"It never gets easier, you just go faster." - Greg Lemond

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Groovy Weekend

One mean looking bird

Finally found myself getting back into the groove of solid mileage after Oil Creek 100.  I know I jumped back into my high mileage lifestyle too quickly, as after taking 1 week fairly easily, I logged over 100 miles in the week starting only 7 days after OC100.  After that it was crash and burn for the rest of October, and besides a PR 2:23ish on the 18 mile Potawatomi aka Poto (on my birthday none-the-less), I had a pretty hit and miss month of running. 

Searching for motivation, November has found me running more roads with my mind focusing on turn over and legspeed.  I have been mixing it up with other workouts on the treadmill, with a mind to keeping the incline turned up and the speed moderate.  This seems to be a better workout for me than really cranking between 8.5-9.5mph, which almost always leads to an injury of some sort. 

This weekend I did not record a huge number of miles, but I found myself happy to just be running.

The Poto is relentless in its rolling nature - an excellent trail system
 Jason Robertson and I met up Saturday morning for a nice outing on the Poto, and like usual, we had a great time.  I really want to get a large group of people together sometime and do a "fatass" style 50k on these trails.  Maybe I can get organized and make it happen this spring.  This loop is a gem and we managed 22 miles without ever having to travel the same trail twice.  Even better, it has a solid 2300 feet of ascent and 2300 feet of descent to keep ones mind occupied.  Oh and did I mention its very technical and rocky? :)  A trail runners dream (or nightmare)...

I followed up Saturdays AM effort with a light 5 mile shakeout run in the PM.  The next morning my Dad told me about a cyclocross route he had envisioned and invited me along to run it.  Looking at a topo map, I was excited by the amount of hills and looked forward to running some completely foreign roads.  Despite losing my map about 5 miles into the run and having to back track for an extra 2 miles, I had a great time and saw one of the biggest red tail hawks I have ever seen.  It was great to do a long road run - in fact this is the longest road run I have done in almost a year - and I was even more pleased to hold a 7:30 pace without too much stress for the entire jaunt.

Suh-weet Sunday run followed up by a Detroit Lions victory!!!
I really think I need to incorperate more fast pace road runs of this nature into my training in order to keep my leg speed up when I am running mostly trails.  While I have great stamina, I have never been a particularly fast runner.  Maybe this is because I never ran XC or Track in my youth and have no formal running training.  I like to think so.  I generally avoid long road runs due to the increased chances of hurting myself, but I think by finding dirt roads to run on, I may be able to avoid this problem.  I wonder if other ultrarunners maintain leg speed by doing road runs or if they are just naturally fast.


  1. Hey Jon,
    Isn't it amazing how you can feel awesome after an ultra, come back too fast and then BAM! lol..I really feel it has to do a lot with adrenal fatigue...not true Addisonian type adrenal crash but very subtle almost subclinical until you try to push the system. Although I try to stay on trails as long as possible, the reality with work is that I run home (in the friggen dark) from work, about 10.3 miles, on slightly rolling dirt roads 3 nights a week and even though I have a bad attitude about it,I do find these are pretty good tempo runs for leg turnover (unless my headlamp dies like it did tonight); this may help with speed on trails although it may just be rationalization so I don't get pissy that I am not able to run trails on a given day! Let me know if you organize a fat ass- would be worth the drive down! See ya- laura waldo

  2. Thanks for your input Laura! For me, it seems like I feel great for the first 2 weeks after a big race and then hit a wall that third week. I agree that it is definitely related to the endocrine system being fatigued and not given enough time to fully recover. I recently started running to and from work (MSU) instead of driving and its a great way to save some gas and get in some miles. Funny, I forget my headlamp yesterday and had a nice cold wet run home in the dark. I will keep you updated abt the status of a FA!