In a couple days I will be going out of town for about two weeks. One of the weeks will be spent on a cruise ship and I will be in Montreal before the cruise and Boston after. While I plan on running every chance I get, I know that I will not be doing 60+ mile weeks while on vacaion. I do plan on taking pictures though so tune in a few weeks and I will share.
I have seven weeks until the Santa Barbara 100k, with a two week vacation and a two week taper planned, I will only have about a three week block in between for good high mileage training. Therefor, this past weekend was key for a nice long back to back to prepare my body for that last push after vacation.
I left early saturday for a long run on the roads around Tempe. I had done a workout Friday morning, 4×10 min intervals, and my legs were very heavy from the first step saturday morning. The thing about ultra training is these days are incredibly important mentally in a training block. I can guarantee that I am going to feel tired, sore, and ready to quit when I run Santa Barbara 100k. Having these types of training runs under my belt can give me the confidence I need to push through those low spots and onto the finish.
My typical weekend consists of a long flat road run on Saturday followed by trails on Sunday. While I did do roads on Saturday, I mixed it up a bit and tried to throw some elevation gain into the picture. The elevation gain that is part of the upcoming 100k is haunting me and I want to get as much climbing on my legs as possible prior to the race. Tempe, where I live, is not known for being hilly so I chose the best climb in the city (A Mountain) and set to go up and down it 4 times on my run. It is about a 300 ft climb in about a 1/4 mile and would have to do.
I made my first trip up the mountain around first light, about 5 miles into the run, and then made a small loop around Tempe Town Lake before heading back up for the second time around mile 9. At the top of the second trip the sun was just rising and I took a chance to sit and take it in for a moment or two before continuing on.
From there it was a lot of the same. Just putting one foot in front of the other and getting this run done. As much as I love running, there are always days like this where I would have loved to be home and in bed with my family instead. I did a few more loops around different areas and made two more trips up the mountain at mile 13 and 17 and then started making my way back home.
I woke up early again Sunday and made the short drive to Lost Dog Trailhead. This is the same trail I have been running recently and will run until the 100k. My legs were again very heavy from the 23 the day before but it was nice to be out on a trail and I was excited for some climbing. I basically did an out and back up and over Sunrise Peak twice but took a little detour on a trail I had not ran before on my way back to my truck. It was a nice smooth and very runable trail that I will explore more when climbing is not as much of a priority.
Sunday’s run ended up being over 13 miles with over 3,100 ft of elevtion gain. I ended up with a 36 mile weekend and over 63 miles total in the week. It was a nice confidence boosting week heading into my vacation. I feel my fitness is getting close to race ready and I am starting to get very excited to test myself with my first race over 50 miles.