Mon - noon: 7.5 miles (1,900') easy. Horsetooth South Summit with the Wesir. First south summit in a while. Down via Slush's Slit.
Tues - PM: 5 miles (1,000') easy. Falls loop.
Weds - Noon: 5 miles (1,000') easy. Falls loop.
Thurs - PM: 3 miles (700') easy. Mini Falls loop from the parking lot.
Fri - Noon: 3.5 miles (700') easy. Last miles of Lake Sonoma out and back with Burch, Yassine, Jake, Bill, Todd and Cassie. Good to see the last couple of miles of the course to refresh the memory, and hilariously comical to watch Yassine leap over a rattler and hear Cassie scream full force and stop dead in her tracks. I would see (and jump over) another, smaller version the next day on the race course.
Sat - 50.5 miles (10,000') race. Lake Sonoma 50 (6:53, 10th). Race report coming, but kind of blah race, if I'm honest. Legs flat all day.
Sun - AM: 11.5 miles easy with Jake. Same loop as I did after last year's Lake Sonoma with Meghan and Thornley on super scenic rolling roads: vineyards and quaint bridges galore. Kinda creaky to get going and heavy legs for all of the run, but opened up a bit as we found our stride.
Total: 86 miles (15,300')
I was really hoping to run something in the 6:45 range or better at Sonoma, but ended up finding myself in damage-control mode from about mile 20 onwards after a start that was simply too aggressive on a set of pins that felt weirdly off and leaden. Nonetheless, you take the lessons learned (run within yourself early) and move on. Hopefully, I'll get a race report up for Sonoma in the next day or two. Kind of wishing I'd not taken things so easy in the days leading up, as I think the one-week taper thing does more damage than good - I should know better. My general rule of thumb on the taper is that the legs will feel awful the first week, regain some pop on the second week and feel awesome and ready to deliver after the third week. So for me it has to be all (three weeks) or nothing, I guess.
Week Ending April 28
Mon - Off
Tues - 5 miles (1,500') easy. Horsetooth north summit in full-on winter conditions, ski goggles and everything. A burly wind on top and even the start of a cornice with all the driving snow. Complete sock-in and easily the harshest conditions I've faced up there all winter ... er ... spring.
Thurs - 8 miles (2,200') easy. Falls loop, then Horsetooth north summit. Up with a handful of folks from the FCTR crew. Came down postholing via Audra and took a full on superman fall trying to shortcut in front of Wesir as we stomped the descent. Fun times.
Fri - 10 miles (2,700') slogging. Horsetooth north summit (49) with Wesir, then slogging on Westridge & Spring Creek through still virgin snow to mark a section of the Horsetooth Marathon course. Several days of thaw and freeze had put a couple of really nasty crust layers in the snow, which made for some pretty painful tracks. Almost reneged on my Grim Reaper promise, but Brian guilted me into making the turn for the extra 200' of vertical - an unnecessary in-the-neighborhood turn that I haven't missed since the start of this year's 100-mile cycle.
Sat - 5 miles (1,100') easy. Snuck in a quick 5 on crunchy trails on the Falls loop before Dana took off out of town for the weekend.
Sun - 28 miles (2,500') race. Horsetooth Trail Marathon (2:58, 1st). Decided last minute to jump in on this one for a variety of different reasons, but mainly because I love the Horsetooth Half event and thought it would be cool to celebrate the 40th anniversary by running the inaugural full marathon, which essentially goes from my house to the New Belgium brewery via Horsetooth Mountain. I mean, c'mon. Descending Towers (miles 5-8) my legs were feeling like they did at mile 30 in Lake Sonoma the weekend previously. Needless to say, the final 18 miles were a lesson in slog'baggery.
Total: 61 miles (11,500')
Two weeks then with relatively low mileage and two longer races. Neither race did much to inspire confidence in my overall fitness and durability, but by the same token, the Sonoma race suggests that I'm in similar shape to last year when I felt like I peaked in May, rather than in June for Western States as intended. So with that said, I feel like I am in a decent place with regards to Western States and the Grand Slam, especially if I can get a really solid block of training taken care of in May.
In other news, registration for the sixth annual Bluesky Marathon (Oct 6) and the (new) Black Squirrel Half (Aug 31) have opened up for those interested in a couple of really fun local trail races later in the summer/early fall. Registration discounts are available for those who sign up for both through the Black & Blue Double option. And while Quad Rock is officially sold out, we have had emails from runners that can't make it and are looking to transfer entries, so if you're looking for a late entry into either the 25 mile or 50 mile race then sign up for the wait list and we'll get you transferred over to the start list.