My virtual pacer/coach/moral support, John Logar asked me today if I had blogged recently, and clearly I have not. So as I sit here eating my peanut butter on whole wheat (yummm), I'm trying to put some thoughts together. Work has been crazy and my better half has been out of town on business a lot recently, so in addition to work and training, I've had to minister to our dogs as well. It renews my respect for single parents. Hey, our dogs are like our kids, right?
Last week was a cycle down week, for which I was grateful. The previous week I did 24/10 back-to-back, and even though I felt strong both days, I was ready for some much needed recovery time. I've become a believer in the recoveries, unlike during my marathon training when I pretty much just keep going. Maybe recovery weeks are helpful for marathons too. Ya think?
This week is scheduled to be a high mileage week, with a 31 miler on the weekend. I have to tweak that a little, because we are all going to be in Pittsburgh for my daughter Hillary's graduation from Pitt Law. I cannot believe it's been 3 years. She's such a great kid, and I know she's chomping at the bit to get on with her career. At any rate, back to the tweaking of the schedule. I'm doing the 31 miler on Monday and then another 24/10 back-to-back the following weekend. That's going to total 81 for the week, but only because I'm doing that 31 on Monday and not Saturday or Sunday. It's all time on our feet anyway.
We have had a lot of rain the past week and a half, or so. Last weekend the trails in Otter Creek were full of water again. It was like running in a stream in many places. My concern now is being able to get across Otter Creek itself. On any runs longer than 20, I have to cross OC three times. The first crossing is fairly benign, but the next two are scary, potentially (or maybe actually) dangerous when the water is high. Plan B is to make the first crossing and then run up Possession Camp Trail to the Eastern ridge of the Otter Creek Wilderness, then back down the Green Mountain Trail and pick up the main Otter Creek Trail, all of which are on the East side of Otter Creek (thereby passing the 2nd and 3rd fords). Two benefits to the new route: 1. from a safety standpoint, I don't have to risk dicey river crossings; and 2. from a mental health standpoint, I'll see some new country. I'm getting really stale running the same trails every weekend.
Last Sunday I was wrapping up my 10 miler and saw another trail runner. Doug Williams is from Elkins and he and I used to run a together lot. Back in the early '80's we used to talk about doing the Western States 100, but neither of us ever got there. We've done marathons and many shorter races together. Doug is a great runner and my claim to fame was beating him out in the last half mile of the Marine Corps Marathon one year. That happend only once, and will probably never happen again. We ran the last 3 or 4 miles together, back to the trail head. It was really good talking with him. Even though Elkins is a very small town, our paths never seem to cross. Doug was the Women's Cross Country coach at Davis & Elkins College, and he coached Logar's wife, Jodie (Park) Logar. Jodie is a very talented runner in her own right. I believe I made reference to her in one of my earlier blogs.
I talked with my Wasatch buddy, Mark Robbins, yesterday. He turned me on to some new nutrition that looks very interesting. Check out First Endurance's website. Their product (EFS Liquid Shot) makes a lot of sense. No geling agents, so it gets into the bloodstream much faster. Designed for & by endurance athletes to be nutritionally balanced with carbs, amino acids, lytes, etc. It's a little pricey, about $6 a pop, but 400 cals and you can mix it into your water bottles and use it over time, which I suppose effectively reduces the price per serving. Mark is doing well in the early stages of his training for the Wasatch 100. He says they still can't get into the high country, but the snow is beginning to go. Salt Lake must be a pretty neat town. Big running/biking community, and you can just step out your door and hit any number of awsome trails.
My training is going well. I'm feeling stronger with faster recovery from my long runs. I'm doing hard climb repeats once a week, and although I sometimes feel like I'm gonna blow a lung, it's really been helpful. I still won't let myself walk on those steep climbs. My weight seems to have settled in between 155 and 157. I know everyone thinks I'm too thin, but I feel strong and eat like a horse. My BMI remains in the normal range. Adam Cassseday says climbs are like hidden speedwork. I don't like speedwork, but I think Adam is right. Wish Adam luck this weekend. He's running Massanutten Mountain 100 on Saturday. Adam is another of my "moral support team." I need all the help I can get, but I am beginning to feel better about myself, and most of the time I seem to be gaining confidence.
To everyone out there who offers me advice, provides support, and otherwise is helpful, I want to say a monster "Thank You!"
Oh, by the way: I have manged 8 days of trail runs with only one fall. Knock on wood!!! Maybe I'm beginning to get the hang of this.