Monday, December 14, 2015

2015 Pere Marquette Trail Run

2015 Pere Marquette Trail Run
7.8 miles
1st Place 50:26

 Had to come back for this race, there was no doubt about it. Only bad part about this race is that its at the end of the year when I'm in the middle of my down time. After a long 2015 of racing in a wide range of events I took off for 3 weeks after my first ultra (McNotAgain 30) on Nov. 7th. My first week back training was the first week of Dec. I knew I wasn't going into this years race in tip top shape but I fell in love with the event and course last year; I had to come back whether I was 100% in shape or not. I still pulled off a win and a respectable time. Not the fastest but still solid. One of these days Ill come into this race 100% and give the record a run for its money. I'll also have to get lucky with weather that year and pray it cooperates.

What a lot of people didn't know about this years race was that I went into it intentionally tired and dead legged. The night before I was on shift at the fire house and I did a treadmill/circuit workout where I trashed my upper body, forearms and thighs. I did easy 8 quarter intervals on the treadmill at 15% incline and 4.5 mph. After each interval I did a series of pull ups, push ups, lunges, squats and abs. After that I did a series of grip strength exercises to when I was done I could barely pick up a pencil. None of these are excuses to why my time was a minute slower than last year but it just came at a time this year where I had to workout through the race. Meaning I didn't prep or taper specifically for the race.

I've got big goals for 2016 and in order to do that I have to start now with nothing but pure strength endurance blocks where all that's on my plate for 3-4 months is doing nothing but building strength in every part of my body. Im training specifically for some loaded trail and mountain events this 2016. In order for this flatlander to be competitive I have to be creative in how I build strength endurance for a trail or mountain. For example this was my first few exercise sessions back after some down time:

Monday: 1 hour indoor trainer fixed gear bike. Steady pace for 60 min. Body weight circuit after (Pull ups, push ups, abs)

Tuesday: 45 min incline treadmill @ 15% incline. Started at 4.5mph and increased slowly to 5mph over the course of 3.5 miles.

Wednesday: Stair climb run. 2 miles up, 1 hour of stairs, 2 miles down.

Thursday: 1 hour indoor trainer fixed gear bike. 45 min uptempo, 15 min backwards pedaling. Body weight circuit after (Pushups, pullups, abs)

Saturday: 1 hour incline treadmill @ 15%. Started at 4.5 mph and increased to 6 mph by the end. After did 5 x (30 body weight squats, 20 pushups, 10 pullups, 50 crunches)

Sunday: 1 hour of stairs. 5x's reg double step w/ descending on stairs, 2x's single step, 2x's triple step lunges. Stair plyo drills.

These are examples of some the workouts that I will have to do in order to build strength over the next few months to build my base. These workouts will obviously change in intensity and duration later on but for now its slow and grinding. That's why I just felt flat at the race this year. I had no intense training under my belt yet just slow easy grinding workouts. My body was able to perform decently because of the compounded work over the years but I just didn't have that pop on the uphills. Anyways it was none the less a great weekend to run with some of the guys who I share this passion with. Till the next one. Check out the official results below, pictures to come!

Short Race Recap:
Goal was to maintain decent tempo on uphills and tackle the downhills. This race is either going up or down not very many flats at all, its hard to find a rhythm. From the gun it was the typical 3 of myself Caleb and Brandon. I stayed under control fo the first climb which is about 450 ft. of climbing the first 1.5 miles. I didn't want to go out too hard and pay for b/c I knew what I had in my legs going into the race. At the top of the first climb I took a glance back and Caleb was still within striking distance. After every hill I threw in a surge and tackled the downs hard, hence why my quads feel trashed as I type this on Monday night. The rest of the race was enjoyable. I felt I had a comfortable lead but still wanted to press. Around 4.5 miles theres another decent climb that doesnt seem like much but can still hurt because of where its at on the course. Headed back down to the road crossing and here I knew there was just about 1.5 miles left with one more hard climb "Stairway to heaven" The stretch leading up to the "Stairway to Heaven section was a slight up hill I felt like I was trotting on. Got to the "Stairway to Heaven" which is a steep section of stone steps that most have to submit to walking on. Had it in my mind no matter what I wasnt walking them. Barreled threw the steps and made one final push to the top, same top where the first climb finished, then a nice mile down back to the finish. I wanted to push that last downhill harder but my legs were feeling it. Took a glance at my watch and figured maybe I could get under 50 again. Came out of the woods and finished up at 50:26. Good friends Caleb Brackett took 2nd and Brandon Smith 3rd. Also shout out to Patty Schaefer also from Springfield for taking 1st on the womens side.