Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Thinking Ahead

Bike Commute 3 miles
Run 11 miles

Got out for a great run after work today. It was probably the most fresh I've felt in 3 weeks! None of the quad or calf fatigue that I've felt for the better part of the past month. I'll get out for a mellow run tomorrow and then Thursday and Friday off to be ready for my race on Saturday. And then my season will be over as far as racing is concerned.

After this Saturday the next time I line up for a race that I'm taking seriously it'll be the 350 mile Iditarod Trail Invitational next February. Going to need a little time off before I start preparing for that one. Planning to spend the rest of August and all of September focusing on some other things. Things I've neglected through so much training/racing lately. A little break will be nice, but I'm also already kind of anxious to get going on my preparation for next year's overwhelming racing schedule.

Monday, July 30, 2007

What Am I Getting Into?

Today: Bike Commute 3 miles

Yesterday: Mt. Bike 17 miles

It occurred to me today that I really have no idea what I'm going to carry with me in this 50 miler that I'm racing this coming Saturday. In most races you have aid stations every hour or two so this isn't all that much of an issue, but The Resurrection Pass 50 miler only has one aid station, and it's 38 miles into the race. This is a large part of what appeals to me about this race. If it were my race I would even scrap the one aid station and make it completely self-supported. I may in fact just run it self-supported this weekend. Not sure yet.

Water is not an issue. There are streams throughout the race that I can fill my bottle in.

To get me through 38 miles I will probably plan on 1,500-2,000 calories. I could go simple (but unsatisfying) and just eat 3 gels per hour and drink some perpetuem and/or cytomax, but I'm leaning more towards mixing this up with some "real" food. (power bars, nuts, dried fruit, bananas, maybe even a sandwich). The obvious choice would be to have a stash of "real" food waiting for me at the aid station and get by on gel and liquid nutrition before and after that. What my body works best on though is a nice steady mix of foods. My stomach can pretty much handle anything, but my energy levels (and my appetite) definitely stay highest when I'm running on a mix of calorie sources.

I also need to figure out what clothing I'll carry with me. This will depend almost entirely on the weather forecast on race day. It'll make things so much easier if the weather is nice, but in a strange, masochistic kind of way I kind of think it'd be fun if it were wet and nasty out there. I think being that I live in Juneau I would probably deal with that much better than most. Even such, I'm still pulling for sunny and dry.

Should be a fun run this weekend. My first 50 miler and I expect to learn a lot. I don't have any idea what to expect as far as a race result goes. I don't really know who's running in the race and I think this will make it pretty fun. I think it's possible I could win this race, but it's also possible I could run well and not finish in the top 5. It is an unofficial, no entry fee, event thus there is no listed roster or anything like that. There might be 3 of us lined up Saturday morning at 6:00 am or there might be 50 of us. I really have no idea and for some reason I'm really content with that. At the very least it's nice knowing that I'm not going to be so anxious and focused only on one thing as I was for the last few days before Crow Pass. That said though, I plan to go out and put 110% into this run, and I expect to enjoy every step of it.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Mt. Roberts Recon... and a Fun Little Race

Run 13 miles

Run/Hike 9 miles
Bike Commute 3 miles

Bike commute 3 miles

One week from today I'll be running the Resurrection Pass 50 mile race and as soon as I recover from that I'm planning to spend a lot of my free time exploring more extensively the mountains around Juneau. I do all my running on trails but I've been so focused on specific training that I haven't gotten up onto the mountain ridges and done as much exploring as I would have hoped for. Plus we had so much snow this year that most of the high country stuff has only been available for a few weeks now.

One of the first routes I plan to do is Mt. Roberts to Sheep Mountain and return via the Sheep Creek trail. Including running to the trailhead and back from the Sheep Creek trailhead this will be about a 20-25 mile run/hike with 5,000-6,000 feet of climbing. In other words, more than I'm willing to do right now with a 50 miler a week away.

There was a local race today from town up to the Mt. Roberts Tram which sits a few miles up the trail to Mt. Roberts. Decided I'd show up for the race and then continue on up to Mt. Roberts and if the weather cooperated try to visually scout out the route from there over to the ridge above Sheep Creek.

Ended up feeling great running today, especially on all the uphill stuff. I'm still a bit tired out from Crow Pass but I really only notice it when I'm coming down. Running up I feel as strong as ever right now.

