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Homeward Bound...?

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Homeward Bound...?

Post  Mike MacLellan on Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:35 pm

Haley watched the movie on Netflix over the weekend (a bit puppy-crazed, that one), and given our imminent relocation to CA, the title seemed appropriate.

So what's with the uncertainty?  

It's not a matter of if, but when and how.  There's running stuff involved with all the soon-to-be-described options, but we'll get to that in a moment.

Essentially, we've been planning on a mid-June departure, a month-ish in NE to hit all those high points, a somewhat straight shot to CA for a JMT thru-hike, then a return to "real life" by finding an apt in Auburn and starting to get settled in with the goal of being in the swing of things by the holidays.

Until we sat down and did a budget analysis comparing "the plan" with an alternative plan of staying through August (being a nanny, she'll get more hours and a few weeks paid vacation this summer) and then road-tripping Sept-Dec with an arrival in Auburn after the holidays.  And it turns out even with an extra ~2mo wiggle room to be on the road/do whatever, this is the more lucrative option.

Which throws a huge wrench in the works, of course.  One of our biggest lessons learned from our road trip last summer was to slow down, not have a strict deadline we're rushing towards.  Hard when you're trying to get permits for certain things, yes, but still a worthwhile consideration.  On the other hand, after about 4000mi, we were road-weary and ready for a break.  

I elaborate so much on this because, well, input is welcome.  Other things to consider that haven't been mentioned:

-Black fly season in NE is late May through early July.  I've heard this is really annoying but not as annoying in the mountains due to lots of them being above treeline and having too much of a breeze for the little buggers.
-My current goal race is the Cuyamaca 100k in early Oct.  This wouldn't be possible with a fall departure.  Back-ups are the Chimera 100 (not officially announced as a WS qualifier because it's got a 2yr delay on it and they won't announce until Oct) and Rio Del Lago (which is always a qualifier).  Javelina Jundred is a possibility but definitely not a race I "want" to run.
-The fall departure pretty much means JMT isn't happening.  Whitney possibly could during one Haley's weeks off during the summer, but that's a permit gamble.
-My work situation *might* be slightly better arriving in Auburn in August than in January.  I don't really think the difference in "settling in" time would be more than a couple weeks, but it's a mental hurdle to me for some reason.  Haley's work situation is completely uncertain, but that's accounted for.

Really don't know which direction to lean.  Feel free to pose questions and play devil's advocate.  

---

So, running stuff.  Haley and I both joined the DCRR group at the end of 2017, and I've just joined VHTRC (VA trail running group) in order to get into one of their 50k's... which I'm on the waitlist for.  Boo.

We've been doing a fair bit of "casual racing," ie running small DCRR-hosted races with no taper and semi-focused training.  I ran a 20:15 hilly 5k on New Year's and a 1:25 20k on the towpath 2 weeks later, which is just slightly slower than the half I ran in the fall, but on a flat course of packed dirt/gravel instead of net downhill road.  Pretty satisfied with those results.  

Been running focused 5k workouts (6:00 goal pace) for a couple weeks in prep for a race next Saturday.  Meanwhile, I've got a ~30mi w/ 6000' gain mountain run this Saturday through VHTRC.  I ran it a couple years back - it's part of their MMR100 training series - and it was not awful.  I'm expecting it to be more awful this time around, but I need an excuse/motivation to spend a day in the mountains.
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Re: Homeward Bound...?

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:27 pm

Black flies are the most annoying thing and are very prevalent from late June through early September.

All of it sounds exciting though, and if you are anywhere near western NY in the summer, you know you are always welcome.
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Re: Homeward Bound...?

Post  nkrichards on Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:13 pm

You'll have commitments that will limit your choices soon enough.  Work opportunities my be a part of your decision but should be low on the list.  You're only young and free once.  Do something awesome that you'll remember when you're old and tied down...
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Re: Homeward Bound...?

Post  Mark B on Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:59 pm

You're young, and free, with journeyman skills.

Do what makes you happy. Screw the rest.

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Re: Homeward Bound...?

