Sunday, August 13, 2017

Black Mountain and Bella Vista/Indian Creek repeats: that goal checked!

Many miles this week! First, those I'm not so proud of, 200 miles of commute to the office, South of San Jose. At least, I'm glad I changed car because I averaged 42.2 miles per gallon with my new Hyundai Elantra. That's 6.69 liters of gasoline per 100 kilometers, not much to brag about in Europe, but on the right path in the US. There is the car of course, but also the fact that it's mostly highway and against the traffic, seeing the sea of cars coming to work at Apple in Cupertino on 85. And the feedback loop of the live data on the dashboard (like we now have when running with a GPS watch).

As some bumper stickers say, "I'd rather be... running" all these miles. At least I did run a few miles this week, 110.9 miles to be exact. It has been a long time since I logged so many training miles in a week, although I'm still far from my 2007 and 2008 max weeks when I was ramping up my training and racing volume.
As a matter of fact, I'm possibly in the red zone, at least from a big data/analytics standpoint: out of many gauges on my dashboard, there is one metric which I've gotten out of bound this year. While I actually pledged for not averaging more than 100 kilometers a week this year, I'm at 120 km as of this Sunday evening, oops! That's 624 kilometers too many, although I like to finish the year with a few weeks completely off, like 3 or 4, so 300-400 kilometers in the bank by early December would be ok. I also need to take a couple of weeks off to taper before UTMB, I've certainly room for this in my running log. As you can see below, it's not even mid August and I already ran as many miles as in all 2007!
This Sunday, I finally managed to run 3 consecutive Bella Vista/Indian Creek loops after running to the top of Black Mountain. Well, I say run, but the steep climb on Indian Creek was mostly power walking actually. Which is fine given all the walking I'm going to have to do at UTMB. I just wished I had my poles with me but I left them in Chamonix after my successful trial at the Montagn'Hard last month.

After my failed attempt the week before Skyline 50K, this time I left home at 7:30 instead of 10 am to avoid being on the loops at the peak of the heat.

Got to the top of Black Mountain just in time to see a group of hikers watching a huge rattle snake crossing the area.

Here is my route and profile on Strava:
And a cool 3D fly-over of the three-peat (click on link or picture to activate it):
Lot of power walking on the steep uphills and a few stops where water was available at the Black Mountain campground and on the way down on Montebello Road. Here is my favorite 7-feet tall water wall (or shower), mid way on Montebello Road. It had dried up last year, it is a blessing to have this cooling station this year! Hope this video is refreshing! ;-)
Speaking of Montebello Road, repair construction has started and the road is closed during weekdays.

I noticed they even got a team come from Colorado apparently, Geo Stabilization Inc., serious stuff.

Overall, some good physical and mental UTMB training, and a much needed escape from the terrible news of Charlottesville, VA, this weekend. Wishing so hard for our country to go back to the poll and backtrack 9 months... What a pity, please tell me we can go back to progress for our society and our planet, please...!

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