I feel behind last week so I am knocking out two weeks with one post.
I’m writing this from Silver Falls State park while relaxing in our Motorhome (which we have named Maude) after doing an 8 mile run along the Silver Falls Rim Trail. This is an out and back trail that takes you along the rim of the canyon. Unfortunately, dogs are not allowed on the actual Canyon Trail, so my plan is to get the dog good and tired today, and leave her in the motorhome while I do a 12 mile run along the canyon trail tomorrow. Will pack everything up after the run and head to Belknap Hot Springs to meet the family and camp there for a few nights.
Upper North Falls – Silver Falls State Park
This is my first time to Silver Falls and I’m in awe at how beautiful it is. Living on the “Dry” side of the Cascades, I forget how green things are year round on the west side. Silver Falls main attraction is the Trail of 10 Waterfalls, which as you can already imagine is a trail that has 10 waterfalls (surprise!). This is the trail I plan on running tomorrow, will be sure to snap some photos.
One of the things I enjoy about running is the opportunity to explore new areas that I might otherwise never see. Last fall, we took a trip to Europe and some of the best memories for me was running in Brussels, Brugges, Luxembourg and Cologne. I find myself picking out camping spots or trips based on areas that can also be a run.
Last week was the first of my two twenty-mile training runs. I ran a route that I had previously ran and was able to do it about 25 minutes faster this time. At the end of the run I felt better physically than I recall feeling last time. I think a lot of it is just having the confidence that I can go the distance, there isn’t that constant questioning if you can do it or not.
This week is another recovery week, then I have the final training week before I start to taper for the marathon. I am going to try to find a route that is as flat as possible for the final 20 mile run. Eugene is a flat-as-a-pancake course and I’d like to see how my legs hold up under similar conditions.
9 weeks down, 6 more to go. Week 9 was a bit of a recovery week. Overall mileage was down to about 35 miles, but I did have a hard effort on the long run. My plan originally called for running a half marathon race this week, but I couldn’t find anything near me to run, so I just ran a half with a hard effort. I was pleased with the results. I was able to eek out a 1:45 at ~8:00 miles. I know it wasn’t a race, but this was a PB for me (previous last November was 1:54). It’s good to see some of the hard workouts paying off.
This week was also the Treadmill Challenge down at FootZone. This was my first time doing a treadmill challenge and it was HARD. The format is; two runners go head to head. Treadmills are set to a 15% incline, runners control the speed. Person to go the furthest in 10 minutes is the winner. I came up short on my race; don’t recall exactly how far I ran, I think it was .79 miles. The overall winner ran 1.1 miles (9:30 miles? crazy). 15% incline doesn’t seem like a lot or look like a lot, but it’s a significant amount. I am glad that is over.
I’m not sure if it’s the additional hill work or the speed workout from last week, but my achilles has been giving me some pain. I ended up doing a slow 3 mile workout yesterday with a friend and still had some discomfort. Today, I was able to do a 8 mile run at a relaxed pace with no pain. I think I have a tendency to be overly sensitive to aches and assume it’s the worse case scenario. I am going to back off the mileage and intensity a bit this week to be sure it isn’t anything like Achilles Tendonitis starting up. From what I have read, it can be very difficult to eliminate it once you have it.
Also this week
2013 Tarawera UItramarathon – Some amazing pictures from this event.
The Pros Of Heart-Rate Training For Runners
The Arch Isn’t a Nemesis for Runners: How The Foot Can Naturally Cure Plantar Fasciitis
Tumalo State Park
Little late getting this weeks wrap up done. Was tired from Friday’s long run and spent some time yesterday getting the motor home ready for a quick trip over to Belknap Hot Springs that we are doing in a couple of weeks.
Long run on Friday was a mix of everything; Snow, sun, cold and hot. Typical Central Oregon weather. I mapped out a new route that took more to the north side of town, through Tumalo State Park and looped back to home. The route didn’t seem to have much elevation gain on paper but ended being about 1100 feet in total gain over the 18 miles. Average pace was about 9:15 per mile, a little too fast for what my long runs should be, so I need to keep it slower on those. On the week I had about 45 total miles.
