With my first 100 miler only 2 weeks away, I know I'm walking a fine line between cramming in training runs and staying healthy. I felt great after last weekend's 14/30 training runs and considered 40/10-20 this weekend with about 80 miles for the week...thankfully, I revised that over the week.
I took it easy during the week, taking Monday off to let my legs rest and keeping to the Quail Hill trail for just 6 miles on Tuesday. My legs felt tired and I realized that I must make rest a priority. Wednesday was about 11 miles taking the same route I did last week and I felt sluggish and then strong; I was surprised that my average pace was about 30 seconds/mile faster than last week; I guess trail running is getting easier. Thursday was just 8 miles along Bommer Ridge/Willow (Laguna Wilderness park) as I discovered how to connect my typical running route with Aliso Wood park; I'll have to do a long run through those trails soon. Friday was a rest day since battling horrendous traffic left no time to run.
Saturday's plan was for 40 miles but I awoke feeling a little under the weather and I knew it would be sunny and in the low 80s, not exactly the best running weather for a wimp like me. I finally got to my typical parking place around 8:30 am and decided I'd go for 30-40 miles. Fortunately, I ran into a running acquaintance, Bill, who has lots of 100 mile finishes under his belt and has been a good source of information in the past. He's running SD 100 and has also been dealing with injury since Orange Curtain.
We compared running plans and he strongly urged me to keep my run under 35 miles, with 30 being the most he'd recommend so close the race. He said 40 miles so close would be risking injury and not giving my body enough time to recover; the additional 10 miles would not give as much benefit as potential harm. I trusted his advice and revised my running plan...I considered running with him for part but was dealing with my new ankle brace (Aircast 60...doesn't fit me well...no bueno) digging into my leg and didn't want him to wait for me to begin. So we parted ways and I embarked on my second solo 30 miler. This was my last major test of gear and I tried out my new handheld, the Nathan Thermal Quickdraw.
Aside from the pain of the brace digging into my ankle, the miles ticked by quickly and I focused on taking it easy and not running anything uphill. I feel like a wuss walking such "little hills" but I know the cumulative effect of uphills over a long run makes walking the best plan. I did a similar route to last week but ended up trying out some new little trails.
Route ended up being Bommer Ridge to Willow to the parking lot, back up Willow to Laurel to Upper Laurel to Serrano Ridge to where it ends at Quail Trail...turned around and go back along Serrano Ridge down to Little Sycamore to Nix Nature Center (filled handheld) and back up to to Serrano Ridge to Camarillo for about 1.5 miles (that trail ends at Nix and I didn't care to go back there) back up to Serrano to Upper Laurel to Laurel to Bommer to El Moro for a mile down/up and back to car (another fill of handheld) down No Name to where it ends in El Moro parking lot and back up to car....love how I can connect lots of different trails to make the route! Ended with 30 miles in 6 hours of run time...about 6:12 including the two water refill breaks.
Post-run...I typically hate carrying a handheld because of the added weight but I love how I can carry this in a variety of ways and it doesn't bother my hand/arm as much. I felt better during the run as I paid more attention to fueling consistently. My average pace was 12 min/mile, which wasn't bad considering the sun/warmer temps made me hot and sluggish. I know I'm very unprepared for SD 100 but the past two weeks have given me hope of finishing it. My legs felt great today; I just have to figure out what ankle brace to wear as I have a huge bruised area from my new one.
Less than 2 weeks...