A passion for trail running, ultras, mountaineering, snowshoeing, hiking, and other outdoor adventures

Monday, March 10, 2014

Bighorn Training Log: Weeks 17 and 16 to Go

Training Thru an Epic Winter
Well, winter weather, trail conditions, and the need to get in training hikes ahead of the Whitney climb (3/22-25) kind of dictated the schedule for these two weeks.  One of the three hikes was unplanned, as Garth and I headed to Palisades for a snowshoe run that turned into a postholing hike. And then a bit of an adventure as I solo'ed up/down some difficult slopes using running snowshoes to frontpoint along the poles I fortunately had in the trunk of the car! (It’s been one of those winters!).
Solo Bear Mountain training hike
In the second week, I thought I was tapering ever so slightly for Febapple 50K, which I had signed up for last-minute.  But conditions were likely to be sloppy with rains and warmer temps on top of lots of massed snow, plus Garth and Lesley were no-go’s.  So I made the right call day before, which was to go out to Tammany that Saturday instead for a training hike.  Time running out for Whitney, and not much quality running was going to happen at Febapple.

Palisades snowshoe hike--Peanut Falls along the Hudson

Overall, it was a “take it as it comes” situation.  Fewer runs and less mileage than I would like, but a chance for some great winter hiking.  I was happy to still in get in some quality running stuff, with the 17 miler and solo speedwork both weeks.   In equivalent time on feet terms, I’m certainly getting in what I would if I did only the goal mileage on trails in decently runnable conditions.
Mt. Tammany training hike (Delaware Water Gap, NJ)
I felt pretty good overall, and the days completely off or with only strength were key as the demands on the body have been great.  It is a little frustrating not being able get in quality time on the trails with our current winter, but what’s a guy gonna do?  Making the best of it and hopefully won’t be worse for the wear come April and beyond!  Tentatively, I may do Greenbelt 50K that second weekend of May, which would “replace” Febapple and keep the “Bighorn as my 50th ultra” dream alive!  (Right now I still sit at 45.)
A foot of snow-plus on Bear Mountain

Bears repeating--breaking in new backcountry snowshoes
Bundled up at finish by Bear Mountain Inn-temps in teens to 20s
The beta: 

Feb. 10-16

Est. running miles:  40 miles

Runs = 4    Hikes = 2

Time on feet:  9.84 hours (running) + 6:50 (hiking)

Relentless book mileage target:  54 (with 20/10 B2B)

Long run:  17 road miles, with 15 of them at about 8:50 pace (slowed way down for last two miles with developing left hamstring issue, then walked back from park to protect leg)

Speedwork (improvised with no quorum for Mike’s class):  2 X mile plus 2 X half (times around 7:30ish pace)

Hikes:  One @ Bear Mountain on backcountry snowshoes for about 3:30 with about 42 pounds in pack, up/down the AT most of way up (about 800-1000’ of up and then of down), lots of technical issues with snowshoe bindings and stoppage time, awkward descent on snow-covered stairs.  Other @ Palisades near State Line, running snowshoes with post-holing first half with Garth, then grabbed poles and headed toward Peanut Falls, all in a foot or so of snow with few tracks to follow and all very off-camber deep snow footing


Garth debuting running snowshoes on snow way too deep and untrammeled

Poles helped with the second half, but these snowshoes no match for this snow (apologies for technical glitches on photo repeats)

The woods near State Line Lookout, NJ/NY border

Feb. 17-23

Total Runs:  4

Running mileage:  25.5

Relentless target:  40 (14/6 B2B, a stepdown week)

Time on feet:  running = 4:25+ hiking = 6:45  total = 11:10

Long run:  none

Speedwork:  6 repeats of Great Hill from 102 transverse (about .3 to .33 mile each)

Whitney training hike #4 (de facto #5):  6:45 with 3,600’ up and 3,600’ down in three repeats of Mt. Tammany (Lesley and Jeff doing repeats on trail same time); carrying 50 pounds; mountaineering boots with Microspikes, poles, and about 10 inches of slushy snow

Strength:  upper/core X 2 and legs X 1 (?)

No yoga, some stretching

Winter still casting its long shadow on a 40s day at Tammany

View ain't half bad (frozen Delaware River from top of Tammany)

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