May 29, 2010

My 14,000 Foot Day

I was honestly shocked at home sore my body was following The MOMAR last weekend. The only good news was that the mojority of the soreness seemed to be from the bike crash early in the race, and the fall coming down The Chief late in the race. My actual muscle soreness was minimal, which was a hugely positive thing especially considering I'd pretty much had three full weeks off before the race.

Monday and Tuesday were write offs.

Wednesday I got out for my first real run since Miwok, a thirty minute time trial hill climb up 'Mountain Highway'. It was my first time attempting this in about five weeks and though I came up short in my effort verses the last time I ran it, overall I felt really good. Good enough in fact to head out for a second run later that evening, for a grand total of 25km/15miles with about 3000 feet of climbing.

Thursday however was BRUTAL! It began with a wonderful deep tissue massage from Lesley Anne-White, which is painful but incredibly beneficial. That evening however I could hardly walk without significant lower limb pain, and that carried over into Friday. I was hoping for some sort of effort on Friday evening but decided against it in favor of hopefully recovering for a solid effort today instead.

I honestly had very little interest in running for 5-6 hours today, mainly because it was a gray, misty, rainy, downer of a day. I DID however want to get back on my feet proper and put some pain into my legs, especially before I run out of time before tapering back down again for Western States on June 26th. As an alternative to coming up with a 50+km route that actually excited me, I decided to do laps on the local BCMC trail, which is counter intuitive to my usual thought process. The main benefits were that I could return to my car each hour for food, fuel, and dry clothes, and I could always pull the plug if I got bored or was feeling overwhelmed after a few hours.

In the end I had a fantastic day of really testing out my body. I ended up completing five full return laps, for a grand total of exactly 14,000 feet of climbing and five hours, ten minutes and thirty five seconds of movement. I took quick breaks to refuel, change clothes, and I ran into some friends out there and spent a few minutes chatting them up...the conversations got longer as the day progressed of course!

My lap times, as taken at the start of the BCMC where it intersects with the BP and up to the rope at the very top.

1) 39:15 up 23:33 down
2) 39:13 up 22:19 down
3) 39:34 up 21:01 down
4) 41:05 up 22:13 down
5) 41:59 up 20:23 down

I was very happy to sustain myself so regularly over the first three hours and to put in my fastest descent on my last lap. After four laps it would have been very easy to call it a day. It was really starting to catch up with me, but I set out to do five and I decided in advance that I was gonna make that happen no matter what.

Also worth mentioning is that because the Grouse Grind is currently closed, the traffic on the BCMC is ten fold, and with our rainy May the trail is in terrible shape right now. It was a slippery, sloppy, muddy, techincal mess out there today...and I loved every second of it!

All in all, I really am starting to feel good again. I wish WS was maybe a few weeks (or months) later, but at the very least I am slowly regaining my confidence and more importantly my energy.

Off to bed, I'm running the 25km Iron Knee in the morning...just running, not racing. I'm thinking I might be in for a tough few days of my legs hating me right now!

BCMC Trail Stats

A less crowded and slightly longer alternative to Grouse Grind (unless of course The Grind is closed). Often used as part of a loop hike to the Grouse Mountain chalet.

Total Distance: 3.3 km (one-way)
Average Grade: 25.8%
Elevation Gain: 853 m = 2,800 feet
Start Elevation: 275 m = 902 feet
Max Elevation: 1128 m = 3,700 feet



Ray said...

haha, on a day that I thought I would be the only one doing this exact same thing, I find that a couple friends decided to also do this. Very funny. I didn't see anyone I knew. It was great to change my shirt each time up.


I did 3000+ feet today on Halvor Lunden, Cypress lake trail with friends (15 miles) . Could NOT imagine doing it 4 times! Crazy man you are! Wow... just wow.

ken michal said...

So good to see you running again, Gary!

All Day!

Jude said...

yah! This is what im talking about... you need a buddy to run hills with.... ill attempt to keep up lol :)

Jason Eads said...

Nice one GR, that's a sick amount of climbing up & down! I chuckle every time I see that comical map you put up of the trail going up the side of the mountain. Not because it's funny, but because it's INSANE. Glad to see you back at it, brother!

Gary Robbins said...

Thanks guys, it really did feel good to be out there punishing myself and actually WANTING to do it again!