Sunday- 4:00, 23 miles, 7,700ft climbing, 400 calories of Vitargo
Met up with Justin Yates, Mike Foote, and Jimmy for a hard effort run up and down Pengelly Ridge… four times. With the ridge just clearing up, nobody minded making laps. Everyone was stoked to just be able to primarily run on trail, not snow. We kept great pace both up, running most all of the climb and then bombing pretty fast down. I felt great and the first two laps flew by. The third lap was challenging, but I was good and made the premature statement that I may go for 5 laps. The fourth lap came and all conversation stopped. My climbing legs reminded me that I don’t have a consistent big base and that it isn’t ready to roll with 7,000+ vert quite yet. I suffered going up and had to work to keep Justin and Mike, 10-30 yards ahead, from getting totally away. I could still bomb down surprisingly, but my energy levels were spent. I fell 3 times, twice in the snow and once in the mud… fun. 3:15 minutes, 18,5 miles and 7,500ft of climbing. Mike and I did some street running to hit 4hrs. Tough, tough workout. The rest of the day I was out of commission.
Monday- 1:40, 10.6 miles, 1,400ft, easy
I expected the worst this morning after the high end climb-a-thon yesterday, but was happy to have no real soreness, just flat legs. Looped around the North Hills.
Tuesday- 1:47, 14.3 miles, 6 mile tempo
Got talked into a tempo with Mike Foote this morning. Felt nice and comfortable cruising at 5:50ish pace down the bike path, then turned it up on the way home a bit. I felt pretty maxed out (sad) the last mile and a half and finished the 6 miles in 34:57, so 5:49 pace. It is always a bit discouraging to remember my marathon race pace or that I used to do sub 5:20 tempos at 5,000ft. I combat that line of thought with the reality of what sort of volume of climbing and trail running I do. The first speed workout back always is the hardest and slowest for me.
Wednesday- 1:35, 10 miles, 1,400ft climbing
Easy day up Maurice to Crooked, back around the front side to the Evan’s St trail and back around town with Mike Foote, Mike Wolf and Jeremy Wolf. I can’t help but stress after my Achilles injury in November, that ramping up quickly over the last week or so I’ll feel pain. With that said, I’ve been doing glute strengthening, massaging, rolling and stretching consistently. I’m going to miss the great company of runners in Missoula.
Thursday- 2:40, 12.1 miles, 4,000ft climbing, moderate effort hill workout
After getting a good beat-down on Tuesday’s tempo, I decided to keep today’s hill climb moderate in effort, not hard. I took the less direct route to Sentinel to better match the running I’ll do at Trans Vulcania (TV) in May. For the next month and a half I’m going to primarily run all my climbs except for really steep grades on my long run. TV apparently has a lot of grades that are just runnable and I’ve been told power hiking is not that frequent besides the last big climb. Despite having a real roller coaster of start stop training over the last 5 months, my climbing legs continue to improve. I felt that the 3,000+ climb came easier than it should have. Not always the case for speed or hard long runs.
Friday- 1:33, 9.7 miles, 1,500ft climbing, easy run
Comfortable run through the North Hills.
Saturday- 4:55, 25.7 miles, 7,100ft climbing, long run, 300 calories of Vitargo
Ran with Jed for the first time on this long run. Ran up Sentinel down around Pattee Canyon, down Crooked, down Maurice then up Pengelly Ridge to S.Sentinel Peak, over to Sentinel again, up University Peak scurrying our way up and down on the frozen snow pack then back down to campus where I left Jed and did an extra hour of running on the North Hills. Besides some running on sheer ice for a few miles by Pattee, the run was great. Jed is a strong climber, runner and great person to converse with. I usually find myself talking about what other people are doing, but over our 4 hour run Jed and I delved into debating some interesting ideas and philosophies which was very nice. Felt solid all day, but could tell the body had done some decent work over the last week.
Numbers are a bit big with Sunday and Saturday long runs, but regardless, a big climbing and mileage week for my first full solid week back. I always get scared, as I should, about going full tilt after less than regular training over the winter, but so far so good. The plan is to keep this routine next week, then drop the tempo in April for a hill repeat day. I’m super excited and looking forward to a full 6 weeks of consistent training without any tapering, big racing and recovering. The goal is to show up at TV focused, well trained and with no big races in the last two months. I’ll hold this strategy with only two focus races after TV, Mt Blanc 80k and UTMB.