I guess now is a good time to formally acknowledge that my training is in progress. The start of this week marked 13-weeks until my next A-RACE, the Tussey Mountainback 50-mile run in State College, PA. Now is as good a time as any to catapult back into a loosely-structured training calendar.
I’ve started to look at the Tussey course profile from their website and previous race entries on Strava. It is intimidating! And that is a damn good thing. Check out below how the Race Director broke the course profile down by segments, I hate it, I love it. Most of the detail below is due to this race doubling as a 50-mile ultra and a 12-leg relay. Wanna run it too!?! This is typical with how I segment a course profile to gauge the amount of climbing, distance between aid stations, derive a terrain-based pace, and pick an overly ambitious finishing goal time out of my hat.
There’s a bit more climbing here than I currently chose to accept. For a USATF Road Championship race, this will be a freaking challenging course. While I fear and dread the uphill challenge, it’s also what makes it all worth while for me. I’m a planner, a strategizer, and I will show up on race day ready to rock & roll.
As you may have read in my blogs of the last few weeks, despite not being “focused” on training, I’ve been averaging 70-ish trail miles per week for the last month. I’ve been getting tons of trail miles and working hard with my run crews in Denver and Golden. Needless to say, I’m gonna keep having fun, enjoying weekend adventures, and taking advantage of the weather, terrain, and motivation that has been fueling me this summer season.
Up and over the Mesa to work (5.5-mi).
And from work (8-mi).
Up and over the Mesa to work (5.5-mi).
And from work (8-mi).
That my friends is consistency. Two days and 27-miles run commuting over the trails of South Table Mesa. What I first thought would be boring & routine – running the same route repeatedly – has become an enjoyable path of stillness, solitude, and the nature.
Dose of running history: I read a RW article about Dick Beardsley and Alberto Salazar in their Duel in the Sun. Which led me to read about Salazar’s victory at Comrades Marathon (54-miler) in 1994. You can read more about Comrades from author/runner, Amby Burfoot. And down the rabbit hole we go with a Comrades recap from Kami Semick.
WORKOUT PLAN: Next Saturday’s long run (7/22 630AM) will be a self-supported Wash Park Marathon: 2.6 mile lap times 10. Join me!
November Project took place at the Cap Building Stairs where we climbed the Mountain. Afterward, I ran from Julia’s work back to our house. Then after work, I cashed in a much deserved cold soak in Clear Creek.
I had an idea for a workout for PlayGldn. I’d received a tip about a 12×1-minute interval workout and wanted to see how the crew would hang. It was awesome.
We did 1-minute sprint intervals, with 1-minute rest/recovery jog downhill. We got worked! If any of you are intrigued about PlayGldn and wonder if you’re allowed to join… of course you are! We are an open community, pushing each other by Working Hard on Thursday mornings. That is who we be.
Killian Jornet on running the Hardrock 100 in Silverton, CO: “Enjoy the course, the exploration, the journey, the nature.”
We took off for San Jose, California to celebrate the 50th Wedding Anniversary of my great Aunt and Uncle. We were stoked to get back to Cali for the weekend and explore some new sights en route to the celebration. Flying into SJC Airport, Julia picked a great mid-drive running/exploration route in Point Lobos State Reserve near Carmel, CA.
We covered a scenic 6-mile loop, catching glimpses of seals, rock formations, and car-ridden tourists. We couldn’t resist the temptation to cap off our run with a refreshing dip in the Pacific Ocean. We’d intended to drive Hwy 1 all the way to Morro Bay, however, portions of the road are impassable due to high rains and mud slides experienced through the winter. Nonetheless, we were back in the car headed southbound on the 101.
Of course, I hit up the hotel breakfast buffet before we hopped in the car for a quick drive to San Luis Obispo. Again, Julia found a looping trail on the Cal Poly campus called the Canyon Loop. We had some missteps searching for the loop, but eventually found ourselves in a magical open range of treeless hills:
There was a 4-engine jet circling overhead during our run. Likely, it was monitoring the billowing smoke rising from the near-by hills. There seemed to be a lot of haze and smoke covering the California skies, not sure if that’s typical for the season or if brush fires are happening all over. Judging by the 105F temperatures that we experienced in the Atascadero hills, I guess it’s just the season of hot, dry, and hazy.
After tackling the trail loop for 2-hours, Julia and I pushed the pace for another hour on the gravel road along Cal Poly’s ranch lands. It felt good to work hard on a flat-ish road for an hour, making up for my recent focus on slower trail running.
The cherry on top of the morning was the coffee shop that Julia found, just a few minutes from Cal Poly Campus. The best coffee shop in all of SLO, called Scout Coffee:
Next we slipped into family mode and met up with my parents for lunch in Morro Bay:
Then we went to party-hardy at Taft Ranch in Atascadero to celebrate Bob and Carol:
Fun and games pursued:
The action packed weekend was bookended with more sight-seeing as we made our way from SLO to LAX. Julia eyed the town of Solvang, CA as the perfect respite for mid-morning coffee and Danish pastries.
Our time table quickly became compressed due to traffic on the 101 from Ventura, CA all the way to LAX. Despite the crunch, we still made a brief run & soak pitstop in Santa Barbara. We ran 3 quick miles along the boardwalk, then soaked in the ocean one last time before departing. There were no pictures taken during this run, or in Santa Barbara at all. No Time! We grabbed burritos to-go and hit the slow road to LAX.
I’m happy to report that we made it to our gate with 10-minutes to spare before boarding. Julia and I love traveling and love packing as much great tastes, fun sights, and must-sees into whatever time we have in our travels. While we wished we could have stayed for another week or month in California, we know we’ll be back soon enough!
Endurance Changes Time,
TRAINING PLAN: I’ll be running a marathon in Wash Park (10×2.6-mile laps, clockwise) on Saturday 7/22 630AM! A Self-Supported training run, if you wanna join for part or all! Start, Park, and Self-Aid-Station at Kentucky Ave & Downing St.