26 January 2013

Cougar Mt ring trail run

Today I met Daniel Paquette, Jon Robinson and Edgardo Balansay for a lap around Cougar Mountain. I gotta say, for a small park there are a lot of trails up here.

Turns out I must have thought all that Polish food and drink was a little too awesome yesterday  because I did not feel very chipper this morning. I also slept like garbage. Oh yeah, and my left ankle is still pretty suspect and my right side twinges when I go up stairs.

But I had just taken three days off from running and was itching to get out there. Here's hoping it's the right decision.

Right from the gun the pace is quite a bit faster than I wanted. I'm doing my best to hang on but I'm wheezing pretty hard and am way in the hurt locker in the pain cave feeling fat and slow. That first hill was pretty much a sign of things to come.

The plan was to loop the mountain (10 miles), throw in the out-and-back down Wilderness Creek (4 more) and perhaps add Bear Ridge as well which would bring the total up to 18. As we crested the first climb I was thinking there was no way I was going to last at this pace (see below and you'll note my max heart rate is in the first mile!) and all the time Jon and Dan are chattering away up front which made me realize that we probably weren't going that fast, I just felt extra poor.

I managed to cling with these guys to the Wilderness Creek descent and luckily going down felt just fine. But of course at the bottom this long hill you turn around and go right back up. Dan took off first and proceeded to run away from us. Next to pass me was Edgardo. Jon was holding back a bit and actually talking to me (very nice of him) but then I had to walk and he was gone.

Everyone was great about waiting for me but every time I would catch up they would take off the second I arrived. I felt like the little kid hiking with his parents, at least I didn't whine as much as when I was that little kid.

Every time the trail would flatten out or go downhill I would try to pickup the pace and reel these guys in. I managed to do it three times but then as soon as the trail tipped up they were gone pronto.

On one of the longer descents Jon started talking about this study (theory?) that prolonged exercise at extreme intensities can scar the heart. I guess the author of this study claims that exercising in excess of 60-90 minutes per day, especially at very high intensity, can cause damage to your heart and that this damage is cumulative. We all decided this opened up a whole new category of excuses and promptly started compiling them for future use.

  • "Dude, I would totally do intervals with you tomorrow but I don't want to scar my heart."
  • "Damn, that last climb was a major heart scarer!"
  • "I'm going to take it easy today, I think I scared my heart."
  • "You better slow down, wouldn't want to scar your heart..."

And on and on and on until the end of the run. We pretty much beat that horse to a pulp. As we got to the De Leo Wall turn off on the standard Cougar 10 loop Dan announced we were going up the wall. What's one more little heart scar I thought? Today it was just a drop in the bucket. We went up the less steep side today and unlike last week where I ran up 90% of the steep side today I was walking 90% of the time. :(

At the top of the wall Jon asked me how that climb was - so nice of him to check in really - and I replied by asking him how long he had to wait for me. "About 30 seconds..." Right. Whatever Jon. :) I had the presence of mind to scoot to the front and these guys were nice enough to let me stay there and dictate the pace back to the car. I think Jon did pass me with about .5 miles to go but by then I was able to hang on.

Whew...! Today was a hard run. I was essentially solo the last two thirds and felt like I was doing some sort of crazy Fartlek workout where I would let everyone get way ahead of me and then work like hell to catch them again. Repeat.

Kudos to Edgardo for sticking to Dan and Jon like glue! And kudos to Jon for checking in on me throughout the run. And kudos to Dan for marking the trail when I was hopelessly off the back coming back up Wilderness Creek; I would have missed one turn for sure without his ferns on the ground.

On the up side I did not get cold or too hot today. I also think my left ankle needs more support so I switched my shoes up from the uber loose Hokas to my Cascadias. I think it was a good call. I am pretty positive I got those Hokas one size too big. :( For sure they are massively comfy but I also swim around in the shoe which is not so ideal.

Sleep 4 hours
Waking HR  
Body Weight  
Body Fat  
Breakfast 5:00 AM - applesauce, banana, 1 scoop protein powder, 3 scoops Perpetuem, tea
Lunch  
Dinner  
Workout Food 7:45 AM - half a Promax bar
run - 1.5 bottles each w/1.5 scoops Perpetuem and 1 Endurolytes, 1 GU
Injuries My left ankle felt okay but my right side is still acting up! It feels like the result of running off balance or asymmetrically but I was so conscious of not favoring one side over the other... it's frustrating for sure.
Therapy  
Time of Day 8:00 AM
Workout Type I was hoping for endurance but it sure felt like tempo today...
Weather low 40s, light drizzle for a bit but mostly dry, calm and cloudy
Course  
Results  
Time 2:20
Distance 14 miles
Pace 9:57
Equipment Brooks Cascadia 7, 2 hand-held bottles
Clothing Teko organic SIN3RGI Light Minicrew, Brooks 5" Essential Run Short, Craft Active Extreme Short Sleeve Baselayer, Patagonia Merino 1 Silkweight Crew, Patagonia Capilene 4 Expedition Weight Beanie, Polypropylene gloves, wind vest

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