I took about a one hour break after the "race" portion of my run today and chatted with some local runners and then headed back up the mountain. It took a little while to loosen up after this but then I got going and felt great. I wish I carried my camera with me today. It's really impressive once you get up above treeline around here. The views are amazing in every direction.

It was clear when I got to the top of Mt. Roberts and I could easily see the entire route over to the Sheep Creek Trail. When I get back up there in a few weeks I'll try to remember to take my camera.

Totals for the week: Run 25 miles; Bike 24 miles; 7.25 hours.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Not Quite Ready

Bike Commute 3 miles
Run 3 miles
Yesterday: off
Monday: off

After a couple full recovery days I thought I would be ready to get back out running today. I felt mostly recovered so I headed out planning to do 7 miles after work. I only made it 3. There's still just too much fatigue and soreness in my calves and quads. Doesn't help that I'm also dealing with pink eye or some annoying problem with my eye. Can't hardly see and I've a constant stream of tears dripping from my left eye. Gross. Well, time for an ice bath, a beer, and some sleep.

Monday, July 23, 2007

A Bit of Irony

Here's a photo of Rachael Steer (US olympian and women's race winner) and I from Saturday's race:

Another perk (besides getting my picture on the University of Alaska Webpage :) of winning Crow Pass is that it earns me an automatic place in the Mount Marathon Race next summer. The funny thing though is that I won't be able to do it. Instead I'll be about 2/3 of the way through the Great Divide Race. I'll take that trade off any day. But I will run Mount Marathon one of these years. Maybe 2009.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Satisfying Soreness

Today: Bike 15 miles
Yesterday: Run 25 miles
Friday: off
Thursday: Bike 21 miles

Crow Pass Crossing Race Report:

I can hardly walk today (although biking back to the race start to get my car this morning felt fine) but it never felt so good to feel so sore.

I put a lot of pressure on myself for this race. I knew going into it that it was a lot more likely to be a disappointing run than a satisfying run (because of the pressure I put on myself). And this only makes the current satisfaction that much greater.

I'll try not to bore you all with too much detail but here are some of my interpretations of my race yesterday:

More than anything I just wanted to have myself in position to contend at the river crossing halfway into the race. Last year I was about 10 minutes behind the leaders at this point and I decided this time around that I was going to do whatever it took to avoid having this happen again. The beauty though was that not only was I in position to contend at the river crossing but I was feeling great and dictating the pace as much as any of the 4 of us in the lead pack.

I still had my doubts though. I was running with three other guys who are much more accomplished and experienced mountain/trail runners as I am. A mile later though 2 of them had faded off the pace and then it was just Harlow Robinson and I. I kept trying to tell myself that it doesn't matter what Harlow's done in the past in this race (8 first or second place finishes in a row or something amazingly impressive like that), I've prepared myself for this race and I was feeling strong. More than anything I was trying to convince my mind of what my body had been telling me for most of the race: I was feeling too comfortable and it was time to push the pace even if it seemed unbelievable that I was in this position. A mile later I noticed Harlow had faded and with about 10 miles to go I was on my own. It felt great for a couple miles and then I began to fear that I had made my move too soon. I was quickly snapped out of these thoughts though.

It's funny how running up on a mama bear and cub can so quickly snap you out of whatever you're thinking at the time. I saw the cub first. It even took me a few seconds to think about the fact that where there's a cub there's a mother. For these few seconds I was just thinking about how cute the cub was. The mother wasn't cute. She was pissed. I stopped and backed away slowly but she kept letting me know she was pissed. If you've had a similar bear encounter you know how loud, shocking, and scary the noises they make can be. Yesterday though I didn't feel any fear. I was too focused on my race to be scared. I just wanted to get on my way and not give those chasing me any more time to close the gap I had worked to open. All told it was probably only 30-60 seconds that this bear slowed me down, but it felt like hours standing there just dreading seeing Harlow come around the corner behind me. Eventually I just couldn't deal with the anxiety of being stopped while every other runner in the race was moving so I decided the bear was far enough off the trail to run past her. In no way was this a smart thing to do, but it worked and just as quickly as I had encountered these bears they were gone and out of my mind and I began to focus once again only on making my way as fast as possible down the trail.

