Since this was last Black Saturday before Coyote I thought it would be good to have my toes in the game. Black paint with skulls and crossbones were in order. Trisha and I spent an afternoon soaking our feet, having them scrubbed, trimmed and painted. Trisha drew up a lovely skull and the pedicurist copied it perfectly. Later that night I was walking around at home and completely forgot about my tough looking artwork when Bill looked down and said, "What on earth is on your toes"? Oh, that's for Black Saturday I said with complete casualness. He replied with only an "Oh my, then I guess you better get rested up"! Right after Alex pipes up to let me know that if I was volunteering for the Valentines Party that I could not come to school with black toes. That is against the dress code for sure! I am not sure what kind of example I set when I told him I would be sure to wear shoes.
We never do 3 repeats on Black Saturday. Why? Because it's really hard! About 2 years ago while training for WS100M I inquired about triples during my consult with Scott. He said he only recommends 3 if you are a very top athlete and going for a win and even then he doesn't recommend it often. I said I wanted to try it. During the early months when the repeats were less than 40 minutes per ascent he put 3X30 on my schedule. Determined to make it happen I set out for a BS, dug deep and had 2 super 30 minute ascents. We tore down the technical trail in the gorge, turned and headed up for #3. I was sure I was going to prove to him I could do it. Well.......the brick wall came after about 15 minutes of the 3rd ascent. My legs were done, zip, zap, dead...nothing left. That was my last time at attempting 3. Since we are limited by snow and won't be doing anything above 30 minutes right now Scott put 3 in again. I was pumped to give it another whirl. Since we are normally at the 45-60 minutes of ascent on each repeat at this phase before a race we needed a good 90 minutes at threshold on an incline. Hamilton Mountain was going to be are destination but it snowed this week so we had to do them on Saltzman Road. Not nearly as steep as anything in the gorge but certainly not easy. We all set out for 3X30 minutes. We were joined by folks from Trailfactor and it was awesome to have more athletes pushing up the hill. They showed up in all black ready to kick some butt. If you haven't checked it out go to Trailfactor and see what they do. They do a lot of group runs on some awesome trails. Shawn and Jesse are great people and great runners too. I hope they come out again. Their group runs are open to all levels and sound super fun. Today their fast pace helped keep us focused and on our game.
This is a peak week for me and I happy to say the 3X30 minutes went way better than I expected. Everyone was on today. When I can be this close to a taper and finish out a peak week with strength I know everything is coming together. It tells me my body is adapting to the heavy workloads, recovery quickly and not fatigueing out. I hope I got all that fatigue out of my system a couple of weeks ago and stay strong. Now that I have conquered the triple repeat I have to go back to the gorge and try it again. I actually know I can do it now! To finish off this peak week we are running 5 hours in Forest Park tomorrow. I think we will do a couple of different loops to get the full time needed and that will make it easy to fuel.
In other news I won ORRC Female Runner of The Year award. They had a banquet on Thursday night to give out all the 2008 awards. I was really surprised to have won because I didn't run that many races last year. The award is performance based and I finished well in the races I did do so that scored me a lot of points. I got a neat plaque for a prize and it was really cool.