Current Training Status: not blogging... running.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

2008 Mountain Series Has Begun

On Saturday, May 24, the Wachusett Mtn. Road Race opened the 2008 Mtn. Series.  In one month will be Mt. Washington, not a race in the series, it is the focus of the work I'll be doing in these first 3 Mtn. Races.  There have been a few hilly races already this year.  D. H. Jones and St. Pat's Race in Holyoke were both good training for these Mtn. Races.  They weren't on my mind at Wachusett.  I had a good race though and a great day, running the course twice to tally 2200' of climb for the day in almost 13 miles of running.  
My mindset was fixed on this as the start of the series.  I ran the race as though it had been 9 months since the last race up a mountain.  Last years series ended 9 months ago, but in fact I had run bona-fide Mtn. races at the Summit Run, and those other hilly races that demanded the same strategies and skills.  Well, with that mindset I was very conservative.  When the course began to roll with plenty of flat and downhill in the first 3 miles, I realized I had missed an opportunity.  Holding my ground  though, I kept up with much of the group that had formed at mile one, and gained ground on the long downhill toward mile 4.  I had a lot more strength to give the race, and when Tom Derderian shouldered past me I responded with it.  The last half mile made up some ground and was a furious sprint to keep Tom behind me, and the last quarter mile more furious thinking of Mt. Washington.  I was totally pumped.  It was a good start, with few real regrets despite my mindset.
After chatting with other runners, I shook a bemused Tom D.'s hand just before he took off.  A group of CMS runners and leaders of the field started their cool down, down the course.  I headed for the other end of the parking lot at the top of the Mountain and found the start of my trail run down.  I got lost, got some direction and found the 'Old Indian Trail' which got me right back to my car in less than 20 minutes.  A lot of fun, with plenty of roots and rocks, hikers.  I took a gel, water and more endurolytes, and was down to the start again in time to see Abby Woods, Dave Dunham, and others just getting to the bottom via road.  My second lap was 40:27, lingering to enjoy the amazing sights and views.  I was back to my car this time in 16 mins. and in time for the Awards ceremony.
Doing 'Doubles' will be a cornerstone of my training for Washington.  This is a pretty crude training strategy, but I'll enjoy it while extending my fitness for the big hill.  After the upcoming Pack Monadnock 10 Miler, I'll double the climb with 7 miles on the Wapack Trail.  An out and back to the North Pack trailhead will be a lot of fun, and I can support it with the drop bag that the Race allows at the summit.  I'll run this race all-out. Fast.  It climbs gradually over the first 7 miles and I'll stay under 7:00/mile for them, shooting for a 1:20.  I'd love to introduce Wapack to others, the Trail run is mapped below:

 I also plan to Run Northfield twice, or a more direct summit run on steeper trails after the race.  In my training this week, will be one massive 20ish run at Mt. Tom.  I'll do other speed work on hills as I get into June.  My mileage has been in the 40's for weeks with increasing climbing.  In May, my vertical climbing may be double April's total.  This is a realistic goal, which I'll try to achieve with the big Mt. Tom run.  Thursday is a pasta night  at the Elks lodge, and I'll forgo my Sunset Summit Cooldown for a heaping portion after the 5k. The 'Mt. Tom Madness' run doesn't seem crazy anymore, though I'm still working on the map.  This will be the big focus of my week before Pack, shooting for 7000' of climbing:  

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