At the start of this year, I was excited to train for Angeles Crest 100 and felt like I had to hold myself back from being too indulgent in raw mileage for fear of injury or losing too much speed. I feel like I built some speed and reintroduced some fast twitch muscles back to my legs, but I unfortunately developed a tight Sartorius that pulled and weakened my tendons on the inside of my shin. Luckily, my good friend (and PT) Michael Chamoun was able to identify this last Monday and painfully pull the tension out of my Sartorius and lay a strip of k-tape and let me get on with training.
The two weeks of 50ish miles had left me well rested and eager to get back on the trails. I was sore after the initial PT on Monday night, but 90 miles later on Sunday morning I polishing off a fast 22 mile run on the AC course.
I'm really grateful to be back not only because I love running, but because I love training for AC. It's almost like going back to being a kid as an adult. I really grew up on that course as an ultra runner learning about the objective things like nutrition, climbing, downhill form, minimalism, altitude acclimation, etc. etc. but also the subjective things like the difference between discomfort and pain, real courage, endless persistence, the value of a positive attitude, optimism, and the shortcomings of an overly objective mind.
Last week I was reading the section of the AC race book about Jim O'Brien, and I started re-living those subjective lessons in my mind. Jim is a hero on so many levels:
-His course record time was set with 80's running technology and limited ultra-wisdom, yet his record still stumps us in 2013 with all our modern gear/footwear/nutrition options
-He dared to train at high mileages that very few other people in the world had ever done. His commitment to his training plan was a risk that ultimately paid off for him and his students there after
-He raced every section of the course down to the very end, there are no weak splits
So, with that, I'm going to gradually up my mileage for the next few months (through Zane Gray) and let my sole focus and attention go into preparing for August 3rd. His record deserves a lot more respect and attention in our modern packed summer of racing, and I intend to give it the effort it deserves.
March 25-31: 51 miles, 15,800 feet
April 1-7: 56 miles, 14,500 feet (3 days of running, including Grand Canyon R2R2R)
So, if we graph that, things were sorta looking down:
Then I got Physical Therapist Michael Chamoun involved and it caused this:
Monday: off, PT session
Tuesday: 8mi/2000ft tempo at Temescal up to Mt. Lee
PM: 3mi/0ft easy roads
Wednesday: 9mi/1750ft up Westridge Terrace road, onto trail a few miles and back
Thursday: 9mi/1500ft: 3.5 mi warm up to intervals, 200m repeats 2 sets of: 3x20% uphill, 3x5% downhill, 3.5mi cool down
Friday: 16mi/8,500ft: Baldy ski hut, north backbone to blue ridge and back. A bit of snow and post holing
Glissading with Chris, photo by Erik
Glissading with rocks, photo by Erik
Sat: 28mi/7,500ft: easy recovery run with katie chantry-idlehour-mt. lowe road-wilson-winter creek
Sun: 22mi/2,750ft: Chilao-Chantry easy first section marking the trail: 68, then less marking and more running :71 to Newcomb, :55 to Chantry (about :7 and :12 ahead of CR pace)
Solid week, the last miles into Chantry felt like real fitness and endurance was coming back
Dedicate your run to Boston this week with your local Team RWB