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Road to Nowhere

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Re: Road to Nowhere

Post  Mark B on Sun Nov 25, 2012 2:26 pm

@dot520 wrote:Are you at the end of a circle? At a fork in the road?

131 HR? That's really low! You've come a long way.

Ha! I told you it was disorienting. It's actually on a fairly straight path - but it's a 180-degree panorama! So I caught the trail coming and going. I think the panorama would lend itself best to huge vistas from a mountaintop.

Thanks on the HR comment, I'm getting there, though my distance endurance needs some work. Today's HR was lower partly because these testers seems to not impair my efficiency as much as other shoes (I'll have to MAF test 'em and see for sure.), and partly because I wasn't going very fast. Mostly, though, the average HR for the total run seems low because it includes about 10 minutes of walking to warm up and cool down.

It actually looks like this:

Mile 1: 13:00, 117 average HR (included walking warm up)
Mile 2: 10:04, 133 average HR (included big downhill)
Mile 3: 10:54, 133 average HR (maybe walked a little)
Mile 4: 10:49, 134 average HR (ditto)
Mile 5: 13:01, 136 average HR (heading back uphill)
Mile 6: 10:51, 138 average HR
Mile 7: 15:03, 130 average HR (0.87 miles, including about .25 mile walking)

The mile splits below 138 are a little unusual. I wasn't pushing the pace or trying to hit that target HR this morning, just taking it easy and enjoying the company.
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Re: Road to Nowhere

Post  Mark B on Mon Nov 26, 2012 5:10 pm

Low HR Run: 90 minutes (8.3 miles)

Weather: Clear, sunny, gorgeous. 44 in the sun, mid-30s in shade. Gear: Testers, shorts, T, pullover, jacket. Fuel: Post breakfast. Carried water in belt.

It was frosty this morning (got down to 30), and it was still cold in the shade when I headed out for a low HR run. I dressed in layers to account for 10-degree swings in temperature depending on whether I was in the shade or full sun.

I did my Llama Ridge route and got to see Larry and Moe, a whole herd of alpaca, three snowcapped volcanoes (Mount Hood, Mount Adams and Mount St. Helens) and some end-of-season foliage. Very pretty.







I aimed for my low HR target of 138 and wasn't entirely successful at keeping it down (I ended up 139-142). Still, I'm feeling my way along in the testers, and I'm starting to push out the distances a bit. It felt good to go longer again. We'll see how that affects MAF tests and whatnot.

Walked first and last 5 minutes. Average HR for the entire run: 136

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Re: Road to Nowhere

Post  Mark B on Wed Nov 28, 2012 1:14 pm

Low HR Run: 3.11 miles

Weather: Rainy and chilly. 40 degrees. Gear: Testers, shorts, T, pullover, jacket, hat, gloves, Fuel: Post breakfast

I wanted to squeeze in a run this morning (my legs were amazingly peppy last night and were begging to run, a sensation I haven't felt in a while), so I decided to compare the basic efficiency of these testers with barefoot running by doing laps around the block.

The result? Slower overall, and at a higher effort level. I don't know if it shows that barefoot is inherently more efficient than shod running, or if I haven't dialed in the most efficient form for these shoes yet. Interesting question.

Average HR for entire run: 140

(No walking warm up or cool down)
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Re: Road to Nowhere

Post  Mark B on Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:03 pm

Barefoot Run: 3.1 miles on cold, wet asphalt

Weather: Between showers (partly cloudy), cool. 47 degrees, a breeze. Gear: Bare feet, shorts, long-sleeved T, jacket, hat. Fuel: Post breakfast

I slipped in a short barefoot run today, to keep my skills alive and compare with my run on the same route yesterday. It was breezy and wet, but between rain showers. It took a mile for my feet to get used to the surface, but after that, it was fine.

The comparison day to day was striking. Faster, at a lower heart rate barefoot than in shoes.

Yesterday:


Today:


Crazy, huh? The most efficient shoes still seem to be no shoes at all!

Average HR for entire run: 137 (no warm up or cool down)
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Re: Road to Nowhere

Post  Mark B on Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:50 pm

I posted this on FB, but it seems a natural for here, as well.

After my run yesterday, I went inside to do a little stretching. As I was down on the floor, one of our new kittens, Hunter (whose nickname is Fluff for Brains), becomes very happy to see me. He begins rubbing all over my head, sniffing, nibbling my hair, etc.

