2:30 and finish before 7 - 7:30, while the weekly Elks 5K is winding down. 23.5 Miles and 2700' of climb in less than 5 hours.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

I Had A Dream

My mountain field trips may be significantly curtailed. There aren't tall hills around here, so hill repeats are the rule. I've mapped the most challenging climb close to home, 7000' at Mt. Tom, under 6 hours to run. Not now, not soon, most likely I'll run this after Wapack. The idea to run every summit at Mt. Tom was a logical extension of my 10 mile summit repeats there last year, and now it seemed usefull to take a closer look.

This is another 'Found Marathon', like the M+M Trail Marathon from the CT line to the Connecticut River. My long run plans are to complete the East Mountain Complete course that I bailed out on 2 weeks ago, in the daylight this Thursday. I'd like to put the word out about a Marathon attempt on the M+M, Monday the 21st. If all is well I should take a shot at the Mt. Tom Madness, ohh sometime in August?