While Larry is basking in total rest and recovery, I am back and, as my friend Gretchen says, working through the "draggin'". Yet as I told one of my clients, and he seems to have liked it, “we don’t have to love things we do to get better at the things we love” (it is obviously not in terms of not loving running - running IS what we love to do, it is in terms of getting out when the sleep is lacking, or in terms of adding torturous crosstraining sections and such...). So, back at it again...
With my summer attempt I am on a roll of a 100M race a month, although with different time in-between them. I got 4 weeks, 5 weeks, 6 weeks and 3 weeks. In 2005 I had attempted a Grand Slam, and while I DNF'ed at Leadville due to pulmonary edema, I had extended my own "slam" to include San Diego 100 6 weeks after finishing Wasatch. It was a delight for me to outline my own schedule of workouts for the next 4 months, I love doing it! In 2005 it was more of a "run more", squeeze 50k's and 30-40 miles of pacing between 100's. Now I am trying a different approach. Keep easy days, let go of total mileage, focus on quality a few times a week. Thanks to a 3 months working together with Howard Nippert, I got a fresh look on my own training. You'll never know until you try, right? He was a very timely person to shake off my routine...
I took Monday and Tuesday off the first week, and Larry and I walked 4 miles on 3rd day. The first couple of miles were a delight as I danced around him and made fun of his sore feet, but as we turned to the hills, the energy got zapped, and the hips screamed at me bloody Marry. We just did a 100 miler in the mountains, damn you! That was fun:)
But by Thursday I was on a schedule, and on Friday intervals came in. Interesting how the body reacts to the stop-watch. Once you press this button, the lungs breathe deeper, the legs turn faster, the arms pump higher...although on that day, as soon as the repeats were done, the way back was a real slog. But that's ok, I totally deserved it.
So, this week is in full swing of things, and I am loving it. Just like in Portland I rarely checked the weather during the winter season (rain, 45F), now I don't need to check the weather channel once May rolls in. What's new? 95F and sunny...We say here "pick your poison". You either run early in the morning, when it's about 70F, yet 90% (or more) humidity, and it feels like you're running in a swamp and breathing water. Or you run in the afternoon, when the temperatures rise to 95F and stay there, but the sun burns the humidity and the air gets drier (ahem, may be to 45%?). I have to say, if there is anything that's good, I am surely getting heat trained. I don't even notice 90F anymore! (that's not to say I like running in wet sauna, or dry sauna for that matter, but I never liked running "in a shower", a.k.a. in the constant rain of Portland, either. We just adjust the attitude, don't we?) I do, however, drain 2 bottles in a 6M trail run in my evenings ventures. And even with that at times feel some heat exhaustion with cold sweats coming in waves. That said, I pick my poison in both varieties:) I do intervals - whether hill repeats or track - in the morning's damp, when the sweat pours down in buckets, and on the way back I watch the bright red circle of the sun rise over the hills on the horizon. I do my trail runs, easy or tempo, around 5 pm, when the sun is high and the lungs get burnt with the hot air. I don't care anymore how I appear to be looking for the strangers - I run in a sports bra and tuck my skirt all the way high under my underpants to allow more air exchange with the body. The cute stomach roll is hanging right above my waist band - I am no cover girl by any means or stretch of imagination, but try tell me anything - I'll laugh right in your face. Because being more uncomfortable than absolutely necessary is beyond my desire.
This weekend has a couple of somewhat longer trail adventures to keep things interesting, and Larry and I planned to get out of town. But then Stephen misbehaved and got grounded. Sad thing is, it means I grounded us as well - we can't let him go to friends' house or take him with us since the punishment must be carried on...so, we must find a new fun thing within close drive distance! In either case, 3 days being home and not at either job sounds like a real treat right now...yummy!
After that, one more week of staying sharp, and a week of making sure I taper well! Because being fully recovered is very important right now. I am looking forward SD100! A good friend Scotty Mills is an RD, a good friend Georgie is crewing me, and San Diego bears fond memories for me. In 2005 I set a short-lived CR (crashed by Ronda the following year, and then as the course moved to a new location, slashed big by many others), and in 2007 I paced a good friend to an absolutely exciting finish. This year they laid a new course with all of 18,000 feet of gain, according to the profile posted on the website, with ever-rolling terrain and including bits and pieces from both of previous courses. I am still on high cloud from the Massanutten finish, which I rate as high as my WS in 2005, Bear in 2007 and Bighorn in 2008. We shall see what San Diego brings in just a touch over 2 weeks...can I sneak under 24? Can I hold on for it? Or did MMT take too much out of me? It is surely an interesting question, one that tickles me, but one that absolutely does not scare me either way. I am going to enjoy every moment of it!
Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.
John Homer Miller