Massanutten, where I ran behind him...at least for half of it:)". May be that should be the plan. And thus I signed up...
It is amazing how there are times you feel like crap and hardly can will your legs to move forward on a run, and then next day the light switch plops and you work hard and enjoy it. That was me - it took me a full week to recover from Pocatello 50, even if I didn't feel sore, energy-wise, dragging my feet on a Sunday HCTR group run I was supposed to lead, and then just like that, next day - I am back to training. Feels awesome. If only I could figure out what's wrong with my back...something happened a week ago on Thursday, after weight lifting in the morning (which I didn't feel anything, but as the day progressed, the left lower side was seizing more and more). It still doesn't feel any better, but it only hurts when I sit, when when I transition from standing to sitting and especially back to standing and trying to put my weight on the left leg (oh, the shooting pain that makes me almost scream!). However, running is just fine, so I won't use any excuses:) I got through a great Bikram class yesterday and thought I healed myself, but not to be...
However, hill repeats on Tuesday went "A+" and some extra, and the run, and there are more hills tonight with Tejas Trails group and mile repeats tomorrow, a moderate jaunt on single-track loop I was shown recently Saturday and another Sunday group run with HCTR...and I am coasting into taper!
Blackhills 100 is an out-n-back single-track. Why do I bring this up? Because it means once the turn-around happens, runners get to see who's in front and behind. It means Larry gets to see how far I am...and according to our friend Chris Russel from San Antonio, there are wagers happening. Something like: "If Olga is 1 hr back, she'll catch. If 2hrs - Larry's got it. If 1-2 hrs - the race is on". That said, put your bets on! And remember, it's all in good fun! Despite the fact I did catch Larry at MMT100, he had dealt with a lack of training due to injury. On any given day he is so much faster than me, like 2 min/mile faster. At the same time, as the distance gets longer, I happen to have more of those slow-twitches and gain on folks with consistency. He may run away from me at 50k by a full hour, and in a 50M by 30-40 min, the longer haul is to settle here. Honestly, I would love for him to hand me my booty! He trained hard for it, and deserves a good run. Mostly, I want him to finish, and in good spirits, with a kick he is capable of.
I haven't looked at the course or elevation profile yet, so can't predict any times at the moment. Vaguely, the idea is sub-28. "Deceivingly hard" and "mini-Zane Grey" is what we heard about this single track with lots of rollings hills and rocky terrain. I'll work on it this weekend and add on my thoughts here before I leave, so all is honest.
It's been busy couple of weeks. The school is over, and Larry took his son for a week on a driving vacation. I was driving my own son back and forth every day in mid-work daily for his activities, and helping Joe P. coaching Tejas Trails group. This Sunday both kids get to go elsewhere (Harrison to his mom, Stephen to an adventure camp), and we'll have 4 days to get ready. I am looking forward to it...
I also finished Scott Jurek's book "Eat and Run". Having known Scott for 8 years, I have to say it's all true and I loved the raw honesty of it. I will always remember how back in February 2003 I had watched a tape "Race for the Soul" about his 3rd victory in WS100, and how he crossed the finish line, took his silly cap off and his shoulder-length wet curly hair fell out as he yelled happy. All I could think back then: he looks like my nephew. Ever since, I had a soft spot for Scott. I met him the following summer at my own first WS100, then a month later at Vermont 100, where we discussed him coaching me. He was in a Grand Slam, and was overwhelmed, so he forgot to email me. I moved to Oregon, and the first race I did (and won) was Capitol Peak 50k in October, where he volunteered. As he offered me salt caps while I was climbing last peak, I snapped and yelled at him how awful he was, just like any other famous dude, for not emailing me. Another volunteer caught it in a poem and sent it to Ultrarunning magazine (see below).
On the way back off the peak I apologized for the low sugar level in my brain, and at the finish line we made friends. Scott coached me all through 2005, my best year in my "running career" (that was also the year my nephew died...). I will forever be grateful for his guidance and advice and friendly relationship we developed over this and following years. I will tell you why I admire him so much. He walks the talk. He not only wins, he stays there and cheers everyone on from 2nd to last finisher. He volunteers as much as he races. He is sincere and kind. And - he has an amazing work ethics. I've heard all I read in the book before, and yes, he had developed his working attitude since early childhood, and may be that's why I can relate so much. He, of course, without a doubt, possesses and amazing talent, but he also works extremely hard and doesn't shy away from it. There is none of "I just run in the mountains with my hair flopping and no plan attached" many other use. He uses the deep knowledge of the best in the world - and he had achieved what the best did because of it. And helped so many to get there as well - I still use his general ideas for my own and anybody who asks for help training. And lastly what I'd like to say about the book is that while it may sound sometimes like a lot of chest pounding (after all, he did win all of those races he writes about), he comes across (at least to me) as a very tender soul, in search, uncertain, at times lost, but looking, and somewhat fragile. Oh, and yes, there are recipes and the path he took from regular guy to a vegan health-conscious guy (I know a lot of vegans who look like crap and eat whatever as long as it's vegan, Scott, certainly, took it all to extreme). But, you have to admire while he keeps saying it helped him, those who know him also know he would never look down on anybody who eats meat and other products he personally chooses not to. He seems to just want us all be aware of what is good for us, and make own choices. With my son away for the most of the next 2 months, I know I am going to take extra-careful look into what I am eating (even if I cook from scratch every day and in general am very proud of my healthy efforts).
That was long-winded, but I have to say, felt very timely to have read it. Scott will be in Austin next Monday with his book tour, and I hope to catch up if his PR people and the masses of fans allow. Otherwise, I am inspired to dig deep next weekend and do the best the day will have given me at Blackhills 100.
Put your best on:)