The next few miles were some of the most technical of what is a very technical run. This was when I first realized that I was probably going to win this race. For a few minutes I let my emotions get the better of me as my mind began to think about winning in terms of something that had already happened rather than something that I still had to bust my ass for 5 miles of rugged trail to make happen.

With about a mile or 2 to go I came around a corner and saw my buddy, Pete B. who had come out to the finish to pick me up even though he had to change his entire weekend around to do so. He was there both because he wanted to help me with a ride back to Anchorage after the race, but also because he was certain I was going to win and he wanted to be there to see the finish. Well I must admit it felt really good to see him there and prove him right. I still had more than a mile to go but at this point the trail was really smooth and I was able to coast into the finish and enjoy the last several minutes out there.

It was so satisfying to win a race that I was so focused on doing well in. it was also very satisfying to run such a tough race without feeling like I went through several minutes of complete agony at the end. This is going to make bouncing back for a 50 miler in two weeks much easier.

There was a pretty good story about the race in the Anchorage paper. Turns out I ran the 3rd fastest time in the 24 year history of the race and was only about two and half minutes off the course record. Maybe next time.

Thanks to everyone for all the messages of support leading up to this race. It always makes it a little easier out there knowing that you've got people around the country rooting for you, even if you haven't ever met most of them.

Totals for the week: Bike 55 miles; Run 43 miles; 10.5 hours.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Resting Away

Mt. Bike 7 miles
Run 5 miles

Bike Commute 3 miles

Nice little last run before Crow Pass today. Feel nicely rested and quick. My right ankle has been a little sore for about a week now (not sure why) but hopefully with some rest tomorrow and Friday it won't bother me on Saturday. After what Scott Jurek did last weekend on a sore ankle I guess I shouldn't be too concerned.

Off to Anchorage tomorrow afternoon. Hope you all have a great weekend and look for my race report sometime on Sunday or Monday.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Dialed In

Bike Commute 3 miles
Run 9 miles

Today was a nice little Crow Pass test run. I got out for 9 miles on technical trail very similar to The Crow Pass Trail. I carried everything with me that I'm required to carry during the race and I felt really good. Now all I've got to do is eat, hydrate, and wait for Saturday to come around.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Nice Weather... And It's Consequences

Hike 4 miles
Mt. Bike 20 miles

Today was one of those days in which everyone and their dog (or three dogs) was out hiking. The combination of nice weather and 4 cruise ships in port made for the most crowded I have ever seen any trail in Alaska. The Salmon Creek Trail was nice in the morning but then I made the mistake of riding up The Perseverance Trail after that. About 2 miles up the trail I got on a less used side trail to avoid the crowds but instantly I came upon a group of at least 20 hikers and there was just no way I was going to get by them on this narrow singletrack. I stopped to take a leak but then I was right on their tail again in one minute. Eventually they saw that I was behind them but they still made no effort to let me through for another 5 minutes. I've got to start getting out of town to the less used trails more often but it's hard to justify driving to a trail when there are so many nearby that I can just run or bike to from my apartment.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Mellow Saturday

Run 8 miles

I've gotten very used to Saturdays being a very long day of training or racing. In the past 6 Saturdays before today I have spent 39 hours running or biking. Today though with only one week before my biggest race of the summer I went out for a nice mellow 8 mile run with a couple of runners who were in town on a cruise ship. I'm going to take the rest of this week pretty mellow also. I'll probably get out for a bike ride tomorrow and Tuesday; easy runs on Monday and Wednesday; and Thursday and Friday off completely. Hopefully that will have me good and ready to go.

Totals for the week: Bike 12 miles; Run 44 miles; in just over 11 hours
2 course records set at Hardrock this morning!

Scott Jurek finished in 26:08, shaving about 30 minutes off the men's record and Krissy Moehl finished third overall in a time of 29:24 setting a new women's course record, also about 30 minutes faster than the previous record!

