Friday, November 11, 2011

November 11, 2011 - Busy Couple Weeks.. But Some Great Running..

Over the past couple weeks, I have been feeling really good.. It's the best I have felt since my summer training. My mileage has ranged between mid90s to low100miles / week, my pace in workouts has come easily, and I am recovering quickly. What more could I ask for.. Below I have highlighted some of my major runs during an intense 8day period....

Grand Canyon S.Kaibab Rim to Phantom & Back - This was a solid run. My focus was to keep it somewhat conservative all day. I didn't want to dig to deep on my first trip out. Despite, taking it easy I managed a 56min trip from the Rim to River. The run from the bridge to Phantom was very relaxed and took me about 15min round trip. On the run up, I once again focused on keeping the pace under control. Despite hiking behind a mule train for 7min, I made the climb out in 1hr 11min. That is really fast for me especially considering how much I tempered my effort. I hoped this was a sign of things to come...

A1 21miler -  This run is a fairly flat run for the first & last 7miles. The middle 7 is very rolling, but somewhat fast. I kept it somewhat subdued the first 7miles on the gradual uphill grade and averaged 6:40/mile pace. The next 7miles, I decided to pick it up a bit and kept each mile between 5:50 and 6:10/mile pace. My original plan was to "throw-down" over the final 7miles, but my legs were still feeling the Canyon run from a few days before. As such, I decided to keep the pace steady, but not too fast. I ended up closing out the final 7miles at a 6:20/mile clip. I was very happy with the effort.

Elden Up Over & Back from Buffalo Park - This run starts at Buffalo Park then hop on the Pipeline Trail, which is quite rolling, to Forces of Nature Trail.  This trail is a rocky, winding single track, which connects me to Fat Man’s Loop.  The footing is about the same as Forces of Nature Trail.  I then run to Elden Lookout Trail, which takes me to the Summit of Elden.  From the Summit, I head down Elden Road to the Gate, where I have water & gel waiting for me.  At that point, I turn around.. and do it again in reverse.  All in all, this run includes ~5,500 of climbing and  ~5,500 of descent… and covers about 28miles.  The trails range from super technical to smooth dirt road.  A great mix…. and a tough day of running.

As I started this run, my focus again was to keep the effort fairly subdued. The miles came very easily and throughout the run I continually beat splits from my previous runs on this course. The last 5miles I really pulled back the effort as I didn't want to "dig to deep". Eventually I finished the run in 3:48:05 (my fastest time about 1.5min). My splits were Buffalo to 1st Lookout Trail Sign 36:27, 1st Sign to Summit 34:37, Summit to Elden Road Gate 37:07, Gate to Summit 49:09, Summit to 1st Sign 28:05, 1st Sign to Buffalo 42:38.

All in all, I am feeling really good about where I am at right now. I just need to keep things on track through early December. It appears that the start list for the North Face 50miler is turning into a Who's Who of Ultra Running. I am really looking forward to competing with these guys.  

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