Monday - Off, not feeling too bad, but definitely worthy of a rest after the high-quality 104 mile week
Tuesday - 10 mi - Time Trial up Green Peak: 32:48 was just 20 seconds off my PR for the 3.6 mile/1600ft climb. It's funny to look at the numbers and think "oh that's all I can do? 8:55/mi??" But Temescal doesn't have much straight lines or consistent terrain, so over the years, I've grown to accept that anything under 35 minutes for guys is a decent level of fitness, and anything close to 30 is a good push. Overall, I was glad to see that the intervals and lower mileage allowed me to run hard and not feel too tired or worn out. #Progress
Wednesday - So that yucca barb in my ankle (that the Dr. said wasn't in my ankle" was just begging to come out. I went for it, and when it came out, my ankle shifted again from homeostasis into chaos and started to throb quite a bit. I cleaned it up good, but the bump around it seemed to want another day to heal.
Thursday - 3.5mi - Went up and down Westridge Canyon Back and felt the ankle yipping a bit, which made me nervous for pacing Jorge at Western States. Mentally I was ready to back down and pace him whatever the ankle allowed, but emotionally I was depressed I couldn't see myself taking my friend 40 miles to the finish.
Friday - 6.5mi - After driving up halfway Thursday and religiously cleaning and covering the wound and keeping the ankle elevated, I started to see some progress. We drove back to Duncan Canyon and spent an idyllic and relaxing afternoon running and cooking dinner. Once the sun went down, we banked some sleep overlooking French Meadows Reservoir.
Saturday - 40 mi - I could write a novel about the lessons Jorge Pacheco has taught me in running. Some runners are gifted and graced with a professional set up to allow them every opportunity for rest, recovery, coaching, etc. etc. Jorge and I find ourselves in another form of a blessed set-up: just enough time to train, full time jobs, wonderful partners, and race experiences that are rarely perfect or ideal. Mari got sick the week before, and Jorge got sick during race week with the flu. That meant that Jorge spent his last sleep before the race sweating profusely with a fever and unable to sleep. When the race started, he made it one mile before collapsing and watching the entire field go by (Gordy included). By the time he made it to Duncan Canyon, he'd figured out his limitations of his flu and jogged back into the mid-pack.
He battled his nausea and fever all day, shaking uncontrollably in aid stations and throwing up occasionally to find his way to Forresthill where I would take him 40 miles to a 22:43 finish. I saw him at all ends of the spectrum; running, throwing up, on the verge of knocking out, and finally a proud finisher that made the most of his imperfect day. Not many pundits pick him to win big races, but he doesn't change the way he goes into his training to be a champion no matter what the circumstances of life may dictate.
He did multiple long 60-100 mile training weekends, and did all the speedwork and long runs needed to run in the top 10, and when all his hard work was for naught on race day, he put his head down and kept going. We talked a lot and joked along the way, but one thing was certain in my mind after we finished "I am going to finish my races if there's any way possible at all".
Sunday - Recovery drive back to LA
58 miles, 13:30, 11,000ft+ - Not a bad recovery week, banked some sleep before Western, and got some major inspiration from the trip (as always).
June 29-July 5
Monday - Slept in and rested
Tuesday - 7.5 mi - Back to a bit of VO2max work before the long weekend hit. 9x2min got the HR up on the steep and arduous J-Drop climb. Calf/Soleus were a little concerned, but nothing too bad. Interesting data from the HR monitor showing me how long it takes my heart to get up above 170, and how my body responds to speedwork now. Definitely a bit of turbo-lag..
Wednesday - 8mi - Easy run in Sullivan Canyon, just what I needed to get ready for the long weekend.
Thursday - 0!! - Missed out on running due to logistics. Also, didn't feel like going running in the evening and then waking up at 3am for the real run.
Friday - 19 mi/10,000ft/6:30 - Sleep Deprivation is a real problem that I'll have to overcome for UTMB. Though I felt awful, the 3 AM run went okay, and I eventually got into a groove and started getting efficient with my poles. I was also glad that the overly-technical trails of Mt. Baldy didn't trip me up in my zombie like stupor. The goal for UTMB is to minimize stupid mistakes, so that's what the run appeared to tell me I could do. It honestly felt like something out of a good military hazing exercise, minus anyone else making me do it, or anyone else on the mountain.
Saturday - 22mi/3,200ft/3:20 - AC course from Cloudburst to Shortcut is a great trail run. Compared to Friday, I was flying along and enjoying the running. I hadn't practiced any heat training yet, and Guillaume sure enough pulled away on Mt. Hilyer and Chilao. We ran in the middle of the day to simulate the real heat he'd feel, and he did very well (even without crew or ice bandannas). Eventually I got it done below CR time as well, but I was glad I wasn't expecting any heat at UTMB. Oh, and the soleus seemed to be a little annoyed again after Friday's large elevation gain.
Sunday - 28mi/5,600/5:46 - The recovery process on Saturday wasn't ideal and the heat and calf pain stopped me from going for the full 40 mile push to Altadena. I think I do need more work on taking care of myself in training, but when it comes down to it, I'm already in shape and already adept in the mountains. The rest of the runs I'll do for UTMB will just be reinforcing the good habits, and avoiding any over-training mistakes/injuries. HR data was interesting, I felt pain but couldn't get my HR as high as the day before.. Might have been the bad sleep we got in the noisy campground at Chilao or the body just being tired from Friday's early run.
88mi/22,000ft/19:00 - A pretty long week in terms of time and suffering. I think my goal of running UTMB smart is pretty much a matter of getting to the start line sharp and fresh, so looking back on the spring, it makes sense why my body is starting to say no to more mileage and training. Likewise, my training schedule accounted for this and isn't too demanding leading up to the race. This weekend at Hardrock is completely a matter of getting out and hiking and enjoying the San Juans, no pressure or insecurity to workout or do anything serious.