Tuesday: 8 miles, Foothills trail, 1500ft of gain; 4 miles, Foothills trail, 1000ft of gain. It was slow going in the morning, and was rather cold which surprised me, but otherwise everything felt pretty good. The bike to work was painfully slow - maybe Sunday caught up to me after the morning run? The afternoon run up to the big A was pretty fast, and I'm hoping to transition to some speed/tempo work as the taper progresses. My ideal is to drop mileage, not reduce the number of runs too much, but increase intensity.
Wednesday: 8 miles, Foothills trail and Maxwell, 1500ft of gain. Felt a little stiff, and not wanting to take any risks I'd normally take, I added a little out-and-back toward Dixon Reservoir to warm up before tackling the first climb. Today was slow going.
Thursday: 8 miles, Foothills trail, 1500ft of gain. I think the fatigue from Sunday has worn off. I felt really light on my feet on all of the climbs and my downhill form has gotten very fluid. That's the other "big" thing to focus on in the coming week-and-a-half: form. The difference between a fluid, effortless gait and the ultrarunner's waddle is the difference between sustaining an overuse injury during a race and between hurting on the downhills or feeling your best.
Friday: Off. Feeling rested.
Saturday: 12 miles, Lory State Park, 2500ft of gain. Starting at the Timber trailhead, I did the West Valley-Mill Creek Connector-Mill Creek out and back-Howard-Timber route. Basically a big loop around Lory with an out-and-back on Mill Creek. Have I mentioned before how much I love Timber trail? The weather was perfect, as well, in the low-60's, which is what the high should be on race day.
Arthur's Rock from Howard trail.
Timber trail weaving along the contours. You can get up to some insane speeds here.
Sunday: 8 miles, Foothills trail, 1500ft of gain. The usual out-and-back, somewhat modified to include the rockiest trails. It was in the high 30's but I went out with shorts and armbands, which is what I plan to wear from the start at Badger (the low is supposed to be 40 or so). I used to wear a long-sleeve or thermal top on these cool mornings but I felt much better starting a bit cold. I also went sockless today, as I've started doing on a number of my runs, and the running feels much more...free?
Mileage: 48 miles
Elevation gain: 9,500ft
At less than half of last week's mileage, this week was very relaxed - and I think back to a year ago when a 50 mile week would feel like work. I've only got 2-3 runs left until Badger. I figure I'll make one a tempo workout to maintain my form and speed, and use the others as gentle shake-out runs to keep everything loose.