Monday, March 29, 2010

Big Miles Before American River

Here are the last two weeks of running lined up together:


M- AM 72 min, 10 miles

T-  AM 63 min, 9 miles

W- AM 91 min, 14 miles @ 6:30 pace

     PM 41 min, 6 miles

T- 140 min, 18 miles

F- AM 43 min, 6 miles

     PM 43 min, 6 miles

S- 115 min, 15 miles

S- 75 min, 11 miles

TOTAL: 95 miles, 11 hrs 23 min, 7:11 min/mile


M- AM 66 min, 10 miles

     PM 42 min, 6 miles

T- WORKOUT, AM 8 miles @ 6:40, 8 miles @ 6:30

                      PM 8 miles @ 6:40, 8 miles @ 6:30

Actual:  AM 8 miles (50:38), 8 miles (49:37)

+ 2 mile warmup and 2 mile cooldown (28:12)

PM 8 miles (50:28), 8 miles (50:01)

+ 2 mile warmup and 2 mile cooldown (29:36)

Total speed workout miles: 32

Avg min/mile during workout: 6:16.75

Total miles run: 40

Avg min/mile total: 6:28.09

W- AM 46 min, 6 miles

     PM 44 min, 6 miles

T- AM 89 min, 12 miles

     PM 42 min, 6 miles

F- AM 96 min, 14 miles

     PM 42 min, 6 miles

S- CRUD, 168 min, 17 miles

     C2 Yoga, 75 min

     PM 40 min, 6 miles

S- AM 139 min, 16 miles

     PM 48 min, 6 miles

TOTAL: 151, 18 hrs 42 min, 7:25 min/mile

So, I've been off of the blog for a brief stint.  Mostly, I had nothing to write about.  The week after Salida was a bit boring with mainly recovery miles. This week was quite a bit different.   Originally, I had intended for the weeks to be somewhat similar mileage-wise (somewhere around 130).  But two days after Salida I felt some muscle soreness that told me I might want to back off a little before proceeding to the serious training.  So, after a full week of recovery I was ready to start my last week of high mileage before American River.

This week was not only going to be high mileage, but also quite experimental.  I had been given advice from several people on how to train for this race.  Some said long tempos would do the trick.  Others said high, consistent mileage is the key.  I also heard a few people tell me that quality is the biggest factor.  What I ended up with was a mixture of all three.  

On Monday I decided to get in a solid 16 with my roommate to start off the week well.  There isn't too much to add to that, other than I felt great from the lower mileage week.

Tuesday was a mixture of craziness.  It was my day off of work and I had chosen to do my big workout for that reason.  Seeing that it was warm and sunny outside, I changed my plans a bit to avoid driving to the start of my workout and ended up running 2 miles to warm up.

Once I got to mile marker 31.5 on the Sante Fe Trail, I took off my jacket and knotted it into the handhold on my water bottle, setting it next to the marker.  I had originally wanted to do 

the first of four 8-mile repeats at 6:40 min/mile.  The first mile was on pace, but felt way too comfortable.  I began to lengthen my stride and without much more effort found myself hitting the 2 mile mark at 12:50.  Even though this was much too fast, I still felt great and decided to keep up the effort for the rest of the way, hitting 8 miles in 50:38.  At this point I caught my breath and took a gel and a swig of water.  The next round was a bit faster (49:37) and by the end I was desperate for a drink of water.  Reaching down to my jacket for my water bottle, I noticed it was no longer there.  Someone had actually taken the time to unknot my jacket from the water bottle, and just steal the water bottle.  Cost of jacket: ~ $100.  Cost of water bottle: ~ $22.  This will rack my brain for weeks, months, maybe even years. So, after the second 8-mile jaunt I ran home 2 miles, empty handed, and took an ice bath and a nap to prepare myself

 for the next workout. 

Running back out to the start, I met my friend Harsha at the mile marker.  He was going to run one of the 8 mile time trials with me and it felt great to have some company.  So we set out at a comfortable pace.  However, by the second mile the pace had increased significantly and Harsha's left hamstring was starting to bunch up.  I learned shortly after this that he had already run for 2.5 hours that day.  He told me to go on, and I made my way to the 4 mile turnaround point.  Coming back, I saw Harsha again and he joined me for the last 3 miles or so to the finish.  On the way we met Larry on his bike, and he paced me the entire way back to a time of 50:28.  Setting out north for the last 8 mile split, it began to rain and I tried to stay as close to Larry as I could to avoid the cold rain.  At this point I could feel my body start to become indifferent to the discomfort I was feeling.  I felt the same at 7 minute pace as I did at 6.  As I noticed this, I began to push harder and harder.

By the time we made it to the 4 mile mark, the rain had increased and it was getting windier by the second.  Harsha met us there and I took a quick sip of gatorade before heading back alone.  As I entered the final mile the rain turned into ice pellets and I hammered a 6 flat mile to get to my rain jacket as soon as possible.  I crossed the line in 50:01.  After quickly putting on my jacket and retrieving my water bottle (this one didn't get stolen) I ran home very awkwardly, being pelted by freezing raindrops the entire time.  Being in my apartment for only about 10 minutes, I heard my neighbor exclaim, "HOLY SH*T!!!".  I ran outside, and to my amazement saw a winter wonderland.  About 2 inches of snow had fallen in that short amount of time.  All I could do was laugh.  What an interesting day....

The rest of the week went by very well.  I had a few longish runs on my own and one with CRUD in another blustery, frigid outing.  And to cap off the week, I finished a 16 miler with a new friend named Peter Maksimow.  He is new to the Inov-8 team, and will definitely be a threat this year at Mt. Washington.  Check out his profile here.

Altogether, I think this week went very well.  I managed to rack up a personal record for the amount of miles run, as well as getting in a very solid workout in preparation for American River.  The key points for success were: I had 4 runs that were 1:29:00 or higher, a 40 mile workout, ran 151 miles and scheduled in 7 recovery runs. If I can manage to recover well this week I believe I will be a very dangerous competitor in this race.


  1. "If I can manage to recover well this week I believe I will be a very dangerous competitor in this race."


  2. Andy,
    You are an awesome runner. I am glad to have (tried to) run few miles with you.

    Let me know if you want to run together on Thursday morning.

    Take care and rest up. Recover well and I know you will achieve your goal at AR50.


  3. Andy, congratulations on your terrific performance at American River. WOW.