Sunday, October 18, 2009
The work is done
And it's taper time! While I missed going to races, I fell in some kind of a routine that I am going to miss as well. Doing that long run on a 5-mile loop over and over again was a scary thought at first, but with time it became comforting to be so intimately familiar with every rock and turn on the trail. All in all, between long runs and other regular outings, I must have looped there over 60 times. You can say I have a special relationship with Forestry Ridge Park:) It helps that this park is a mile away from home, cuts out time driving (or running) to it. My times improved, and my mindset as well. As I start on the first loop, with barely first steps I am already thinking: just this hill, this flat, that long hill, upper flats, long and rocky downhill, more lower flats and a great downhill finish - I am done with number one. Only 5 left...the tricks we play.
The weather finally got where I love it to be. It's mid-50's in the early hours, and I love starting all my runs in the dark. I am definitely not looking forward to a time adjustment! I like feeling how the darkness gives way to grayness, then to more light - and seeing the sunrise. It is soothing and feels like the world belongs to me, I am a loner. I am, though, looking forward the possibility of doing a few weekend runs with my friends next 4 weeks, when I don't have a specific plan or schedule.
In all, I had done 6 weeks of 80 miles, and each had a 30M long run in it (a couple had longer than that). Not sufficient by my own standards, but it will have to do. I am looking forward getting acquainted with a new race course, Cactus Rose 100, which is totally different to what I am used to and like. The longest climb there is about a mile - and a 1000 feet, but about half the course (consisting of 4x25M loops in washing machine direction, opposite every loop) is much rockier than I I saw - that is, until I've been to Hardrock, of course. This is going to be my mantra, as Joe P. (the RD) says - it ain't Hardrock, girl, go with it:)
I have some persistent issue with my right knee, beginning as far away as Hardrock itself, and it's not getting any better. May be laying low for a few days will help it - may be not, but one thing for sure, dumb knee never stopped me before. I just wonder why, since last time I did have this problem was rather a long time ago, somewhere close to 6 years. It's not fun getting old? :)
Larry is up and training for Bandera 100k and Rocky Raccoon 100M, so am I, technically, too, and once the Cactus Rose is over, I will fall into the plan I outlined for him (with a few/dozen miles more each week, since Larry is a low miles/high quality guy, and I am leaning more towards comforting feeling of making big weeks a prerogative). It's fun making plans for next year, which are pretty different from where I'd be if I were still single and in PNW. Looking on the positive side, so much new stuff to explore!