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?
05/15/2017 – 05/21/2017
On a last minute whim, I decided I couldn’t miss out on all the fun for the weekend, what with Kate volunteering and Mike running the Sun Mountain 50k so I joined in. Unlike last week when all I had planned was just long training runs, this week I added a three hour volunteer shift and a race that I didn’t really race, but kind of did (because how can you not?) I kept to the two a day training runs again this week although more by necessity than by design.
I can see the end of my training for Bighorn 100. It’s not this hill and it’s not the next hill, but it’s right over there and I can see it. It’ll be here before I know it. When it arrives, I’ll be ready to Buckeye up.
Questions to you:
• What is your favorite task when you volunteer at races?
• Have you ever signed up for a race the day of? What was the distance?
• What’s your local running store?
04/24/2017 – 04/30/2017
The rule of thumb is not to increase your weekly mileage by anywhere from a max of 10% to 20% depending on what website you look at. Well, screw those rules. Last week I didn’t run much mileage wise, but I ran hard for one monster day. This week I doubled my mileage. Whoops. Although I actually felt better at the end of the week! Honestly though more than anything it probably had mostly to do with the terrain, the effort, and my perceived confidence after last week’s success.
Tillamook Burn 50 miler in Oregon was this weekend and I finished my second race in as many weekends. This was a positive, confidence building, key part of the end of the fourth of five training blocks. I’m nearing the crest of the hill (mountain?) and with only three more big training weeks I can smell the hay being cut and starting to dry. I am cautiously optimistic. 7 weeks until Bighorn 100.
Questions to you:
• What’s the farthest you’ve ever travelled for a race?
• At what point in your training cycle do you see the other side of the fence?
• Running is as much a mental state as a physical state. How do your emotions affect your perceived running effort? How about your actual effort?
04/17/2017 – 04/23/2017
Hardly a good week of running if I look back at purely the accumulated stats, it was a great week if I think about how this plays into the bigger picture. Unlike last week when I was finishing off the listing remainder of whatever that respiratory thing was, this week I felt just fine and dandy albeit a bit nervous for the weekend race. But unlike three years ago, there were no shenanigans and no (amazing) footage of my demise. Nope. Not this year. This year I rocked the Yakima Skyline Rim 50k! Ok, maybe I didn’t rock it, but I didn’t end up on the ground under an emergency blanket and I even managed to make it the entire 50k all on my own, under my own power, without any cramping(!), and with a smile on my face. What a difference three years of collective experience makes.
Next week is the Tillamook Burn 50 miler in Oregon and I’ll tackle it with reservation and respect for the distance and elevation (just like I did for Yakima). 8 weeks until Bighorn 100 miler and 4 more big training weeks until it’s taper time.
Questions to you:
• Have you ever run a race more than once?
• What’s a good week of training look like for you?
• Have you ever made a video race report? Share it in the comments!
06/04/2016 – Kettle Moraine 100 Miler – La Grange, WI
From the Kettle Moraine 100 website:
The original 100-mile course had been reconfigured several times, but has remained essentially unchanged since 2002 or so. The backbone of the course has always been and will be the Ice Age National Scenic Trail in Wisconsin’s Kettle Moraine State Forest. The description of the course by Peter Gagarin, reported in Ultrarunning Magazine in 1996, still rings true:
“The Ice Age Trail rolls and turns and twists through southeastern Wisconsin, in places a bit rocky and rooty and nasty, in places the most beautiful pine-needle-covered trail you could ever hope for; in places a steady progression of short, sharp ups and downs, in places very gently rolling. There are no deep canyons, no mountain passes, no thin air, no claim to be the toughest 100-miler. But 100 miles is still 100 miles. You still have to deal with Mother Nature, with the night, with blisters and chafing and sore muscles, with trying to keep eating and drinking and running. These factors are always there.”
04/11/2015 – Zumbro Midnight 50 Mile – Zumbro River Bottoms Management Area, Thielman, Minnesota
Starting at midnight, this laid back, old school, low-key three loop course winds its way up and down the windIng, rugged, beautiful Mississippi River Valley Bluff Country trail. With never more than 300 feet of continuous climbs, Zumbro suckers you in, strings you through countless mud puddles, trips you with leaf covered rocks, and spits you back out through stretches of sand that somehow, of course, finds its way into your socks and shoes. Before you know it, you will have covered 7500 feet of vert, seen the sun rise, and have thanked more volunteers than you can count.
02/15/2015 – Fort Ebey Kettles Trail Marathon – Fort Ebey State Park, Coupeville, Whidbey Island, WA
From the Gun Battery, the trail loops twice gently along the rims of Fort Ebey State Park’s forested kettle depressions rolling through the multi-use Kettles Trails and teetering on the sheer bluffs overlooking the Straight of Juan de Fuca and Olympic Mountains acquiring 5500 feet of vert over the 26 miles of trails.
09/20/2014 – Yellowstone-Tetons 50 mile Endurance Run – Mesa Falls to Driggs, Idaho
Starting at Mesa Falls, this point to point 50 mile road run begins with soft rollers, interrupted by a gentle middle 15 mile uphill section and eventually flattening out for the final 15 miles. It’s all road and exposed, but you knew that going in, so there’s no crying in ultra running.
08/16/2014 – Squamish 50M – Squamish, British Columbia, Canada
The race report in 32 short descriptions: Oceanfront start, railroad flat, headlamps on, sweaty humid, Garibaldi aid, still lakes, buttery trail, here we go, short and steep, bike rollers, technical downhill, Galactic Scheisse, fogged in vista, Word of Mouth, somehow still going downhill, Quest University, gnome tree, switchback uphills, hunting rabbits, sit-down on trail leg cramps, hydrate more, is that chafing?, run tentative, oh my, yes, that’s chafing, Mamquam Falls, only 10k left!, renewed energy, Mountain of Phlegm, stairs – seriously?, rock climbers, finally flat, downtown finish! 50 miles. 11,000 feet of vert. The Squamish 50.