Bradley's View

Bradley's View

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Week In Review: 1/23/12-1/29/2012

     It turns out that whenever I think I've learned something about how to manage my running and training everything gets flipped sidedown-up, causing me to reevaluate.  Here is the situation:  I dragged myself through 27 miles last week with a sore shin, then turn out 70 miles this week that, though not free of shin pain, were 100% enjoyable.  Strange.  And now my shin feels as if its healing.  Stranger...

     Digits:   5- miles not run on trails, 20- about how many miles were run at over 5,000 ft, 3- days on this January week I ran shirtless, 1- month until Run For Relief: Rhode Island!

1/23- Monday
       AM- 6.5 miles on the trails around UNCA, 50 minutes, ~700 ft

       PM-4 miles around W. Asheville with Luna, ~30 minutes, ~120 ft

1/24- Tuesday
       AM- 7.5 miles in Shining Rock Wilderness/Art Loeb Trail with Mel (for some) and Luna.  1:25, ~1200 ft

1/25- Wednesday
        PM-  11 miles in 1:36 on MST.  Folk Art Center to Craven's Gap and back.  2080 ft

1/26- Thursday
        AM- 1 mile, 200 ft on treadmill.  Shin felt unprecedentedly terrible; may have jumped up the incline and speed too quickly, but either way I didn't see it practical to continue with this workout.  6 miles biking, 1 hour yoga.  Icing 3-4 times a day, maintaining compression when possible, too.  Really hoping to heal this thing.

1/27- Friday
       PM- 8 miles (2 barefoot), 1 hour, ~200 ft? with Adam and Luna at and around Azalea Park

1/28- Saturday
       AM- 32 miles in 5:45 with Mike, 4000 ft to and from the summit of Mt Mitchell.  Great run, took it easy, the shin felt great later on in the run and continues to feel pretty good as I write this post.  Couldn't be more delighted!

1/29- Sunday

Totals:  70 miles, 11 hours, ~8,500 ft

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Week In Review: 1/16/12-1/22/2012

     Numerically speaking, this is a hard week for me to look at.  I take it as a learning experience about how to apply rest and recovery to my training regime.  I have a lot of great runs that I'm looking forward to and will get to log plenty of time on my feet before my notable endeavors arrive on the calendar.  Can't wait for next week!

1/16- Monday
     Rested from a good weekend's work

1/17- Tuesday
     AM- 4.5 miles on the treadmill in 32 minutes, 580 ft

1/18- Wednesday
     AM- 3 miles on the track at UNCA, 1 mile warmup, 800 in 2:37 (1:13, 1:24), 400 jog, 1600 in 5:54 (1:29, 1:29, 1:30, 1:26), 400 jog.  
     Strong winds and heavy legs make these times tough to accept, but I'll get out there fresh again sometime soon and see what I can do.

1/19- Thursday
     It feels like all I got out of yesterday's workout was a sore left shin...

1/20- Friday
      3 miles barefoot with Adam and Luna at Azalea Park in :25

1/21- Saturday
      16.5 miles in 2:28, 3,500 ft at the Sultan 50k in South Mountain State Park.  My shin begged me to stop at the halfway point, and I conceded.

1/22- Sunday
      Iced the shin and did some strength work

Totals:  27 miles, ~4 hours, 4,080 ft.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Week In Review: 1/9/12-1/15/2012

     This has without a doubt been another great week of training.  Its always a delight to get out in the hills with Mel and Luna a couple of times during the week.  Thursday's trip to the Foothills Trail allowed us to do some invaluable re-con for March's traverse.  The bit of speedwork on Wednesday felt great and I recovered well.  Doing back to back double digits this weekend was a new and important experience.  I felt like my body handled the short recovery period pretty well (not as well as Luna's!) and was blessed with beautiful weather, though a little chilly at times, for both of those excursions.  So here it is, the week in review:

1/9- Monday
      AM- 4 miles at UNCA in ~35 minutes.  1 on the treadmill and 3 barefoot just inside of the track.   0 vert
      PM-  3 miles to the video store and home with Luna, 27 minutes, 100 ft

1/10- Tuesday
      AM- 4.5 miles in 1:00 in Montreat with Mel and Luna.  Lookout Trail to Rattlesnake Mountain, Rainbow Road up Rainbow Mountain and down Rainbow Road to the parking area. 1,076 ft

1/11- Wednesday
     AM- ~8.5 with Luna on the MST in :58.  862 ft
              74-A to Sweeten Creek: 30:29
              Double track and back: 20:01

1/12- Thursday
      AM- 5.5 miles with Mel and Luna on the Foothills Trail at Whitewater Falls in 1:20. ~600 ft

1/13- Friday
      100 pushups, 50 dips, 30 pull-ups, 8.5 minutes of planks

       PM- 18 miles at Warren Wilson with Luna in 2:13.  Met up with Adam and Scott for the final 8 in 62 minutes.  ~450 ft

1/15- Sunday
       PM- 18 miles in Bent Creek with Luna in 2:20.  Definitely fatigued from yesterday for the first 9 or 10, but was really able to pick it up for the remainder.  ~3500 ft

Totals: 61.5 miles, 8 hours 53 minutes, ~6588 ft vertical

This doesn't to any justice to the grandeur of Whitewater Falls  

Gal on the go

Babe on a bridge

This place rocks... Ha..ha.ha..