Post  Mike MacLellan on Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:52 pm

Mom - Our road trip will take us mostly to the Catskills, but we're looking at Many on the Genny - a 40mi ultra ~1hr ESE of Buffalo on June 23 - as a possible early summer race.  

Mark/Nancy - Loud and clear.

---

My uneasiness about this possible longer/later trip stems mostly from the fact that mentally, I'm still on a school schedule.  My work is neatly broken up into fall/spring "semesters" due to a contract system with the agencies I work with - they reserve a day of the week (or 2, or 3) for ~16 weeks from Aug-Dec or Jan-May in exchange for a minimum of 6hr pay or actual hours worked, whatever's greater.  Only recently have they offered this in the summer.  So the idea of staying in the summer then vacationing (if you can call it that - it's more of a lifestyle shift, I think) in the fall has just felt really weird.  But it's settling in better.  The overwhelming abundance of "September is the best month to be in NE" is helping me be more comfortable leaning that direction.  

Barring a complete "fuck it, we're leaving" moment, I think we're making that our plan.  Just gotta keep our eyes on the prize.

---

Been looking more into Cuyamaca alternatives (listed previously) and am starting to solidify my intention to run Chimera.  The only downsides are that it's pretty crew-inaccessible for the latter half and pacers are allowed to join in at mile 48 or 80 - that's it.  Oh, and you can't swap pacers.  I've tapped my brother to take this role, but I'm not sure if he'll be so stoked to run 52mi with me.  Not sure if he has any fall race plans after his 100k in August.

---

Two workouts since my last post.

Tuesday was 3x ~1km tabata intervals up the local hill.  Some guy did a study with a group of cyclists and found that they can work in up to 20min VO2max work into a single workout by performing tabata-style intervals.  I modified the workout slightly to fit running and run it as 20sec HARD (read: want to vomit) followed by 10sec spinning the legs out, shuffle-jogging/walking, and ramping back up to speed.  Rinse and repeat until the top of the hill.  In this case, that was ~4min total from bottom to top.  The rest intervals are just enough to keep you from quitting.  At the top of the hill, walk just until you can stomach the idea of running again (~30sec) then head back down for round two.  Turns out to be about a 5min rest interval.  

I have no idea how much these intervals actually develop my staying power at vVO2max or anything, but I know that my top-end speed is historically shit and these seem to help hit those higher paces without feeling like I'm running straight towards injury, since the work is all uphill.  

Today brought my penultimate workout for a 5k I'm running next Saturday: 3x 1mi @ 6:00 pace w/ .5mi recovery.  Which wasn't quite how the workout went, since the first mile was downhill (~1.5%) and the next two were uphill (~2%).  5:55, 6:10, 6:10.  I'm okay with it.  I probably could've done a bit better on the last interval but was having some stomach issues that I didn't want to exacerbate too much by going into the tunnel-vision dizzy zone.  

A bit nervous about the 30mi mountain jaunt on Saturday.  At least Friday night's lows are looking warmer than what we've gotten recently.  Easy does it, I guess.
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Re: Homeward Bound...?

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Fri Feb 09, 2018 3:40 pm

Well, I'm in Chautauqua county before June 23rd - so just keep that in mind if you wish to go to Allegheny State Park or the environs in southern Chautauqua Cty - around Salamanca or Ellicottville and the likes.
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Re: Homeward Bound...?

Post  ounce on Sun Feb 11, 2018 7:14 pm

Recommend y'all do what fits.  (And go see Mom.  She misses you so.)
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Re: Homeward Bound...?

Post  Mike MacLellan on Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:19 pm

Mom - I will push strongly for a long weekend so we can cruise by for at least a day if not overnight (assuming we're invited!).  

Oz - You know that advice is terrifying to someone with accountant genetics in their blood.

