Sunday, June 10, 2007

Work is done.....time to taper!

This last week of training is the end off all my hard workouts in preparation for not only WS100 but VT100, Leadville 100 and Wasatch 100. I guess I didn't realize, until now, that I won't be doing any big quality training preparation after today. Of course there will be other kinds of meticulous preparations, pace charts, fuel plans, recovery strategies, mental visualization, crew meetings and all sorts of detail stuff but no more long hard workouts.

I was running around the track on Tuesday and after the second 1000 meter sprint I realized that I was doing my last track workout for the rest of 2007. I really put effort into the final three 1000's knowing it would be the last time I would wear my red hot track shoes. Driving home from the track a bunch of emotions started to flood in as I revisited all my training. Thoughts like.....did I give it my best I in better's over....after this weekend you might not be in the Gorge again this year. With all that I vowed to give Saturday BS (Black Saturday) effort 100%.

My last BS with the gang was a solid effort and I felt good about it. I wish I could have set some new records but most likely at this point in the training cycle you aren't going to see those kinds of results. My repeats were almost the exact time as my last ones so that is considered great as I head into the taper. It was interesting to ponder the fact that those were my last repeats for the 2007! Where does the time go? It wasn't that long ago when Micheal showed up at Herman Creek and announced, "100 days until WS"! We had a fun group on Saturday and one new BS runner, Kris who is a fire fighter and one good athlete. She is doing her first ultras in 2007 after lots of triathlons and other adventures. Jim, Micheal, Cian, Stacey, Kris and Zoe(the beautiful weim.) all headed to the PCT for our usual repeats. I had 2X40-50min which gets me to the second clearing. Micheal and Cian can make it to Tea Kettle springs in that time so that was their destination. Kris has the same great taste in dogs. Zoe is a sweet dog and loves to run just as much as ultra. I think Zoe did at least 20 repeats chasing all of us up and down the PCT. We all had a great day and we missed the rain!

I knew I had another big day on Sunday so I went right home and started the repair process with an ice bath, a ton of food and a movie. Alex had a bunch of kids over so the noise level was amazing but I was able to hear about 70% of my movie :). I felt pretty achy and attributed that to being sick and sort of run down after Rogue River. The sauna torture can also make you a bit dehydrated if you aren't careful to replace all the lost fluid. I have been trying to be diligent about drinking but I have to admit I not a huge water drinker. As the day progressed I started to get a bit down about how I felt physically and wished I felt less stiff and tired. Then to top it off I was sitting in the office talking with Bill and a large and I mean large book fell from the top shelf and hit me right on the head. It knocked me out my chair and onto the floor. I immediately started crying because the pain was so bad. I had no idea what had hit me but my face and head hurt so bad on my right side I was dizzy. Bill was desperately trying to look at my head and help. Once I got myself together he says, "I haven't ever seen you cry like that are you sure you're okay"? I have a huge knot on my head and had to take Advil just to sleep. Just what I needed.....a good knock on the head...not really....I'm not sure it knocked any sense in me at all but it hurt like crazy and took my mind off all my other aches and pains :)

On the Sunday run I wanted to wear my WS clothes, tape my feet, wear my WS shoes and carry all the stuff I would need before I see my crew for the first time. Sort of gear test drive. For the first time ever I am going to use RaceReady shorts, the ones with all the pockets on the back. While I love the concept and they work great they fit terrible. Way too much material for my body size, too high wasted, the splits flap open and show the lining, the non-split version look like capri shorts on someone my height. With all that complaining I am still going to wear them! I am sure I will have some good chafing from all the extra material. Jim, Stacey, Micheal and I met on Sunday at Angels Rest for 27 miles in under 5 hours. We planned to go up quad buster hill, then down, then up Angels Rest and all over the trails back behind then finish our run with one last descent down quad buster hill. That's two sessions down quad buster hill. If the quads can take that then we are ready for WS! I felt better than I expected given my physical state on Saturday night. My head still hurt at bit but not enough to give me any excuses for being slow. Once we reached to top of 5 mile hill we ran into Beast who was muling around the area and he took a few pictures.

I wanted this last big run to emulate some of the running I will be doing at WS so I could experiment with paces, running form, fueling as if I was in the middle to the race. What that means is I didn't bust down quad buster hill but instead ran it steady and focused. I wanted to know how fast I could run downhill for 5 miles without really propelling. When we climbed up Angels Rest which almost exactly the distance and grade of Devils Thumb I took it steady and relaxed vs. my normal push. I know I won't be running up Devils Thumb at all, probably not one step but normally I can run most of Angels Rest. On our way back from Larch Mountain up to Devils Rest I was thinking of the steady climb to Michigan Bluff and try to think about how I will feel there and what I might want to do on that climb. For the last descent to the car on quad buster hill I was pretty pooped and giggled about how normally this is a sub 7 minute descent but when your tired it's more like a 8 min. descent and some sections slower. That is exactly what it like heading into Eldorado Creek. The terrain calls for a fast gliding descent but when your tired it's not as much of a glide ad you wish. Those were all my thoughts and final running preparation for WS100 07! I feel like I am ready.

I had the pleasure of doing all my WS100 training with Jim and Micheal who are also running WS this year. It was so much fun to run with guys which is much different than running with the girls. They don't talk much and they never complain or whine. They don't announce when they need to use the bushes, they just go and then catch up. They don't make any excuses for having an off day, they just say, "I am having an off day". They aren't overly positive and they say what they think. They also have a great sense of humor. They are very tough and can really handle pain well. That is an area I need to work on so it was fun to see them tough things out during their training each week as they got stronger and stronger. I have never had so much fun training before! Thanks guys! Since we are all going to be towing the line in Squaw it will be comforting and motivating to know my running partners are out there somewhere kicking butt. When I am having an ultra moment I will know they are pulling for me and I for them.
Now it's time to taper!


olga said...

I like RaceReady shorts for the pockets and made peace with the rest of their stuff.
You are ready! All of you:) Sorry about a head bump, hope it goes away with no trace. You are going to do awesome there, OR rocks WS! Wish you the best, taper up, and kick some major butt!

caroline said...

You are as ready as anyone could be! You are in AWESOME shape physically and mentally. The taper will give you the rest you need and leave you itching to hit the race course. You're going to fly on race day!

skokesh said...

Boy this training has gone fast!
(Easy for me to say, huh?) You
have done so well and you have been
very diligent in following your training schedule. The hard prep work is over, now it is time to race hard, enjoy it, and be smart.
Don't forget about recovery days.
(Remember your blog post from May 20th RE:recovery).
You are going to do so great in your big "slam" summer and I am
so very proud of you.

The big Boston poster in my office says:
"sweat, pain & exhaustion are all
temporary--but finishing is forever".

Remember that. Smile!!
Susan Kokesh

caroline said...

Ronda, I forgot to did the tape hold up on Sunday? What did you tape, exactly, and how did you tape it? The reason I ask is that the two times I've tried pre-taping, it has come loose after about 15-20 miles. Both times I tried to tape the balls of my feet using tincture of benzoin with elastikon tape over it. I think there was too much friction between the tape and my sock and that pulled it loose. Or was it just operator error? :-) Obviously, I need to experiment with it more.

Darin Swanson said...

I am bummed I missed all the Black Saturdays...where does the time go!
Taper well...I just hope I can keep up to pace at WS :-)

Greg Pressler said...

Ronda, you're ready.

If you weren't harboring any doubts, what fun would it be? How much fun would it be to know exactly what each race (or training run, or day, or year) holds for you? Many people wish for a crystal ball, but it are the unknowns in life that make this journey interesting...right?

Am I in good shape? Did I put in enough miles? Did I run enough hills? Have I heat trained enough to handle the torture? These are all the questions you should have going into a buffet line that's as immense as the GRAND FREAKING SLAM. It's the ultimate smorgasbord of ultrarunning! Fill up, but don't forget to taste a little bit of each of the dishes. The variety is bound to leave you extremely satisfied.

And trust me, you're not alone with your questions and concerns!

Ronda, you're ready. Cockadoodle do it.