This past week I developed an ear infection. If you have never had an ear infection, they’re awful. I didn’t necessarily feel super sick, but the pain that those cause is just unrelenting. Plus, even though you may not feel flu-like, if you push through that too hard your body will a)fatigue and feel more rundown in an attempt to stop you, and b)will refuse to get better. Kansas City’s heat index has been hanging out over 100* with humidity rising up to 70% with that. Things that contribute to ear infections: moisture, i.e. humidity. I pushed through workouts on Wednesday, got some antibiotics on Thursday and pushed through again. Friday morning it was clear that that tactic was not going to work. My coach, being the smart lady that she is, sent me all caps threatening texts saying that if she finds out I run Saturday while feeling run down I am in BIG TROUBLE!!!! This is affective. I am an idiot and need this. She emphasized that we are at the very end of training and that there is little I can do at this point to help my race, but lots that I can do to hurt it. Truth. I wet out early Saturday morning for my long run, ran five miles, and called it. I’ve taken the weekend off. So all in all I’ve missed two workouts due to this. Not a big deal.
Timing is everything. Outside of not getting an ear infection, this is the best possible time. I am at the very end of training, so I’m just chilling into taper. Timing, missing your last two hard workouts before taper makes me forget that I did any other training. “Obviously I am screwed.” So I spent a moment this afternoon reviewing my training to remind myself, that is not true.
After the Hawk 100 last year I knew that I would do another 100 miler this year. I originally thought I would choose a fall race, but I pretty quickly grew impatient and started looking for something in July or August, which is when I stumbled across High Lonesome 100 and signed up at the beginning of March. I was already in training for a 50 miler in both April and June, so this fit in well. The thing is, MOUNTAIN RACE. It’s kind of like running my first 100 all over again because of how different it will be. I wanted something that would be challenging and humbling. This is it, and now it’s less than two weeks away.
So, as I taper, and therefore have the energy to primarily question whether or not I have done anything this year to prepare for this I looked back through my spreadsheets to answer the obvious question running through my head: Am I ready?
I do not have the opportunity to train for this mountain race in the mountains. Not ideal, so I make due. My coach has run several mountain hundreds and I trust her implicitly, so I just do what she says. It’s the easiest part of training.
So this is where I’m at:
I have run 1,145.93 miles this year.
Of those, 172 of them have been Oggs.*
-In June/July, several of those have focused on downhill sprints and
many of them have been with a weight vest.
I have hiked with my treadmill at an incline for a total of 8 hours 55 min.
-My TM goes to 15%, so this is typically between 13-15%.
Several of those hours have been with a weight vest, and we keep it in our garage so it’s humid.
Some of those miles have intentionally been at hot horrible humid times of day. Heat training is the most comparable to altitude training, so I work with what I’ve got.
Some of those miles have been at night, because I know I need the practice.
I take two strength classes on Wednesdays: “Ass and Abs” and “Strength for Runners”.
The past couple of months I’ve also added weight lifting on Fridays, with the primary focus being on muscle sets used for downhill running.
Yoga once a week so I don’t become stiff as a board.
Okay, so am I ready?
Could I have done more? Always. Will there be people there with way more experience/training than me? Of course. Will things go wrong? Yep.
When I toe the starting line though I’m not going to worry about that. I’m going to trust my coach, my crew, and my training. I am going to move forward with purpose and stay calm. Things are going to go wrong, and I am going to adapt and STAY CALM. I am going to think about how all of this time is a gift from my family. Mostly, I’m going to remember that overall, this is 100 miles that are constantly changing where all I have to do is play in the mountains, and that is a huge privilege.
So to avoid the taper crazies I’m going to play with my kid, and my family, and pick out the nail polish color I’ll paint my toes with for this race.
*Ogg- a hill, 1/2 mile long so round trip is a mile, just under 200ft of gain, steepest at the top.