Saturday, September 13, 2008

Grindstone Training, Week #13, September 8-14

Reality check!!

Now that school has started, it was tough to find the energy and time to get in my miles this week. I am up at 5:15 am making lunches for the kids and out the door by 6:00am to get to the trail or gym so I can be ready to roll at work by 8:00am...a tight schedule. Luckily, I am not coaching this season so when I get home at 4:00, I can take a 15-minute nap before getting back in the car to pick up the kids at their sports practices. The nap has been a constant throughout this training cycle, and I truly believe it helps my recovery and overall wellness. I feel sorry for my students who look like they could use a nap every afternoon with their really busy schedules!

Here's the week, the last of the sharpening phase. Next week I will taper the miles about 25% to 45 miles, but still include a hilly tempo run, a hill repeat day and a long-ish run.

Monday, September 8: 6 miles on dirt with 10x 30 seconds hard, 30 seconds easy.

Tuesday, September 9: Swim 500 and lift upper body and core.

Wednesday, September 10: 11 miles on rolling roads and technical trail with Bill. This was a hill fartlek workout. We warmed up for 15 minutes, then ran 45 minutes pushing every hill and recovering on the backsides. I finished with 3 powerlines repeats (1:07, 1:05, 1:04) and then another 45 minutes of easy running.

Thursday, September 11: Easy recovery run, 4+ miles. Lifted afterwards focusing on core strength.

Friday, September 12: Easy hilly run on Ohill, 6+ miles, HR below 130.

Saturday, September 13: 14 miles on roads with 10K race in the middle. I ran 2 miles from my house to the start of the Pepsi 10K, a race I had not run since 2000. The race director, Carol Finch, is a longtime Charlottesville Track Club volunteer and she is battling lung cancer. I came to support Carol, along with 400 other runners (the largest field ever) as well as the race beneficiary, the Special Olympics.

My plan for today was not to race all-out, but to use it as a hard tempo run and to maintain 7:00-7:10 pace (the last time I raced a road 10K was here in 2000, when I ran 43:10, a little under 7:00 pace). Since the weather was very humid, I knew I would have to start out slowly. Here are my mile splits:

Mile 1: 7:23 Feeling great, almost too easy (this mile is all downhill)
Mile 2: 6:55 Feeling happy here as I have passed a bunch on this all-hill mile back to the start!
Mile 3: 6:55 Picking off some folks and holding steady---this is a slight downhill.
Mile 4: 7:00 Holding steady but starting to feel the humidity. Moving into top-5 women.
Mile 5: 7:00 Running alongside some UVA women's lacrosse players (their entire team ran the race). This was cool. I played lax at UVA about 25 years ago. :-)
Mile 6.2: Not sure of the split, only that I worked hard to pass a woman about 5 yards before the finish, something I would only do at a road 10K!!!

Final time: 43:25, 15 seconds slower than 2000. This is 7:01 per mile pace...not too bad considering the humid weather! I ended up winning the 45-49 women's age group, too, which was fun because it is a new age group for me! Afterwards, I ran 6 miles easy back home and went to my son's XC meet. He did great considering by the time his race began at 1:30, temps were in the high 80s with loads of humidity. Not a good day to be out racing.

Sunday: OK, this was the REAL reality check. Kerry, Bill Gentry, Ed Duval, Marc Griffin, Vince Bowman, and I ran 20 miles on the Grindstone 100 course. We were also accompanied by Renee Dietrich, who is an NYU journalism grad student working on a movie-length documentary on ultrarunning, and specifically the Grindstone 100. Renee hung out at the top of Elliott's Knob (mile 9ish of the course) with David Snipes, filming the gorgeous view and surroundings, while the rest of us ran to the Chimney Hollow trailhead before turning around. It was extremely hot and humid (highs in the 90s) but we had a nice breeze on ridge.

The reality check came on the way back---roughly miles 85-95 of the Gstone course-- when we had to climb back towards Elliott's Knob after climbing the brutal ups on Crawford Mountain. Kerry and I discussed race pace strategy given all the climbing --the smart runner will run the first 50 at training run pace, nice and slow-- caught up on each other's lives, and had a great time enjoying the trail at an easy pace, since Kerry had run the Ring last weekend and was still recovering. But it was clear to us that this section will be extremely tough in the dark and after 80 miles of running. It is the most technical and rocky section section of the race, and ends with a quad busting descent down Elliott's. Very, very humbling.

Total miles for the week ended up being 60+ miles...I am really looking forward to the taper and to some rest! It has been a fun summer of training and I am excited to see how it will all come together during the race, and am glad to have been able to get out on the course. We agreed that this is going to be a very cool adventure...


Gotta Run said...

I am hitting 50 - 60 miles while in my training for MMTR. Looking forward to taper time once it gets here.

So you are doing Hell Gate and not MMTR?

Gotta Run said...

WOW… you have just about completed the entire series of races. No MMTR?? Just took a look at the elevation chart for your race. Now that is INSANE!!!!

I am signed up for MMTR and counting the days.

Sophie Speidel said...

Yeah, the Grindstone elevation change (23,000 feet of climb and descent) is insane. I think it's going to be toughest on the quads, especially the last stretch down a very steep, loose rock fire road from Elliott's Knob.

I am not running MMTR because we still celebrate Halloween at my house (my daughter still trick or treats) and I didn't want to miss, I know from experience that proper recovery from a 100-miler does NOT include running a tough 50 four weeks later. I really love Hellgate and would like to be totally recovered by December 13 (which is a full moon, YAY!)

Good luck at MMTR! It is a great race. The training plan I have been using and blogging about was the same one I used for MMTR last year, and I had a great day and felt very prepared. Have fun!

running etc said...

Super playing in the dirt with you y-day, Soph! Watching you climb just helped cement for me the idea that you are soooooo ready for Gstone, and you haven't even tapered yet.