When I ran Western 3 years ago, I decided to train big in May and run 500 miles. So I did. I was super-fit and felt great. I had a crappy WS. Oh well, that's life.
This year, after my earlier season faster training stuff for Boston, I definitely felt quicker than normal, but didn't have the quality trail miles needed for Western. So I once again thought about running 500 miles in May. Then I looked at a calendar and thought, hm, April 27 - May 31, 5 weeks, 35 days...why not just up 2005 a bit and go for 600 miles in 5 weeks? Sounded good to me. So exactly 6 days after Boston, my WS training began.
April 27 - May 2
That first week culminated with Miwok. I ran 88 miles from Sun - Thurs, took Friday off, then had a respectable Miwok. Total miles: 150. More than on-track.
May 3 - May 9
Although I had just taken Friday off, I had just run 62 miles the day before, and was making the long drive home from the Bay, so I took Sunday off. This was also the week that Sascha and I enjoyed our Ochoco Adventure. I ran decent on tired legs that week, coming in at 99 miles. I just couldn't bring it the last day for one more mile to hit 100.
May 10 - 17
I planned on racing Silver State 50 miler on the 17th, and like Miwok, wanted to go into it on tired legs with no taper. For the 3rd Tuesday in a row, dawn-patrol and Smith with Chris, Bronco, and Krissy was a fun, tough, 3-hour jaunt. I also threw in a solid 1:54 tempo on the river trail. I headed to Reno on Friday and decided to take that day off since I had 178 miles logged for the previous 11 days (79 that week leading into the race). SS turned out to be exactly what I wanted: hot, tough, hot, rugged, hot, hilly, and hot. I ran with Mike Wolfe the first couple of miles, traded places with Erik Skaden through mile 15, then alone the last 35. Although I'm not an expert, I really noticed my downhilling was pretty darn good there, thanks in large part to running at Smith. The 6 mile, 3,600' climb hit me hard, taking 1:40 and running out of water with 2 miles to go. But I rebounded back, and finished happily (and very tired) in 8:23 for 3rd. Another solid run. Weekly miles: 130. Three week mileage: 379.
May 18 - 24
Sascha was going crazy on Sunday, the day after SS, so she definitely needed some trail time. We ran up Black Butte, but on the way down, unbeknownst to me, she decided to stay on top. I found this out at the car, so I refilled my bottle and headed back up. About half way, I saw her heading down. That easy recovery day turned in about 650' more vertical than planned. A couple more easy days, and even a bail on dawn patrol at Smith (my calf had a nice knot in it from SS), then I was feeling good again. I ran a short tempo on Wed night, then the river trail 17 again on Thurs. This time, a new Fleet Feet record: 1:53:09 (yes, it has since been broken). Then Saturday, I went big. 38 miles with 9,000' vertical at Smith. I used Vespa for the first time, and was definitely skeptical. But after one of my best long, hard training runs in a long time, I was intrigued. I felt great - especially for only one week post-SS. I think I'm getting fit. Weekly miles: 115. Four week mileage: 494.
May 25 - 31
Okay, now you're probably saying "Sheesh, he only has to run 106 miles that last week...piece o' cake." Me too. Soooooo, I decided to up the ante. Let's see, 600 miles, that's pretty close to 1000 km, which is 622 miles. Okay, new goal: 1000 km for the 5 weeks. So that meant 128 miles the last week.
After my 38 at Smith on Saturday that ended the previous week, I wanted a faster, flatter 20 on Sunday. So I did just that with Chris and Darla. They're about to run their first 100, Kettle Moraine, on June 7, and they are definitely not slow right now. After a mellow warm-up, Chris dusted Darla and me, then Darla started putting the hurt on me, too (and we all thought she was so sweet and innocent). A good, fastish 20 - perfect. In anticipation on 2 more biggies on Tues and Wed, I took Monday off. Tuesday was a recon run at Pine Mountain. I had a blast exploring Pine and ended with 26 rainy miles for the day, with 3 good tempo miles at the end. (I was so impressed with Pine Mountain that I am now filling out an application for the first annual Pine Mtn. Hill Climb 11ish miler, hopefully set for this Sept. - stay tuned!) Wedneday was a big day around Sisters; the full 60 km Rumble course plus some bonus miles for 44. Luckily Fatboy joined me for the first 27, and Sascha ran the last 17 with me. It was a good run, and it left me with 128 miles in the previous 5 days (4 days running, 1 day off). I was tired and hungry.
Thursday I ran around Kiwa Butte with Rod for a little recon for Fleet Feet's next Trail Bandit Series Run. After a painstakingly slow 9 miles of snow slogging, I pepped up on the nice gravel road and we ran 5:30 for the last 2 miles. Sweet! Friday was a nice cruiser run to get me ready for the final day of my 5 weeks. I had planned on the River Trail 17 miler until Bronco called me on Friday night with a proposition of a Smith night run on Saturday. Ooooo, sounds good to me. So Sascha and I just ran an easy 5 in the morning, then headed out to the farm that night for a good run with Jeff and Mabelle. We started out easy, then cruised up Grey Butte at a good pace. That was my first time up there at night and it was beautiful! A couple hours and 3,500' vertical later, we were done with an awesome run. And so was I. Total weekly mileage: 131.
31 days of running
4 days off
Total distance: 625 miles (1005 km)
This was definitely a very good 5 week training period for me. I'm feeling fit, tired, and very hungry. And maybe most important, not injured. This week will be a nice rest week, 3 days off, and 3 days of shorter, faster stuff. This Sunday is the Dirty Half, always a fun, fastish trail 1/2 marathon. Next week will be one more longish week (100 - 110ish), which will include another 38 miler with 9,000' vertical at Smith, plus some other faster stuff.
Man, I hope this all gets me ready for June 28.