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Week In Review: 1/2/12-1/8/2012

    Another great week of running in great company.  There were some frigid days and some gloriously sunny/comparably warm days, can't complain a bit.  I felt as though I ran pretty strong all week, yet also harnessed myself enough to make this training effective in lieu of inhibiting any productivity in the coming days.  Without further avail, the week in review:

1/2- Monday
      PM- ~8 mi in 1:06 on the MST and up Busbee Mountain with Tim, Adam, and Mike

1/3- Tuesday
      AM- 7.5 in :55 on the treadmill: warm-up/cool-down + 1 mile in 6:30, 1 mile in 6:00, 2 miles at 5% grade, 1 mile at 10% grade (~1050 ft gain)

1/4- Wednesday
      AM- 4 miles in 40 minutes with Melissa in Bent Creek: Bent Creek Gap Rd and Lower Sidehill Trail

1/5- Thursday
      Day of rest

1/6- Friday
      PM- 3 miles barefoot at Azalea Park with Adam in ~25 followed by a "stretching session" (mostly sunbathing).

1/7- Saturday
      Tanawha Marathon, 27 miles in 5:09

1/8- Sunday
      Vertic-ALE mile, a few miles in addition to that, totaling at 6 in about an hour.

Totals: 55.5 miles, 8 hours 30 minutes

The Vertic-ALE Mile

     The name of this run alone is enough to raise eyebrows, the intention of the run is something to surely befuddle the most understanding of minds, while the actualization and execution of such an event is enough to make your stomach churn... no really.

     Rick did a fantastic job organizing the event, measuring the course, and inciting enthusiasm in all parties involved, can't thank him enough!   Here is how the Vertic-ALE Mile works:  You find a hill that is a mile long, the more difficult the better, you get four beers above 5.0% ABV (no light/lite beers), you consume one as quickly as possible at the starting line (bottom of the hill) with some of your closest friends, then run a 1/4 mile, consume another, another 1/4 mile, then another, another 1/4 mile then another, and then push yourself up the final 1/4 mile climb attempting to keep your stomach's contents in place.

      This edition of the competition took place at Bearwallow Mountain, the course ran a gravel road for the first 3/4 of a mile before (after the 4th beverage) turning into an insanely steep cow pasture (20+% grade?!) and arriving at the terminus.  The mile gains about 663 ft of vertical, whew!

     The event ran smoothly with belches echoing throughout the woods, 5 dogs dogging around (Luna's first run in a while!!), and hard up-hill running.  Everyone in attendance greatly exceeded expectations, finishing without emptying their stomachs and in, what seem to be, incredibly respectable times for such an event!  We didn't really know how it was going to shape up as Tim, Adam, and I had run 27 miles and Brandon threw down a burly 20 the day before but I was able to pull off a second place finish in this one.  I can say with the utmost confidence that the keys to success in this event are: 1) Being able to run uphill, 2) Being able to belch out enough carbonation in between quarter miles to make room for the upcoming beverage.

I emerge from the mist.  Luna takes flight!?

     Here are the standings of the top 5 finishers, I'm not sure what everyone else's finish times were...

    1) Tim- 11:58
    2) Jon(me)-12:48
    3) Adam- 14:12
    4) Clay- 14:26
    5) Brandon- 16:00

    Isaiah, Rick, and Lindsey all preformed really well, too!  A big thanks to Brian for filming the event and to Damien and Hayley for snapping photos along the way and at the finish.

The Vertic-Ale crew!

    After the main event, many of us ran a few more miles on the trails before descending the mountain once again only to be greeted by a scrumptious cookout prepared by Tim and Lindsey!

The Tanawha Marathon

     This run marks another huge success among the ranks of great WNC Trailrunner fun-runs. Many props to Brandon for his coordinating of the run and to the others who helped with aid or shuttling and the likes to make the event possible.

     The Tanawha Trail is a 13.5 stretch of extremely diverse trail that parallels both the Blue Ridge Parkway and the range of Grandfather Mountain, brilliantly laid out in between the two.  The marathon mandated an out-and-back of this trail from the Price Lake Parking Area to the Beacon Heights Overlook.  There were about 26 folks in attendance, East Tennessee, part of Virginia, the Triad, Charlotte-area, and WNC were all represented.

