Thursday, August 7, 2008

Grindstone Training, Week #8, August 4-10


That's where I am in my training now. I have spent the past few months building my base miles (with a few stops to race), so now it's time to enter the sharpening phase. This is a period of training that combines relatively high mileage with runs of increased intensity, and should last any where from 6-12 weeks before the taper begins. In my case, I will sharpen for about 5 weeks and taper for 3 weeks.

This week ended up being my best yet in terms of mileage (80+) and key runs (a kick ass track workout/hill repeat day as well as some good long climbing days). I also mixed in some swimming and lifting, and I took a full day off, which made a huge difference in my ability to pull it off.

A few thoughts on nutrition...I was having a conversation with a woman who has run many road marathons, yet has no idea how to use nutrition to her advantage in training or during races. In fact, she rarely uses a sport drink or gels, even when running longer than 2 hours. I told her that for me, it doesn't matter how fit I am going into an ultra, if I don't have a solid nutrition plan in place (and use it), all that training will be wasted--- I will bonk and crash. To that end, I am eating as many healthy foods as I can my hands on during the week, as well as attempting to mimic race day nutrition in all my training runs, and using Cappuccino Ultragen recovery drink after every hard run. I am a huge believer in proper fueling and recovery and I am still learning!

OK, if you are still reading, here's the week:

Monday, August 4: OFF. No running, lifting, swimming. Slept late, ate well.

Tuesday, August 5: 9 easy miles on single track. Lifted 30 minutes core and upper body.

Wednesday, August 6: Track workout/hill repeats. I started with a 3 mile WU, then I ran 8x800s with 200 recovery between each. My splits were: 3:14, 3:14, 3:11, 3:10, 3:10, 3:09, 3:08, 3:09. I was focusing on getting negative splits and staying very relaxed. Afterwards, I ran 5 miles very easy on trail but in the middle of this run I ran 4 power lines at 1:10 per repeat, which are my fastest PL splits yet! Total miles, about 12.

pm: My son is running on the STAB cross country team this year (YAY!), so while he was at evening practice, I ran 5 easy shake out miles on Ohill near UVA.

Thursday, August 7: Easy 6 miles on dirt roads with Hallie at about 8:20 pace.

Friday, August 8: Easy 10 miles on road (the Charlottesville 10 miler course) with Leisa at 8:20 pace.

Saturday, August 9: Fun, hilly 18 mile run with Greg on the Moorman's Loop: Here are the GPS details.It was a glorious day, no humidity and bright sun. Greg and I yakked about ultras, training, nutrition, his new house...good times! Thanks, Greg!

Sunday, August 10: Tough, hilly run with the VHTRC gang (below) in and around White Oak Canyon, about 25 miles. (Click on the White Oak Canyon link, and scroll down to see a map of the area where we ran, including up White Oak Canyon in the Shenandoah National Park to Hawksbill, the highest point in the SNP, then north on the AT to Skyland, where we fueled up for the long downhill into Nicholson Hollow, site of the the infamous VHTRC Corbin Cabin weekend of July 2005).

A welcome thunderstorm rolled through the hollow for the last hour of the run...then it was party time! I love running and playing with these folks. We have some great memories together of past training runs and races, and have bonded through many life challenges, including marriage, injury, family illness, and break-ups. Most importantly, we understand and appreciate each other's love for trails and ultras, no questions asked!

Quatro Hubbard is in front, then L-R are John Cassilly, Marlin Yoder,Gary Knipling,and Bethany Patterson;Back row L-R are Kirstin Corris, Tom Corris, Joe Clapper, Michele Harmon,Marc Griffin, Gary Hearn, Kerry Owens, Dave Quivey, Jill Quivey, Debbie Schaffer, and Mitchell Goodman.

More pics from the run are here, courtesy of Kirstin Corris, and here, courtesy of Quatro Hubbard.

This was a huge training week and now it's time to bring down the mileage to a more human level...50-60 mile weeks with good quality runs and lots of rest, and a few more long runs for good measure. After running with a few other Grindstone entrants this weekend (Greg, Gary, Kerry, Marc, Marlin, John). I am getting very psyched for this adventure!

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