Monday, September 03, 2007

It's all in the numbers...

Well, another month has come and gone, and I've gotten a PR of sorts, in terms of monthly mileage. This month, the grand total was:


Significantly better than the 141.0 of last month, and makes me feel better about the seemingly low mileage weeks, despite lots of longish runs (The miles of these weeks, with the Monday to Sunday format, have been: 38(with week starting wednesday for the month), 51(back to back weekend), 35.2 (week of the 50k), 36.5 (weekend guest), and 41. Not exactly where I imagined my mileage being, but I suppose I'll take what I can get. During the month I still did: one 15 miler, two 18 milers, two 20 milers, and one 5ok.

I've also been playing around with my mileage, in terms of which day to start calculating, which makes a surprising difference, and makes me feel a little better about how tired my legs have been feeling this week. I conventionally start my mileage on Mondays, so that the full weekend is counted together, which gave me an unimpressive 41 miles for the week. However, if I instead start the mileage on Sunday to Saturday instead, that goes up to 58 miles! Which is near my highest mileage ever (I did 60 the week of the SD Marathon in june). Of course, doing that makes the previous week a paltry 16 miler week (I know!), but then makes the week before that a 53 miler week, which I like much better :)

So, I'll stick with my normal way of recording mileage, just because I think it makes sense to keep the weekly mileage together, but sometimes it's good to switch things around a little. It makes sense that after a 58 miler week, my legs would be tired, much more than just after 41 miles, and makes me feel better about my plan for a rest day!

All this data talk is mostly me trying to justify that I've been putting in enough mileage for my rapidly approaching 50 miler! I'll admit, I'm starting to get worried that I just haven't putting in enough training. 50 miles seems considerably farther than the 32 of Tahoe (my "furthest 50k"). I'm hopefully going to get in something in the 15-18 miler range on Thursday, and then do a mini taper for the 50k next weekend, since I have a guest visiting this weekend and won't get the opportunity to get in a long run. Then I'll do another long run the weekend after (I'm thinking 26 miles or so) and then, I suppose, start to taper! Ack!!!

Any advice from you seasoned vets about what to do with this 39 days that I have before the race? Any strategies, numerical or otherwise, would be amazing :D


In an amusing but unrelated note, my trail paranoia hit a high note on Saturday when I attempted to do a long run on single track by myself in Nisene Marks. I started by just singing outloud to my (lowly set with only one headphone) ipod (which I'm sure was lovely for the one couple I encountered out on the trail who got to hear me belting show tunes). However, after hearing an animal in the bushes about 3 miles in (was probably a squirrel, but squirrels and mountain lions don't sound that different, right?) I changed tactics. Off went the ipod, and I started talking to the animal, then proceding to talk (loudly) to the forest, myself, God, for the next two hours, as I hesitently proceeded on the trail, pepper spray firmly in hand. At one point, the trail is surrounded on both sides by high bushes (went above my head) with a very steep drop off to one side. I heard a rustling in the bushes and immediately screamed, swinging around and pointing my weapon into the bushes. But before I could set off the pepper spray, a frightened squirrel scampered away under the leaves.

The almost victim of my irrationality
Yes, I almost maced a squirrel.

I really need to get a handle on this fear :P


rick said...

Hmmm...if it was me I wouldn't taper for the 50k. I would treat it like a regular training run especially since you are only going to manage 15-18 miles this Thursday. I also wouldn't start tapering until 2 weeks before the race. Getting in my last long run the weekend of the 29th-30.

Poor squirrel but good job fighting your fears.

Jessica Deline said...

dang girl. 180 mile month. Wow!

that's rather funny that you almost maced a squirrel :)

Donald said...

It's amazing how much noise those little dudes can make. Especially when it's dark.

Great mileage month!

hao said...

great story with the squirrel. i saw so many squirrels on ohlone wilderness trail yesterday that i thought i was for sure gonig to get attacked by them. :D great job racking up the mileage. i think the most important thing i would do is to find a run/walk strategy that works for me and practice at a pace i think is possible. 3 times my marathon time/50 miles was the goal i had for my first 50 miler. aside from that, i think you're pretty well prepared as far as the base is concerned.



