Training Week: 05/22/17 – 05/28/17

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?
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Training Week: 05/15/17 – 05/21/17

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?
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Training Week: 05/08/17 – 05/14/17

05/08/2017 – 05/14/2017
A big uptick in miles compared to last week I purposely tried to break up the runs into two a days if possible even if the runs were separated by only an hour or two. This kept me focused, the intensity higher (but shorter), and I felt the overall total weekly mileage felt not so crazy stupid. Sure, some people average 80+ miles weekly but I’m not one of those people.

Good start to the first week of the beginning of my last training block. Good start.
I see you Bighorn and I’m coming for you.

Questions to you:
• Do you incorporate two a days into your training cycle? How about three a days?
• Are tempo or speed sessions helpful in ultras or do they just invite potential injury?
• Are you an 80+ mile weekly average runner? How are you not constantly fatigued?
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Training Week: 05/01/17 – 05/07/17

05/01/2017 – 05/07/2017
Apparently when it’s super duper nice out, when Seattle strings together multiple back to back sunny days and the temperature breaks 70 degrees for the first time since last November (and two days in a row to boot!) my will to run diminishes and my will to lay around and be lazy increases. Or it could be because last week I ran a decent bit and I just needed some down time. One random thing I did learn this week is when I don’t make it out to run, I end up taking photos of cooking food. It’s about as incredibly exciting as watching someone run. Almost (see what I did on Friday.)

Next week is the beginning of my last training block. If there ever was a time to focus and dial down, it would be the next three weeks. Bighorn is in 6 weeks.

Questions to you:
• Do you ever watch races? Olympic track and field? Boston Marathon?
• What’s the first board game you can remember playing?
• Does sunny warm weather make you want to run or nap on the couch?
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Training Week: 04/10/17 – 04/16/17

04/10/2017 – 04/16/2017
Still battling the remaining little bit of whatever I had last week, I couldn’t decide on whether I should switch up the training schedule or just stay on schedule. Turns out I’m apparently just making this whole thing up every week as I go along regardless of what I planned four months ago. Time is fast closing on the remaining of the two training blocks and I need to log some serious quality miles in the next month and half.

Speaking of, I have two more races in the next two weeks which I’m using as long supported training runs. Coming up next week, I have a just a little three year old chip on my shoulder and a bone to pick on my return for revenge at the Yakima 50k. (Oh you haven’t seen this yet. Yeah, not my finest moment.) I’ll tackle that first before I focus on the week after that, which is Tillamook 50 miler in western Oregon. Still officially a little bit nervous and anxious.

Questions to you:
• If you miss a training week, do you just skip it or try to make it up?
• What’s the longest training plan you’ve ever planned? Completed?
• Do you have a chip on your shoulder race that you plan to try again?
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Training Week: 04/03/17 – 04/09/17

04/03/2017 – 04/09/2017
I have yet to finish a full 6 month 100 mile training cycle without something not going right. The first time I trained for Mohican I had a stress fracture in my left 5th metatarsal that I failed to believe for a few weeks before I literally couldn’t walk anymore. The second time I trained for Kettle Moraine I battled plantar fasciitis which sidelined me for a few weeks. This time I’ve made it just over halfway through my training cycle without any major setback. I even hit all my planned mileage last week, but this week I have a fairly persistent cough which won’t go away. While not a major setback, it is only two and three weeks away from my last two races, Yakima and Tillamook, before Bighorn…

Oh yeah, speaking of this year’s 100 mile race (but then again aren’t I always?), there’s only a 10 weeks (TEN WEEKS!) left until Bighorn 100. So yeah, that’s close. And I’m officially nervous and anxious.

Questions to you:
• Have you had a setback during a training cycle? How long did you heal?
• Do you use races as races only or as supported long training races?
• Do you get anxious or nervous before a race?
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Training Week: 03/27/17 – 04/02/17

03/27/2017 – 04/02/2017
Another solid week of running just like last week! Finally hit my mileage, overshot my vert goal, and just felt good for every run this week. Perhaps it was the nice run of weather or conversation or the company. Perhaps it was getting over the hump in the training. Perhaps it was just a lucky streak of running. I don’t care really care. When it’s good, run with it. (See what I did there?) The weeks are only going to get harder for the next two months.

Finally pinned down and verified all my pacers for Bighorn, which is good for me because that’s one less thing I need to worry about organizing. It also lets everyone prepare themselves for a specific section of trail, none really which are any less than 14 miles or have an elevation change of less than 4,500′.

Questions to you:
• What’s your longest streak of consecutive days of running?
• Have you ever been a pacer? What’s your go to strategy to keep them moving?
• Have you ever had a pacer in a race? Do you like to lead or have them lead?
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Training Week: 03/20/17 – 03/26/17

03/20/2017 – 03/26/2017
A friend asked me the other day what I did this past weekend and I told him, unlike the week before when I missed both weekend long runs, I was able to get out on back to back long 18 mile runs Saturday and Sunday, both in the rain, one which even had bits of hail and snow thrown in just for good measure. His first reaction was a scrunched up face, face pulled back, followed immediately with, “why? What’s your motivation?” I paused, because honestly, those two 18 mile runs sucked. They weren’t entirely what I’d call fun and except for the two hours I spent running with a different friend, I spent 7 hours by myself tromping around in the cold dimly lit wet suburban mountains in March. It’s not exactly the dream weekend that graces the covers of Trailrunner or Ultrarunner magazine or actually now that I think about it, any magazine. So what did I say?

I said, “Because I want to know what I can do. I want to know what my limits are and then push farther beyond them.” He nodded, knowingly (but not knowingly because how do you sum up something so large in just one sentence.) How can one three letter word, “why?” have so many answers and none of them can ever be sufficient? I left the answer at that. I could spend an entire evening explaining without ever actually answering his question. “Why do you run?” has been asked by countless people and answered by countless runners who drag themselves out on long weekend solo runs in weather more associated with a hot cup of joe, a couch, some comfortable clothes and a thick book ripe for reading or remote control and a television. The answer as to why we run has been explained in a myriad of numerous ways and every single reason is both insufficient and at the same completely valid.

This is week 2 of the 3rd (of 5) training blocks which puts me pretty squarely halfway through my training for Bighorn.

Questions to you:
• Why do you run?
• What’s your motivation?
• What’s the worst weather you’ve ever run in? How did you get through it?
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Training Week: 03/13/17 – 03/19/17

03/13/2017 – 03/19/2017
Didn’t hit my mileage and was slightly disappointed, but it probably turned out to be what I needed, even though last week was an easy week. Legs have been constantly fatigued. Finding myself starting to dread the double digit midweek run. Definitely not looking forward to the double digit weekend run starting with a 2. Uninspired not only to run, but to do any physical activity. Looking for any excuse. I found it this week and looking back on it, I’m actually ok with it.

Questions to you:
• What are your symptoms when you overtrain?
• How many times a week do you run?
• How many of your runs each week are double digits?
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