Ahhh the refreshing sight of seeing my name on a list. Could it really be this simple. Uhh, yes! When even local 50K's are closing in less than a day it becomes even more special to have the opportunity. At least that's how I see it. Bill signed me up for Chuckanut 50K while I was out on the trail dreaming about it, worried, and hopeful it would all work out. It did and I am excited. With Surf City just 3 weeks away I have some good training in my legs to start the ultra season.
Scott challenged me to raise my VDOT numbers one more to 48. That's 3 moves upward since mid October. In the Daniel's world that's a fairly aggressive upswing. Since I generally top out at 49 I am curious if I can push it to 50 by peak training for my first 100M of the year (Bighorn). This weekend Sarah, Cheri and I are running Cascade 1/2 Marathon. I am hoping for a 7:15 pace on this course. The weather looks good, rain and 50 degrees. Not the usual 25-30 degrees. I am nervous! I can't even believe I am admitting it but it's true. A measly 1/2 marathon is keeping me up at night (not really..I sleep like the dead). I have to attribute the nerves to self inflicted expectations. It doesn't help the Sean says he expects a PR and Micheal throws out paces I have never run but I am thankful for the vote of confidence. I can guarantee I won't leave anything on the road and I won't have anything left in my legs when I am done. However Scott did suggest, in his very nice way, that I leave it all on the course then run an extra 4-5 miles to make it a long run. Yeah, spoken like a true ultra runner. I figure the best shot I have of doing that additional 4-5 miles is to finish, not stop and turn right around and go back out. That's my plan!
This weeks track workout was 6X1000's. On paper that seems like a no brainer but after the 30 minute warm up and almost 4 miles at a 6:32 pace I felt it. It didn't help that my legs were still recovering from the killer leg workout which included 48 100 pound squats. These weren't the sissy, barely bend your leg kind either. These were close foot, deep and torturous ones. I would never do this without prodding but I handled it. It took me 3 days before I could sit down without an upper body workout but the strength in my legs is growing like crazy. I have been making a strong effort to change my leg strength and it's paying off. I am excited to see how those spring hill repeats go. I have put on some good muscle in the last 3 months. That's exciting and will pay dividends but I need to be sure and balance my weight for running. Seems like there is fine line for me. If I don't keep my weight around 110 no matter what it is, fat or muscle I get slower. Slower is not something I can afford no matter how much muscle I like to see. Ultra running tends to chew up a lot of my muscle so this year I am trying to up the anti in that department. The idea is to gain as much strength as I can before I start those crazy back to back long days and the miles and time on my body take it's toll. Don't be scared if you see me on the trail and I look like a line backer! Just know this is part of my master plan. :)
On the muscle/nutrition side of things. A few of us have been adding BCAA's to our recovery drinks. I have not only been drinking them post hard runs but post weight sessions as well. I am a critic when it comes to the magic bullet's advertised. I seem to always be skeptical of stuff like that. I can honestly say they have been amazing in aiding in my recovery. There is no doubt about it. As someone who is hyper analytical and sensitive to how I feel during training I know they are helping my muscles recovery and rebound. I am using a product called Chain'd Out. I like to way it mixes with water and it tastes great. Seems like there is a lot of good information coming out about BCAA's for athletes and expecially endurance athletes.
One more week of training for Surf City and it's off to sunny California in search of a PR. I am hoping to break 3:25 and closer to the 3:20 area. I should be able to do that.