3 more days 'til my first hundred. Attempt. I wish I could say I'm chilling out, rested, rarin' to go, with my plans all sketched out and drop bags ready. Truth is, though, I've been so busy with moving and getting ready for school, that it's actually not the top priority on my mind. But now with some time to think about it again, here are my thoughts:
Taper was sub-optimal and weird. I didn't run much last week (2 weeks out) -- in fact, I didn't run at all Monday through Thursday. This is not a training statistics blog, but here's the my odd 2nd-to-last week of running:
Tues: Hike Longs Peak with J. 12 hours on the feet, longest time for either of us ever. Plus, 3.5 hours hiking at night, pretty darn tired with about 3 hours of sleep. Best idea or worst idea?
Wed: Hike Grey Rock with Neil. A good hiking pace on a day that ended up being around 100 degrees.
Wed night: Move most of our worldly possessions down a flight of stairs into the garage
Thurs: Move the rest of our stuff as well as furniture.
Fri: Move everything up 3 flights of stairs. Estimated total elevation gain of several thousand feet, usually with ~40 extra pounds each time.
Sat: Watched J's triathlon in the AM. Ended up bushwhacking through a cornfield to catch the bike portion, and got some weird bumps/rash and cuts on my leg (luckily it's gone away)
Sat PM, Sunday: A couple 1-hr sessions of jogging around the new 'hood.
Anyway, I didn't get much real running in the last couple of weeks, but I got anything from a long hike to lifting/moving boxes. Thankfully, got through all of that relatively unscathed, didn't throw out my back or drop something on my foot.
My knees feel a little creaky going down the stairs after moving, but they felt OK while running, so I'm hopeful there. Maybe all that power-stuff, in the heat of the day, was actually good for endurance? Who knows, it's all made up anyway. Guess we'll see!
I thought I had a really solid progression of training starting in March. I kicked it off early with a trail marathon in Salida, followed by a 50k in April, and a 50M at the beginning of May. That, I thought, would set things up for a long summer to train for a 100M. Well, I wasn't overly happy with my 50M at Collegiate Peaks -- I just got worn down in the 2nd half, and kind of felt worn down overall.
Then, a funny thing happened: I flew off my bike in the desert and ended up in the ER. One week of forced rest (OK, besides sneaking in some rides while we were still in Fruita) -- but a week without running.
But, I was signed up for a trail race in Wyoming, so I ran it while wearing a Maxi pad, testing the hip and circulatory system. I was again a bit slower than I would have liked, but the taste of running and racing again got me fired up. The next week I hit a 100 miles for the first time all year (maybe the 2nd time, ever), and didn't look back. Each week through mid-August, then, was at least 100 miles (this does include hiking miles), except for the 4th of July week which was around 80 but included a faster effort in the Silverton 10k. And, 3 weeks out, I hit 150M (again, including hiking, and some decent time at elevation).
My longest run was 45M, and I had 3 other runs around 40M, and maybe 3 more or so around 30M. I had a couple of 30M/20M back-to-back days. I would have liked more tempo running and speedwork, but was happy with the distance work, and Sir Nick's fortnightly Towers hillclimb challenge, which was just the right amount of "hard" to feel good.
I mixed in a few night runs here and there, a good one with Alex, a few more around the 'hood. I was a little concerned about this, but then I remembered that I've ridden my bike home in the dark dozens of times! Not exactly the same thing, but kind of close, as you have to pay attention to a narrow beam of light and the path in front of you, and you're tired.
Well, those few paragraphs felt more self-indulgent on numbers, but people need to know this stuff (even if it's just me) to figure out what to do in training and how it all plays out. I feel good about most of it. Ideally, I would have had a 50M in June or so -- early May might have been kind of early -- and a touch more speedwork, although admittedly I sacrificed some quality speedwork for "more miles." This is not to be taken lightly, I know, and no matter what I end up doing, my hat is off to all 100M finishers. The biggest part, though, was getting my head wrapped around 100M. It wasn't until late July where I was literally convinced this is something I could do and wanted to do badly enough to commit to it. I was finally able to answer the question, "Why?" The answer to this is incomplete, but I know how to find the rest of the answer!
I've never really spelled out goals online a priori before, but I admire the guts of folks who do, so it's time for that. Let's put the goals out into the universe and see what happends. And, it'll give me a last bit of time for anyone reading this to offer encouragement or discouragement if I'm setting myself up for problems.
1. Finish (Sub-30)
---- The line between very happy and happy
---- The following probably requires everything to go perfectly...and still doesn't seem possible
Yeah, that's a pretty big spread, isn't it? In fact, there's a 12-hour spread between the top and bottom goals -- didn't I just say that 12 hours on my feet was the longest I've ever done?
Yes, this is my first hundred. I should be aiming for successfully finishing it, and there's danger of time goals especially for first-timers. But I also get inspired by other people's efforts, I know how hard I trained for this, and I want to put in a good effort. This boils down to one actual goal:
1. Finish a 100M as close to the best of my ability as possible.
There are many things outside of my control. The hardest and most obvious is the temperature: it's gonna be hot, around 90 degrees. If the high were around 70 instead of around 90, it would make a significant physiological difference, and I know that, so it's foolish to put out some goals and not consider the weather. But, I don't want to rule out the top goals without even trying.
So I'm thinking of setting up this way:
1. Miles 0-25: ~4:10
2. Miles 26-50: ~4:20
3. Miles 51-75: 4:35
4. Miles 76-100: 4:55
I guess the crux is running the first half around 8:30. I ran 50M here 2 years ago, same temps, in around 8:07, nearly to the best of my ability. I'm more fit now -- I would aim for around 7:40-7:45 for a 50M here now, and speed up the aid stations a bit. Is adding 'only' 40 minutes to what I would *try* for a 50 (which is also significantly different than actually having accomplished it) enough of a buffer? Or is it a recipe for disaster? I'm not married to 18 hours, in fact, I would be very happy with 18-something or 19-something -- I just also don't want to rule out the possibility immediately. And, I'm perfectly OK slipping some time in the last chunks to finish above 18 hours, this might actually be the perfect plan for a 8:30/10:30=19 hour plan, which I'll learn/figure out in the 2nd half. I just don't want the first half effort to cause me to blow up.
Lastly, not to be understated, is the incredible help I'll have from Neil with pacing in the 2nd half. My goal here is that looking forward to seeing him will help me finish the first half, then making silly jokes and such will keep me distracted from the letdown and hills going back up the 2nd half. He's talked about a plan where *he* bonks or gets drunk or both and *I* pull him through the 50M -- that might work, too! Either way, I'm optimistic about this new 'no-man's land' beyond 50M.
Any thoughts here on pacing? Should I go for broke in the first half (everyone likes a good car wreck) or go more conservatively?