Sunday, January 30, 2011

FROSTY FIFTY and Training Again

After a very inconsistent December I'm finally back to some fairly serious training. I thought I'd spend the last few weeks of November recovering from the Mountain Masochist.... but recovery mode continued all the way through December. Physically and mentally I just wasn't with it until the new year.

I pretty much scrapped doing the Frosty Fifty (50K) but after a hard 10 mile run on Friday 1/7 I looked at the calendar and realized I really needed to start doing some 4+ hour runs if I was going to run 100 miles in April so I called the race director and asked if I could squeeze in at the last moment the next day(do I make a habit of this??) I wasn't ready to race so figured I'd just trot along at 9 minute pace and get my 31 miles in. It was a cold morning and for the majority of the run I was clicking along in the 8:20's. A race atmosphere will do that to you. On the way out on the second out and back I caught up to Konrad Gannon and ran with him a bit. Konrad is Winston Salem's very own "Anton Krupicka"... big bushy beard, said he rode his bicycle to the race and was wearing some super thin "Nike Waffle Racers" that he got for $30 on Amazon. He even shaved off some of the sole to get them just right. Looked to me like he lived the super simple lifestyle. I think he liked that I was wearing an old pair of ski socks as "high tech" gloves. Konrad is the only runner that has completed every single Frosty 50. I pulled away from Konrad but was still slowing a bit (really wasn't ready for 31 miles at anything but a jog). We had a hard snow at one point which dusted the trail and then the last 3 or 4 miles I slowed a bunch after running out of fueling options. The last 3 miles were into a super hard wind and I was fine with just moving along. I finished in 4:30 which was about 8:41 per mile. Faster then I planned. I think one 50+ year old was ahead of me but had I been in racing mode I think I would have gotten him. {Congrats need to go out to my friend Jenny Nichols who ran the Frozen Sasquatch on the same date and was 2nd overall female... SHE'S BACK! Rick Gray had a great day as well and celebrated a birthday.... bad news for me, Rick is now in my age group!}

The Frosty 50 has jump started my training. I've run 20 of 21 days the past 3 weeks and have had weeks of 84 mi, 91 mi, and 81 mi. I'm excited to be back to training. I've run consistently during the week and each weekend have done some back to back long runs in prep for Umstead (100 mi) on 4/2.

The first weekend post FF I did back to back 20 mile runs at Salem Lake.

Salem Lake on 1/15/11

We had a some snow during the week and temps stayed cold so we had snow on the trail. 90% of the trail was packed snow. A great surface to run on. I wore my Inov 8 X-Talon trail shoes which I don't really like all that much but found out they are perfect for running in the snow with the knobby sole (great traction). I ran alone on Saturday but the surface was so nice that I talked my friends Tom and Chuck and we all met up and I did another 20 miles the next day.
Salem Lake on 1/16/11

The next week was really pleased to get over 90 miles. Good runs during the week and more quality then usual for me. I ran 22 mile on Saturday at Salem and did the first 17 miles with Chuck at 8:20 pace and below. On Sunday I found a new trail to run. I drove up to Pilot Mtn and ran on the Corridor Trail which is about 6.5 miles long and runs right into the State Park.
Along the Corridor Trail with Pilot Mtn in the distance

I did 4+ hours of running on 1/23 on the new trail and never saw a single runner or hiker the entire day. Did find 3 guys on horses but that was it. So nice! Since I did 2 "out and backs" and the guys on horses were as well, we passed each other several times. The 2nd time we passed one of them said "you must be training for one of them marathons"... I told him something like that but actually did 50 mile trail races (didn't figure training for a 100 miler would be believable). When we passed one more time the guy asked how many days it takes to do a 50 mile race. I told him that so far I had finished them in one day!