---

Saturday went really well.  Pacing was on point, maybe even a little TOO easy, although I was trying to keep in the mindset of "imagine doing this for 100 miles."  Nutrition was the only weak point, as it tends to be.  The run was basically 3 climbs up to the same ridge with descents down to the valley for the aid stations.  On the second climb I started to get a bit fuzzy-eyed, but the 4 miles along the ridge brought ample recovery and I had kind of forgotten that I might be under-fueled.  The final climb was definitely fuzzy, though I just attributed it to ultra-brain, being over 4.5hr into the run.  I decided against fueling for some stupid reason ("oh, it's only 8 miles to the end, nbd") and bonked ridiculously hard with 4mi to go.  So bad that I took yet another gel with less than a mile to go because I was getting clammy and panicky that I'd black out.  

So that was dumb.

Bounced back within 5 minutes of stopping and slamming some ramen, carrots, and hummus.  And fruit, and potato chips, and soda.  Pretty much the same thing that I did for that 50k back in April where I stopped at the aid station with 5mi to go and ate ~600kcal. 

The lesson being that I need to figure out how to have breakfast before these long, early runs (stomach tends to be sensitive until after I run, so I forgo any breakfast until I'm done most days) and then need to aim for 250kcal/hr instead of ~200 (which tapered off throughout the day anyway).  

Legs feel pretty un-wrecked, all things considered.  Body a bit more wrecked.  I read a good quote that fits perfectly: "After a road marathon, the pain is an inch wide and a mile deep.  After a trail ultra, it's a mile wide and an inch deep."  Yep.  I got in 5.7mi yesterday and 9.1mi today, just a hair slower than what's felt normal lately.  

---

Haley booked us a couples massage today, which was my first ever professional massage.  WTF have I been doing my whole life skipping out on these?  Currently feeling completely recovered and still a bit high from the experience.  Wew.
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Re: Homeward Bound...?

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Mon Feb 12, 2018 7:40 pm

Of course you are invited crazy boy!  And well, I don;t know her, but Haley is more than invited - lol.  After all, I'm sure everyone on these boards wants to know what she is like and we need to approve.

Funny that you can't eat before a long run - I can really pack it in and then go run - maybe I should run 100 milers.  Nah, that is a big definite NO
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Re: Homeward Bound...?

Post  ounce on Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:32 pm

@Mike MacLellan wrote:Mom - I will push strongly for a long weekend so we can cruise by for at least a day if not overnight (assuming we're invited!).  

Oz - You know that advice is terrifying to someone with accountant genetics in their blood.

---

Saturday went really well.  Pacing was on point, maybe even a little TOO easy, although I was trying to keep in the mindset of "imagine doing this for 100 miles."  Nutrition was the only weak point, as it tends to be.  The run was basically 3 climbs up to the same ridge with descents down to the valley for the aid stations.  On the second climb I started to get a bit fuzzy-eyed, but the 4 miles along the ridge brought ample recovery and I had kind of forgotten that I might be under-fueled.  The final climb was definitely fuzzy, though I just attributed it to ultra-brain, being over 4.5hr into the run.  I decided against fueling for some stupid reason ("oh, it's only 8 miles to the end, nbd") and bonked ridiculously hard with 4mi to go.  So bad that I took yet another gel with less than a mile to go because I was getting clammy and panicky that I'd black out.  

So that was dumb.

Bounced back within 5 minutes of stopping and slamming some ramen, carrots, and hummus.  And fruit, and potato chips, and soda.  Pretty much the same thing that I did for that 50k back in April where I stopped at the aid station with 5mi to go and ate ~600kcal. 

The lesson being that I need to figure out how to have breakfast before these long, early runs (stomach tends to be sensitive until after I run, so I forgo any breakfast until I'm done most days) and then need to aim for 250kcal/hr instead of ~200 (which tapered off throughout the day anyway).  

Legs feel pretty un-wrecked, all things considered.  Body a bit more wrecked.  I read a good quote that fits perfectly: "After a road marathon, the pain is an inch wide and a mile deep.  After a trail ultra, it's a mile wide and an inch deep."  Yep.  I got in 5.7mi yesterday and 9.1mi today, just a hair slower than what's felt normal lately.  

