Mon, Nov 7
PM: easy 4mi - Springview
Right calf/achilles still a little tight. Babied it carefully today.
Tue, Nov 8
Late PM: 14.25mi (1,320') - Treadmill/Through Rocklin
Warmed up 1mi easy on the t-mill to see where the leg was. No tightness so then I decided to have fun (sort of an oxymoron) and do a tempo-ish type run. I alternated between running at 5% incline at 8min pace and then would jump into a flat 6:40 mile. Continued this for 9mi, felt good. Afterward, went outside for an easy 4.25mi cd.
Wed, Nov 9
AM: 8.5mi (1,700') - Robie/No Hands/Meadow
Had a feeling the Achilles would be a little tender after yesterday. Was careful on the climbs and kept it in check. Throughout the week, been icing and rolling the crap out of it. Seems to be working little by little. Run was super easy and mostly enjoyable.
PM: 5mi - Springview
Kept it mellow. I've noticed it's only on the ups that I feel the twinge back there. Keeping it flat this evening helped. Upped the icing intervals to 20 on, 10 off.
Thu, Nov 10
PM: 9mi - Whitney HS Track
1.25mi wu, then 5x1-mile in 5:29, 5:27, 5:30, 5:26, 5:10 (300m/2min rest), 2mi cd. Did workout with Ben and Wayne and plan was to hold 5:30's comfortably. Honestly, felt like we were jogging through these (suppose the speed-work has been paying off). Decided to spice things up for the last one: Hold 80's through 1k, then accelerate into the turn for the next 200, and whatever you've got left for the last 400. Hit 1k in 3:20, 1200 in 3:57, and last 400 in 73. Was awesome to watch Ben and Wayne throw down a sub-5 for their last one. Was a reality check for me that I don't have "that gear" anymore. I had the legs to go sub-5, but I would have had to go out harder from the beginning and just hold it. Never thought I'd evolve from a kicker to a rabbit.
Late PM: shakeout 3.5mi - Springview
Kept it chill. Hamstrings a little worked from earlier.
Fri, Nov 11
AM/PM: Biked to and from work - 8.5mi total.
Sat, Nov 12
Noon: 25mi, 4:17 (8,000') - Michigan Bluff to Last Chance and Back
MB to El Dorado Creek - 19:00
Creek to Deadwood Cemetery - 58:20 (39:00 clip)
Cemetery to top of Devil's Thumb - 1:16 (:18)
DT to Swinging Bridge - 1:29 (:13)
SB to Pacific Slab Mine - 1:53 (:24)
PSM to Last Chance - 2:07+ (:14)
LC to PSM - 2:17 (9:45)
PSM to SB - 2:28+ (:11+)
SB to top of DT - 2:56 (27:30)
DT to ElDo Crk - 3:33 (:37)
Creek to MB - 4:17 (:44) - Bonked super hard a mile down from the top of the climb.
1.5 Mojo Bars (~285 cal)
70oz of water (carried 1 bottle)
Overall, great time-trial like effort. Other than a few of the downs, never felt like I was really pushing it. I just maintained on the climbs and worked the flats/downs a little harder. Lost part of my Mojo bar somewhere along the trail (brought 2), hence the bonk. Kept my watch running the whole time so I figure the pee breaks, water refills, and bonk cost me ~10min. Huge confidence building run heading into NF 50. Didn't feel wiped or really that tired post-run. Hoping this is a sign good things are ahead.
Sun, Nov 13
Early AM: 26.5mi, 4:12 (5,000') - MB/Volcano/Foresthill/Cal St/Drivers Flat
Ben was curious what life looked like past 20mi so I told him I'd give him a tour. We started off easy (my quads were a little sore, I guess 8k of downhill mostly at sub-7 pace will do that), but got into a sustainable and manageable rhythm and hit Foresthill in 58:30. Things remained pretty peachy through Cal-1, 2, and 3. Hit the river crossing in 3:29 (~2:29+ split on Cal St). Ben ran like a champ and because he has the base/strength, handled this run pretty well (his previous longest run was just shy of 16mi). The climb up toward Drivers was a grunt-fest, and once we reached the staging area, tacked on an extra mile to ensure we would cover a marathon distance for the day. Climbed comfortably the remaining stretch back to Foresthill Rd. Proud of Ben for having the mental toughness and focus to not be shaken by the distance. He made it look too comfortable at times, what a stud.
PM: easy 5mi spin on the bike next to Sara as she ran.
Miles - 95.75
Vert - 16,020'
Aside from the calf/achilles scare, couldn't have asked for a better week. I've been riding that line more than I ever have in previous training blocks and it really is a tough balance sometimes between too much and not enough. I pray for one more solid week before a much-looked-forward-to 2 week taper. Speaking of next week, I'll be racing a road 10k in Loomis to benefit Loomis schools. Should be interesting to see how the legs fare having 20mi in them the day before.
It seems throughout the year, the Western States buzz never truly shuts off (much thanks to AJW for that). As of Saturday, the buzz is beginning to ring loudly once again in the ears of many WS hopefuls (including myself). This will be my 2nd year entering. One thing I have noticed as opposed to last year is that having been immersed in the ultra and WS community more so, I have gained such a deeper respect for this sport, the people, and the event as a whole. Last year, I felt entitled that I should be there heading into the lottery because of my initial succes in my first ultra. And I'm really glad I didn't get in last year because in reality, I didn't deserve to toe the line in Squaw. I've learned over the year that it really is a unique privilege and unfathomable blessing to be able to run 100 miles from Squaw Valley to Auburn. While I still have so much more to learn and appreciate, if I'm not selected once again, I'll take it partly that luck wasn't in my favor, but also that God is still shaping and molding me so that when I am given the precious gift of WS, I'll know exactly how to enjoy it to the fullest.