Current Training Status: not blogging... running.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Mt. Washington Road Race

Mt. Washington defies any attempt to report on it, but here's a brief attempt a week later.  It was as expected, grueling relentless and an unpredictable performance.  I had never run a race with such complicated logistics, it was quite a production at the base of the mountain.  It was a great time, though a poor time on the clock.  The race whittled my goals down to simply finishing without walking, which I achieved at a pace dipping into 15 minute miles.  
The course was severe and the surroundings sublimely beautiful.  I was fascinated by the environment above treeline.  The very peak of the mountain clung to clouds but 50 feet below at the parking lot we could peer below cloudline into the valley  below.  Though I didn't meet my outside time goal, though the expense in gas and qualifying races is astronomical, I cannot wait to return next year to run this harder.  Though the Mountain presents nothing but a heap of lichen encrusted granite slabs for probably a mile, I intend to run down on the trails next year.  
This race seems impossible at every turn, but is a completely runnable race.  Most every physical complaint I've had while running popped up at some point, but I definitely overestimated the difficulty of this race and psyched myself out.  Maybe I can collect all the reflection on how this race unfolded and how I hope to do in the future in a later post ...

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Mt. Washington Taper

Half the 2008 Mtn. Series is completed, and with double the climb for me.  May was 7 miles shy of a 200 mile month with over 5 miles of climbing.  The heavy training is past.  I'll race a 10k this weekend, hit Mount Toby or Mt. Tom once this week maybe, and keep fresh with nothing more challenging than East Mtn. at the reservoirs.  Mt. Greylock Half Marathon will  have to wait again, and I will resist the urge to do a 20 miler this week though I don't know why.   Wouldn't a hilly road run be perfect?  Nah, I'm good.
I improved at Wachusett, at Pack we were all a little slower in the heat and there were 2 stops to fix the shoes, but Northfield was much quicker and well run.  At each of these races I did a 'cool down' with as much climbing as the race itself for good measure.  I feel that I don't know my strength on the hills.  Really racing and finding that limit will wait until after Washington, which will be beyond my limits without question.  My toughest training run was at Mt. Tom, 7 repeats and then leisurely along the ridgeline for 20 miles and 6600'.  I have completed the application process for Escarpment Trail Run, 30k and 10,000' of gnarly rigeline trails.  For two weeks now, Mt. Washington can loom on the horizon while I run comfortably within my limits.  I will slowly build up my core workouts, and focus on my breathing when I run.  There is obvious strength gained, my 5k pace is 30 seconds quicker, and it seems I could run forever and anywhere.  
Other aspects of my life demand my attention, sooo loudly.  Here I come.  About time I got a new job, before the current one closes its doors.  Sadly, my son will be travelling for the summer, after Mt. Washington he and I will part for a month.  I have been training with him for a mile long race this coming weekend at Granby Charter Days.  He's learned a lot and had a lot of fun along with the hard work.  I'll miss the daily runs with him, but feel glad I can send him off to visit his relatives with this experience.  It is difficult to envision the month of July, the running goals and new employment challenges, with him at a distance while I will need so much focus.