Monday, January 28, 2013

Week Jan, 21-27

The good news is that I 100% followed the schedule and haven't missed a single run. The bad news is that I felt awful on all the runs except for probably one (the Friday's one). I was really slow and out of energy. There was not much of a pain during Thu-Sun runs (and there was a lot of pain during Mon and Tue runs related to double Mt Si ascent that was probably just stupid as it feels now), just ridiculously slow legs.

I couldn't climb either, was just too sleepy and too tired.

This week we are running Orcas Island 50k with 8400 feet of climbing, that is kinda scary if I keep going the same slow pace.

Mon: 8m, 827 vfeet
Tue: 7m, 715 vfeet, bouldering
Wed: rest
Thu: 7m, 653 vfeet, bouldering
Fri: 7m, 673 vfeet
Sat: 8m, 700 vfeet, ice climbing with pretty tough approach
Sun: 10m, 1250 vfeet

Total: 47m, 4818 vfeet

Let's call it a recovery week. Or a tapering week.

This week I am supposed to run 7-8-6 on Tue-Wed-Thu before Orcas on Saturday, but I think I will skip the Thu. I feel that I really need more rest.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Week Jan, 14-20

Last week I was sick for the first two days and felt guilty for the first time in my life for not running. However that feeling was gone really fast, it was pretty hard to force myself to go running on the third day when I apparently felt fine. But I did, and ran really fast on fresh legs after two days of rest aka sickness. I even named it the "tempo run". Another tempo run happened on the day after as Kolya joined and this time he was fast on the fresh legs.

And on Saturday I've done something stupidly beautiful - double ascent of Mt Si. Surprisingly my second ascent was  not more than 10 minutes slower than the first one, that I can only explain with the fact that I was really slow on the first ascent too (I actually was a little bit slower than usual, maybe that's my mental condition of knowing that I am not done with all the uphills after I get to the top and I need to save some power). Both downhills were fast and smooth, even though it was really icy.

On Sunday the plan was to do 6 miles recovery run, but we really wanted to open (and maybe at the same time close as it's getting warmer..) ice climbing season, we went to Leavenworth and climbed a nice 3 pitches Plastic Fantastic Lover route (usually W4, depends on conditions, this time it was pretty close to W4 as Kolya says).


Monday: OFF/sick
Tuesday: OFF/sick
Wednesday: 7m  (tempo, 650 feet)
Thursday: 7m (tempo, 650 feet), climbing (lead)
Friday: Climbing (bouldering)
Saturday: 16m (2xMt Si, 6500 feet)
Sunday: Ice climbing, hike on approach ~3miles flat

Yesterday two days after double Mt Si my legs were even more sore than on Sunday, I've almost fell of the stairs at the office. Running planned 8 miles was hard, I've only warmed up by mile 5, and then I stopped feeling pain in my hips, it replaced with the weird feeling that these muscles did not belong to my body, they were some foreign parts for some reason attached to my leg bones. That let me finish 8 miles and today I feel less tired (still walk funny though).

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Week Jan, 7-14

I haven't been writing about my training over the last week, getting bored with that blogging thing probably :)

So it was a good training week so far, though Kolya got sick and couldn't run all week long, also I felt wrong going to gym without him, so I didn't.

3 days of relaxed running over the work week (5+7+4) followed by intense running over the weekend with Mt Si (8m, 3250 feet of elevation gain) on Saturday and 17 miles (14 were planned, but this freaking Ambit decided it was not enough and showed me very wrong mileage) and 2900 feet of gain on Cougar on Sunday. There was even more snow on Si this week, it actually started just one mile after the trailhead, and I didn't make it up any faster. However I found one improvement - I was able to run on Cougar next day, even uphills (though my calves were screaming for the first hour).

While running on Cougar I found that I cannot process food, I made 4 bathroom stops while running, basically I couldn't eat and I couldn't drink enough. These were hard 17  miles, and I was happy to finish.

When I got home I found that I feel sick, mostly the burning throat, and upset stomach. Next day I was really sick and completely destroyed. Didn't go to work, didn't go running (7 miles were planned).

Today I feel better. My throat is ok, though I have some periodic cough and sneeze sometimes. I want to run today, let's see how it feels.

So, the second week of training results:

42 miles total
About 7k feet elev gain

I need to increase weekly elevation to 10k..

And I placed first between women (8th overall out of 93) at Tiger Fat Ass 25k last week! Good start of the year ;)

I've got my racing plan sorted out more or less, transferred my Capitol Peak 50m registration to Maxim, and signed up for volunteering instead (I still need 4hrs for Western States).

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Just a nice link for future


I want to run Stevens to Snoqualmie (or backwards, don't know yet) this autumn. Thinking it will take at least 24hrs unsupported. Another plan is 90 mile long Wonderland trail, that has some possibilities for crew access.

Steven's Pass to Snoqualmie Pass (WA) Section:

Will Thomas provided information on a short section of the PCT that looks like an excellent route worthy of its own FKT. This is a 75 mile segment from in Washington, from Steven's Pass to Snoqualmie Pass. "Next to the Wonderland Trail around Rainier, it is probably the 2nd most popular week-long backpacking excursion in Washington", says Thomas. "These two passes ... are the two main (and closest) passes for driving over the Cascade mountains from the Seattle area. The only access to the PCT between these points would require a good 8-10 mile hike from the end of a Forest Service road." Thomas did the hike on September 12-13, 2008, in a time of 37h17m. His blog gives a detailed report with many stunning photos and some video clips as well. The FKT for this segment of the PCT appears to be held by Eugene Trahern, Mark Hartinger and Ike Hesler, who ran it in 18h05m on July 21, 1995 (according to an email I received from Trahern on June 7, 2010.)

Monday, January 7, 2013

Oh crap, found that Capitol Peak 50m is one week before Miwok 100k. I have registration from the last year when I skipped because of Mexico trip. Hope I can transfer it to someone else (cannot transfer to the next year anymore).

Thinking about Lord Hill 50k that may fit nice between Orcas Island and Chuckanut.

Tiger Fat Ass 25k and week #1 of training program results

I wasn't expecting anything good from the first race of the year - Tiger Fat Ass 25k. Originally I planned to run 50k, but my trainer has not approved the whole strategy of racing 50k+ every week, so 50k was not an option even before I started the week one of training. I started it pretty hardcore - with running up to mt Si on Jan-1, that took me 4 days to recover from. I should probably mention that recovery included running 7m the 2nd, and 4 on the 3rd. I felt awful on the third day of running, and I felt even worse on Friday, the planned day off and a "taper" before Tiger Fat Ass. We went to the Seattle Bouldering Project, and while Kolya and Kostya were having a blast crushing all around, I was completely wasted after just one hour of climbing. It was a total tiredness in the whole body (including one bloody fingertip from my holiday cooking experience).

On Friday Kolya woke up at 5am (apparently he forgot that the race was at 8, not 7), bought some banana bread at Starbucks, so when I woke up 1.5hrs later, my breakfast was ready and waiting for me. The day before somebody posted in Seattle Mountain Running Group FB page that there was a lot of ice on the top of Tiger and some traction devices were highly recommended. I doubt for few minutes if I want to carry heavy microspikes with me all the way up because of some ice probability, also worried about the hydrapack that could easily be damaged by the spikes. Finally convinced by our run to the Si 4 days before I put them to the pocket of the pack.

We got to the parking lot at 7:30, were surprised how hard it was already packed for the unsanctioned race with no information about on the internet. There were at least 100 people at the start. Everybody wrote their names in the notebook, everybody was expected to use own watch for timing and then write the results into the same book.

Then some old guy said "go" and we started on the dirt road to reach the upper parking lot first, then some nice flats and downhills to get to Issaquah high school. The "Russians" were all running together (myself, Kolya, Stas and Alexey). Alexey made some jokes about me running too slow, but I actually ran with my normal pace (I was not pushing, I never do on trail races). Running felt surprisingly good considering my condition just one day before. The trail marking was great (they used Christmas decorations for it), I was not worried to get lost on Tiger anymore. Also I ended up to be running with someone all the time, never was alone.

Then we passed the high school and uphill started (at mile 3 or so). I kept running, but apparently slowed down a lot, as everybody went far ahead of me, and soon I lost visibility of all three other members of the gang. I still felt pretty good, and I didn't run faster because I knew that if I do, I'll get out of breath soon and it will be worse. Surprisingly I was passing people on the uphill, that's uncommon for me (usually everybody passes me on the uphill, and I pass everyone on the downhill).