This upcoming week is a recovery week. Approximately 36 miles with a half marathon long run Friday. The plan originally called for it to be a race, but I couldn’t find any races this weekend, so I’m just going to find a 13 mile relatively flat route and run it with a medium to hard effort. My hope is to use this as a base to calculate my goal pace for the Eugene Marathon. A good rule of thumb I have read it to take your half marathon time, double it and add 6 minutes to calculate your full marathon time. I set out with the goal of a sub 4 hour marathon (9:09 pace), but feel like I can maybe squeak out a 3:45 to 3:50 time.
Also this week is a treadmill challenge put on by FootZone. They put a call out for runners to take part so I threw my hat in the ring. Format is two runners go head to head on a treadmill set to a 15 incline for 10 minutes. Runners can control the speed. Whoever goes the furthest in the 10 minutes is the winner. I’m a little out of my league on this one, there are some great ultra runners in Bend, but what the heck. I was told it should be fun.
Also this week:
Heatmap feature announcement
Was planning my route for tomorrow’s run and noticed that Garmin had made some improvements to their website. One is a heatmap feature. It combines all other users activities to give you a visual of where the hot spots for running or cycling activities are in an area.
Its only been released in a few popular cities so far, but will be expanded. Nice feature if you are new or visiting an area and looking for what the popular places may be to check out.
Heatmap for downtown Portland
They have also added OpenStreetMap (What iOS uses) to your choices of maps. So you now have Google, Bing and OpenStreetMap mapping options.
Last summer when I decided to up my mileage to tackle a marathon, I knew I had to do something about hydration during the long runs. The handhelds work great for shorter runs. I have tried a few hydration belts, but can’t stand having something tight around my waist plus the constant bottle bumping my rear end was driving me nuts.. I also found during a hot run that I couldn’t carry enough water in a 3-4 small bottles with the waist pack.
Enter the Hydration Vest.
This was my first vest, so I didn’t have a preconceived idea of what I was after. The first decision was what kind of bladder size I wanted. There are a variety of bladders ranging from 1 liter to 2.5 liters, If I was going to drop this kind of coin on a vest, I might as well get something that can hold enough water for whatever I planned on doing (hiking, day long runs, etc). You always have the option of not filling it all the way depending on how long you are going to be out. The dry weights between the smaller and larger vests/bladders was pretty minimal, but something to consider.
The other item I knew I wanted was some storage; easy access pockets up front, along with some pockets in the back. The Nathan HPL 020, had both of those. The front has a single zipper pocket along with a mesh sleeve and another shock cord pocket.
Now that I’ve had it a while and put a few hundred miles on it, I’m still very pleased with the purchase.I picked one up for about $80 from a local REI (They can be had for about $50 now I think).
There are several straps to adjust how the vest rides on your shoulders/back, and I will typically adjust them once or twice during a long run. The main shoulder straps
The two pockets up front have plenty of storage for my phone, camera and some shot blocks/gels. I wouldn’t mind having an extra sleeve or two to hold some additional gels. (something the next model up 028 now offers).
Drinking from the tube while running can take a little getting used to. It’s a bite nipple valve so you just lightly squeeze with your teeth to open it up and suck on it. I haven’t had any problems with either the bag or nipple leaking during runs.
The downside to running hydration vests in general that i’ve found are
- Sweaty Back – These make you sweat more, that’s for sure. You can negate that somewhat by filling the back with some ice before you run.
- Sloshing Sound – The constant sloshing can bother some people, I can easily tune it out, not a big deal for me.
- Limited to a single source – This can be a big one for some. With a belt, you can fill one bottle with water and another with some kind of electrolyte drink. You don’t have that flexibility with the vest. I’ve never found a drink other than water that doesn’t make me feel bloated while I run, so it’s a non issue here.