Training, Sept. 9 - 15

I had a pretty decent week of training, with two workouts and some drills/100s.  My knees continued to bug me a bit all week (especially the left one), so I kept the mileage a little on the lower side.  I've been a bit more diligent about icing them as well, hoping to get that under control.  It's nothing terrible, and I think just caused by all the new downhill stimulus in my training, but it is still a bit disconcerting.

I ran my second workout of the week on the IU cross country course, which is just ridiculously tough for fast running.  But man will it make you strong.  I only managed a 5k tempo this week, but I'd like to eventually build to a 3 x 5k workout on it (w/ 1-2 min rest).   The effort would be something like AnT (or HM) pace, with the short breaks allowing you to go longer than you typically could (4-6 miles for me).  Thus the muscular benefit is much better as well.  I'd also like to do a workout on the course of 15k alternating fast and moderate K's, 8 fast, 7 recovery—but keeping the recovery pace very honest (say, sub-6 pace still).  I'm pumped about the prospects of improvement by working out on that hilly, challenging course; again, largely the reason I moved to Bloomington.

Two weeks to go to UROC.  I'm headed west on Tuesday this upcoming week to get at altitude for a bit pre-race.  First to South Dakota and the Black Hills, then to Boulder and on to the Salomon digs in the mountains.  I've also been sleeping in an altitude tent at something like 12,000 feet for the past month.  (I got the tent from my good friend Trent Hoerr, but the gauge is broken.  However, the theoretical upper limit of the generator is 12,000 feet, and I just crank it up all the way now.)

Monday: AM - 5 miles easy; Functional Strength
Very wrecked from yesterday's 12 miles at Pate Hollow combined with last Thursday's 40 miler; need to make sure the next few days are very easy.
PM - 4 miles easy

Tuesday: AM - 8 miles easy
PM - 6 miles easy
XC course with Beth.

Wednesday: 8 miles easy, drills, 8 x 100m at IU track
My goodness was it great to be back on an awesome outdoor track.  It had been about 3 years...  it feels so great just being alone in such an awesome facility, even just for drills and strides.

Thursday: 10 miles easy
Rail trail

Friday: 12 miles w/ ~28 min tempo run on Griffey singletrack
Planned on doing some hill repeats, but hit the singletrack and didn't want to leave.  Just turned it into an uptempo run.  I really liked tempoing on relatively technical, rolling singletrack.  I would like use this same route in the future for tempos.  Weir trail to Overlook Trail to Lake Loop to XC course connection was the route... actually took my split at the first creek crossing.  From there to the finish was 27:08, so I need to take that first minute or so split at some point to know roughly what my full time was—so that I can know my time as a point of reference for future tempos on this route. 

Saturday: 10 miles easy
Lower Griffey

Sunday: 11 miles — 4 mile warmup w/ light drills, strides, 5k tempo (17:17) on the XC course, 4 mile cooldown
Hit the IU XC course for a tempo—wasn't sure how long, but I was hoping for 10k or so.  But then I relearned just how incredibly and deceptively difficult that course is.  It's hilly, and the hills are tougher than they look.  Then there's the fact that you're running on grass and some slightly awkward footing, which just drains you.  A fair number of turns slows thing down a bit too.  Finally, there is a closed gate in the middle of the course which I have to steeplechase during the first and third K's, which is taxing and also forces you a bit wide on the turns.  Splits for my loop were: 3:37, 3:32, 3:24, 3:27, 3:15 = 17:17 for 5k, or 5:33/mile.  The pace belies a much harder effort... I wasn't feeling particularly fresh, but I would still say the effort was like half marathon race effort or harder—and today, I was spent by 5k.

Total: 74 miles, 1x FS

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