---

Haley booked us a couples massage today, which was my first ever professional massage.  WTF have I been doing my whole life skipping out on these?  Currently feeling completely recovered and still a bit high from the experience.  Wew.
Yet, an accountant wrote the post.  You haven't written as if you have a princely allowance from mother and father.

First ever massage?  Boy, where you been!?
Michele \"1L" Keane wrote:Of course you are invited crazy boy!  And well, I don;t know her, but Haley is more than invited - lol.  After all, I'm sure everyone on these boards wants to know what she is like and we need to approve.

Funny that you can't eat before a long run - I can really pack it in and then go run - maybe I should run 100 milers.  Nah, that is a big definite NO
As long as she's from Boston or an appropriate Southern family, Miche1e will be fine.  (Mother, this isn't the 2000's decade anymore, nor the early 80's!  Young Michael will bring her by for mint juleps or a Sam Adams, sometime.)
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Re: Homeward Bound...?

Post  Mike MacLellan Yesterday at 12:57 pm

Funny enough, Haley IS from a southern family who are relatively well-known in some circles  Laughing.  Imagine my ill-fated attempts to fit in when we visit them.  An example:

There are deer in the backyard.  The family is not particularly happy about this, because the deer prevent them from having a garden.  I make an offhand comment, "We could just get our rifles and shoot 'em."  Of course, in Orange County, California, this would be a somewhat jarring thing to say and elicit either confused distaste or laughter.  In SE Tennessee, this elicits from mom, "Yeah, but I don't want to have to clean them.  I'm done with that mess.  If you want to, go ahead."

...Yep, no more hunting jokes from me.

---

Been a week already, huh?  Running updates...

Last week was a cutback week.  

Had a final workout for this 5k on Wednesday.  Just a short cutdown pyramid with paces starting at 5k and ending somewhere around 800m effort (4:40-4:50 pace).  

Did my first bike commute of the year on Thursday (my "rest" day, oops).  Couldn't resist with the morning being 50 degrees and the afternoon hitting 70.  They've disallowed bikes in the hallway/closet/server room/whatever that the interpreter office shares with another office, so I've been scouting the bike lockers on campus (the jobsite I commute to is a large grouping of "institutes" relating to well-being, ahem) and used one for the first time.  All worked out well and my sitbones and traps thanked me for the months of neglect leading up to this.

The race Saturday brought a very heightened level of nerves and energy... a smidgen too much.  Not as disastrous as the 50-miler, but still enough GI distress to affect the race.  When I really wanted to go for broke in the third mile, I had other things to think about, so I couldn't quite go as hard as I wanted.  That said, I lost all my time on the first two miles, starting way too conservatively (6:07 pace instead of 6:00) and had no way to make up those 15 seconds in the last 1.1.  Still, I believe I went sub-19, despite my watch reading 19:01 (stopped as they were pulling my tag after the finish line) and my official time being 19:00 (manually recorded, no chip).  Overall, I'm okay with how the morning went.  I think a couple more races would get me down to 18:30, but I don't enjoy the distance enough to want to continue working at it that much.

Haley and I volunteered for a small local marathon yesterday.  It had snowed Saturday evening but was in the 40s-50s for the race, so we started the day with a blanket of powder on the fields around us and ended with nice sunshine and sunburns to match.  I nearly lost my voice (someone had to be the hype-man for the aid station, right?), gave encouragement more akin to ultras than marathons ("you're doing the bonus lap, right?", "we've got whisky in the parking lot, too" at mile 19/lap 3 of a 3-lap course), and overall really enjoyed myself.  Saw a couple Deaf runners and surprised them by signing the 2nd and 3rd time around (I wonder if they thought they were hallucinating for a second, given the mental fuzziness of the late race).  Good times and my feet were sore as hell by the time we were done.

---

Started the week with the 14mi hilly loop today.  Got a 5gal batch of Pliny the Elder to bottle at some point and probably a nap on the docket.

---

We're leaning very heavily toward a Sept 1 departure.  1 month in NE, 1 month in mid-Atlantic/south (Haley's looking at 7 Bridges for a BQ attempt), then over to CA in time for the Chimera 100 a week before Thanksgiving.  I'll probably pull the trigger and register this week, now that my brother has confirmed his willingness to pace me for OVER FIFTY MILES (what?!).
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Re: Homeward Bound...?

