Wow what a week! Looking back at the pics I’ve wired up in this post, it’s hard to believe all that has happened in seven days. Somehow our work week routines allow us to quickly dismiss the unbelievable Patriot’s comeback in Super Bowl LI. It seems like all New England Championships follow a script conceived by the brothers Affleck. Here’s the fourth quarter convo with my Dad:
Monday: So on Monday, I practiced raising the trophy:
After a brief jaunt (i.e. run commute) into work on Monday morning, I took a few minutes in the gym to find balance & mobility with the medicine ball.
On my jaunt home, I came upon our resident Elk Herd at Fossil Trace Golf Course. I hadn’t seen our wildlife friends for a while, and it was particularly picturesque to see them at this spot on the course, which makes Golden appear as a vast expanse of uninhabited farm land:
Tuesday: Ok, enough jogging pictures, now its time to work work. Tuesday mornings are reserved for speed workouts, so I tested my meddle among 8 x 90-second repeats along Eldridge Street. I gave it a good effort, however, the camber of the road made it difficult for me to feel comfortable being uncomfortable.
I’ve endured a number of runs in cold temps and on slick roads over the last few weeks. I’ve been overly conscious of my gait, cadence, and body’s response to increasing mileage. Not that this is a bad thing… so early in the training cycle it’s important to monitor every footfall… but I think I’m overly in my head and have lost some confidence in my newly conceived bombproof running form.
I was pleased to finally hit 170-spm for average cadence on this evening’s run home. It’s been a challenge to register a high leg turnover on commute runs, but I’ve become aware that my sluggish commutes may be causing more harm than good. Traditionally, my slower pace has equated to low leg turnover, longer stride length, and greater impact forces on my feet and legs. I’m reminded of an effective analogy made in this iRunFar article about Jim Walsmsley’s running style. They compare running to water skiing: high cadence/turnover creates a buoyancy that reduces drag and impact forces.
Wednesday: November Project-Denver served up a Figure 8 workout with the whole gamut of full body pump.
In other news, I read that ultras don’t start until the race is two-thirds complete. This is good to know. Ha, seriously, I like the two-thirds rule, as it provides a solid rule of thumb for any race distance. In a 50K, you start “racing” at mile 20. In a 50M, mile 33 should be your trigger point. Break the race down into two-thirds moderate training run and one-third tank-emptying podium production.
Thursday: Greetings from PlayGldn on Lookout Mountain:
We took the PG crew up to Windy Saddle for a 3.5-mile uphill tempo. All was swell in shorts and reflective vests.
Friday: Prior to Instagram, there were untold joys of run-commuting. Despite a less-than-exhilarating daily route, perspective and observation make every day a little different than the last. Here I am taking a moment to observe the sky as the sun rises over Denver:
I took advantage of a shortened workday on Friday to indulge in a stretch and soak at home. It was nice to have some ME time to deplete my personal inbox after a productive week at work.
Unfortunately, the hot soak didn’t come about completely voluntarily. Lately, I’ve been anxious about a muscle knot just above my right ankle. I assume it is a remnant of my alpine snowboard racing days, where all of my joints were torqued against their will:
My shins took the brunt of G-forces as I carved turns. The collar of the hard-boots banged and chaffed against my bony shins. I’m not sure if this knot has come about as a result of a gait over-correction or from sloppy commute running on slick surfaces. Well, I’ll chalk it up to sloppy commuting surfaces cause I just wanted to throw in a pic of my snowboarding days. And now for Friday date night:
Saturday: There are two canyon roads in Golden: Clear Creek Canyon & Golden Gate Canyon. I was tempted to uncover a new road running mecca in the foothills, so on Saturday morning, I drove west. Despite my best intentions to run Drew Hill Road in GGC, my navigational ineptitude (or lack of AM caffeine), resulted with me steering up alongside Clear Creek.
I crave the opportunity when running forces me to improvise and explore. I embarked on a nonchalant 18-24 mile run along the newest stretch of the Peaks-2-Plains path from the Centennial Cone trail head. Twenty five minutes into my adventure, however, the path dead ended and I had to do some extensive math to figure out how to salvage this long run. The P2P segment of completed bike path was about 3-1/4 miles long, so I convinced myself to do three repetitions, out-and-back. The course rolled along the creek with some slight hills and a gradual 400-feet elevation gain over 3+ miles.
I maintained a mellow pace throughout and intended to race the last 3-miles at a downhill tempo effort. At mile 17, I took off, guns-a-blazing. It’s funny how long miles feel when you focus on every… single… step. The first tempo mile lasted a grueling 5:30, according to my Garmin timekeeping apparatus. To keep this post concise, the remaining miles need not be recalled.
I felt good during the tempo, but had a notion that my pace would taper off significantly as fatigue set in. This was my first 20+ mile run since December, and my first 70+ mile week. Despite a haphazard 3-mile tempo effort, I am satisfied with my consistent and persistent training.
Following the run, I reflected on my current training schedule and how much I am enjoying the adjustments made for this training cycle.
During fall training in preparation for TNF50, I ran long/hard on Saturday, long/easy on Sunday, off on Monday, and did a workout on Tuesday.
Here are a few things about this schedule that proved less than ideal:
- Both weekend mornings were sacrificed to running. Things I savor that were sacrificed: mornings without an alarm, sipping morning coffee at home, and reading/building/lounging at home. See the pattern?
- When Monday’s were rest days, I was still “working.” Sure I didn’t have a paying job last fall, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t have work week stress and anxiety just like everyone else. Mondays held pressure to find a job, align my finances, or make a networking connection… hardly the R&R that one yearns for in a heavy training cycle. Utilizing Sundays as my rest day, I now put a concerted effort towards sitting on my butt and allowing myself to rejuvenate.
- Tuesday sessions held workout malaise. Mustering the spirit to do a workout immediately following a day off was less than exhilarating. I didn’t keep a record of the number of “mediocre workouts” I glazed through last fall, but I can’t imagine there was much high-quality back then. Now, I’m putting in easy Monday miles to get the oil flowing, as they say.
That’s a wrap. Enjoy your weekend, and get excited for the week ahead.