Go Big or Go Home

Gray's summit
These past few weeks have been a major test to see if I could really string together some solid training, but also to see if I could push my training a bit more as I've never been a high mileage runner, at least compared to other ultra runners. But if I want to PR Leadville I needed to do more than what I had been. So far the past few weeks I've been hovering in the 68-80 mpw which is typically what I hit once maybe twice before a 100. Knowing this was Never Summer week and I would likely miss 2.5 days of running I had to go big early in the week. So I took some time off work and got to training. 

I kicked off the week with a run up Grays. I had planned to do both Grays and Torrey's but the weather was turning and with parking near the bottom I was already at an 11 mile run. I didn't feel the altitude at all until 13,900' so I took that as a good sign. I held a steady pace and ran nearly every step of the climb. Of course I paid for this effort and was pretty sore for the next several days. With the weather still not improving it meant a Hope double was out of the picture. I was pretty bummed about it, but since I didn't have time to dwell I quickly came up with the next best plan...a Staunton marathon. It wasn't quite as high in elevation as I would have liked but the vert was there. My legs felt like rubber pushing through that run, but I guess that will help make up for the lack of really long days in my training. I was still happy I managed to keep a fairly decent pace despite the tired legs. Thursday and Friday I went a bit shorter and easier to let the legs recover. And for as sore as they were I was surprised how quickly they did actually recover. By Saturday I really didn't feel sore at all. Hopefully this is a good sign that my legs are really ready for this adventure. My mileage was a bit shorter than I had hoped but with essentially 2 days off running there wasn't much I could do about that. And I still had over 15k in vert so I'd say that makes up for it. 
Staunton marathon

Last week then was my last big week. Back to work meant getting creative about getting in the miles. It wasn't easy and the house is pretty much a disaster at this point, but I did it 80.5 miles and 337ish miles and over 57k in vert for the month! That's almost 100 miles more than any other training month! Well regardless of what happens in a few weeks I gave it my all! 

I had really been hoping that Friday I would be able to get to Hope for that double, but with family responsibilities and iffy weather it just wasn't happening. So I went back to Kenosha to at least run at altitude and finally get up Georgia Pass. For whatever reason this run has been my nemesis and I've been determined to get up that thing. And so I did...and with a 2 hour PR! I ran my ass off on that run. Sure it meant less time on feet, but this run was more about getting me mentally ready for Leadville and finally getting Georgia and with a big PR my confidence has just gone up a notch or two which is at least as important as having an all day run. And with that ends the big training. I have one more normal week of running and then its taper time. All I can do now is take care of myself and get ready for the big dance. What's done is done and all these runs are just to stay healthy and fit, the training is done. 

In other news this happened this weekend...

will walk for grilled zucchini...

charging Staunton

waiting to pace Dan at Never Summer...meanwhile he was chasing away bears...

Seattle running

Dude...no you cannot start school yet...

sunset at Never Summer

Georgia Pass 
Gray's approach


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