Posted by: Joe English | June 18, 2007

Training for the White River 50 Miler: Endurance (Week 6)

This was an interesting week of running for me. Although I was consistent and was able to get some runs in, most of them were a little rushed in the midst of a very busy week. Friday I had a good run in the late after-noon in Forest Park by-myself and Karl and I finally got some track work in on Monday.

But the highlight of the week was yesterday’s 36 mile run on Wildwood trail in Forest Park. I think one of the reasons I may have been a little lax all week was in preparation, mentally anyway, for the long day that we had in store for us on the weekend.

It took us three cars that we dropped at various places to act as aid stations, but we did somehow manage to get them to all of the right locations pretty easily and they were spaced out at just the right intervals. The morning weather was cool and overcast – almost a little cold.

Once we started out the run, after doing a little out and back section, we all noticed something – we were running downhill. And the downhill continued for most of the first seven miles. This set in on us that we were going to have run back up this on the return trip. It turned out later that after the big climbs in the middle of the run that this didn’t feel so bad – almost as if it weren’t uphill at all.

The middle portion on this run had some fairly major climbing. We first descended down from Skyline Drive to the bottom of Macleay park. And then we ran all the way up to the Pittock Mansion. That’s probably 800-1000 feet of elevation in about 2 miles or so. Then we dropped back down toward Burnside and climbed again all the way up to the Zoo in Washington Park. After an aid station, we did it all again in reverse.

Things went amazingly smoothly this weekend. I was surprised that I ran 70-80% of the trail. I expected to walk more in the later miles – but I only walked the uphills. And my 35th mile was one of my fastest miles of the day. What worked on this run: the eating and drinking. I used my less of the energy gel and concentrated on real foods. I ate about 6 peanut butter sandwiches, a large pack of beef jerky, bannana chips, potato chips and Odwalla bars. Karl turned me on to the beef jerky and it is awesome. It’s basically salty protein. I wouldn’t eat much of it in my daily life, but it’s a great food for these long, long runs.

Karl did some great singing this weekend. I remember “Don’t you wish your girlfriend was hot like me,” but I just can’t recall the other songs. He’s quite a little music machine that one.

Next weekend I will be in Anchorage for the Mayor’s Midnight Sun Marathon so that will be long workout of the weekend. It will be a long day of walking and running with my team as they run. In the mean-time, I have a bunch of topics coming on Running Wild that should be good fun for all of you to read.

Weekly Mileage Log
Sunday: Rest
Monday: 4 miles – track with 8x400M on 1:17-1:25 pace
Tuesday: 6 miles up tempo on road
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: 3 miles (squeezed in a quick run due to busy schedule)
Friday: 8 miles on single-track with some short climbs
Saturday: 6 miles easy run/walk on road with team
[Sunday: 36 miles single-track with climbing in 7:12:00]
Week #6 total: 27 miles
[8 Day total including Sunday: 63 miles]

Have a good week all.

Coach Joe

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