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: 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: 03/06/17 – 03/12/17

03/06/2017 – 03/12/2017
This was a down week in all aspects of the meaning of a down week. My legs were defiantly fatigued. My desire to run was low. My (scheduled) miles were almost half as much as it has been. It rained almost all week. I needed this down week to be even more down than it already was. Last week’s faux easy week was probably, in hindsight, pushing the line. The fatigued legs bled over into the majority of this week and culminated into one of the harder Sunday ‘easy’ runs in a while (minus the company of my always fantastic trail friends). Three more training blocks until Bighorn 100 miler…

Questions to you:
• How often are your ‘down weeks’?
• What do you do to ‘make yourself’ go run?
• Do you like to run with friends or by yourself on long runs?
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Training Week: 02/06/17 – 02/12/17

02/06/2017 – 02/12/2017
This was supposed to be a down week, but my schedule got a bit mixed up with some work commitments, so I flipped this week (easy/low mileage) with next week (hard/high mileage). I may or may not have overdid it this week. Not enough rest and too many continuous hard weeks has me worried about my left achilles again. On the schedule was to be Fort Ebey Kettles trail marathon in two weeks, but I find myself on the way to Texas that week ya’ll, so instead of high tailing it back to the Pacific Northwest to try to make the race, I decided I’d extend my trip and in true ultra running fashion, signed up for not one marathon, but two marathons, back to back, in two different states. The plan is to take them both easy as training race runs, finish them and check off two more states on my list of marathon or more. These will hopefully be states number 10 and 11 for me. But for now before I get too far ahead of myself, I’m going to try to nurse myself back to health.

Questions to you:
• Have you ever run back to back races?
• How many states have you ran a marathon or more in?
• Have you ever had an injured achilles? What did you do to help it heal?
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