PM: 7 miles easy at Pineridge, last two with Dana/Alistair (on his bike).
Tues - Noon: 5 miles easy (1,000'). Super easy again. Falls loop.
PM - 6.5 miles (1,200'). Super easy again with FCTR group.
Weds - Noon: 9 miles (2,300'). Horsetooth/Audra long route. Easy again. Felt a bit of pep.
Thurs - Noon: 5 miles easy (1,000'). Falls loop.
PM: 9.5 miles (1,800). Towers Road handicap. 2.5 miles to Soderburg TH, then hard effort on Towers. Up in a surprisingly easy PR and new FKT (29:27). Legs definitely felt fresher than they have in a while after a couple of very easy days. That combined with the fact that I had Eric pushing me from the start, I was able to maintain a consistently strong effort up the hill. Eric PR'd, going under 30 mins and the old FKT, ten seconds back on me. Still didn't feel like I was in overdrive, so starting to think that 28:xx, maybe even 27-high, is in the cards this summer once I drop the mileage post WS100 and focus on quality Pikes training.
Fri - Noon: 9 miles (2,300'). Horsetooth/Audra long route. Easy, easy.
Sat - 25.5 miles (8,200'). Crosier Triple Bagger with Mike. An out and back from each of three trailheads to the top of Crosier Mountain (9,250'). Went at a moderate yet steady effort the whole way on this one. Climbs go: 3150', 2500', 2200', over 5, 3.8, and 4 mile legs respectively. Half mile, 500' summit grunts in 9:08, 7:57, 7:30.
Not that I really need a watch to give me a visual representation of what I've just run, but strangely satisfying to look at.
Sun - 18.5 miles (1,000'). From home, 14 miles to Laporte via 38e/Centennial/Foothills trail/Laporte Ave/Overland, then hooked in to the Fort Collins Marathon on the bike paths at the 21.5-mile point. Stopped at the 23-mile point to chat with Bryan and Dan Goding, who were out watching on their bikes, then ran with Sam Malmberg for a bit before stopping again to chat with Brooks Williams who was waiting for his Dad to come by. Saw Pete coming soon after, so jumped back in and ran the last three miles at 6:40 trying to keep a clear path for him through the half marathoners. I counted 50+ in the last mile alone, which is not an ideal set-up for front-running marathoners by any stretch of the imagination. Pete cruised to a huge PR, finishing 13th, right on his 2:54 goal and chopping exactly an hour off his time from two years ago. Solid.
Pete bringing it. Photo: Mike Hinterberg
Ran with Alistair in the kids race, followed by lunch and a stroll with Dana and Alistair in town, then out for a three-hour hike at Horsetooth with Alistair, Chad & Isaac. Fun day.
Total: 102 miles (19,600').
So this was a good week. Turned a bit of a corner on Tuesday after indulging a bit here about feeling tired. Took Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday super easy, and by Thursday felt rested enough for a hard effort up Towers, where I shaved a chunk of time from my PR. Easy on Friday, then a big day of climbing and descending at a comfortable pace on Saturday, followed by a beautiful Sunday morning running the reservoir roads into the very north end of town, hopping in on a little marathon action, running with my son, celebrating Mother's Day with the family at the Stonehouse, and then giving Mom the afternoon off with a long hike up to Horsetooth.
It didn't feel like I was pushing the miles at all this week. I was planning a big weekend, so took that as an opportunity to rest midweek. Feeling a little sore in a few spots today - but in a good way - so will go easy again through the week, I think, and then run hard on Friday and hopefully do something long on Saturday or Sunday. We'll see. Anyway, four more weeks to iron out the fitness before the heavy lifting is done, and then 20 taper days to make sure the hay in the barn is dry enough to eat (mixing my metaphors, and stealing a line from AJW).
So while I was much more relaxed about volume this week, I would be a liar if I said I wasn't targeting 100 miles. If nothing else, it represents my tenth straight week in triple-digit land. Obviously the fixation with banging out 100-mile weeks is as much psychological as it is anything else, but then racing 100 miles is probably as much mental as it is physical, so the confidence factor is huge. On that note, I'd say that right now I'm feeling as physically and mentally tough as I have throughout this whole process, so I'm hoping that I can ride these last few weeks out and bring it all with me come race day - all while trying to keep the rest of life's challenges and duties (which get short shrift on this blog) in some kind of balance.