Almost inevitably, the week of a 100-mile race typically feels disjointed and ‘funny’. Having run 10 previous 100-mile races in my 6-season ultra ‘career’, I have come to realize that this ‘off’ feeling is merely part of the game. As the old saying goes: ‘Dude, just deal with it.’ So, how’d I feel the week of my 11th 100 mile race? Well… this time the final ‘taper’ week prior to the Run Rabbit Run 100 in Steamboat Springs felt boring, normal, uninspired, and ‘standard-issue’. Perhaps this was a distinct symptom of how my head had been operating lately. Throughout the final two weeks prior to the race I thought little of tapering and reducing my training, but instead focused on making sure my brain was sufficiently amped for racing. For the record, prior to the race, I never felt like my brain was engaged or ‘on-board’. In fact, if you read my race report, you can see this was definitely the case as I started off the first 20 miles of the race in a significantly negative state-of-mind. This is certainly something that needs to be addressed, but for now I will be thankful that somehow my ‘will’ and ‘heart’ was strong enough to pour out a strong effort at this race. A small accounting for the week:
Monday – 9/10/12
PM: Feeling unsettled and unfocused at work but not distracted by the race. I am actually looking forward to putting on the running shoes and having nothing else to do but run. Headed out after work in the late afternoon for a 1 hour run on the flat contour trail. Beautiful run. Felt relatively peppy. 1 hour running. 7 miles running. Minor strength and mobility work as well.
Tuesday – 9/11/12
AM: Filled with purpose, energy, and resolve this morning. Up very early again and out for a 5:00am Signal Peak Summit run. This is my 65th Signal Peak Summit YTD. I love running Signal and being in a good routine. Eating a very clean diet. 1.5 hours running. 10 miles running. Minimal speed work during the descent.
Wednesday – 9/12/12
PM: Long day trying to get accustomed to my new position. The mind finally kicked over to thinking about the race a bit today. After work I went out for a shuffle on contour trail behind the University. 1 hour running. 7 miles running. Body felt flat. Mind coming around a bit. Looking forward to leaving tomorrow.
Thursday – 9/13/12
AM: Woke up fairly early with a good amount of energy. Positive. Took a quick 35 minute run around the Van Tuyl loop. Beautiful morning. 5 miles of running. Psyched to be heading up to Steamboat and spent the rest of the day driving. Beautiful day in Steamboat when we arrived. .5 hours running. 5 miles running.
Friday – 9/14/12
PM: Run Rabbit Run 100 Race Day! See my race report for the full accounting of the race. Woke up at 7:00am for the 1:00pm start. Made a good breakfast of sweet potatoes, eggs, and steak, and washed all this food down with a bit too much coffee. For lunch (late morning snack) I had a small amount of deli meat, more sweet potato, small portions of fruit, and large handfuls of trail mix with macadamia nuts and ginger. Also? More coffee. Headed to the race start and was startled with just how warm it was. Super sluggish for the first 20+ miles, but my body and mind came around. Ended up cranking into the night and began to feel really good around 9:30pm at mile 45. 11 hours of running on the day. 55 miles of running on the day.
Saturday – 9/15/12
AM: Run Rabbit Run 100 Race! See my race report for the full accounting of the race. I was shocked at how alert and positive I was all night long. Generally speaking, I was in the best mood I had been in for weeks! Moved steadily up the ranks from 18th to 15th to 11th to 9th, etc… and all the way up to 5th place. I ended up taking a gnarly wrong turn which cost me 1 hour and 40 minutes, and 1 place! (I dropped from 4th to 5th place overall when studette Lizzy Hawker passed me). I ended up finishing at 11:35am with a time of 22 hours and 36 minutes. (22:36) Good enough for 5th place. Felt very strong for the final 80 miles of the race. (I ended up running 120 miles when it was all said and done!) (Course was long by at least 10 miles and I took that wrong turn which cost me at least 8 miles). 11 hours of running. 65 more miles of running!
Sunday – 9/16/12
AM: Felt surprisingly good in the AM when I woke up. Generally I feel alert, positive, and pleased. Hips and knees faired better than I thought, but there is a slight amount of destruction in those joints. Headed out the door for a 35 minute shuffle run in the mid-morning to keep the running streak alive. I felt so much better when this run was done. Drove back to Gunnison in the afternoon. .5 hours running. 3 miles running. Positive recovery response so far.
Week totals –
27 hours running. 151 miles running. Feeling relatively ‘blah’ all week. In more of a routine.
Generally speaking, this turned into a great race experience. Steamboat had perfect weather and a great vibe. Give this race a shot in the future. As for interesting articles from the week? Here is a good read on the potential perils of junk food and the relationship between metabolic syndrome and physiological brain disorders. The main theme in this article from ‘The Guardian’ highlights the high probability that type-2 diabetes and Alzheimers/Dementia may have a strong association with one-another. The other must read from this week? Bryce Thatcher of UltrAspire highlights one of the greatest-ever metaphors for ultrarunning… coined by none other than the legendary Roch Horton. ‘Spreading the Peanut Butter‘ is an absolute must read. Here’s to consistency and tenacity. Thanks for reading. Live well. Train well. DC