Hitting my stride
My mileage have been 50, 60, 60, and 58 over the last 4 weeks which is a major improvement over the beginning of the year. It also is right in my sweet spot for building base. I have actively been careful to not go overboard in speed or distance as I let my body adjust to the ramp in miles after being somewhat out of commission the first 8 weeks of the year. Mostly.... I say mostly because I have not raced once this year. In years past I would have already had 0ne or two ultras under my belt by April. I paced last weekend at a race and it just made me hungry to get after it. Two of my training partners are just so tuned up right now that it was killing me to not know where things stand. I decided last week that I was going to "time trial" the favorite training grounds for me and my buddies to answer the question. Saturday I went to the Green Rock trail to just see what I am capable of running for that 20.5 mile technical footing, 3750 climb/decent stretch. I'm not sure how many times I have ran this trail but it has been a lot. I have only gone under 3:30 a time or two and it has only been by a minute or so at most. On Saturday I ran my ass off. Grunting, spitting, just pushing as hard as I could. I treated it like a race, no stopping the watch until it was over. I surprised myself by doing it in 3:11.24 and taking two minutes off the trail's previous best time held by my buddy John Cash.
I get that this does not mean a lot to the outside world but this trail is rough. The two guys that I train with and have both won multiple trail 100's over the last few years had the top 2 times out here. Being on "top" even just for a bit is a major boost to my confidence and a great way to kick off my new training block with Matt. I am under no illusion that it can't be done faster. In fact, I know I could lop off a few minutes if I was climbing better. The thing I "hate" the most about this is now it's a thing we're going to do and we'll be lopping off a minute or so off of each others times and turning ourselves inside out to do it. Just the way it should be.