AM- 3 miles jog
PM- 17 miles- 2:11:48 (last 2 in 12:30)
This evenings run was one of those incredible ones where when you first start out everything aches and you don't feel like running. You pound a way for a while and start feeling better, and be the time you are finishing up you're flying and feeling absolutely superb. I started out a hair after 5PM with the bright orange sun lowering in the big clear sky. The afternoon's heat was fading with the suns rays and the normal late afternoon breeze was blowing south off the Mediterranean sea 30 miles to my north. I had put in 92 miles in the last 8 days and was feeling it in my plantar fascia, tibia's, calves and hips. I have been trying to build the miles up and am feeling that feeling where you are walking the razor thin line. One has to stress the body for it to improve via adaptation, yet if you don't rest enough for adequate repair you tear yourself down. Training is an art. And ultrarunning training is even more so.
Around my base (a rectangle 1200m x 2000m) I can run a route where I use all the perimeter roads as well as the interior roads much in the way one mows their lawn....sweeping back and forth. I can do this to make a 5.5 miler or a 6 miler. So I decided to run two 5.5 milers with the plan to run quicker in the last few miles. The first loop was kinda ugly, but by the end of it (44 minutes) I felt good and the sun was beautifully setting the sky a blaze of reds and oranges. In the second loop I began to float along and decided that I should put in a 3rd go round and do a 6 mile version to make it an even 17. (Wiser..just for you!) I thought about ultra stud Greg Crowther going after the 50K USATF championships, and Montrail teammate Patrick Russell hopping to get in a LONG run in the snowy midwest, and about my ICXC teammate Andy doing a 17 miler on a treadmill in cold Ithaca, NY.
After 1:28 I began the third go round and was dazzled by the BIG full moon rising. Great skies here in the desert if nothing else! The temps were dropping but my steady run kept me comfortable in shorts and T-shirt once I tucked the shirt in. Midway through the run I began to think about my goal of running the Vermont 100 well and really fired it up. With two miles to go my feet became the peddles on a Lance Armstrong powered bike in the TDF time trial. They were absolutely spinning. It was as if I was not even moving them and I shredded the pavement down the main strip of base, running past the dining hall, gym, and battalion headquarters. Having pushed on through the 2 hour mark without a single pause to stop/walk/stretch/eat anything/or even drink a sip of water my body was just a roaring using accessory muscles to propel me on. Training the fat mobilization system in runs of this length is very beneficial for ultradistance running and I remembered cranking out a number of these type runs when I lived in Charlottesville, VA and attended UVA. Man I have not felt like this in a run in years. A glimpse of the old me for sure. All I could think was....
100 sub 9:00 miles on July 21st