At some point it became steep, and I switched to hiking, with periodic running on flats. I was surprised when Stas caught me, I thought he was long way ahead (he had a bathroom stop apparently when I passed him). So we started running/hiking together, snow appeared somewhere around the trail, but trail itself was still in great condition. I still felt pretty good, but needed to use a bathroom. That's what I hate about being a girl, is that I really have to go deep to the forest for that, when men can just turn with their back to the trail to do the thing. It takes huge amount of time, and sometimes pretty hardcore bushwhacking to find a nice spot. However my previous experience proved that if I don't pee, I stop drinking, and then it may get really really bad. So I left Stas and hiked into the bushes.

 Soon I was back on the trail, and running became much easier :) I caught Stas pretty soon again, he was tightening his laces. We again started running and hiking together. Soon the uphill ended and became a nice partially snowpacked rolling single track with technical sections. That's my kind of terrain! I quickly lost the visibility of Stas (this time he stayed behind!) and passed lots of other people. Then very heavy snow pack started and I switched to hiking again, some guy who I passed few times before passed me again, and we kept going together almost till the very end of the race. Later he recognized me from the climbing gym, and we exchanged with some phrases about climbing, running and how fun this race is.

Near the top of Tiger 1(?) just after passing the fully decorated Christmas tree, I felt something that people call deja vu. That was Kolya slowly climbing uphill on heavy snowpack (last time that happened on Seattle marathon, when he first built a big gap between us, but then slowed down and I passed him). Apparently he wasn't eating since we started the run and he was pushing really hard on the uphills, so now he was completely out of fuel and out of power. I asked how he felt, kissed and left him to struggle alone.

On the top of Tiger 2(?) we (together with that guy from the gym, forgot his name :() met another older guy (Terry), who was very chatty, but had REAL troubles understanding my accent. I repeated each phrase like 3 times for him, but finally after a mile or two he started understanding me fine enough for a good chat :) He told me about his son who was an exchange student in Russia, and now studies somewhere in Europe. He told me about Badwater he ran few years ago. And at some point I figured that we are now on the top of Tiger 3 where I hiked two years ago. There were lots of old Chinese men and ladies on the top, just tens of them, and other tens were climbing up when we started the last downhill! My watch only showed 10-11 miles at this point, and I remembered that the last long downhill had to be 3 miles long only. I was confused, and decided that probably the downhill is going to take 6 miles!

First mile of the downhill was SUPER ICY! I was sliding, and fall two times, but got up and kept a fast pace anyways. I haven't put the microspikes on, as you can see :) Terry took a huuuuge fall with long slide, I thought he could have broken something, but he got up and kept running.

At this point I recognized Alexey's backpack, and here he was - the last one from the Russian gang that left me alone when the uphill started! I joined him for some run and chat, then stopped to tight the laces, then caught him again and we finished the run together in 2:55. I still felt great :) Downhill was only 3 miles as promised by book.

I quickly jumped to the car, changed my shirt, socks and shoes, mixed ultragen, took iPhone and ran back to finish line. Stas was already there, and I haven't even had time to ask him about his race, when Kolya appeared. His watch shut down at some point, so we guessed the time using the guy who finished after him.

Track: Tiger Fat Ass 25k

The track shows about 14 miles, but according to book it is 16 (and we ran according to book).

Next day we went for 6m (almost 7) run on Cougar, and  I was pretty tired, though managed to run all little uphills (the run is not too hilly). I've also tested Suunto Ambit for the first time. It feels really good on the arm, even better than lighter Forerunner 310XT. I don't like how many clicks it takes to start/stop running though.

Track: Cougar 7m

So the first week on Karl Meltzer's program is done:

42 miles
~8200 feet elevation gain

Not bad!

PS: And I also got in to the Chuckanut 50k!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Cancelled AR50 registration.  Gorge Waterfalls 50k is a nice replacement, and I will recover before Capitol Peak 50m better.

Fortunately they offer full refund before Feb.
I have never felt so tired while running 4 miles as yesterday. Kolya suggested to run on road as "these are just 4 miles", but I decided that I should go on trails (though there are 1.5 miles total on the road anyways to get to the trails from my house and then back). I wanted to run to Red Town trailhead, that would total in 5 miles, but I turned back when my watch showed 2 as moving further was so hard.

