Back with the Crew in G-Vegas

Coming off of my two week transition period I was finally going to make the trip down to Greenville, SC and Furman University to meet up with the ZAP crew who had been there for almost 2 weeks. ZAP is lucky enough to spend 5 weeks at Furman each winter due to a beyond generous donation by Chris Borch. We are put up in the beautiful Vinings apartment complex, eat our meals in the university’s dining hall, and have access to the student fitness center’s gym and pool. Personally, I always enjoy spending time in the cafeteria as it brings back memories of many great hours I wasted just talking with my teammates and friends while at High Point. It is fun to observe everyone interact in the strange ecosystem that is a college campus…and the unlimited food doesn’t hurt either.

My week of training was laid back from an intensity standpoint as this would be my first “real” week of mileage after the break. I did several 10 to 14 mile runs around the campus golf course and the adjacent Swamp Rabbit bike path. On Wednesday I did some post run strides for the first time in over 3 weeks and surprisingly they didn’t feel terrible. Usually after an extended break, running fast again is a real shock to the body as it has become accustomed to only jogging slowly! Next to the Furman track they have a very nice 400m grass field which was perfect for my strides.

After our 7.4 mile hill climb up Caesar's Head.

After our 7.4 mile hill climb up the head of Caesar.

On Friday I had my first real workout back. Joe, Cameron, Kevin, Moen, and I were slated to run the 7.4 mile Caesar’s Head climb. Located about a half hour from campus, Caesar’s Head is a nasty tough climb that I had done 2 years prior. Starting at about 1,000 feet of elevation and finishing at over 3,000 feet, the climb is not for the faint of heart! The memory of that climb was not positive (it hurt and I got my butt kicked, terrible combo) so despite Pete instructing me to approach the climb simply as a “harder run,” I was nervous! In 2012 I was recovering from a plantar facial tear and I completed the climb in 50:11. This time I ran it in 47:43 and felt fairly comfortable the entire way. Kevin took off early and had a great run, finishing in 47 flat. Considering this was my first effort of the spring and I tend not to be a stellar climber, I was very pleased with it.

Following the climb, we jogged to a flatter section of the road and did 8×30 second accelerations with full rest. I was feeling very good about myself through the first 4 or 5, but on the last 3 I was left in the dust. Pete wanted us to change gears every 10 seconds and through 20 seconds I was hanging tough but the last gear change was too much for my legs to take! It frustrated me but I know that chasing down my teammates, who are all well credentialed themselves, is good for me. Next week I will be back to over 100 miles for the week as I dive headfirst into the coming season.

 Here is my last week of training (3/2-3/8):

Sunday: AM: 17 miles   PM: 30 minute walk

Monday: AM: 8.5 miles

Tuesday: AM: 9.5 miles    PM: 45 minutes aqua jog with George

Wednesday: AM: 14 miles (8x120m on grass post run)

Thursday: AM: 12 miles (6x120m on grass post run)   PM: 30 minute elliptical

Friday: AM: 5.5  miles    PM: 13 miles (Caesar’s Head climb plus 8×30 seconds accelerations)

Saturday: 8.5 miles

Total: 88 miles, 8 runs, 2 light cross training sessions