Sunday, August 24, 2014

Philadelphia Half Marathon Training: Week 6

The amount of running, hiking and biking I did this week may very well have been negated by the amount of delicious dinners, beers and ice cream I consumed.  Over  the past six days, I definitely took advantage of every aspect of being on vacation in one of the most beautiful, serene and rugged areas of the country.  My mind is completely refreshed from shutting off my work phone, leaving the TV off (with the exception of watching "Secret Life of Walter Mitty" which is surprisingly VERY good) and limiting political conversations to one in which virtually all of us agreed with each other in principle.  My body on the other hand has been through the ringer.   By the end of today's long run, a much needed massage was the only thing separating the final mile and a horrible injury. So, here's the week.

Monday: AM: 8 miles easy in the Targhee National Forest in Alta, Wyoming. Afternoon: Easy 6 mile hike to top of Grand Targhee Ski Resort.  PM: 5 miles easy into Driggs and back with Lauren on the bike.  30 minutes of core.  This was obviously a solid day of exercise.  The two hour time difference is allowing me to keep the same hours as I do at home, but instead of waking up at 9am, it's 7am and my favorite time to run.  It's also about 50 degrees in the morning.  I'm not feeling the 6400 feet of elevation at all.

Tuesday: AM: 8 miles easy from Driggs, ID to Alta, WY.  Afternoon: 12 mile hike to Devils Staircase in Targhee National Forest. As everyone got ready for a long day of hiking, I ran to the trailhead to get some miles in for the day.  That warmed me up well for a five hour hike to approximately 9800 feet and back down.  My right foot was a little sore from the uneven terrain, but the pain had subsided by dinner.

Just before setting out for 11 miles in Grand Teton National Park
Wednesday: AM: 5 mile easy hike around Taggart Lake in Grand Teton National Park.  Afternoon: 11 miles with 10x30 seconds at 5k effort in Grand Teton National Park, Moose, Wyoming.  This was a rave run. I started at Jenny Lake and ran the bike trail 5.5 miles out and back with pickups on the way back.  The entire run is alongside Grand Teton and it's two bordering mountains which are nothing less than majestic.

Thursday: AM: 14 miles up Ski Hill Road starting in Driggs, ID and ending in Alta, Wyoming.  Afternoon: 20 mile easy bike ride from Driggs, ID to Victor, ID and back with Lauren.  PM: 4 miles in Driggs, ID with Jamie.  This was a big day.  It was cold and raining when I set out.  My intention was to run into town then head back up the mountain throwing in 25-40 minutes of steady state effort along the way.  Unfortunately, my legs didn't agree with my plan and it was obvious after one mile of "steady state" that today was not my day.  It's also possible that I grossly underestimated how tough of a climb I was facing.  After about seven miles of gradual uphill, the road gets very steep and I was working hard to hit 8:15 pace.  At mile 11, I turned around and started running downhill, being careful to hold back for the benefit of my quads and IT band.  Looking back down at what I had just climbed made me wish I had a camera. Lauren and the car waiting to pick me up were a welcome site.  Despite ditching the tempo, I was feeling like a badass about this run.  That is until about 20 minutes later when I picked up the local paper at the coffee shop to see a front page article about two mountain runners who run up nine 12,000+ ft mountains in well under a day and a half.  After a leisurely bike ride to check out the next town over during which a mulberry thorn popped Lauren's tire, I did an easy shakeout with Jamie which drained every last bit of energy I had left.

Friday: AM: 4 miles easy in Driggs, ID.  Afternoon: 7 mile hike to Wind Cave in Darby Canyon. PM: 5 miles easy in Driggs, ID, 30 minutes of core. Neither run today was notable.  I felt sluggish and sore during both and I may have had a pint before the second one which made things interesting. 

In dowtown Jackson, WY.  There is elk and bison jerky in the bag
Saturday: Goose Egg. I intended to get up and run, but it was pouring rain and 45 degrees when I woke up and my sore legs told me it was better to stay in bed and get some extra rest before a long trip back to NYC.

Sunday: 16 miles easy in Prospect Park.  This started off as a nice run over the Manhattan Bridge, into Brooklyn and up to Prospect Park.  By halfway through, I was counting down the miles.  My left leg was sore the entire run and I could not get enough water.  Fortunately, the run ended at my miracle-worker massage therapist's house and an hour of digging seems to have gotten out some of the kinks.

Total Weekly Mileage: 75.9 (24 miles of hiking, 20 miles of biking)
Next week: A tough one. 

Beer of the Week:

Beer Flight at Grand Teton Brewing
To make sure I chose the very best beer available in the wild west, I tried a lot of beers this week.  Most of the beers I tried were from Idaho and Wyoming.  Grand Teton Brewing Company, which we visited, has an excellent lineup.  Favorites included Sheep Eater, a Scotch Ale and Ale 208, a session ale, but I only tried them in a flight (750ml bottles are being shipped to the house as we speak) so I can't name either the beer of the week.  Plus, Grand Teton's Amber got the nod last week.  I tried a lager from Snake River Brewing which gets good ratings on the internet, but I thought it tasted cheap.  Two beers from Victor, ID based Wildlife, a Double Red and an IPA were very refreshing and Harvest Moon's Pigs Ass Porter was really smooth, if not just a bit too bubbly.  But it was Pig War, a White IPA from further west -- Portland's Hopworks Urban Brewing that I liked the best.  I had never had a white IPA before and if they all taste like this, it's a new favorite style for me.  It combines the crispness of an IPA, but replaces the bitter aftertaste with that of a citrus wheat beer.  If I weren't driving home from dinner, I would have had several.  Unfortunately, none of the beers I just listed are distributed anywhere east of the Rocky Mountains, so it will likely be a while before I get to taste them again.

Until we meet again, Pig War (Portland friends, feel free to ship this to me)

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