Taking a re-fueling break at Pilot Mtn

This past weekend I did another 4 hour run at Pilot Mtn and ran most of the Pilot Mtn Marathon course... did the Corridor Trail again, then hit the Mountain Trail which was extremely tough up to the summit on very technical single track. Got to the summit then ran Ledge Spring Trail, down the Grindstone Trail, then to Grassy Ridge and back to my car on the Corridor again.
View from top of Pilot Mtn

Race Plans for 2011
1/8/11 Frosty Fifty (50K)
2/12/11 Holiday Lake 50K++
2/19/11 Pilot Mountain Payback Marathon
4/2/11 Umstead 100
4/23/11 Promise Land 50K (maybe depending on recovery)
June Grand Canyon R2R2R (unlikely but possible with a friend in Austin, TX)
11/5/11 MMTR

Training Summaries for the past 3 weeks:

Training Summary 1/24 - 1/30
AM Easy 6 mile run
AM 12 mile run, after an easy 3 miles, ran hard for 7 miles @6:50-7:20 pace, passed thru 10 mi in 78 min, then easy 2 miles
AM Planned on 2 hours but knee was hurting so stopped at 10 mi's.
PM 3 miles easy testing knee in Vibram Five Fingers
Rest Day
AM Easy 10 miles
PM 4 miles in Five Fingers
AM At Pilot Mtn. 4:02 for 22 miles
AM Easy 14 miles at Salem Lake

Weekly Total = 81 miles

Training Summary 1/17 - 1/23

AM 4 miles easy
AM 10 miles at 8:20 pace
AM 12 miles with Tom and Chuck, solid pacing.
AM 10 miles easy
AM 10 miles with Chuck, 8:24/mi
AM 22 miles at Salem
AM 23 miles at Pilot Mtn

Weekly Total = 91 miles

Training Summary 1/10 - 1/16

AM Easy 8 miles
AM 5 miles in snow
AM 10 miles, much of it at 7:45/mi
AM Easy 4 miles
PM 8 miles incorporating 3 miles at 6:50/mi
AM Easy 10+ miles
AM 20 miles in packed snow at Salem
AM 20 miles in snow at Salem

Weekly Total = 84 miles


  1. AWESOME!!! so glad you are back in blogland! GREAT run at frosty 50k, Rob! congrats!

    I too think that talons are great snow shoes, but they are very minimalist for sure. I haven't worn them for anything over 13 miles.. they really make me think they would be PERFECT XC shoes if you were in high school or college. esp a muddy course.

    excited about your race schedule for 2011!! see you at holiday lake! promise land! and very jealous of your R2R2R!!! ( but in a good way)
    Take care and see you in a couple weeks!


  2. I'm very glad to be back blogging and having some positive running info to report.

    Yep the X Talon's are just what I need in the snow... and actually today in the MUD.

    The R2R2R is very much a maybe. I have a good friend in Austin, TX that is doing it with a group and he's pushing hard for me to join them. A lot will depend on $$ and kids sports schedules and such.

  3. Just so glad I hit the 50 year old mark and caught up with you. Sounds like your training is going great. Be sure to have fun in there too. Promise Land should not be a maybe and you need to add in Terrapin in March. I know, it is the week before Umstead, but it will help you to start out honest at Umstead. You also need it for the LUS/Beast Series. It does not sound like I will see you at Uwharrie this weekend, but I will see you at Holiday Lake. I pray for NO SNOW!

  4. I would like to do the whole Lynchburg Ultra Series but I'm a little nervous about running 31 miles the week before Umstead. You'll have to try and talk me into that one at Holiday Lake. And I'm reluctant to plan anything after Umstead but we shall see.....

  5. It is doable. I did it two years ago. You are certainly slower and you pay the price, but it makes finishing that 100 all that much sweeter. I ran pretty well the first four laps and then the legs began to go away. You have nothing to lose so give it a shot. If Umstead was a mountain run, I would not want to run a 50k the week before, but it is not. What better place to see what you can do on tired legs. You will suprise yourself.