Sunday, June 21, 2009

Western States 100-Week 6

“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, because He cares about you.” 1 Peter 5:6,7

D-6 and counting!! This was a great week of fine tuning and altitude acclimatization. I rolled into Estes Park, CO on Monday and was able to get in five awesome runs during the week. I plan to leave for Squaw Valley on Tuesday with my crew (Mom and Dad) and feel that I am ready to go for the 0500 start on Saturday. Anyone interested in following the race can click here to follow the live webcast, my bib number is 262. The webcast should be up and running by Friday.

I started off the week on Tuesday with a 5.1 mile run around Lake Estes and was lucky enough to be accompanied by my son and daughter on their bikes. The lake sits at just under 8000 feet elevation and I could definitely feel the difference, there were a couple of hills but the run was mostly flat. On Wednesday I dropped my three daughters off at The Girls Trail End, Cheley Colorado Camp, where they will spend the next 4 weeks having a great time playing in the Rocky Mountains. After we dropped off the girls, I went for a good 9 mile run to Gem Lake. This had about 3500 feet of elevation gain and 1800 feet elevation loss. I met my dad and son at the lake and then we hiked down together.

Friday we went into the Rocky Mountain National Park and I was dropped off in Moraine Park and ran up to Bierstadt Lake to meet my dad, son, sister and her kids. This was another great hill run with 2500 feet up and 1200 down. The first 4 miles of the run was gentle uphill to Cub Lake, the last 4 was on very steep and rocky trails. After I met up with the crew at the lake we hiked 1.6 miles down a very rocky trail to the parking lot. It is awesome to watch young kids get such a kick out of being in nature, they had a great time an did a super job on a difficult hike.

Saturday was my last long training run and I could not have had a better confidence building run. I was dropped off this time at the Alpine Visitors Center, elevation 11,800 feet and I ran down Old Fall River Road to the Alluvial Fan parking area (10 miles and 3500 foot descent). I had planned on running this at an easy pace that would keep my heart rate low and keep my legs feeling good and I thought that would be at about a 10 minute per mile pace. I got to the bottom in 1 hour 20 minutes which was an 8:05 minute per mile pace and I felt great. I hope to ride that run into next week.

Well the training is done and all that lies ahead is 100 miles of beautiful Sierra Nevada mountain trails. I have come a long way from where I was at this time last year. I think that my training has been more focused, I am in better shape than I was last year. The 100 mile distance is not as big of mystery since I was able to complete that distance last October, however the respect for the distance is greater than ever. So the goal is to focus on crossing the finish line in less than 24 hours. My Faith is stronger than ever, the Lord will define how this race will be run and I will praise Him regardless of the results. I have been put in a position to accomplish a feat that is only possible with His help and for this I will give Him all the glory. Run Strong!

God Bless and Semper Fi,
Training for 15-21 June: Weekly Mi (34.3), June Mi (138.3), 2009 Mi (1183.6)
Mon: Cross Country Travel
Tues: 5.1 mi - Lake Estes
Wed: 8.5 mi - Gem Lake Loop
Thurs: 2 mi - Lake Estes
Fri: 8.8 mi - Bierstadt Lake
Sat: 9.9 mi - Old Fall River Road
Sun: Off

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Western States 100 - Week 5

"The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped. Therefore my heart rejoices, and I praise Him with my song." Psalm 28:7D -11 and counting! This was the first week of tapering going into the big race. The goal was to try and reduce my miles by 25% and I was able to accomplish that with a 45 mile week and some pretty good running. The body is in pretty good shape, nothing is bothering me at the moment. I kept my pace slower this week , in an effort to keep anything from breaking.

Last Friday I unofficially retired from the Marine Corps, I am actually on a period of terminal leave with a final retirement date of 1 September. So this week I got to enjoy some low stress taskers around the house as well as some easy running. Monday I got out to the Bull Run Conservancy and ran a solid hill routine for about 8 miles. While I was running my dad and son had the chance to get in some hiking in the Bull Run mountains.

Tuesday I had plans of running 10 miles around the battlefield but a nasty thunderstorm cut that short and I ended up logging 6 miles of very soggy running. I took Wednesday off and ran 15 on the Bull Run-Occoquan trail on Thursday morning. I ran this at a 10:30mpm pace and felt real good at the end. The trail was in pretty bad shape from all of the ran we had the week prior.