Your dad said...

Wow. 180 miles. Good job!

I do the same math exercise, varying the start of my running week to maximize milage. All in my head, but it makes me feel good to think about what I've done in the past 7 days, as opposed to the sunday start (what my Garmin does as default, so it takes care of the math).

Glad you carry the spray, even if you are a bit of a threat to small, cute animals.

Love you. Dad

Addy said...

Rick- Yeah, I didn't want to really taper, but I have a friend staying this weekend, and definitely can't get a long run in while they're here. Would doing 15-18 thursday, then maybe 20 Monday, and then like 5 wednesday (track workout) and 10 thursday seem reasonable (for a sunday race). I'm hoping to get in a few 5-6 milers on Saturday and Sunday, but I'll have to see.

Jess- I definitely felt like a dork after!

Donald- It really is! I previously was convinced that some birds moving sticks in a bush was a mountain lion and almost left the trails. I'm just a bit paranoid ;)

Hao- careful, they might band together! Thanks for the advice and reassurance. Your formula puts me right where I thought I'd be, finishing at the cutoff of 13 1/2 hours ;). Which I guess is sort of good?

Dad- love you too! I promise I'm being smart and safe :)

Sarah said...

Sounds like you need more running friends to visit you on weekends ; ) Maybe you can sneak out early in the AM while your guest is still asleep. You inspired me to tally my August miles, and I was wowed to see the number 203 staring back at me. Last month was my previous high (144). Also this month, for the first time ever my running mileage surpassed my cycling mileage (a paltry 112, its lowest since March). I guess August did have 31 days, which helped a little with my running mileage. ; ) Just sent my Garmin in for repair, so I'm sticking to routes that I know the mileage of!

Jean said...

Addy, great job on your mileage. That is a fantastic total. Obviously, your training is going quite well. Keep it up!

And I wish you nothing but happy encounters with fuzzy little squirrels in the future! :)

Sarah said...

Your mileage is awesome! I would listen to Rick. He's the real expert!

I swear that in Forest Park the birds in the bushes sound just like bears (or stalkers!). : )

I start my week with Monday too, since sometimes my longest run is Sat, sometimes Sun. Makes more sense to me to count it that way.

Jean Pommier said...

Advice for the last month? Try driving up to the East Bay and run part of the course. Will provide some heat training and you will know what the hills are about.
Was my first 50-miler last year, and such a preview really helped mitigating the unknown coming with this distance.
I had a blast last year, was very relaxed and enjoyed every aid station. And now Carl and Ann sermon me about spending less time in aid stations... ;-)

Take it easy but do not hesitate to put some tough and long runs up to one week before the event, then one week off to pump the stamina up!


Josh said...

I think your plan leading up to Firetrails sounds great. I'mdi a big fan of back to back long runs. So if it were me I would do a back to back weekend 3 or 4 weeks out from the race, but if you can't do that I think you will be more than ready with what you are doing!

Addy said...

(just gotta note the sarah, jean, sarah, jean pattern!)

Sarah- Wow!!! I'm so proud of you :) (is that weird? Maybe impressed is the better word). Breaking 200 is amazing!!! You are going to rock the Rockies :D (and yes, I do need you to come run trails with me! Don't get sick of them over in colorado)

Jean- thanks for such nice wishes. Hopefully they come true :)

Sarah- Glad to know I'm not the only one that thinks birds sound like huge scary creatures

Jean- Its great to have advice from someone who's been there. I actually have run a few of the trails (around lake chabot) but I might try to make a trip up in a few weeks to hit a few more.

Josh- The back to back is a good idea, and I think I'm going to try to do a few more of those if I can. I was thinking something in the 15 range the day after the 50k, and then 20ish runs the following weekend, before taper. Just gotta keep the body holding up!