And persistent? Let's put it this way: I stood up, went to get my iPhone, turned on the camera and walked back, laid back down... and he was back at it in a heartbeat.

Here's the image:


I'd love to know what was going through his little brain at the time...

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Re: Road to Nowhere

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:44 pm

Love the picture, Mark!
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Re: Road to Nowhere

Post  Mark B on Fri Nov 30, 2012 4:54 pm

@Michele "1L" Keane wrote:Love the picture, Mark!

Thanks Michele! Yeah, Hunter is a nut. He loves stealing Alita's ponytail holder and dropping it in his food or water bowl. He even tries that with her pajama bottoms, too, which is so utterly odd. But not as odd as this: One time when I was taking a leak, Hunter tried to hop up for a better look - and nearly fell in the toilet. An hour or so later, I saw a stuffed animal go by out of the corner of my eye, and I found that Hunter had left it in front of the toilet! Was he leaving a sacrifice?

---

Low HR Run: 90 minutes (8.03 miles)

Weather: Partly cloudy, mild but windy. Gusts to 19 mph. Gear: Testers, shorts, T, jacket, hat (stowed). Fuel: Post-breakfast. Carried water.

Out to Llama Ridge again this morning, somehow managing to get my run in between rain showers. It was mild but blustery - at one point I ended up bucking a headwind gusting to 19 mph. I tried to focus on HR and was fairly successful, though I'm still learning form. My pace falls off much quicker in these shoes than barefoot.

I thought about making it a 60-minute run but decided to press on. It probably would have been better to keep it shorter, because I began to fatigue more than usual and almost felt a bonk coming on. And I didn't make it back home before I had to hit stop on the timer. Oops.

Average HR for entire run: 135 (Walked first and last 5 minutes)

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Re: Road to Nowhere

Post  dot520 on Sat Dec 01, 2012 10:25 am

Sounds like you had a great run, Mark! Gusty winds can be interesting, but I really don't like it when it's really cold. Cool and gusty like an early fall day can make the run enjoyable....within reason.

Your kitten...that's funny. My past kitties and even dogs would come and try to sit on my stomach if I laid down or just walk back and forth across me.
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Re: Road to Nowhere

Post  Mark B on Sat Dec 01, 2012 2:12 pm

@dot520 wrote:Sounds like you had a great run, Mark! Gusty winds can be interesting, but I really don't like it when it's really cold. Cool and gusty like an early fall day can make the run enjoyable....within reason.

Your kitten...that's funny. My past kitties and even dogs would come and try to sit on my stomach if I laid down or just walk back and forth across me.

Hi Dot! It doesn't get very windy here, usually, so a little blustery weather can be fun. Well, as long as the it's dry and 55 and not 38 and raining. Brr.

Both cats checked me out yesterday. Hunter didn't bat at my head quite as much this time, but he marked me pretty well. He must be saving using the tummy as a trampoline until later. What a Face
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Re: Road to Nowhere

Post  Mark B on Sat Dec 01, 2012 3:07 pm

This is shaping up to be a weird day.

First off, several friends are out in the woods of Indiana running the Tecumseh Trail Marathon.

Second, other friends are getting ready to run the California International Marathon in conditions that ought to be quite interesting.

Third, it's sign-up day for the Mount Hood 50-miler, and I keep getting notices on Facebook that there are only 30 spots left as of two hours ago.

Race envy sucks. Especially when the biggest longing is for a race that hasn't been run yet - even though I know I can't be ready to run a 50 by mid-July. Not while I'm in the middle of this long rebuilding process. I don't know how long that process is going to take, and I don't even know if it's going to work. All I can do is keep at it.

Well, I suppose the truth of the matter is, if I'm starting to feel the itch to get out there and run a race, maybe that slow rebuilding process is doing its job.
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Re: Road to Nowhere

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Sat Dec 01, 2012 4:43 pm

You can be ready by July, Mark - yes, you can.
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Re: Road to Nowhere

Post  Mark B on Sat Dec 01, 2012 8:20 pm

@Michele "1L" Keane wrote:You can be ready by July, Mark - yes, you can.

Well, you got me thinking about it, Michele.

In fact, I even went to sign up... but found out it sold out while I was deciding. tongue

I went ahead and put myself on the waiting list, through I have no idea if a No. 24 is going to make it in.

