Week ending May 6:
Monday: 8 miles, Foothills trail, 1000ft of gain. I'm taking a somewhat hard taper into Quad Rock, so no two-a-days this week. Nice and cool this morning. Too cool...
Tuesday: 8 miles, Foothills trail, 1000ft of gain. Some days I wish that overnight the Foothills trail would magically change its path across the ridge. There are all of these little nooks and rock ledges just waiting to be explored, but trail rules and rattlesnakes keep me from truly running free. Today was a mundane run so I had to make something up, sorry.
Wednesday: 8 miles, Foothills trail, 1000ft of gain. Running is turning into breakfast for me. I always eat the same breakfast, everyday: Barbara's Shredded Spoonfuls with almond milk, and a bowl of Greek yogurt with nuts, dried fruit, and flax. And every morning, I run the foothills trail out to the Laporte dam. I need a new schtick.
Thursday: 12 miles, Foothills trail and Reservoir Ridge, 2500ft of gain. Well, I can just tack-on the Reservoir Ridge loop, I guess. Got kind of hot so I regretted not taking a water bottle.
Friday: Off. Felt lazy so I biked to get coffee this morning in Old Town. Dynamics II take-home final was sent out this afternoon - my body is ready.
Saturday: 10 miles, Timber Trail and some Howard Trail, 2000ft of gain. Did a little bit of the QR course today, the part near the turn-around that I'm least familiar with. Put off working on the final to whip up some Oaxacan-style lentils for a chill Cinco de Mayo celebration.
Sunday: 10 miles, Timber Trail and some Howard Trail, 2000ft of gain. Same time, same place, felt much more confident on the Timber descent.
Mileage: 56 miles
Elevation gain: 9500ft of gain
Week ending May 13:
Monday: Off. Getting well-rested for Quad Rock.
Tuesday: 8 miles, Foothills trail, 1000ft of gain. I am not excited when my IT-band starts to get tight during a taper. I tried to stretch it out today, but whoah, it is rebelling like a teenager on caffeine. I hit the theraband for about an hour today to get it under control.
Wednesday: 10 miles, Foothills trail, 1500ft of gain. IT-band felt a bit better today, although the descent at my turn-around near the Laporte dam felt terrible. That's not a good sign, because the QR course is equally rocky and rough.
Thursday: Off. Nada. Stretching and such.
Friday: 4 miles, Foothills trail, 500ft of gain. IT-band is feeling better, although the day before it's still too tight for my liking. I'm going to have to take it out slowly tomorrow and give it time to warm up.
Saturday: 25 miles, 5500ft of gain, Quad Rock 25. Well, the IT-band held up until the bottom of Mill Creek, when it started to tighten on the first lap. The climb up Howard was fine, but as soon as I hit the first mile of the downhill on Timber I decided to just call it at the turn-around. I gave some stretching a shot at 25 miles but it felt like it made it worse. I'll take an eighth place finish in the 25-mile for going out at a 50-mile pace.
Sunday: Ah, no. Much stretching and ice massage.
Mileage: 47 miles
Elevation gain: 8500ft of gain.
Well, Quad Rock was disappointing, but I had to do it. Bighorn is one of my big goal races this summer, and I really couldn't take the chance of trashing my IT-band one month beforehand. If I would get to the race start at all, I wouldn't be in top form. Sometimes you just need to cut your losses and live to race another day.
Week ending May 20
Monday: 8 miles, Foothills trail, 1000ft of gain; 4 miles, Reservoir Ridge, 500ft of gain. Warmed up the IT-band this morning and followed that with a run out from my department. I guess I never thought about it before, but the Foothills trail is less than half a mile from my office. The IT-band was a little tight in the morning but the afternoon run felt fine. Strength training, stretching, and a massage late in the day seem to be loosening things up.
Tuesday: 12 miles, Foothills trail and Reservoir Ridge, 2500ft of gain. Did the lollipop loop this morning out at the Ridge and cruised along the Foothills trail. I'm doing some more mileage early this week as I'm heading to Berkeley for my brother's graduation this weekend.
Wednesday: 8 miles, Foothills trail, 1000ft of gain; 4 miles, Foothills trail, 500ft of gain. I'm a fan of the two-a-day, because I can use the morning as an easy run and then treat the afternoon one as a tempo run. I think speedwork is underrated in ultra training, especially when you incorporate hills.
Thursday: 8 miles, Foothills trail, 1000ft of gain. Got a run in this morning before heading to Berkeley late this afternoon. I spent extra time getting the IT-band loose so it doesn't get too tight on the plane ride. Sitting seems to aggravate it.
Friday: 8 miles, 1500ft of gain, Berkeley hills and Tilden Regional Park. I had no idea that there was such an awesome natural area/park situated above the Berkeley hills. The route from our rental house up to the hills was pretty awesome - a gradual uphill for a mile along Monterey, a 700ft+ half mile climb up the impossibly steep Marin Avenue (and past some damn nice houses), and then a nice contour run along Wildcat Canyon Road (pictured below). I'm impressed that there are such awesome running opportunities this close to town.
Congratulations to my brother on his Ph.D. from Berkeley's Department of Molecular and Cell Biology. It's been inspiring to watch him over the years. If it wasn't for him and my sister both continuing their education into graduate school, I may not have made that decision, either.
Wildcat Canyon Road. For road-running, this was actually pretty enjoyable...
...because the sunrise over Tilden is beautiful.
Saturday: 8 miles, Berkeley hills and Tilden, 1500ft of gain. A similar route, but I found a faster way to get to the dirt trails in Tilden. My IT-band feels absolutely fine, now, which is encouraging. I mean, if it survives the downhill on Marin, it can survive pretty much anything. More pics:
Eucalyptus stands - these guys are so fragrant and wonderful to run through. It's like running through a Vick's Vaporub factory.
Tilden 1 hour after sunrise. You can't get a clean panorama because the trees are so dense.
Sunday: Off, traveling home.
Mileage: 64 miles
Elevation gain: 8500ft of gain
Felt much better this week - the IT-band feels almost fully recovered, so I'll ratchet up the mileage next week.