After the Western States Training Weekend I admit it I was tired. After these longer or higher volume weekends I return to work with a brain that finds it hard to focus on anything really challenging. So went the week. It was a hard week for me to be doing real work, I was tired and thinking about all the things I need to complete.
I started the week having to make a hard decision regarding Western States. I had to drop one of my pacers. It was hard since she is strong running but it came down to who I felt I was most comfortable with going the distance. I felt bad having to tell her since I knew she was excited. I hate to disappoint folks but as I get closer to the this race it will be the one day where when I am out there on the course it will be about me getting this done...So I feel I made the right choice.
Back to the week..After these hard weekends I have found the cycle to be a harder recovery that takes longer so was the tale for this weekends run.
Temps are starting to climb and I wanted some heat training and so I put on a couple extra layers and met up with Rena for the first time in like forever to run Cool to Alt and back. Rena has been off the trails with some major injury at Napa..She is now back and ready to run for that 1000 mile buckle at Western States..10 finishes...that is a huge thing to do.
As we left Cool I felt pretty good a little stiff but no tiredness..I was heating up fast however and after a half hour took two S-Caps...I figured I was sweating so this will be good. We got to Browns Bar in a pretty good clip but I was getting tired..maybe all these layers..some extra heat. I promised myself I would keep the layers on to ALT. I was suffering, and feeling a bit down on myself as we ran along. I then thought back to a recent interview I heard with Anits Ortiz...She won WS last year..In her talk she recounted some advice from Dave Mackey that I was focusing on.."When things are going bad, Slow Down" That was my mantra for the rest of the day...Rena was out front and I was plodding along..I know that I will be ok for race day and just take it easy through this low day. In reality the total time was not really that slow..it just felt that way.
I spoke with my coach later in the day...I am starting to build my final plan and vision for race day. There are a few areas I want to highlight now...
1)There two unknowns-The snow conditions and the amount at the start, how it will effect us and the pace. The second is the river crossing. I am betting boat year. These I can't control but can be prepared .
2)I want to be conservative. It will be a train of runners at the start and along the early sections of trail..there will be heroes of the average runner set that will try and scream those downhills early...push you out of the way...I can't get caught in that..The quads are gonna be key to keep em fresh for as long as possible. Getting down to Swinging Bridge in one piece is important for me.
3)I am thinking my hardest section will be from Deadwood up to Michigan
Bluff. I need to be ready for this section and take it one step at a time on the final climb to MB...I want to be renergized after MB..use the final run to FH as some recovery prior to picking up my pacer.
4)Take it to the river and prep my mind for the climb up to Green Gate. That is a tough climb. Then try and relax to ALT. It will late in the night and energy low. Once I hit Browns get out of there fast..and then suck it up for the seemingly long 3 miles to Hwy 49..
5)Hwy 49 take it to the barn!
I had some good news seems like I am having a lot more support than I thought. I have Ken Blankinship, Darin Loucks helping me out along with my parents and nephew coming from Michigan..then yesterday a high school friend said he would like to come out as well..John Klees. I think he should help pace me from 49 he will enjoy that section. On the low side my friend Kaori has gone total MIA and I can't count on her to be there.
But there is so much to be thankful for that a slight bump is minor compared to the big picture...