Saturday, January 22, 2011

Big Hill Day!

Well, its official. I will not be riding the Mohican 100 this year, but there is no need to mourn because I'm already head-on into training for a series of runs this spring that are sure to be challenging and beautiful. A busy spring has got me reprioritizing and I'm hoping to spend my training time wisely as to not take too much time away from Michelle and the kids... That being said, I'm sure to be in for more runs like the one I had today with Mike (see below)...

The first run on my list is the Dry Creek Trail Half-Marathon on April 2nd. The race is on the lovely trails of Hidden Springs, Idaho where you might recall victory in a certain duathlon in September. The trail race has really inspired me to take my training up a notch and start building some trail specific leg strength and endurance to run hard for at least 1.5-2 hours.

Following Dry Creek its kinda fuzzy... I'll either try to get into the Race to Robie Creek ("The Northwest's Toughest Half-Marathon") on April 16th or just wait for the High Desert Trail Half-Marathon on May 21st. Most likely I'll be waiting for the HDTHM since Robie tends to sell out in a matter of minutes.

The Grand Finalle to this Spring's buildup will be the super fun Sawtooth Relay on June 11th. Brother-in-law Stoffer is coming out for that and it should be a great experience. I have decided that the 1500 feet of elevation in 5 miles heading to an elevation of 8500 feet on leg six of the relay will be my burden and I'm excited to take a shot at the mountain. Last year our team got second place... we'll be hoping to equal or better that again this year if all goes well.

As part of my prep for the big trail race season, I recently purchased the knarly looking La Sportiva Crosslites at my BFF store REI, and so far they have been a riot. With most of the real trails encased in a coat of snotty mud, they haven't really been tested, but I did get them out for roughly eight miles of off-road action this week and they are sure to be a likely choice for every event on the calendar this Spring. Hopefully I'll get them out again tomorrow for a little recovery jog/hike. When you check out the profile of today's workout, you'll see why I'm taking it easy tomorrow.

Here's my route today that Mike and I tackled... what "fun" it was. (Since posting from didn't work quite right, I just grabbed these images to post them here. Check out the website for a great mapping program that works great for trails, roads, and even sketching out some road trips.)
We started from Camelsback Park in Boise and ran up N. 8th Street into a dense fog. Since it was so foggy and I rarely go up the road (Usually I take the scenic route on the singletrack) we really didn't know what we were getting into. We originally planned to run 32 minutes up and about 30 minutes back down. Little did we know that we'd be settling in at a 8-9% grade for 3 straight miles. After about 20 minutes of running we actually got above the fog into a beautifully sunny day. The hardpacked dirt road at this point turned into a bit of a mess, but not bad enough to REALLY get dirty. If I hadn't already done two hilly runs this week, it probably wouldn't have been quite so bad, but by the time we reached the top our calves and quads were crying uncle. After a brief pause as we turned around, it was time to sail down back the way we came. We we're going fast enough to really start to feel the friction on our feet you only get when you're really hauling it down a hill. We were quickly back into the cooler fog and the road surface hardened up again and I sincerely considered slowing down but the fact of the matter was that it was quite cold with the accumulation of sweat and moisture from the fog and running faster was less painful than running slow. By the time we got back to the car we had covered the same ground that took us 32 minutes of intense effort in 25 minutes chatting the whole way down. We even cooled down when we got back to civilization for about a half-mile so who knows what pace we were running down at... Mike and I both commented on how much harder our runs always end up being that what we plan, and today definately reinforced that notion. Actually, I thoroughly enjoyed the suffering and am looking forward to another such workout in the next couple weeks after a bit of an easy stretch to take care of some lingering aches.

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