The Week of February 11-17, 2008

Synopsis of Week’s Training:
Another week and yet more progress in the right direct.

I started the week off right on Monday by reintroducing my “Walker’s Fear” loop back into my training. Essentially, Walker’s Fear is my already hilly 6.5 mile loop with mile and a half out and back that adds two long climbs. I took the run easy, as it was my hilliest so far this year, and I felt surprisingly good at the end.

Tuesday was an adventure and a half. After not getting to cast my vote in the morning for the Democratic candidate with the best policies for trail runners, I planned to run from work to my polling place. Enter ice storm stage west. I’ll save you from the details except for the facts that I never felt, but nearly did so many times, and entered my polling place with a sheet of ice on my hat, the bottom half of my shirt, all over my Nathan pack, and, oddly enough, on the inside of both elbows! Classic mid-Atlantic “winter.” After an off day Wednesday to attend an important event, I went out and ran Walker’s Fear again on Thursday, in keeping with my goal of getting in two quality weekday training runs each week.

After taking Friday off from running because I got home from work at 11 p.m., I awoke at 4:30 (went to sleep after 1:30) to head out for MMT Training Run #2. The run went from Camp Roosevelt to Woodstock Tower on the Massanutten Mountain Trail (MMT) 100 except that you cut across Fort Valley on the Gap Creek Trail. Intending the run to be an easy training run for my 40 miles at Mount Mitchell next weekend, I went out nice and conservative and got to run with a running buddy that I hadn’t seen in a while in the process. When we hit the first climb up to what is normally the Gap Creek #1 aid station, he paused and urged me on ahead. Not knowing the course, I went ahead anyway. Fortunately, I made it to he first aid station on the day at Moreland Gap without any major detours. From Moreland, I headed up (not) Short (enough) Mountain.

Looking east across Fort Valley

Although Short Mountain’s extremely rocky and craggy trails are infamous among MMT 100 runners, it’s not so bad when you are fresh and it’s daytime. Case in point, I flew over mountain, and in 5 of Short Mt’s 8.5 miles, I caught two guys that left the aid station 7 minutes in front of me. Thankfully, CJ, another attorney from Arlington, switched gears and went with me. He and I would run the entire second half of the run together – it was great to make a new friend on the trail. During our time together, I made two spectacular falls. In the first, I was descending the top of a crag, tripped, pitched straight forwards with my torso going past vertical. Somehow I was able to get my hands out and grab hold of the edges of a perfectly placed v-notch in the rock such that only my hands hit hard – otherwise I’d have eaten rock hardcore. Later on Powell Mountain, I hit the ground hard again, but this time there were no rocks and I hit the ground perfectly square. As always, Powell Mountain seemed way longer than it should – the first six miles were pleasant, but the trail turned ugly when we crossed over to the west side of the ridge. Sunday, I only ran the 2 miles from the Toyota dealership t0 my house – time to get Pri serviced for the long drive to Asheville!

MMT training run #2 elevation profile

By The Numbers:
Monday – 8. Hilly.
Tuesday – 7.5. Icy.
Wednesday – 0. Social engagement.
Thursday – 8. Hilly.
Friday – 0. Work.
Saturday – 24.5. Long and hilly! (Massanutten rocks!)
Sunday – 2. Recovery.

Weekly Mileage: 50
Year-to-Date Mileage: 305
Three Week Moving Average: 52
Year-to-Date Weekly Average: 45.2

CJ climbing Powell Mountain on Saturday

Upcoming Training Goals:
Take the week easy in light of the 40 miles on the schedule for Saturday. Try and get in one quality weekday run. Got hard, but not to hard at the Mount Mitchell Challenge. Remember to have an off week following Old Pueblo!