PM: 4.5 miles (700') easy. Falls.
Tues - Noon: 4.5 miles (700') easy. Falls.
PM: 9 miles track w/ Jane's (ridiculously large) TNT group. 3.5 mile w-u, then 1,200 open (4:00), followed by 12x300 on :55 rest (100 jog): 56, 56, 56, 56, 56, 57, 56, 57, 57, 54, 53, 57. Second week back at the track and feeling down right slow.
Weds - 8.5 miles (800') easy. Valley. Bluesky to Arthurs and back.
Thurs - AM: 11.5 miles (3,600') hill ladder intervals with Slush, Shannon and Jeanne. Pete, Victoria and Crystal were also there doing their own version of the workout. Ahem. Beautiful, clear morning with Pikes visible from the top of Horsetooth.
So anyway, this workout hurts. From the intersection with Soderberg, the drill goes 3 x 1/4 mile (+185' each), 2 x 1/2 (+380'), 1 x 3/4 (+550'), 1 x 1 (+680'), finishing with a top out on Horsetooth Rock. Splits: (2:40, 2:44, 2:45); (5:44, 5:49); (8:59); (11:41 w/8:44 split to 3/4). Each and every interval was slower than when I did the exact same workout in late April, suggesting that I have either lost a step since then (likely as I was at the track or doing mile repeats for months before that), or that I am just generally beat up (most definitely the case). Given the double whammy of little to no speedwork in weeks and recovery from Speedgoat/Hardrock/WS, I guess I should be reasonably happy with the outcome.
PM: 6 miles easy. Social run at Pineridge with FCTR.
Fri - 8.5 miles (1,800'). Falls - Spring Creek - Stout - Sawmill - Loggers - Carey Springs - Towers - Herrington - Spring Creek - Soderberg.
Sat - 17.5 miles (4,000') with Justin. Soderberg - Horsetooth to just below summit - Westridge - secret trail - Towers - Mill Creek - Howard - Arthurs summit - Arthurs trail - Mill Creek Link - Valley/Bluesky - 38e - home. Ran with the recently arrived UTMB pack from UltrAspire on my back. Filled it with all the crap we'll be required to carry for the race and was hating life. Me and backpacks don't get along when running. Dreading hauling that thing around the Alps in three weeks time. What a royal pain in the arse. Dragged on the run - blamed it on the pack.
Sun - 6.5 miles (1,400') easy. Soderberg - Spring Creek - Herrington - Stout - Spring Creek - Falls.
Total: 85 miles (13,800')
Not quite sure what to make of this week. I set a goal at the beginning of the week of getting back up to 100 miles while also working in some quality sessions. A cram week, if you will. With UTMB a little less than three weeks away and Sierre-Zinal next weekend, and recovery surely still ongoing I was all over the map.
I had to grind at the track on Tuesday and came away feeling like I had no pop whatsoever, and then I had a pretty miserable hill workout on Thursday morning, followed by a horribly sluggish longer run on Saturday morning. After drinking too much at Alistair's birthday party later in the afternoon, I failed to get up Sunday morning, so the planned second long run of the weekend never happened and I had to settle for an hour later in the day in the small window I was able to negotiate. I almost bagged the run anyway, as I felt like I couldn't be bothered with it. I finally dragged my sorry arse out and ended up feeling as lively as I have all week. Certainly not fresh, but just a hint of pop in the legs which was good enough for just a smidgen of confidence.
Where this leaves me I have no idea. I feel like Sierre-Zinal is going to be a sub-optimal performance, but I'm just not sure quite how ugly it's going to be. If I can get under 2:50, I'll be over the moon, but I think a sub-3 hour run is a more honest appraisal of my current fitness. Of course those goals and numbers probably mean very little to anyone reading this blog, so as a point of reference the winning time is usually in the 2:33-2:37 range (CR: Jonathan Wyatt, 2:29; 2010 winner: Kilian Jornet, 2:37), so the sub-3 goal is not an especially lofty one. A 2:50 looks like it would place me in the 13-18 range overall based on previous results. I'd be happy with that. Oh, and as a further point of reference, the course climbs about 5,000 feet in the first 7-8 miles, rolls for 4-5 miles, pops up another 800 feet in a mile, maybe two, to Hotel Weisshorn and then drops 2,500 feet into Zinal over the last 4.5 miles. Not entirely sure what the footing is going to look like.
Then I have 12 days to get rested for UTMB. Right now, I am feeling like it's going to be a horror show, but in the back of my mind I'm holding out hope that I can pull off one more decent run before I head off into fall hibernation. Time will tell of course, but I just feel like it's been too long since I've undertaken any real training, and my fitness just feels kind of, well, meh. That and I am definitely a bit beaten down right now.
I think probably the best course of action over the next three weeks is to keep the volume really light and focus on a few quality turnover sessions to try and find a bit of a spark. A rested body will benefit me way more than an extra few ounces of fitness. It's a 100-miler so it's just jogging, right?
Inspired by 2010 Hardrock champ Jared Campbell this weekend: