Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January Things

Perhaps Baldy will be my new Chantry which was my new Temescal.
I see double summits in the near future...
(photo: Kevin Chan)
After 7 weeks of recuperation/going certifiably insane, my main objective for January was getting back into shape.  More specifically, my expressly stated goals (hastily written one night on a piece of scrap paper with a pen running out of ink) were as follows:

Run or hike at least around an hour per week day
Run or hike min of 3 hours per weekend day
Cross train 3-4 hours/week
Soft Sand run at least 1-2 times/week
Physical therapy 1x/week
Working up to 50-60 miles per week
Goal of completing 20 trail miles without stopping
Work up to twice a day runs

Based on how my knee was feeling, this felt reasonable and as such - I set out on my journey. While things have not gone perfectly and there still is a significant amount of pain involved, I am happy to say that I've far surpassed these goals and will accordingly need to adjust for the months ahead.  I just crunched the numbers and for a start to the year on a post-op knee, I'm deeply satisfied.  Here are the results:

Let's climb, bitches!
TOTAL VERT:  70,300 ft

AVG VERT/WK:  17,500

I didn't think I'd be hitting 70 or 80 until March, so this is a very good sign.  Probably the most notable thing here though, is after checking last year's log - I realized I'm only 14 miles short of 2011 January's totals.  Considering this year, I've taken 2 days completely off and last year I took 0 - that means, I'm basically in the same place.  Holy crap!  I was positive... positive that I was way off from last year all things considered, but apparently that is not the case.  And not only is it not the case, it's made completely irrelevant by this little fact:  though my mileage is a bit less, my total climbing is over 10,000 feet more.  AND I've spent more hours running this year than last.  Boomshakeday. 

As such, I'll look to get myself comfortable running around 80 miles/wk consistently during February, likely with one or two topping 90.  Getting back to 100 mile weeks should happen way earlier than expected!  Working out 2-3 times a day has already become the norm, so getting it all in isn't necessarily a concern - what I'm really working on is extending at least 3 of my weekday runs to over 10 miles at a time.  It's really not hard to do and there's really no excuse.  I've been rocking them as of late, and my only real hang-up is that I've been getting scared on the trails in the dark because everyone keeps posting shit about mountain lions on Facebook.  My solution for this is just not to check Facebook as often :)  Last year, I noticed there was often a great disparity between my weekday miles and my weekend miles and I'm already on working on making those at the very least more even - at the best, with my weekday totals on top.  Same thing with the climbing.  Goal is at least 2-3k of vert each weekeday, and there really is no excuse given that there is a 500 ft hill behind my work perfect for a quick thousand for lunch.

My physical therapy has ended for now, and I'm pretty much off the hook until I check back in with the orthopedic dude mid-Feb.  This is awesome, because it frees up one more morning for extra running.  I'll continue to go to my Hot Ballet/Yoga classes 3x a week, with a barefoot session beforehand under the morning moon and keep up the lunchtime core work as well.  It's making a huge difference, but more on that later...  Finally, the most exciting thing in all this is that I finally feel confident in firming up some pre-Miwok racing plans.  March will likely be a busy month with PCTR's Santa Monica Mountains 50k on the 3rd and possibly Old Goats 50 mi on the 24th if I make it off the wait list.  I'll also be doing the LA Marathon on the 18th (my 29th birthday!) which will undoubtedly be the best of the bunch - as I'll be running with my dad, enroute to completing his first.  

Mt. Wilson Summit on a particularly
ravishing day.  (photo: Dom)
Well, that's about it for the first month of the year.  It was an awesome one, with trips to icy San Gorgonio and a long weekend in Auburn training on the States course as standouts.  Baldy summits have become a staple with the opposite of wet winter we're having, so I'm looking to lower my splits up Bear Canyon and the Ski Hut Trail - you know, just for fun/my own sick pleasure.  I've been extending my staple loops/runs in the Front Range as well and doing some exploring/more climbing - so that has been keeping me interested and entertained.  No motivation problems whatsoever heading in to February - I'm truly enjoying getting back into the hard training and continuing to avoid plants at all costs.

And finally, the important stuff:

BEER OF JANUARY:  Sierra Nevada Tumbler - Autumn Brown Ale
I've been hitting the end of the winter seasonals and I've been hitting them hard; as they'll soon be gone.  This month, I tried quite a few and was completely unsurprised to end with two from SN Brew Co. up top - the aforementioned, and coming in a close second - their Ruthless Rye IPA.  I had the Tumbler on draft and it was so perfectly smooth and creamy that I chose to have a second for my dinner.  SO good.

JAM:  No way will any other band remind me more of January road trips than Toro y Moi.  This one is pure excellence:

Still Sound - Toro y Moi

My favorite adventure partner.
Every day can be a sunny day if you just climb high enough.
(photo: Dom)


  1. Good stuff Katie.

    You know, I've been thinking. Most of my training, and a lot of yours is spent going straight up, Front Range or similar type stuff, then coming straight down. The climb on the way up is a lot steeper that what we'll be running in our upcoming races, you: Miwok, WS, me: Ray Miller, Miwok.

    Do you think we need to sneak in running up and down in the flatter mountains on shorter climbs? I'm kinda wanting to do this a little, but of course I enjoy steeper longer climbs so I don't really do it much. While I do think that climbing stuff steeper than you race will be good for you on race day, I would also like to throw it down on less steep stuff to confirm to myself that I will be able to do it on race day.

    Whatchu think about that?

    Oh, and where's boomshakedaddy come from? I'm more familiar with boomshakalaka.

    You ran more miles than me in January... show off.

    Take care now.

    1. Yep - thinking the same thing after training on the States course. I'm trying to get a few longer runs in during the week in the Santa Monicas where I do 2-3 climbs of 2-4 miles at a time, not nearly as steep. I'll probably do a few 25-30 milers in the SMMs before May as well - one being PCTR's SMM 50k. That said, there really is no substitution for the wicked shape climbing hard at elevation gets me in; so personally, that will still be the bulk of my weekend training. Right now, I've got a bone to pick with Bear Canyon:) It's funny how much my pace drops on the less steep climbs now - I surprised the shit out of myself running up Westridge yesterday, going a full minute per mile faster than normal.

      Finally, I have no idea where boomshakeday came from, but it's more appropriate than walking around saying, "FUCK YEAH!" 'Cause it means the same thing.

      See you soon! And who cares about miles..... it's about the vert, man.

  2. I usually hear it come out more as a "Boom-Shockey-Day" but, maybe that's just during baseball season.

  3. Great post. "Sitting in traffic isn't a waste of time. It's a f'ing break." Love it. Welcome back to running pain free!