Friday I took a 7 mile run in the neighborhood and tried out a new pair of Nike Lunartrainer road shoes that I had sent to me by a College classmate and Nike Running representative. Thanks Phil, the shoes felt great and even though I don’t do much road running these will be the shoe of choice for those kind of runs.

Saturday was my last run in the Virginia area prior to heading west and it was fitting that I ran out at the Bull Run Battlefield. As I have said in previous posts, this has become my favorite place to run and this last 10 mile run was just the send off that I needed going into the Western States.

Sunday my dad and I loaded up the car with 4 kids and started the drive out to Colorado. The kids are going to camp and I will be able to get some altitude acclimatization as well as a couple of good mountain runs. We are planning on driving out to Squaw Valley starting next Tuesday, arriving on Wednesday. Right know all systems are go and the Lord continues to watch over me. I need to stay focused and healthy, continue to plan and study the course and remember where my strength comes from. Run Strong!

God Bless and Semper Fi,

Training for 8-14 June: Weekly Mi (45.6), June Mi (104), 2009 Mi (1149.2)

Mon: 8.1 mi- Bull Run Conservancy
Tues: 6.1 mi- Bull Run Battlefield
Wed: Off
Thurs: 15 mi- Bull Run-Occoquan Trail
Fri: 7 mi- Neighborhood
Sat: 9.4 mi- Bull Run Battlefield
Sun: Off

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Western States 100 - Week 3 and 4

“I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; my flesh also will rest in hope.” Psalm 16: 8,9

This has been a hectic couple of weeks. Last Friday I retired from the Marine Corps after 20 years of service and my time has been split between running and finalizing the details for that event. The ceremony and post party went over great and now I get ready to start the next chapter in my life. Even with all of the commotion of the retirement I was able to continue to get some good final hard training weeks in.

Week 3 training continued to focus on the tempo and fartlek running; however I had a couple of good long runs. I started out on the hills of the Bull Run Conservancy for a great 13 mile Memorial Day run and then took to the WO&D trail for the rest of the weekday running. We spent the weekend at Lake Anna and I took a good 12 mile run on Sunday in the Lake Anna State Park. I ended up with 68.2 miles for the week and felt pretty good about the pace that I was running.

I knew that week 4 was going to be a busy week and that most of my miles would come during the weekdays, so I went out heavy on the WO&D trail. Monday I got both an AM and PM run commute for a total of 15.5 miles at about a 7:30mpm pace, 8 miles on Tuesday and then a big 15.5 mile AM and 8 mile PM commute on Wednesday for a 23.5 mile day. The only run I got over the weekend was a great 5.4 mile run at the Bull Run Battlefield with my good friend Randy, who was in from California for the retirement festivities. By the way, Randy had just completed his first marathon the week prior to coming out to Virginia (San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon)—nice job Brother, I’ll see you in October for the MCM. I ended up week 4 with 58.4 miles and am now looking to start into my tapering process for the 27 June WS100.

With the bulk of the training complete, I feel that I am better shape than I was last year. The speed training has made a big difference in my fitness level and I hope that it is enough to get me to Auburn under 24 hours. I will keep the blog posts rolling in and hopefully they will be a little more frequent now that I have a little more time on my hands. Run Strong!

God Bless and Semper Fi,
Training for 25-31 May: Weekly Mi (68.2), May Mi (284.8), 2009 Mi (1045.2)

Mon: 13 mi- Bull Run Conservancy
Tues: 5 mi- Crossramp, Upper Body Lift
Wed: 8 mi- AM Run Commute WO&D Trail, AB
Thurs: 15.5 mi- (Tempo) 8 mi-AM / 7.5mi-PM Run Commute WO&D Trail, AB
Fri: Off
Sat: 14.7 mi- Bull Run Battlefield
Sun: 12 mi- Lake Anna State Park

Training for 1-7 June: Weekly Mi (58.4), June Mi (58.4), 2009 Mi (1103.6)

Mon: 15.5 mi- (Fartlek) 8 mi-AM / 7.5mi-PM Run Commute WO&D Trail, AB
Tues: 8 mi- AM Run Commute WO&D Trail, AB
Wed: 23.5 mi- 15.5 mi-AM / 8 mi-PM Run Commute WO&D Trail, AB
Thurs: 6 mi- Crossramp, Upper Body Lift
Fri: Off
Sat: 5.4 mi- Bull Run Battlefield
Sun: Off
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