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: 04/24/17 – 04/30/17

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?
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Training Week: 04/17/17 – 04/23/17

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!
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Training Week: 02/13/17 – 02/19/17

02/13/2017 – 02/9/2017
In what was supposed to be a ‘down week’, I am probably far more sore I probably should be. Apparently that’s happens when you still try to cram in all the same amount of vertical gain in two-thirds the amount of distance. 10,000 feet a week is my goal, regardless of whether it’s an up week or a down week, which probably doesn’t make my down weeks, down. It also means I’m doing far more hiking than I did last year when I trained for Kettle Moraine. My legs are super sore and I have two marathons in two days in two states coming up this weekend. Perfect.

Questions to you:
• What’s the most amount of vertical feet of gain you have climbed in one week? In one day?
• What is the one must see inspiring running YouTube video that you would recommend?
• What is your local running shop?
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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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Training Week: 01/30/17 – 02/05/17

01/30/2017 – 02/05/2017
This training week had a little bit of everything – rain, sunshine, snow, fartleks, long runs, friends, lunch runs and even a few firsts (for a friend). Set out this week with no real goal, other than to hit my mileage, but by my last run on Sunday, I had decided my weekly goal would be 50 miles and 10,000 feet of vert. I’ve made training plans in the past which incorporate dedicated hill workouts and prescribed speed workouts and they’re great, but I’ve also teetered just on that fine line of injury and peak fitness, more often than not crashing over to the injury side of the line. For this Bighorn 100 training cycle my core training plan consists of only hitting mileage (four week training blocks of three increasingly progressive weeks followed by one recovery week), maxing out vert (rough weekly goal of 10,000+ feet), and continuing to have fun while doing it all. It’s not much to ask for and yet I know from past experiences it will take perseverance to make it all the way to the end in one piece, both physically and mentally.

It’s 130 days until Bighorn…

Questions to you:
• What is your favorite hill workout?
• How is your training plan structured?
• What is your “A” race this year?
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