On Saturday, I ran 10 miles, really feeling some fatigue and achiness in my legs. On Sunday, my legs felt good through 10 miles and then kind of went into the tank during the last 7. I added on 4 more that night for a 21-mile Sunday. All weekend my energy level wasn't at its normal level; I was tired.
I have a new level of respect for the elite guys and gals who can churn out quality race after quality race, recovering inbetween each effort. I don't know if the years are catching up to me or if I'm in some of kind of funk, but I haven't felt good in a few weeks and, more than a few times, I've even felt the 6,000+ feet of altitude here in Parker. My suspicion is that allergies are plaguing me. With the Cheyenne Mountain 50K this Saturday, my goal is to just get in a quality training run and not try to be my own little hero. At any rate, I still have four months before the Leadville 100, so I'm going to try to exercise some patience.
Totals for the week:
- 58.4 miles running (recovery week)
- 7 hours, 46 minutes
- 7 total runs
- Stretching, yoga exercises, core strengthening.
My goal this week is to get in 90 miles including 31 at Saturday's 50K, but if I'm still feeling trashed late in the week I'll take a day off and cross-train. I need to feel solid on Saturday so that my confidence is in good shape going into the Jemez 50-Mile on 5/21. Here's the course profile for Jemez, followed by some commentary (click here for a larger profile):
So, yeah, let's just get the obvious out in the open--Jemez is a freaking monster!
Miles ~1-4: The opening section looks very manageable and is run under 7,500 feet.
Miles ~5-9: A nice "little" 1,750-foot climb up to Gauge Ridge at about mile 7.5, topping out at just under 9,000 feet, and then a steep ~600-foot drop. Steep descents are a signature attribute of the Jemez course.
Miles ~10-14: I'll be climbing from 8,000 to 10,500, which I hear is a bee-line (as in, no switchbacks) up Caballo Mountain. From the top, it's a nice, steep 1,750-foot drop.
Miles ~15-20: All things considered, this section doesn't look too bad unless you consider a short, steep climb of 1,000 feet followed by a ~5-mile downhill section brutal. It's in this section that 50-mile runners can drop down to the 50K distance. Temptation....
Miles ~21-30: Significant climb up to Cerro Grande, starting at ~8,500 feet and topping out at about 10,250 feet. It's downhill for the next 6 or so miles, dropping about 2,250 feet. I'm sure my quads are going to be loving it!
Miles ~30-36: This is the section that I've heard is brutal. With 30 punishing miles on your legs, you're climbing about 3,000 vertical feet--a beeline ascent--up Pajarito Mountain over a distance of about 6 miles. This climb, from what I hear, is ridiculous but scenic.
Miles ~36-40: Ah, we're at the top of Pajarito! A few more "little" climbs totaling about 600 feet of vertical and then it's all downhill from here, baby!
Miles ~40-finish: A 10-mile downhill run that drops 2,500 feet--from ~9,800 feet to 7,200~.
Add it all up and you have about 25,000 feet of combined climb and descent. The good news is that aid stations are plentiful. Jemez is going to make for an interesting day, indeed. If I finish in under 11 hours I'll be happy. For comparison's sake, the winning time will be around 8.5-9 hours. For me, this will be valuable time on my feet and an introduction--merely an introduction--to the Hardrock Hundred, which I dream of doing one day.
Hill repeats are going to be a big focus over the next 4 weeks.
Over the weekend we saw "127 Hours," the film about Aron Ralston, who had to cut his own arm off to free himself from a rock in Moab back in 2003. You know the story. This was a good film. If you haven't seen it, what's stopping you?
Challenge Yourself. Go Long. Push Your Limits. Discover Your Inner Champion.