Then we went climbing, and I felt a lot of power in my arms, but started feeling pain the joint that connects my left leg to the body (whatever it is called), so had to stop.

Tomorrow I am running Tiger Fat Ass 25k (16m) that will be completely new experience for me, as the only thing that I've done really seriously and really well before each of my races was tapering, but this time I am going to run on completely killed legs (unless the miracle happens between right now and tomorrow AM).

Today is the running day off, might go bouldering.

Good news: I've done 9 pull ups in a row yesterday, that is my PR for the moment!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

It was below 0С (32F) yesterday, the trail was frozen and felt almost like paved road. Even though my legs felt tired after the Si a day before (and they actually still feel tired) I ran with a good pace (maybe because it was that cold). Seems like these are completely different muscles working on Si and on Cougar. That makes me thinking about importance of regular workouts on Si.

Cougar 7m

When came home, I immediately drank first endurance ultragen. I've got cappuccino one and it tastes good! that's what I liked about it, all the sport recovery drinks I've tried before (not that many actually, maybe 2-3 of them) tasted like shit. At least I can drink that one, and 320 calories in one serving made me skip my dinner that was a good thing apparently as I lost 0.5kg overnight. However my legs still feel very sore after Si, so there was no miracle in regards of fast recovery and stuff.

Today's plan is 4 miles only, and that will be the first time since 2010 when I am going to run 3 days in a row. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


On Friday Dec 28 I went for a short run after work. It was already dark and my goal was to run on trails today. Usually I do not run trails after work, but I needed to "test the equipment". The equipment (my BD Storm headlamp) has definitely needed the batteries replacement before going out.

I don't have a lot of night running experience. Actually before that Friday I've ran at night 3 times only: when I paced Max at P2P100, when I paced Max at WS100, and when we (together with Max) tried to make a loop around Glacier Peak (we have actually caught two night runs in a row on that epic run). All three (four) times I was not alone, even that the place was so unknown and remote didn't make worried at all. We've met a skunk on P2P who was running before us for 5 mins before jumping to the woods. I've never encountered any other night wildlife before.

This time I was running a very familiar route. That's my 6m recovery loop, as it is all on the wide nice trail not technical at all with very little of elev gain. Considering the dying batteries that was a good choice. First it was kinda scary and hard to see, then some bird attacked me in the darkness (I think it's too cold and late in season for the bats.. so must be a bird), but then I relaxed and it became easy to run and see only 1.5-2 meters around. The world and distances seem different in the light of headlamp :)

After that run I went climbing, but couldn't do a thing, was too tired after previous day jumping exercises and that run.

Track: Cougar 7m night run

The next three days we were doing nothing healthy and sporty just went for winter camping to Leavenworth and celebrated the NY.

On the 1st of Jan my new training program has started, and after review of what we can do around here fun and just 7 miles, I decided to go for Mt Si trail that is 8m total there and back and 3250 feet of elev gain (according to the book, it is more than 5300 according to my watch that has lost GPS signal for at least 3 times during the run). The book predicted 2.5 hrs of run, that was really good considering that we woke up at 12pm, and still had enough time before sunset.

I underestimated the snowpack that I thought will start near the most top, but it actually started at least 1.5 before the top, and the perspective of running back was especially scary and fun.

Mt Si is the most popular hike around Seattle because it is not very hard (4 miles up and 4 miles down on  a perfectly maintained trail) and offers a great view from the top that includes Seattle and Mt Rainier on a sunny day. And today was amazingly clean and sunny!

The climb starts immediately from the trailhead and never gives you abilities to rest. The first mile was especially hard for me. Then I caught the right rhythm and right combination of hike and walk (though I could have walked less) that allowed me to keep breathing normally while moving up. Kolya who is a better climber made it to the top 10 mins faster in 1:05, I made it in 1:15. We spent few minutes on the top regretting I have forgotten the iphone and couldn't make pictures of the amazing view, and got down back to the car in 45 minutes. The snowpack was not that much of a problem on the downhill as I thought while climbing up, it was slippery, but when you run fast enough you don't really care.

Track: Mt Si NY run

Just 6 miles for tomorrow!