Monday, July 19, 2010

The Physical Challenge: Week 10

Well, Week 10 is officially in the bank.  And after two weeks of adjusted training while Marin was sick and then recovering, I got back into full swing in a big way.  Here's the breakdown:

Training Days: 5     (To Date: 37)
Rest Days: 2     (To Date: 33)
Weight: 152     (Net Gain/Loss: -8)
Running Days: 3     (To Date: 27)
Running Miles Logged: 35.9     (To Date: 246)
Average Run: 12     (Short = 6.7, Long = 21)
Cross-Training: Mountain Biking, Skiing

That's right.  This past week, cross-training included skiing.  In July.  The week started off with an 8-plus mile run on Monday, followed by mountain biking in Tuesday.  Wednesday found me at Copper Mountain in Colorado's Summit County, where I was on assignment for Denver Magazine.  The mountain is home to Woodward at Copper, a one-of-a-kind snowsports training facility, with a heavy emphasis on terrain park and halfpipe progression.  If you wanna be Shaun White or Gretchen Bleiler, this is where you can go to learn.  My task - in addition to writing about Woodward and the athletes that train there - was to attempt to learn a trick of my own... I wanted to stomp a 360.  I spent the day in training - bouncing off trampolines, cruising down SnowFlex ramps and into foam pits, and ultimately, hucking myself off progressively larger kickers at an outdoor snow terrain park.  By the end of the day, I was worked.

I followed up my day of skiing with a mellow run on Thursday, a rest day on Friday, and then it was time for the main event.  After having to bump it from my schedule two weeks in a row, it was finally time to head out for a long, hard trail run that would cross the 20-mile threshold.  In a word, it was brutal.  The elevation gain was intense.  The temperature soared (despite the fact that I headed out early in the morning, the mercury still climbed quickly, and later that day, Denver officially set a new record at 102 degrees).  I ran out of water...twice.  (I run with a two-liter CamelBak, which I can refill at a strategic point on my runs when I pass near a ranger station.)  I did finish the run, and my per mile pace was reasonable - it came in between my target come race day, and the race cutoff time, so I'm making good progress.

But if I came away from that training run with one thing, it was a healthy fear.  I've had more than a few good trail runs in the 17-mile range.  And those runs had me feeling confident.  Maybe a little overconfident.  This 21 mile run put me in my place.  It was tough.  For the first time, I'm looking at that 50 mile race distance and truly realizing just how far it is.  The good thing is that I still have two months of training left before the big day, and I'll need every minute to prepare.

Finally, on the fundraising front, I've now raised $1,040 for the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, which brings me to just over 20% of my goal.  This week, huge thanks go out to Andrew I. at Shabtai Gourmet Gluten Free Bakery, Melissa M.J. at Gluten Free for Good, Jonny W., Gregory L., and Evan M., for your generous donations!  If you haven't yet donated, please take a moment to visit my fundraising page and consider making a donation for a great organization that does great work on behalf of the Celiac and gluten-free community.

Featured Donor

This week I'm also delighted to bring special attention to Shabtai Gourmet, a gluten-free bakery based in New York.  Shabtai is very active in supporting the Celiac and gluten-free community, and I was thrilled when they stepped up to the plate with generous support for the NFCA via my ultra race.  
I personally recommend their Rainbow Cookie Squares.  They're delicious, and remind me of the rainbow cookies I used to eat as a kid from Long Island bakeries.  

- Pete


theMom said...

Two thumbs up on your long run! You are just over half way done with your training; especially considering your forced weeks off. Think of where you started and how far you've come in just a few short weeks.

Keep up the good work.

peterbronski said...

Hi Mary... Thanks for the encouragement! Yeah, breaking through the 20 mile barrier was a nice nut to crack. Very pleased with the progress I've made so far. Now, it's time to work my way through the 20s and break into the 30s. Yikes!

Cheers, Pete