Who knows? It might work out better this way. This could give me the motivation to start building up in anticipation of possibly getting in. And if I don't get in, at least I'd be able to find something else to run later that summer or fall. That's something, right? Well, sort of.
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Re: Road to Nowhere

Post  Mark B on Sat Dec 01, 2012 10:39 pm

It might well be more than something.

A lot more.

I sent a message to the race organizers asking what chances there were for somebody at No. 24 on the wait list to actually get in the race.

I just got this reply: "We went through 50 people last year, so pretty good, actually."

Um. Oh. (Gulp!) Great!

Before I pass out hyperventilating, I wonder if I can count the number of weeks between now and July 13...
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Re: Road to Nowhere

Post  charles.moman on Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:46 am

Now you've gone and done it!
I wish my trip out to Washington was then, I would run that with you!
Buy Relentless Forward Progress by Bryon Powell - great advice and training schedules.
I REALLY wish I could do that with you . . . hmm . . .
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Re: Road to Nowhere

Post  T Miller on Sun Dec 02, 2012 9:32 am

Well, it sounds like you're on your way to running a fifty. Here's wishing you a successful buildup. Smile
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Re: Road to Nowhere

Post  Mark B on Sun Dec 02, 2012 10:45 am

@charles.moman wrote:Now you've gone and done it!
I wish my trip out to Washington was then, I would run that with you!
Buy Relentless Forward Progress by Bryon Powell - great advice and training schedules.
I REALLY wish I could do that with you . . . hmm . . .

Well, that wait list isn't getting any shorter. Hop to it! It'd be a blast to run this with you.

Already have RFP. Good book. I just need to figure out how to modify his training plans into my wacky schedule. I also want to look at plans with a little bit more of a "sandwich" approach and see if they'd work better.

@T Miller wrote:Well, it sounds like you're on your way to running a fifty. Here's wishing you a successful buildup. Smile

Thanks, Tim! I know you and Wendy are doing a 50-miler before me this year, so I'll be watching your progress with more than my usual morbid fascination.


Last edited by Mark B on Sun Dec 02, 2012 2:23 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Re: Road to Nowhere

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Sun Dec 02, 2012 11:46 am

Woohoo! I'm sure we can get you through this one, Mark!
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Re: Road to Nowhere

Post  Mike MacLellan on Sun Dec 02, 2012 12:17 pm

Saw inklings of this on your Facebook, Mark. Let chance do its magic. If you get in, run it. If not, don't.

And yeah, CIM. I'm watching it POUR rain out my window and watching the trees bend at ridiculous angles when gusts hit.
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Re: Road to Nowhere

Post  Mark B on Sun Dec 02, 2012 2:16 pm

@Michele "1L" Keane wrote:Woohoo! I'm sure we can get you through this one, Mark!

Boy, I hope so! I'll be counting on your wisdom, support and encouragement. I'll provide the crazy. geek

@Mike MacLellan wrote:Saw inklings of this on your Facebook, Mark. Let chance do its magic. If you get in, run it. If not, don't.

And yeah, CIM. I'm watching it POUR rain out my window and watching the trees bend at ridiculous angles when gusts hit.

Nice thought, Mike. I'm kind of rolling the dice on this, in more ways than one. Let's see what fortune has in store!

Yeah. CIM. I'd thought about running it. When I was done with my run this morning, I checked doppler radar and saw a huge band of pure red just about to sweep across the course. Weather stations nearby were showings gusts of 42 mph. This is going to be an experience those runners are not likely to forget.
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Re: Road to Nowhere

Post  Mark B on Sun Dec 02, 2012 2:21 pm

Low HR Run: 6.79 miles

Weather: Partly cloudy, mild. 46 degrees. Gear: Testers, shorts, rain pants, jacket, hat (stowed). Fuel: Grape Nuts® with rice milk and coffee, carried water.

My training partner and I mixed it up a bit this morning and decided to train in a pretty area near the mouth of the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon. It's the site of the annual "Troudale Trot" - and true to any RD's sadistic character, it includes a few blocks that go pretty much straight up. "Spreads the crowd out a bit!" my buddy said. Yeah.

