Sunday, August 7, 2011

August 7, 2011 – Ending a Great Week with another Hot Day in the Grand Canyon

This week we had a pretty hard week of training in front of us.  Speed work on Monday & Wednesday.. then finish up with a final Canyon run.

Monday’s workout was 20x200m.  We kept the first 12 under control and steadily increased the pace over the last 8.  It ended up being a really solid session.

The 200’s were a perfect prelude to our 10mile Tempo run on Wednesday on Lake Mary Road.  The plan was to stick the pace on 5:30 /mile (~5:15ish altitude adjusted).  Mike and I were joined by Martin Fagan (Irish Half Marathon Record Holder - 60:57… wicked fast guy!!).  We started out ripping low 5:20s and I felt VERY comfortable doing it.  At the end of Mile 4, Martin decided to “open it up”.  Within a half mile he had put 15seconds on me.  It was pretty darn amazing to watch… but mentally it blew me up.  My 5th, 6th, & 7th miles were off.. At mile 8, I was able to bounce back, and averaged 5:28s over the last 3miles.  A solid workout.

Mike & I decided the next run would be a Rim to Phantom and back via South Kaibab.  As mentioned in other posts, this trail is a real “rough” run.  It’s made even harder by the wicked heat and the total lack of water (excluding the pump at Phantom Ranch). 

From the Start, Mike led the downhill and we were making excellent time.  I knew it would make for a tougher climb out, but the beating our legs were taking will benefit us come TransRockies.  We steadily pushed our way down and got to the river in 51:15…. a new downhill record for me.

We quickly covered the mile or so over to Phantom Ranch.  We stopped for a gel and a couple refills.  Now back to the Steeps we go…This flat section from Phantom back to River always gets me a bit anxious.  With each hesitant step, you get closer to the back-breaking South Kaibab trail… then next thing you know, it’s up you go..

I wanted to attempt to push this fairly hard.  My legs felt pretty good and I thought I had a chance to run pretty fast.  I was really slamming my way up.  I got to Midway pretty quickly, but on these super exposed switchbacks, I could feel some life getting sucked out of my legs.

I continued to grind my way up.. and I made it to Cedar Ridge in 55min from the River.  At that point, I knew I still had a good shot of putting in a solid time.  I really cruised the remainder of the trail and finished the climb in 1:12:51.  My second fastest climb up S.Kaibab from the River.  My total roundtrip from the Rim to the River & Back (excluding Phantom Ranch) was 2hrs 4min 6sec.  A new round trip record.

At this point, I am thinking… “We are ready”.. The Speed is there.. The Climbing is there.. The Strength is there.. and we have been running almost exclusively at Altitude.. Now we just have to pull back the mileage.. Let the legs come back a bit... and.. Run.


  1. i love reading about these intense training runs. keep it up boys

  2. Sometimes I like reading / writing them more than the actual running... doesn't hurt near as much... Hope things are good for the "Runner from Down Under"...