Click Here to check out a video of Krissy finishing earlier this morning. I feel like you can get a small sense of her pain, excitement, emotion, fatigue, and pride all in this short clip. I think it's safe here to use the old cliche that she didn't leave anything out there on the course. Good stuff.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Hardrock Heating Up


Bike Commute 3 miles
Run 8 miles

For those that don't know, this weekend is Colorado's Hardrock 100, one of the most difficult 100 mile foot races in the world. This race has 33,000 feet of climbing and at one point climbs to over 14,000 ft. This course is so tough that the fastest time ever run on it is 26 hours 39 minutes. Compare that to the Western States 100 that has been run in 15:36 and you can begin to appreciate just how tough this course is compared to a "typical" 100 miler.

Scott Jurek and Karl Meltzer are 2 of the best 100 mile runners in the world and they are locked up in a much anticipated battle at Hardrock as I write this. Last I checked they were both through the checkpoint at mile 67.7 and Scott was holding a 6 minute lead on Karl. Looks like this one is going to go down to the wire.

It's so hard for me to imagine being locked in such a tight battle in such a long race. I've done two races over 20 hours this year but in The Susitna 100 I finished more than 2 hours ahead of the next runner and in The 24 Hours of Light I busted out 8 or 9 laps more than the 2nd place rider. In both of these cases I think it helped a lot that I was able to relax and not focus much on other competitors throughout most of the 2nd half of these races.

I just don't know how I would handle the battle that Scott and Karl are locked in right now, on top of the battle that develops within myself after 12+ hours of racing. I guess this is an aspect of endurance racing that I still need to encounter and conquer. My race next weekend will certainly provide me with the challenge of directly competing with other runners throughout the entire race, but this will only be a little over 3 hour race. I may have to wait until next year to experience battling so closely with another racer as far into an event as what Scott and Karl are right now. I look forward to this challenge but for now it's kind of nice to just be sitting at home "watching" this battle unfold down in Colorado. Not sure I'll get much sleep until this one's over.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Cleaning Out My Closet

Bike Commute 3 miles
Run 6 miles
-4 miles in middle at 5:50 pace

I was having a bit of a panic attack this past weekend when I began to add up just how much money I will be spending on racing in 2008. After some quick calculations I got really concerned and started looking through my closet to see what I could sell on eBay to help with some of the money I've already begun spending on my new GDR bike. I didn't come up with much. Unfortunately before I moved to Alaska I sold most everything I owned that had any legitimate value. And now I'm stuck selling some pretty random stuff that has almost no value. But then here lies the beauty of eBay: even things with no value actually have some value because you have thousands of potential customers instead of hoping that one random person who's looking for a love seat slipcover actually comes to your garage sale. (I really do have a love seat slipcover on eBay right now in case you happen to be one of those strange people looking for a love seat slipcover). Anyway, a few bids here and a few bids there and now my items that I have listed are up to a cumulative total of $73. As far as I can tell this is about 1% of the money I will spend on racing in the next 15 months. But hey, this is about 1/3 of the amount I spent on my new bike frame. I find it's good to think of these things in baby steps. Find a way to pay for the frame now and then hopefully find a way to pay for the other parts once I find them.

Anyhow, at the risk of sounding like I'm flat out begging for financial assistance here, I give you my items for sale on eBay!!! Hey, you might just see something there you actually want. Most of it is crap as far as I'm concerned, but that's the beauty of random crap we have stashed away in our closets: there's always someone out there looking for that stupid love seat slipcover that we were tricked into taking when we bought our love seat at a garage sale. By the way, I'm actually selling some pretty nice stuff too. An almost new climbing helmet, a new camelbak (no bladder), some almost new cycling shoes, a new Nathan running waist pack, etc.

One more thing: Mom, in case you read this, sorry for anything I'm selling that you ever gave me as a gift... just think of it as your gift being transferred into a small push up a large hill in one of my races next year.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Relaxing a Bit

Bike Commute 3 miles
Run 7 miles

Bike Commute 3 miles

With taking yesterday off it had been over 48 hours since I last ran when I got out for a nice 50 minute run tonight. What a difference a couple days off can make. Whereas Sunday I felt tired out and cut my run about an hour shorter than planned, tonight I felt great and had to force myself not to run further than I did. Two day ago I felt so uncertain about how my body would come around and be ready for racing in 11 more days, but now I feel like I'm prepared and ready to roll. I've got a little more training planned between now and then, but probably no more than 45 total miles before next Thursday and Friday off completely. Should be good and ready after that.