Post  nkrichards Yesterday at 7:37 pm

@Mike MacLellan wrote:Funny enough, Haley IS from a southern family who are relatively well-known in some circles  Laughing.  Imagine my ill-fated attempts to fit in when we visit them.  An example:

There are deer in the backyard.  The family is not particularly happy about this, because the deer prevent them from having a garden.  I make an offhand comment, "We could just get our rifles and shoot 'em."  Of course, in Orange County, California, this would be a somewhat jarring thing to say and elicit either confused distaste or laughter.  In SE Tennessee, this elicits from mom, "Yeah, but I don't want to have to clean them.  I'm done with that mess.  If you want to, go ahead."

...Yep, no more hunting jokes from me.

---

Been a week already, huh?  Running updates...

Last week was a cutback week.  

Had a final workout for this 5k on Wednesday.  Just a short cutdown pyramid with paces starting at 5k and ending somewhere around 800m effort (4:40-4:50 pace).  

Did my first bike commute of the year on Thursday (my "rest" day, oops).  Couldn't resist with the morning being 50 degrees and the afternoon hitting 70.  They've disallowed bikes in the hallway/closet/server room/whatever that the interpreter office shares with another office, so I've been scouting the bike lockers on campus (the jobsite I commute to is a large grouping of "institutes" relating to well-being, ahem) and used one for the first time.  All worked out well and my sitbones and traps thanked me for the months of neglect leading up to this.

The race Saturday brought a very heightened level of nerves and energy... a smidgen too much.  Not as disastrous as the 50-miler, but still enough GI distress to affect the race.  When I really wanted to go for broke in the third mile, I had other things to think about, so I couldn't quite go as hard as I wanted.  That said, I lost all my time on the first two miles, starting way too conservatively (6:07 pace instead of 6:00) and had no way to make up those 15 seconds in the last 1.1.  Still, I believe I went sub-19, despite my watch reading 19:01 (stopped as they were pulling my tag after the finish line) and my official time being 19:00 (manually recorded, no chip).  Overall, I'm okay with how the morning went.  I think a couple more races would get me down to 18:30, but I don't enjoy the distance enough to want to continue working at it that much.

Haley and I volunteered for a small local marathon yesterday.  It had snowed Saturday evening but was in the 40s-50s for the race, so we started the day with a blanket of powder on the fields around us and ended with nice sunshine and sunburns to match.  I nearly lost my voice (someone had to be the hype-man for the aid station, right?), gave encouragement more akin to ultras than marathons ("you're doing the bonus lap, right?", "we've got whisky in the parking lot, too" at mile 19/lap 3 of a 3-lap course), and overall really enjoyed myself.  Saw a couple Deaf runners and surprised them by signing the 2nd and 3rd time around (I wonder if they thought they were hallucinating for a second, given the mental fuzziness of the late race).  Good times and my feet were sore as hell by the time we were done.

---

Started the week with the 14mi hilly loop today.  Got a 5gal batch of Pliny the Elder to bottle at some point and probably a nap on the docket.

---

We're leaning very heavily toward a Sept 1 departure.  1 month in NE, 1 month in mid-Atlantic/south (Haley's looking at 7 Bridges for a BQ attempt), then over to CA in time for the Chimera 100 a week before Thanksgiving.  I'll probably pull the trigger and register this week, now that my brother has confirmed his willingness to pace me for OVER FIFTY MILES (what?!).

Nice job on the 5K. 
Yeah that first longish bike ride always locates unused muscles...

At least Haley's Mom didn't hand you the gun so you could shoot...and clean the deer. What a Face  Our youngest son brought a new girl home and after eating all sorts of wild game over the weekend we stopped at my folks for dinner before they returned to school.  During dinner Dad grumbled about that damned coyote being back.  Kevin got up from the table and shot it for Dad.  When he returned to the table his girlfriend sheepishly asked if we were planning to eat that too!
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