This second half of the “Dead Of Winter” was just as the title sounds. Training seemed to be clicking (it was) and while I wasn’t nailing everything, the consistency had built and I felt ready for US Cross. What wasn’t ready was everything between my ears and even Coach Rosario told me after the race that he was concerned about my self talk in the hours leading up to the gun time. He told me that he didn’t want to worry me before but once the race had come and gone, Ben sat me down and expressed his opinion on how I treated the pre-race talk and the things I was saying about myself. This conversation helped in that he was able to point out the fact that I was doubting the outcome for things before they even happened.
WEEK 12 > Jan. 16th - Jan. 22nd
WEEK 12: Jan 16th – Jan 22nd Total Mileage: 81.4 Flagstaff, AZ
Monday: 8 mile run (55:41) / 4.03 mile run (30:24)
Tuesday: WORKOUT > 3 mile WU, Buffalo Park Hill Circuit x 4, 2 mile cool down
Before even having to explain this workout I feel I should state that this is probably my single least favorite workout on the schedule. If I’ve said that before then I was lying about that workout. This hill circuit sucks. It gets you fit but it sucks. So anyways, this workout consists of a 2 mile loop at Buffalo Park in Flagstaff that has two major hills on it. For the most part, each elevation change along the loop has different “efforts” that are prescribed. For example, there is a short steep hill in the first mile that we attack at “5k race effort” and then theres a longer, 600 meter hill at the end that we go up at “half marathon race effort”. It’s definitely hard to paint a picture but the data sort of shows it so i’ll just leave it at that. This hill circuit did not go all that well but I did finish it so that is an accomplishment in itself.
Wednesday: 10.1 mile run (1:09:51)
Thursday: 6.88 mile run (51:06) / 4 mile run (29:08) At this point, Thursdays now had a weight session at 11 am instead of in the evening. We fought for this as a team because we were tired of having to go somewhere at 6:15pm and also wanted to make sure that we weren’t lifting heavy hours before a Friday workout. So the change was made at Hypo2 and all was happy.
Friday: 3 mile WU, Critical Velocity – 10 x 800 (2:20), 8 x 200 ( 4 @ 31, 4 @ 30,29,28,27), 2 mile CD
As i’ve stated before, this sort of work is very good for me. I can get into the repetition and zone out everything else until the workout is done. This was a Marty and Lutz special as we accomplished this workout side by side on the indoor track at NAU. I think it was good only having one partner for this one because we switched off lead with each 800 and there wasn’t a lot of traffic to deal with. Rest was a 400 after each 800 and a 200 after each 200. *
Don’t pay attention to the mileage section of the data below. GPS doesn’t pick up well in the dome that incases the indoor track.
Saturday: 5 mile XC Ski (3:30:00) / 4 mile run (28:20) We had just had a very bad snowstorm in Flagstaff and myself and some friends thought it would be a very cool experience to head on over to the Flagstaff Nordic center at 8000 feet of elevation and XC Ski. What I found is that XC skiing is one of the hardest activities that Man has ever created and I suffered. Granted, we took a lot of breaks but it didn’t matter. The soreness I felt from this lasted for days. (Foreshadow)
Sunday: 8 mile run (55:22) / 4 mile run (29:54) w/ drills and strides
WEEK 13 > Jan. 23rd - Jan. 29th
WEEK 13: Jan 23rd – Jan 28th Total Mileage: 84.3 miles Flagstaff, AZ
Monday: WORKOUT > 3 mile WU, 4 mile Tempo @ 4:52 pace (indoor track), 4 x 300 (46,45,44,43), 2 mile CD
What I found in this effort is that 4:52 pace is A) generally hard at altitude no matter your location B) Very hard on an indoor track solo. Granted, the soreness I spoke of from my 3 hour XC skiing jaunt was at its peak and left my legs feeling very flat. So I can’t completely blame this workout’s outcome on difficulty. But I really do think that I was just flat out not ready to nail this one. In the split table below, you’ll see that I was slightly under or at pace in the beginning but after the third mile (4:59) I had to take a minute break before pressing on. After the tempo, I had 4 300s but those went well and I hit the goal paces. Once again, you’ll notice that the mileage is off, don’t let that phase you.
Afternoon shake out : 3 mile run (22:56)
Tuesday: 10 mile run (1:10:26) You’ll notice that I’ve had a few single runs of 10 miles. Under normal volume, this would generally be 10/4.