The Crow Pass Crossing will easily be the most competitive race that I run/ride this year. Many races up here in Alaska don't have that many competitors because... well, because there aren't that many people up here. This race is one of the big ones though. It will have well over 100 runners and there are qualification standards required just to be considered eligible for the race. I finished 5th in this race as a rookie last year and feel like I have a great shot at improving on this. More than anything I want to go faster than the 3:17 I ran last year. If the course conditions are similar to last year I think I can cut up to 10 minutes off my time. It's going to be tough though. This is a very rugged course with lots of climbing, sections of snow, mud, roots, rocks, VERY overgrown trail, several small stream crossings, and one major glacial fed river crossing (about 1 mile from the face of the glacier). Not to mention the high likelihood of wildlife encounters including moose, black bear, and brown bear. No matter what happens it's going to be a fun one.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Coming Up Short

Run 15 miles

Before getting into boring talk about my running I wanted to send a shout out for a quick and full recovery to Dave Harris. He's been riding/dominating for the past week in the BCBR with teammate Lynda Wallenfels. He took some kind of fall off a bridge in the final stage yesterday, forcing them to drop from the race which they had all but wrapped up by that point. I guess it aint over until it's over. Unfortunately they weren't able to hang on to win that event, but the important thing is that Dave apparently is OK and was only in the hospital briefly. Here's to hoping you can be back on your bike soon, Dave.

Was planning to put in at least 4o miles this weekend, and 50 if I was feeling good... only got 37. I felt OK on my 22 miler yesterday but today I just didn't have any energy. I put in 15 miles, but just didn't have the mental or physical energy to go any further. My legs have just felt very heavy most of the time since The 24 Hours of Light. I still think I'll be feeling great once I come around but I've been running too much since the race to really recover the way I would have liked to by now. I've got 13 days until The Crow Pass Crossing and I'm going to ease into a long taper for that race beginning tomorrow. I think I still have plenty of time to come around and be ready to roll on July 21st, but with each passing day I am getting a little more anxious about the way my body's feeling. I think the next 3 or 4 days are going to be the key turning point. If I'm still feeling the heavy legs on Wednesday or Thursday of this week I could be in trouble.

The good thing is that I was stopping a lot today to try to stretch out my legs so I took quite a few pictures. Here are a few of them:

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Soothing Fear

Hike/Run 22 miles

Bike Commute 3 miles
Run 7 miles

Bike Commute 3 miles

I've been thinking a little more the past few days about my racing plans for next year. I'm trying not to overlook the two tough races I have coming up in the next 4 weeks, but it's hard not to spend at least some time each day thinking about next season. It's all still very far away but I'm already getting excited and anxious thinking about what the next 14 months will be for me. I don't know if I will really be able to do all 3 of these races in the same year, but I have no doubts that I want to give it a try. I'm more or less terrified of each of these races and for some reason I find great comfort in this. I guess what it boils down to more than anything is that there's nothing I enjoy more than being out on bike or foot and pushing myself further and harder than I ever have before. If I actually finish all 3 of these races I will likely spend over 30 days worth of time doing so! That's 720 hours of time spent racing in events that will push my body well beyond anything it's ever experienced before. It's only 3 races but they are each so long that if everything goes well I will spend over 15% of my time from February 24th through September 6th racing! That's insane. I can't wait.

Totals for the week: Bike 27 miles; Run 73 miles; 13.5 hours

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

My Own Personal Mount Marathon

Run 15 miles

Today was the 80th running of The Mount Marathon Race in Seward, Alaska. Despite what the name might imply this is not a marathon, nothing like a marathon really. This is a 3 mile race that climbs over 3,000 feet in 1.5 miles and then turns around and heads back down the mountain and finishes in the middle of town. From what I hear this is the 2nd oldest foot race in North America, second only to the Boston Marathon. Just got word on the Anchorage Daily News website that Brad Precosky won the race again this year. This is his 6th time winning and 2nd in a row. I had the opportunity to race against Brad in several races last summer and he's a great guy who has almost certainly done more than anyone to shape The Alaska Mountain Running Grand Prix into the great series of races that it has become. Usually I like to see underdogs and new faces winning big races like Mount Marathon, but in this case I couldn't be happier to see that Brad was the first one back into Seward and across the finish line where 20,000 or so spectators welcomed him in.

