Here it comes. Like a freight train at night; careening rapidly down the track in the silent darkness. I'm on the track, in its path. I can see it, in the distance, its tiny lamp, glimmering. But it's getting closer. I begin to feel my time dwindling. Closer still. Now I hear the hum of its steel lurching down the track.
The Western States is in 100 days, and now I begin to feel my time dwindling. Am I prepared? Have I been doing enough to get ready? What should I be doing over the next 30 to 90 days so I don't get run over? As I stand "on the track" here is what I see....
Training to date: overall its been on target, not stellar, but not bad. My miles are a little less than ideal to date, but I'm trying to emphasize quality a little more than quantity. Hills (more of 'em) have been the main difference over last year. My weight is right on track compared to last year, even a little more ideal, which is good since I want to run 5 lbs lighter than last year. That will put me around 157/158 lbs, the same weight I was at 30 years old when I grabbed my marathon pr. Right now I'm 164.
Training Next 100 days: Now is the time I really have to start to executing on my plan. There will be some changes over last year. First, I want to keep my weekly milage in the same range, peeking around 90 miles per week, but focus more on race day conditions. After battling my quads for the last 30 miles in last year's race, I plan to focus much more on running downhill. Once during the week and at least once on the weekend I will be doing downhill workouts. One or more mile long downhill intervals will be the focus, and I plan on running in the Santa Ana mountains every other week. I'll also be supplementing this with weight lifting twice per week, again with an emphasis on building quad strength.
Another part of my plan I'm on track with is to complete four races leading up to Western States, two more than last year. I completed the Malibu Creek 50k two weeks ago, and I'm running the Rucky Chucky Roundabout 50k this weekend. Malibu was a gritty course, with nearly 6,000 feet of elevation gain, right in line with Western States. Rucky Chucky will be run on the later stage of the actual Western States course, a great opportunity get more experience on race day trail. I'm planning on running Leona Divide 50 Mile in April, my third year, and possibly the Bishop High Sierra 50k or something similar in May. That will put me at 4 races leading up to Western States.
There is more, but these are the pillars that I'm building now that I can hear the steel lurching down the track.