After a good amount of thought (about 10-15 minutes during my runs this weekend) I thought about talking about the word climax in ultra running.
Sometimes, there's a million reasons to quit/back down/ease up. I always find these thoughts pop up in the 3rd/4th week of a build period. I don't recommend running yourself into the ground based on this post, but simply implore you to try to see what's around the next false summit in your training. Last week around tues/thurs I felt some really low lows with my training. I felt lethargic, slow, tired, unmotivated, and even.. hopeless. My nutrition was off and I was either going to the bathroom a lot or craving to eat something that would wreck my stomach. I wasn't sleeping well, and my body was getting more and more sore. Finally though, I put together a decent run Friday and felt ready to give it another go at Mt. Baldy on Saturday.
Though most of my training buddies had to bail on me that day, I went out with KD and June and ran my own pace, doubling back to meet them at the tail junctions to let them know where to go. The totals turned out to be 8-10 miles of snow running, 6500 ft of gain, 28 miles, and 6.5 hours or something. It was rough; I was dehydrated, hungry, and sore by the end of it. It wasn't the toughest run ever, but I was getting the feeling my training was burning me out too fast.
That night I slept well, and the next morning we headed out to Eaton Cyn to try and get 20 in to get home and watch the Steelers-Jets game. I began running the prequel mile or so to the base to the Mt. Wilson Toll Road and began to feel my legs reset. It wasn't a tidal wave of energy, but it was enough to let my muscles begin to dream about moving a little quicker and having a good run. 3.7 Miles, 2400ft in, and 37 minutes later, I was at Henninger Flats; a good 8 minutes faster than any other run up Mt. Wilson. I noted it and kept moving a little quicker and quicker through all my old PR's. It was a 10 mile celebratory rebellion against a long week of tough runs that had caused so much doubt and uncertainty in my training. 10 Miles, 4600ft and 106 minutes from the bottom, I stood atop Mt. Wilson pulsating with pure joy. Climax.
Monday: 5 mi, :45 flat, easy, Irvine
Tuesday: 6 mi, 700ft, :50 Newport Road
6 mi, 300ft, :58 Easy, Quail Hill
Wednesday: 10mi, 2100ft, 1:58, Trabucco-Joplin, sore
4 mi, 500ft, :36 Quail Hill, VFF's
Thursday: 4 mi, :35 VFF's Irvine easy
7 mi, 1100ft, 1:12 Ridge Park, stomach problems
Friday: 9mi, 1000ft, :78 Newport-Ridge Park, good
Saturday: 28 mi, 6300ft, 6:25, Mt Baldy with KD and June, out and back with 8-10 miles of snow
Sunday: 20 mi, 4600ft, 2:57 Eaton-Mt. Wilson-Very strong, PR's :37 to Henninger, 1:32 to Winter Creek, 1:48 to 10 mile/4600ft turnaround, down in :69
PM: 3mi, 100ft, :30 VFF's playa del rey
Totals: 102 miles, 16,700ft
Though not the easiest week, I think my body is coming around to handling the training load..
Owen - A bird in Hand
(This song serves as a musical representation of my body's interpretation of my Sunday run up Mt. Wilson) Enjoy!