Friday, September 2, 2016

Missoula running circuit time trials

My post to track hard running efforts on Missoula's most popular runs.

SHEEP - out and back from Woods 20 mi and about 5,000 v.f.

9/1/2016 :  It is almost comical to bill my Sheep mountain times as fast, as the standard cadre of fast Missoula runners could clip this run off in sub 3 hours without working too hard. In any case, I shaved another two minutes off my time today.  I went out at a full race pace and hoped for the best.  I was right on my previous splits the entire climb, but had to work disconcertingly hard to hold the pace.  I didn't stop for a break at the top, and was soon cruising at my fastish and smoothish hard pace back to the car.  I climbed to blue point a minute ahead of last time and kept things rolling a razor edge below the cramp threshold.  I made it out totally spent and passed the evening holding sam on the couch, drinking liter after liter of water.  It will be hard to go faster without better fitness.  This was my first hard post-fatherhood effort, and it felt good to clean out the engine a bit. 3.10.46
Cheesy self portrait on top of Sheep, 2014.  The 2016 edition was about the same,
 except with a more defined pain cave grimace.
2016 Splits:  Three Larch road: 23; Top of first hill: 44; Blue Point: 1.14; Top of next to last hill; 1.44; summit 1.52.  Blue point on return: 2.24; Top of first hill downhill: 1.45; Woods 3.10.45

HR - avg 163 up, 145 - 155 down.  Slight increase over both halves.

SENTINEL - Sentinel Hill climb course
I have not been able to challenge my time since fall 2013.  My best time was running with Doug Brinkerhoff the week after the Rut. We pushed each other to the point of breaking.  23.45

SENTINEL - My favorite run
Route:  Up to North Sentinel however you like.  Down to Hellgate saddle, Up and down Radio Tower via Chopsticks/Ridge trail.  Out Hellgate.  Good in either direction, but I think this is the fastest. Good steep run.  I absolutely love it and much prefer it to the Pengelly Double dip course.  Start and stop is at the Kim Williams bridge near the Adams Center.

5/2015 - I have slowly chipped away at my time over the years, and was surprised to best it this year.  I out at a tempo run pace (HR in low 170s) and topped out on Sentinel around 26.30.  I don't remember my split to the top, but it was probably just under 55.  More notably, I was hang on to the tempo run pace.  I hit it hard on the downhill, keeping the HR around 165.  I did have to stop a few times to stretch out my calves, since they were in a two week period of being problematic, but otherwise the whole thing went off about as fast as possible. In the end, I shaved about 3 minutes off my time, mainly on the Radio Tower climb and Hellgate descent. 1.24.59

JUMBO - Ascent via L
10/27/2015 - I have done a few Jumbo time trials this summer, and have not been able to bese my previous time, but I still haven't had an all-out, hurting bottom to top effort.  This time I just pinned it from the bottom and held on, which yielded a new best time, if only by a mere 10 seconds.  I have had mixed results with speed work over the past few months, but occasionally I am feeling good, and today was a good example.  I was rested and my body responded favorably to the stiff pace, so this will be a hard one to beat without better fitness.  22.41

STUART - out and back from the Corridor
Route - Out and back from the Corridor.  I stay on the trail the whole way, even though cutting switchbacks on the upper portion would save as much as 5 minutes.

8-2015 I had a good hard go at running Stuart Peak for time the other day. I still contend a mountain bike is the best tool for cruising around in the Rattlesnake, but irregaurdless, Stuart is still a great long run. 

Twin lakes and the Rattlesnake from Stuart.
I have been trying to avoid long hard efforts in favor of smarter training tactics, but I went for it anyway, had a blast, and perhaps honed in my pacing strategy for the Rut 25K.  A quick recovery is also yet another encouraging indicator that I am finally fully recovered from the Beaverhead race.  After 5 mins of warmup jogging, I was able to sustain a near-skimo race effort for the duration of the run, and was surprised to have enough gas in the tank to run the last few miles at near threshold effort.  I returned to the car in a magnificent state of fatigue.  Unfortunately, a weird blood sugar dip or something relegated me to an evening lying on the couch.  Sorry for the poor company Leah, Joshua and Amy!

As per usual, not a fast time for fast runners, but a good solid personal effort, and a good confidence boost leading up to the Rut.  Splits:  Overlook trail outbound 39 mins, Upper culvert crossing: 59 mins, Wilderness boundary; 1.23?; Stuart summit 1.45; Wilderness inbound 2.01; Upper crossing 2.14; Overlook inbound 2.24. CTC 2.50.30.

BLUE MOUNTAIN - Deadman Loop

Route:  Loop up Deadman trail and down through the Recreation area.  There isn't really a clear fastest direction.  When running for time,  I cut a lot of switchbacks on the recreation trail above the recreation area on a combination of game trails and old timber units.  The Forest Service rerouted the Deadman trail in summer 2015, so the rowdy downhill is no longer in existence.  


The stars finally arrived for an opportunity to challenge my 2013 time on Blue Mountain.  I consider fall 2013/Winter 2014 the time when I was in the best shape of my life, so any improvements in time would have to come from better pacing, downhill running, and dialing the route.  After playing it perhaps too conservatively at the Rut 25K (???), I went ahead and ran out hard from the car, slowly ramping up until my HR was around 170.  I did the run in reverse from past efforts, climbing Deadman and descending the horse recreation trail.  I think it is faster in this direction according to the climb-ladders, descend-ramps theory, but the routefinding is trickier.  In any case, My HR faded from 170 to an average around 164 over the course of the climb.  I saw a few motorbikers as per usual, but they were adequately polite, and it was nice to chat with them for a few minutes on the summit.  

My legs were surprisingly jankey from the outset, and they were already a little hammered by the time I started the descent.  I ran the descent hardish, with HR 140 – 155 depending on the technicality of the descent.  I cut a lot of switchbacks in this direction above the main recreation area cross country and on climbers trails, and if you don’t like that, feel free to tack 10 minutes on to my time as a basis of comparison.  I had a few minor calf cramps on the descent, not enough to have to stop, but enough to validate I had put in a hard uphill effort.  In any case I ran out to the car in 2.14.40, just below my previous 2.18 best.  I think there is some room for improvement.  For one, I want' all that fresh.  Also, I think it would be a bit faster to take it out a touch slower for the first half of the climb, pin it to the top, then really focus on running the entire downhill evenly and fast. 2.10 is realisic, sub-2 would require better fitness.

Splits:  Leave 2.14? trail 11.30.  Start up Deadman – 23?; Summit 1.24; Road in Recreation area 1.57.

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