If I had been luckier in the lottery drawing back in April I would have been racing up Mount Marathon today. Instead I did my own nice climb here in Juneau while daydreaming about Mount Marathon. I was hoping to get up to 3,500 feet but snow stopped me about halfway to that mark. In all I put in a nice 15 miler (long approach to the section of steep climbing) with lots of total elevation gain and quite technical (lots of rocks, roots, and mud). I was planning to go a bit further today but once I came back down the mountain I ran through town where all the holiday festivities were going on and I instantly felt so uncomfortable by all the people in such a small area that I just wanted to get home as soon as possible. It was probably just as well because I feel really tired out tonight and another 5 or 10 miles would have probably done more harm than good.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Monkey See, Monkey Do

Bike Commute 6 miles
Run 9 miles

I don't like to shop around. I tend to get it in my mind very quickly what it is that I want and then I buy it. I decided 5 days ago that I would be riding in next year's Great Divide Race and instantly I began contemplating what bike I wanted to ride. I thought for a few minutes about my existing mountain bike, a 2001 Gary Fisher Sugar 2, and decided it just wasn't up to the task of riding the GDR. After a little reading of online forums and looking at some pictures of GDR rigs I decided that the best option at the best price would be to build up a Surly Karate Monkey with a nice new, reliable suspension fork (probably a RockShox Reba) and then snag many of the other parts from my Gary Fisher. I have no idea if this really is the best option within my budget, but as I said I don't like to shop around and this was the first option that seemed to make sense so I decided to roll with it. I decided all of this about 24 hours ago and just a few minutes ago I found a great deal on a leftover 2006 Karate Monkey (thanks to a tip from Dave) and made the purchase. My new frame should arrive within a couple weeks.

I guess I really am doing the GDR. I can't believe I'm really doing the GDR. I know it's still a long way away and a lot of things can change between now and then but I have a really good feeling about this one. Ever since I decided on this last week all I keep thinking about is how the heck did it take me so long to decide this? If I had decided on this a year ago I could be out there riding it right now. Oh well, I think I have enough other things on my plate to keep me busy between now and then. Especially considering that The Iditarod Trail Invitational may be even more of an undertaking and require more focus to prepare for than the GDR.

Great 9 mile run after work today. Had no intention of running hard but I ended up doing miles 6,7, and 8 in about 15:45! Great tempo pace that felt really comfortable. Have the day off from work tomorrow. I'll probably put in a pretty long run (3 or 4 hours), unless I give into the parade and other holiday festivities going on around town. The thing is I don't really like large groups of people so chances are I'll go out and run all day so I can avoid everything going on in town.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Photo Shoot

Mt. Bike 15 miles

Got out for a great ride after dinner tonight. First ride since last weeks race (other than the daily commute). I felt ok, but definitely don't have much power when I need it. That said I was able to ride an entire section of trail that I've never ridden before. I think this had more to do with the dry conditions than my riding skills, although I feel like I am finally becoming a little more comfortable with the mud, roots, and wet rocks of Juneau. Got some great photos tonight. Hope you enjoy:

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Montana Creek Trail

Run 20 miles

Got out on a new trail today. It's always nice to run or bike in some new territory. But then I'm always more afraid of bears when I'm running somewhere that I haven't been before. I often hold this illusion that if I'm running on a trail I've run on before without seeing a bear then I'm not going to see a bear this time either. This of course couldn't be any further from the truth but it helps me relax and not feel like every noise or movement in the woods is a bear jumping out at me. I wasn't thinking much about bears for most of the run today but then at about mile 8 I began seeing steady piles of bear scat. Must have seen a dozen piles in a two mile stretch! The good thing is that in this same stretch I passed two different groups of people who were trying to bike on this trail. I can't imagine why someone would try to bike on this trail. But at least with all their complaining and struggling to carry their bikes over roots, logs, mud, rocks, and planks that are just not made for biking they had pretty much scared off every bear within miles of the trail.... or so it seemed.

I felt pretty good running today but for some reason ever since my race last weekend my calf muscles on both legs have been very tight and stiff after I run 5 or 6 miles. The same thing happened today but I continued on for 20 miles total and now tonight they're really tight. I'll probably take the day off tomorrow and then a light run on Tuesday and then hopefully be ready for another pretty long one on Wednesday since I have the day off from work for the holiday.