Monday, September 22, 2008

Grindstone Training, Week #14, September 15-21

Secluded Farm Trails

Oh, how I love the taper!!!
I sleep more, eat more, and begin to plan for race logistics. This week I allowed myself plenty of rest after the tough workouts from last week, and it was a good thing. The weather is starting to cool off now, leaves are falling, and running seems effortless, almost too easy---is that my training or just the cooler fall temps? I hope it's the former, though I certainly don't mind the latter. The 14-day forecast looks like race day will be sunny, lows in the 50s (40s on the ridges) and highs near 80 (low 70s on the ridges). Perfect!

This week was very easy, total mileage in the high-30s, which is fine. I feel very prepared and would like to come into the race very hungry to run, and feeling recovered from the past 14 weeks:

Monday, September 15: Off, sleep late

Tuesday, September 16: Lift upper body and core

Wednesday, September 17: WU 10 minutes, then 2x 2 miles on rolling dirt at tempo pace (7:20) with 2 minutes recovery between, then 30 minutes easy. Total miles, about 8.

Thursday, September 18: Swim 500, run in pool to shake out legs

Friday, September 19: Easy 1.5 hour trail run near my house with my dog, HR below 120. Miles, about 7.

Saturday, September 20: Medium paced trail run with Ryan Henry and Jeff Wilbur on the Rivanna Trail and Ragged Mountain Reservoir trails, 2.5 hours (about 15 miles). Ryan is training for Gstone and he told me his biggest fear is that I will beat him. Have no fear, Ryan! You are in great shape. Have confidence in the training you did all spring and in your 10+ years of running ultras :-) If you start out slow with me, you will have a great race, I promise.

Sunday, September 21: Glorious cool morning! I ran the Carter's Mountain/Secluded Farm trails (above and below) with Bill. I felt great and ran up to the top in my fastest time ever, 12:01. This climb is a steep grade on dirt road which I typically run in 12:30-13:00. The downhill is a real quad trasher and my legs felt great, especially after the harder hill climbs. I absolutely love these trails! After climbing the mountain, we ran the 2-mile boardwalk section all the way to Monticello, then back down to the Secluded Farm Trails for more singletrack fun. Total miles, about 8ish.

Later in the day, we (the family) went back up to Carter's Mountain to buy apples, apple cider, doughnuts, and to soak in the gorgeous afternoon views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. This is one of our favorite family traditions...we have been coming up to Carter's for apples and hay rides ever since the kids were babies. Afterwards, Rusty drove the kids home while I walked down the mountain with Jack via the Secluded Farm trails, about 3 miles. Jack met another Aussie Shepherd on the trail and had a blast playing in the woods (that's him below at 3 months...he's a year old now and much bigger!)

A side note...I thought I'd celebrate the beginning of the Gstone taper phase with a new blog design and layout. I love the blue and green colors and the ability to post pics on the sidebar, too. I lost some of my links in the process of changing over to the new layout, so please send me your links so I can include them.


Michael at 45 said...

Good Luck next week at Grindstone, I've enjoyed your training, it's been helpful to me. I currently live in Greenville SC and my wife's parents live in Afton. We are planning to come to afton the weekend of Oct 17 and was wondering if there are any scheduled training runs during that time. My blog is


Sophie Speidel said...

Hi Mike,

I'm glad my 14 weeks of rambling on about Gstone has been of help! The program I follow was created for me by my coach and friend Mark Lorenzoni for the Mountain Masochist 50 Mile. I don't have it in Excel, only handwritten for me week by week. I changed it slightly for Gstone by adding more long run days on the race course and adding power line (hill) repeats after the track workouts. The track workouts and tempo runs were specific to a 50+ mile ultra, but I felt I needed more hilly intervals as well, so I ran many threshold runs on hilly roads/trails.

This program has gotten me in great shape for Gstone...but anyone who has run 100 miles will tell you that you can be trained better than anyone else in the race, but if you screw up your nutrition and pace, you are doomed. I found Andy Jones-Wilkins latest post on this topic really helpful (I have a link to his blog on the right).

As for training runs/routes near Afton the weekend of October 17... I love running the AT South from Afton to Humpback Rocks and back (about 18 miles). It is gorgeous. Let me know if you need more info.

Best of luck in your racing!

Andrew Speidel said...

Ok, that is one cute aussie!
See you in Chi-Town.

Bedrock said...

Good luck at G-stone. Your training has gone well and you seem to be pumped for the race. I hear that you have yourself a pretty decent pacer too, which should help in the late miles. Glad all is going well. I will actually be up your way this wekeend running GEER. Talk to you soon.

Thomas Bussiere said...

I enjoyed the details of your training for G-Stone. Looking forward to the race report. What is your food / water plan for the race? This is an area I have struggled in for my races and open to suggestions! Good luck and run strong.