Anyway, I dressed for a deluge - there was a torrential downpour when I was getting ready - but the storm clouds passed before I got to the meet-up point and we enjoyed clearing skies under a waning moon. It was a nice run. The hill warmed me up nicely, and it was easy to maintain an even heart rate as we rolled along the top of the ridge and back down a few miles later. The paces weren't speedy, but they were pretty consistent. And the whole run felt easy. Me likey.

Walked first 5 minutes, and a couple of minutes at the end. Average HR for the whole run: 134

Here's the route.


Two other items: My training partner is pleased with the notion of me shooting for a 50 - because it'll inspire him to get out there and run more, so he can keep up with me on my longer Sunday runs. Also, speaking of longer, I just looked at my calendar and realized that I did 29.3 miles! Coolness.

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Re: Road to Nowhere

Post  dot520 on Sun Dec 02, 2012 5:42 pm

Eeeek, don't like the beginning of that elevation chart. That does look like it's straight up. What do you think the incline of that would be on a treadmill? I envy you having a training partner at least occasionally.
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Re: Road to Nowhere

Post  Mark B on Sun Dec 02, 2012 7:18 pm

@dot520 wrote:Eeeek, don't like the beginning of that elevation chart. That does look like it's straight up. What do you think the incline of that would be on a treadmill? I envy you having a training partner at least occasionally.

I'm not completely sure of this, but Mapmyrun shows it as a 20% grade. (Do treadmills go that high?)

You notice it, that's for sure. Very Happy

I don't mind running alone - solitude suits me a lot of the time - but the conversation is nice, and it's good to keep up with an old friend.
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Re: Road to Nowhere

Post  Mark B on Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:08 am

Okay, here's a little more information about...



From the race's website: The Mt. Hood 50 is a heavily shaded 50-mile race that is run almost entirely on the Pacific Crest Trail.  The trail is generally soft with good footing, although there are some technical sections with rocks and roots. Runners will start by running North from the Clackamas Ranger Station to the Frog Lake Aid Station, just before Highway 26. They will then return to the start/finish and head South to the Warm Springs Meadows Aid Station, where they will turn around and head back to the finish.  Total elevation gain is approximately 5,630 feet.

Here's the elevation profile:


Aid stations: At 6.0, 9.2, 14.2, 19.2, 22.4, 28.4, 33.7, 39.2 and 44.7. Not bad!

The course starts at the pointer in the middle of the map, works its way up in an arc to the right, to where you see the US 26 logo, then back past the start south to the north side of a lumpy ridge with a triangular southern slope near the bottom of the image, then back to the start.



Follow this link to a page with topo maps.

For a better sense of place, I zoomed the map out to show the Portland-Vancouver metro area:



Photos from last year's race are here.

Whew! I know that's a lot, but knowing me... I'm just getting started. Very Happy
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Re: Road to Nowhere

Post  JohnP on Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:28 am

Mark, I'm getting a little concerned as I look at my HR data over this year. What is the best book you'd recommend on heart rate training? Thanks.
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Re: Road to Nowhere

Post  Mark B on Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:46 am

@JohnP wrote:Mark, I'm getting a little concerned as I look at my HR data over this year. What is the best book you'd recommend on heart rate training? Thanks.

Actually, John, I think I'll recommend two, with an additional tome that I'll link to as a .pdf.

The first book is The Maffetone Method: The Holistic, Low-Stress, No-Pain Way to Exceptional Fitness. You can get it at Amazon for as little as a penny used. It outlines his approach and provides a lot of practical information on overtraining and how to avoid it.

The second book is High Performance Heart: Effective Training with the HRM for Health, Fitness and Competition. It's written with cyclists in mind but it has a good section on running - and it provides a framework for training that has worked pretty well for me. Again, you can get it at Amazon for cheap-cheap-cheap.

The tome to which I mention is Hadd's Approach to Distance Training. In this densely-written piece, John Hadd offers up a similar approach to Maffetone. There are differences in how one would calculate a target heart rate, and how you measure progress, but the underlying concept is pretty much the same. It has a lot of science in it, which helps explain why this approach works, and it's more geared toward boosting performance than finding a balance between health and fitness.

I have used the general Maffetone concept, and I've probably had better luck using something closer to his HR target. But I've used Hadd and his "initial lactate threshold heart rate" runs to boost performance (essentially extended tempo runs based on heart rate rather than pace) leading up to goal marathons.

Hope that helps!
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