Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Tuesday, 08/02/11 Green Mountain PR

Up back/down W. Ridge/Flagstaff road

8 miles/2,523 vert./1:15:43 RT (34:37 up)/164 avg. HR (176 avg. on the ascent) Garmin Data

Met up with Brandon at the Gregory TH a bit after 4pm.  The plan was for him to push for a PR, yet I was not sure how I was going to help, it was either stick with him to pace and harass, or go ahead and be a rabbit.  I was on the fence as to how much effort I wanted to put in today and just figured I would just ease into it and see how it went.  I was moving fast and strong right away, but felt kind of crappy at the same time with a bit of an abdominal cramp.  It was cooler than most days this summer at the start with a momentary sprinkling of rain, but that ended quickly and before long the sun was back out and it was probably in the low 80's, an improvement, but a far cry from good PR conditions.

My time checks were solid and I kept a strong tempo, pushing hard, but it never really felt too deliberate or forced.  Memory of my splits from my previous PR in May of last year were fuzzy, I knew I was ahead at the cabin, but then I thought I was further ahead at my next two checks and may have gotten a little over confident and backed off a bit.  I have this terrible habit, whether it is a PR attempt on Green, or a race up Pikes to look at the watch and either rest on my laurels a bit if I am ahead of projected pace, or get discouraged and slack off if I am behind at all.  A few years on Pikes, I have just not even worn a watch (89 Tour/final TT Lemond style), but then I have no idea whether I am on 2:35 pace or my more usual 2:53 pace.

Anyways, just after passing the 4-way, I spotted Rob up ahead who we had planned to meet at the summit.  Passing him gave me a bit of a boost as I ran quickly by on the very steepest section of trail, showing off a bit, trying to make it look easy, but it bit me in the ass however, as I blew up soon after and had to mostly power hike it in to the summit, where I made a final dash to sneak in 1 second under PR.

We all met up on the summit, chatted for a bit, then Brandon and I headed down W. Ridge to run down Flagstaff Road, while Rob opted for Ranger/Gregory.  We took it fairly casual on the road, but with about 2 miles to go, I was getting another abdominal cramp and was feeling a bit crappy on the pavement.  I bailed onto the trail, where I immidiately felt better and then jumped back on the road for a bit more beating.

Though 1 second is really nothing, I was pretty happy to better my best, if only by a little.  It was 30 degrees warmer than my previous best on that route, plus I am 40 now (vs. 38) and also have twins, so it felt like a bit of a victory.  Though it may not matter on race day (usually does not), I feel it is a good indicator of my fitness leading up to Pikes in less than 3 weeks.


Aug. 2011                                          (vs. May 2010)

1st bridge:                            2:11
1mile at top of Greg Cyn:   12:44
Cabin:                                15:00          15:03
Ranger/Greenman jct.:       18:31
Flat spot on NW ridge:       22:53          22:53
4 way:                                31:24          31:23
Summit:                              34:37          34:38

avg/max HR                    176/187       176/183


  1. Glad me huffing up the last steps helped you out with that 1 second! 3 PR's in a day, pretty awesome.

  2. Nice running, Jeff. I still don't understand how--in my PR effort of 33:39 I don't catch you until after the flat spot on the NW ridge (23:20 for me), but then have almost a full minute by the summit. With a sub-3 split from the 4-way (2:47) suggesting I might have too much left at the end, your splits make me feel like maybe I'm not starting hard enough? Or maybe you'd be faster if you reined it in a little over the bottom half of the mountain (15:25 to the cabin for me)?

    Excited to see what you do at Pikes, I'm thinking about spectating. Are you going to be able to get down there before race day? Maybe not doing so would be a good thing?


  3. Thanks Rob and Tony.

    Tony, yeah, that is a pretty crazy comparison of splits on the uppermost section of mountain. It is even more pronounced when comparing our front side splits, where we are virtually even at the Saddle/Greenman jct., yet you put 90 or so seconds on me after that.

    I never have much of a strategy (though I have tried it all at one time or another), I just kind of feel it out each run. I have had runs where I purposefully start conservative and it just becomes time lost by the top and other runs where I involuntarily start conservative and I make up that time and then some. Or I just give it my all from the start and whatever happens happens. I think it really just comes down to where I am at in my training and how I feel on a given day. I have not really recognized a pattern or have been able to deliberately alter these results (much), but wish I could be a bit more deliberate/consistent about it. Yesterday, although I felt pretty good, the relatively warm temperature (30 degrees warmer than my previous PR) I’m guessing played a role as well.

    The last bit from the 4 way always stings me pretty hard as well. Though I typically thrive on the steep, I usually flag a bit there and always underestimate the remaining time to the top (fooled by my memories of interval repeats from the 4 way (2:24/2:56/3:10/2:58)). I rarely (if ever?) get under 3 minutes on a hard/continuous ascent.

    GZ and I are hoping to go spectate for the PPA (if we can get family clearance to go), so it is a 50/50 chance. We have discussed whether this might have any bearing on the following day. I contest that as long as one does not expend much energy and stays hydrated, it is good acclimating and makes for some good race energy getting all fired up. Others might contest that though, hard to say for sure. If we do head up the mountain, I’ll let you know if you want to carpool.

  4. Jeff,
    Yeah, I think I'll def be down there for the Ascent (but maybe not the marathon, might be up in Leadville), so will let you know about carpooling.

    I think the fast-top-half thing on Green probably just has to do with my relative strengths, which seems to be my "strength". Like we've talked about before, I tend to get faster and faster when doing repeats on the mountain whereas most people fall off sharply with each subsequent repeat. It doesn't feel to me like I'm holding back on the initial repeats, it just seems like it takes my body a long time to warm-up.

    When I set my frontside PR on Green I actually hit a second repeat in 32:high that evening, which is the only time I've ever slowed down during repeats, but I did go all-out on that first one. I think the other reason I might have a stronger top-half is that I basically never head to the mountain planning on a PR attempt, rather if I'm feeling good on the initial part of the climb and I'm hitting encouraging splits then I really start to put focused effort into it. So, I guess I never really deliberately start very fast, only if my legs are feeling really poppy.

  5. Very interesting stuff on the splits.

    Jeff - for what it is worth - and only cuz I have told you this in person - I think you tend to start too fast. I bet if you hold back, almost to a point where it feels redonkulous slow in the Ws you are going to freak people out in the later half of the marathon climb.

    I have debated if hanging on the mountain the day before is a good idea. I doubt it is the best thing physically, but I sort of don't care. It is so awesome to watch that last 2, 3 miles of the race.

  6. Nice work JV! Considering the factors of being a couple years older, temps, new family responsibilities, a one second PR is a big PR.

    You certainly are cruising that first half... I think I come in a bit slower to the cabin, low 15.

    My personal guide/rule of thumb for any race, workout, TT, etc... is that I shouldn't be "dying" or hurting, before the half point. I try to be comfortable to comfortably challenged on the first half.
    I have a hard time balancing this on the front side route, as you really have to be able to take advantage of the few faster sections on the second half. Just my take.

    Congrats on the fast PR!