Mon - Off. Arrived in New York in the wee hours of Monday morning, so no run before work. No chance during the day.
Tues - 5 miles. A quick couple of laps around Central Park Reservoir, which was packed at 6:00 AM.
Weds - 5 miles. As yesterday. Ho hum.
Thurs - Noon: 9 miles (1,900') easy. Falls - Spring Creek - Stout - Loggers - Carey Springs - Towers - Herrington - Spring Creek - Soderberg - home long. Not sure my legs could have felt any flatter. This is typical for me in the second week of the taper...but still. I almost turned around and went home after a half mile.
Fri - Noon: 9 miles (1,900') easy. Falls - Spring Creek - Stout - Loggers - Carey Springs - Towers - Herrington - Spring Creek - Soderberg - home long. Legs better, but still not where I want them to be.
Sat - AM: 14 miles (1,900') easy. Bluesky/Indian Summer o&b from home with Ryan. Getting better. Still not fresh, but definitely better.
Sun - AM: 7 miles (1,700') easy. From Soderberg - Valley - Sawmill - Loggers - Herrington - Towers - Herrington - Sprig Creek - Soderberg - home long. Couple of layers. Good sweat. Tight hamstrings from weeding yesterday, otherwise legs feel like they're coming around nicely.
Total: 49 miles (7,400')
Well that essentially caps my training for the year. From here on in it will be: race (WS); recover; race (HR); recover; play in the high country on some sweet routes (Glacier Gorge traverse, Rawah traverse, Pingree five peak speed attempt, Mummy Mania speed attempt); race (Sierre-Zinal); recover; race (UTMB); recover; hibernate.
My Dad asked me on the phone this morning what my strategy for next weekend was. After giving his question a bit of thought I realized that I don't really have a strategy. I mean one can plan all they want for these things but in my experience, as long as you have the basic essentials of fueling and hydration figured out, there really shouldn't be too much else to think about. The rest tends to be unnecessary noise and stress. There are a couple of logistical issues to figure out with Nick & Jake, my two pacers, but that can wait for Thursday.
The race will unfold however it unfolds and unless I'm completely out of touch with the reality of my fitness, I'll run the race the day gives me. If the pace is too hot off the front, then I'm not going to kill myself trying to stay in touch. That's how it played out last year, and I'm generally happy with the way I ran. There were guys running way over their head on the re-route around French Meadows (we're talking sub-6 pace), and all I could do was sit back and shake my head while they destroyed their races before it was even one-fifth done. If that kind of silliness transpires again this year, then I'll just have to let it go. Obviously, I hope to be in the mix throughout, but I'd rather finish in fifth with a time and effort that I'm happy with than implode at 80 miles after chasing the lead all day and digging myself a Rucky-Chucky grave. The Western States course is 100 miles long; not 50, not 80, not 90, but 100.
We'll find out on course details in the next couple of days. I'm guessing that we'll run the same course as last year, but have to deal with significantly more snow. Meanwhile, at Red Mountain Pass (11,200') in the San Juans there's a snowpack of just 14 inches left. That should mostly be gone by next weekend. So mega snow in the Sierra Nevadas and primo conditions in the San Juans.
On a side note, the ride from my house to the cabin we're staying at in Squaw Valley is 1,020 miles. If I average 65 mph (including stops), then we're looking at a travel time of 15:42. I wonder if it will take longer to cover 1,000 miles in the car or 100 miles on foot?