05/22/2017 – 05/28/2017
Peak week. It’s a misnomer really. I really should peak on RACE DAY. Whatever, I’ve got the “taper crazies” now. While last week should have been a slight incremental bump in training time/miles/vert, it really wasn’t. It ended up being more a maintain and actually ended up being slightly less than the week before that. But no problem, because if I’m reading this article right, the way I finished out my weeks 6-4 remaining before Bighorn, I’m going to either be an hour ahead of course record, miss a turn then just walk the last 7 miles in for a sub 24 hour buckle, finish a heartbreaking 6 seconds after the official cut off time, win the race while smiling the entire way, go on to finish 3rd at arguably the biggest ultra in the world (eventually at UTMB; um, yes please, I’ll go), or finally grow a mustache (but really, why?)
Seriously though, I was dialed in for this training week. I knew how much I wanted to run, how much I needed to run, and how I was going to make it all happen. And I did it without a hitch or a cramp or a low spot. My mental game was positive and I actually enjoyed most everything about the most mileage I’ve ever run in a week (104.9 miles), the most vert I’ve ever run (er, hiked) in a week (20,594′), the most time I’ve ever spent training in a week (23:23), and the longest number of consecutive days I’ve ever run (13).
I am in taper mode now for the next three weeks and finishing up the last two and half weeks of my six months of training. I am as ready as I’m ever going to be for Bighorn 100.
The hay is in the barn.
Questions to you:
• What is your “A” Race? Do you have more than one this year?
• What do you do to stave over the ‘taper tantrums’?
• What is your longest runstreak? Why did you decide to start? Why did it end?
Monday – Capitol Hill
5m, 0:55, 500′
This was supposed to be my day off, my rest day, but I got a bait text about a group run with Molly and Nate and so of course I bit and ran. We ended in Cal Anderson Park joining up with Kate and Valor enjoying an outdoor dinner for the beginning of Seattle summer along with what felt like every other person on Capitol Hill who doesn’t own their own yard (which is the majority of people.)
Tuesday – Capitol Hill
7m, 1:00, 600′
My brother called as I was headed out the door so we talked as long as he could take the sound of my microphone/headphone thumping against my pack like I was at a blitzin’ rave. Even the feedback bothered me, but I’m stubborn, which is the similar to the answerI give people when they ask why I run long distances, so I lasted longer than him and he hung up first. Who said it doesn’t pay to have a hard head.
Wednesday – Magnolia, Discovery Park, Seven Hills and Ship Canal Trail
17.5m, 3:01, 1200′
Nate and I took our ‘usual’ route from work along the waterfront and met up for a surprise group run with Mike and Chrissy for a modified Discovery Park loop. We teetered straight up Dravus and back down the other side before finding our rhythm through the underbelly of the brush which parallels the ever popular and aptly named Discovery Park Loop Trail. Leaving the three of them, I finished my now usual Wednesday route along the Ship Canal Trail, past Seattle Pacific University, under the Fremont Bridge, and back along Westlake, through the newly hipster neighborhood, South Lake Union, also known as Amazonville, and then finally picking turns over waiting at stop lights to finish out the evening run.
Thursday – Cougar Mountain
10m, 2:11, 1500′
Absent of any dogs for the week, Kate and I took advantage of a rare midweek run (in the sun!) (in the warmth!) at Cougar along her 8 mile route. I filled in a few extra miles to hit my 10 mile target for the day. Sharing trails with the evening light streaming through the trees was a treat!
Friday – Discovery Park and Seven Hills Running Shop
3m, 0:41, 550′
Another rare midweek run through Discovery Park, Kate and I first stopped at Seven Hills to take advantage of some shoe sales and I walked away with some Altra Olympus 2.0’s. Will take a few runs in them in the next couple of weeks to break them in for Bighorn. At Discovery Park we methodically stayed true to the Loop Trail.
Saturday – Rattlesnake/Snoqualmie
40m, 10:24, 11,400′
Nate, Mike, Chrissy and I braved the Rattlesnake Ledge trail dutifully joining the mule train of what seemed like once a year, holiday weekend day hikers (they weren’t, they just seemed like it with their 4oz disposable plastic bottles of water or their heavy duty hiking boots or their 100L backpack filled with I don’t know what) until we could no longer go slow enough. We’d wait for a break in the trail and say, “passing on your left whenever you have a second” and eventually made it up to the Ledge. We paused for a few photos, then pushed upward where the crowd thinned to basically no one (thank goodness) and up and over and down to the Snoqualmie side. The three of them had other plans for the day, so I filled my bottles back up (thanks for giving me the rest of your water) and took off, back up and over and back to my car. Then I did it again. A quadruple Rattlesnake/Snoqualmie crossing. My longest (mostly) unsupported training run and the most vert I’ve ever tackled for a training run. It was everything I needed it to be for my Bighorn training: many miles, all day on my feet, lots of vert, and long continuous climbs and descents.
Sunday – Larrabee State Park, Bellingham
20.5m, 5:12, 4000′
Strava is a blessing and a curse. It makes it easy and keeps you honest when tracking daily and weekly miles and vert, but it also is a tease letting you know just how close or far you have until the next completely arbitrarily set goal. On our way to Larrabee State Park just outside of Bellingham, I looked and saw I was 16 miles away from my second ever 100+ mile training week and tantalizingly close to breaking 20,000 feet of vert in a week (if 3,500 feet can be considered tantalizingly close). With those numbers in mind we set out for a modified Frangrance Lake half marathon loop, tacking on a little 4 mile loop. This was Kate’s long run, a big jump for her distance, and toward the end of her biggest training week by far recently, so we took our time stopping to rest at overlooks and enjoy the relatively few people on the trail. At mile 17, Kate turned downhill for the car and I threw in a few extra miles of short hill repeats to make certain I would crest my (arbitrary) weekly mileage and vert goals. (Curses Strava, curses!) Mission accomplished I turned for one last long descent and back to the car. Peak week complete!
Weekly running miles: 104.9
Weekly running time: 23:23
Weekly running vertical gain: 20,594′
• Bighorn 100m: 3 weeks