Final Touches (Training, Sept. 16 - 22)

The last week began in Bloomington before heading to west to get to altitude for 10 days prior to next weekend's Ultra Race of Champions (UROC) 100k.  I got in a nice progression run on Tuesday to cap a series of tempo/progression runs beginning last week.  A last "long" run on Thursday included a good 3,000' of climbing and descending.  It was exactly what I wanted, including one last time to blast my quads on a descent.  I held up well, and I seem ready to roll for the race.  It should be a fun one, with a very deep and competitive field, perhaps the most competitive ultra in the U.S. this year. will be covering the race, and there will be some coverage on the race website as well.  You can read iRunFar's race previews here: men's and women's.

Monday: 12 miles moderate; Functional Strength
Decent amount of singletrack on Bizarro Griffey.  Ran until I got blasted in the face with a big spider web, at which point I did the get-this-off-of-me-now dance, and then ran home.

Tuesday: 10 miles total w/ 9 mile progression run
On the rail trails, ran 49:26 for the 9 miles (5:29/mile avg.), though I only had splits at the turnaround.  Averaged 5:40s for the way out, 5:18s for the way back.  This was a nice little run, good to get in a confidence-boosting workout before taking off for the West and the UROC 100k.  

Wednesday: 4 miles easy
Light shakeout after another day of travel from Boulder up to South Dakota.  Spending a few days in the Black Hills with friends.  

Thursday: 11 miles moderate
Despite a "short" run mileage-wise, this one took a while, as it was all singletrack up to the tallest point in South Dakota, Harney Peak.  We got ~2,700' of vert on the way up.  After hanging out up top for a bit as a group, Dan Gorman and I hammered the descent back to the car, doing it in a bit over a half hour.  I was glad to get one last good downhill pounding of the quads.

Friday: 10 miles easy
Ran on the Centennial Trail to Mt. Rushmore (thus bypassing the parking fees!), walked around the trail up there while eating about 1,000 calories of ice cream, then ran back.  On the way back, I also put down a UGo bar, giving my stomach quite the test.  However, it held up fine, which bodes well for UROC.  It also bodes well that I could barely feel yesterday's run in my quads.  I've got some positive adaptation there, so hopefully my legs will hold up on the descending at UROC.

Saturday: 2 miles easy /exploration run
Our crew tooled around Sylvan Lake and did a bit of rock climbing.

Sunday: 6 miles easy w/ drills, 8 x 100m 
Easy run on the Mickelson Trail before heading out of town.  Got in a set of drills and some 100s, which always leaves my legs feeling better.

Totals: 55 miles, 1x FS