Wednesday: 8 mile run (54:14) / 4.16 (31:05) + drills/strides
Thursday: WORKOUT > 3 mile WU, Hill Circuit (Sedona, 4000 ft), 2 mile CD
This workout was originally suppose to be at a hill loop in Flagstaff called “Creekside Hill Circuit” (my favorite of the hill circuits that we utilize) but due to snow, we had to go down and find a brand new spot for painful inverted running. Coach Rosario asked around and he was pointed toward this dirt road outside of Sedona that has a perfect (I kid you not) 800 meter hill. This sort of thing really excites Rosario. At the top of the hill it flattens out for about 100 meters before dropping with an even harder slope. We used this portion of the dirt road for a 30 second (or less) “all out” sprint back to the top. So, to put it all together, we would run the initial 800 meter hill up, jog to the bottom of the short, steep hill, sprint up that, jog back to the top of the 800 hill, run down that hard to the original starting location. All in all, this was perfect training for the Bend course in Oregon that held the USA XC Championship meet the next week. The data is a little harder to follow but if you just look for the 800 splits, you can sandwich them with the incline 800 and decline 800. Those serve as the start and finish of each set.
Also had a strength session.
Friday: 10 mile run (1:10:15) This was a big turn around for me! Hard workout with decent volume on Thursday and then a 10 mile run on Friday. The biggest factor being that the workout was on hills.
Saturday: 8.19 mile run (1:00:10) / 4.00 mile run (27:22) + drills and strides
Sunday: WORKOUT > Long Run with Surges ( 14 miles, last 8 miles each started with a HARD 2 min surge, 2 mile cool down = 16 total)
This LR was on the Beaver Creek dirt road. I did not disappoint in terms of finishing this workout and consider it to be a turning point in my relationship with this God-awful strip of road. This went well and I felt comfortable.
WEEK 14 > Jan. 30th - Feb. 5th
WEEK 14: Jan 30th – Feb 5th Total Mileage: 63.5 Flagstaff, AZ / Bend, OR
Monday: 8 mile run (57:09)
Tuesday: 8 mile run (54:31) / 4 mile run (27:04) + Drills and Strides
Wednesday: WORKOUT > 3 mile WU, Lactate Threshold: 3 mile Tempo (5:00 min pace) + 4 x 1 min hills, 2 mile CD
This is a classic workout for us pre meet. It’s an easy tempo effort at 7000 feet even with the hillier option on Lake Mary (miles 1-4). We went (whole group of USA Cross guys) 4:56, ’58, ’59 and felt good about it. Then we used a low grade hill to get some strides done on. Nothing crazy, just opened up the legs and got a little faster on each. I definitely felt very good during this workout but still had the fear of racing deep down. Actually, not even deep down. I was very nervous for the approaching US Cross Champs in Bend. Too nervous.
Thursday: 4 mile run (29:43) Flag / 4 mile run (NT) Bend
Friday: Pre Meet > 5.34 mile run (drills and strides on the course which was covered in snow)
Saturday: RACE > US Cross Country Championships : 35th
Such a bad race! I started off slowish because I was both trying to run conservatively on a hilly course and also afraid to truly hurt. This disconnect with the lead pack caused me to never be in contention and once we finished a couple of the 2k loops, I was suffering. It was definitely an effort that needed to be hard from the beginning because the condition of the loop made it impossible to make any sort of aggressive move. The altitude of Bend is also just enough that everyone is heavy legged and the race is already decided within the last 3k. Poor mentality and judgment threw this race for me and I headed back to Flagstaff with another poor mark.
Sunday: 10 mile run (1:10:49)
WEEK 15 > Feb. 6th - Feb. 12th
WEEK 15: Feb 6th – Feb 12th Total Mileage: 49.7 Flagstaff, AZ / Dallas, TX / ABQ, NM
Monday: Suppose to be a 4 mile run but I didn’t run.
Tuesday: 4 mile run (27:13) Flag / 6 mile run (38:12) Austin. Moved Meg to Flagstaff this week! Positive activity after such a bad weekend.
Wednesday: 5.22 mile run (34:08) Left for Dallas at night.
Thursday: WORKOUT > 4 mile WU, 10 x 20sec hard with 1 min jog in-between, 4 mile CD
This workout was nothing special as you can tell by the description. The two things that were cool about this guy was having ARunnersEye’s own Brandon Sotelo present and I was able to do this on my old high school track. Other than that, it was just strides on the track with volume around it. It was nice being able to get this workout in though because I spent the rest of this day driving to ABQ, NM in a big yellow Penske truck.
Friday: 8.34 mile run (55:40)
Saturday: 16 mile LR (1:44:04) Did this along the Rio Grande (ABQ) per recommendation from good friend Stephen (steve) Kersh. Cranked it in the second half. I told myself to try to build evenly throughout and go faster every mile. Honestly I probably cranked because I was still feeling bummed about US Cross. I didn’t take any of Steve’s Strava records though. So it was like I lost all over again.
Sunday: Prescribed Rest Day. Finished the big move to Flagstaff!