     Friday evening Adam, Matt and I drove to Brandon's house to enjoy a dinner and to have a jumping-off point leaving us with less driving the day of the endeavor.  I really can't thank he and Hannah enough for putting us up and feeding us so well. The next morning we drove up the mountain on 321 with a brilliant sunrise in one direction illuminating every fold and contour of the surrounding valley, but up ahead on the mountain the clouds appeared precariously think and ominous.  Fortunately, we staved off the rain for most of the day and enjoyed ideal running conditions with about 50 degree weather, a slight breeze, and occasional bursts of sunshine.

     After meeting up in the parking lot of Price Lake and receiving a briefing on the course, we were off!  I took off with Tim and Matt and hung with them for the first three miles before deciding to shed a layer and run solo for the next three.  Adam met up with me shortly after that and before too long we caught back up to Tim (Matt had turned off to tag the summit of Calloway Mountain, a slew of others followed suit making this a 20 mile or 32 mile venture, depending of if they elected to complete the out-and back on the Tanawha).
     Tim, Adam, and I (Kirra was there too, woof!) hung together for sometime.  We enjoyed the venerated vistas on Rough Ridge and navigated the fortuitous fields of boulders that followed as we skirted the famed Linn Cove Viaduct before arriving at Beacon Heights to turn around.  The first 13.5 too us 2 hours and 28 minutes- not your average half marathon!

Me, Adam, and Kirra on top of Rough Ridge

    On the way back we continued moving strong, though we were a bit more leisurely about enjoying the views and visiting with passing friends and strangers.  We took turns setting the pace, which was always very reasonable, and thoroughly enjoyed the next couple of hours- its hard not to enjoy yourself when your running through stellar scenery with two great friends.

Appropriately dubbed the Octopus' garden
     I lament to say that about two miles out from the finish I had a premonition that a bonk was awaiting me not much further down the trail.  I had been in such a groove with the running that I had neglected to take in the calories that my body desperately needed replenished.  Thus, I encouraged Tim and Adam to move ahead as I dragged myself along with hopes of convincing my fatigued legs to continue turning over for something more than meager 3 minutes at a time they were mustering.  With just less than a mile to the finish I was able to really get moving again and arrived at the parking lot about 5 minutes after Tim and Adam, finishing with a time of 5:09.

      We enjoyed some stretching, snacks, and choice beverages while we waited for other finishers to come in and shuttles to arrive from Beacon Heights.  We even knocked away some of the ice on Price Lake so we could soak our legs a little!  A truly fantastic day all in all, and many congratulations to everyone who was out there for gutting out any distance on such a tremendously technical (yet runnable) trail!

The great photos were taken by Tim, you can see some more on his blog.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Week In Review: 12/26/11-1/1/2012

     So, this week's milage was cut back a little more than anticipated.  This was primarily due to my nagging shin-stress; it had been slightly present since I started running in the Inov-8 Roclite 285s.  Midway through the week, however, I switched to my New Balance 101's, which, despite having over 500 miles and little tread left on the mid/forefoot, have never failed me.  Since that the shin pain has gotten about 70% better.
     The second reason for the cut back is that I nixed a 13+ mile run (Commissary Ridge back to Montreat 1/1/12).  In Luna's prancing around the woods after the New Year's Eve campout at Mount Mitchell, she sliced one of her paws open and was bleeding pretty heavily.  I ended up driving back down with Mel so she could sit with Luna and maintain pressure on the injury.  Luna is hopping on three legs at present, but hopefully she won't disrupt the scabbing/healing process too much and she can be back on the trails in a couple of weeks.
   This is how it all shaped up:

12/26- Monday

      AM- 4 miles running (~30 minutes) and a couple more hiking with Luna, Mel, Brit, Mama(dog), and Papa Rose.  Took a nice spill on some ice with bruises to show for it.  Shin is aggravated.

12/27- Tuesday
      14 hours of driving...

12/28- Wednesday
     PM- 4.5 miles in 40 minutes with the Black Mountain Running Company's Hump Day running group.

12/29- Thursday
    AM- 5 miles with Mel and Luna around Warren Wilson in 50 minutes

12/30- Friday
    AM- Grocery Run- 2 miles in 18 minutes

12/31- Saturday
    PM-  Montreat (turn-around at top of Appalachian Way) to Commissary Ridge (Mount Mitchell State Park), ~13 miles- 1:15 to the Parkway, 2:06 to the ridge.  An extra ~4.5 around the park (total running time 2:55) before grabbing my camping gear from the car at Steppe's Gap.

   Decided to take my first day off of the year!

    On a whole, I'm pretty delighted with the week's work.  The shin has improved, the IT-Bands aren't so in my face as they once were.  I felt really strong on almost all of the runs.  I look forward to seeing how it carries over to this weekend's Tanawha Marathon!

Totals:  33 miles, 5 hours 10 minutes