Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Training is Over-rated? A precursor to a WS report.

I'll post a full race report soon, but in the meantime, I'm recovering surprisingly well. As I bemoaned in previous blog posts, I was nowhere close to the shape I had hoped to be in when I toed the line on Saturday for Western States. The spring brought injury, that led to a racing schedule that left no time for training, and a work travel schedule that left no time for the Gorge hill training I had intended to tackle. I feared quad death, especially after a 25K 2 weeks prior followed by some hill repeats the next morning left my quads incredibly sore. My quads had been toast well before the half-way point at Miwok; I couldn't run for a week afterwards and didn't feel good running for 2 weeks. The calf injury-Miwok-Comrades-WS cycle left no time for a solid training block. It was race, recover, taper, race, repeat.  A net downhill hundred was sure to bring pain and misery....

Good news--my quads survived, and survived shockingly well.  I only started to feel them around mile 85, and I never got to the point where it hurt to run downhill. Now, 3 days later, I feel like I could run without much soreness. I'm not going to, as I plan to give myself a few more days of laziness and over-eating, but if I were chased, I could run, and do so without much hesitation. Some toenails have opted out, but other than a few blisters on the balls of my feet that are healing nicely, and a sore nose from a post-run car loading incident, I'm relatively unscathed.

I'm thrilled with F8 and 19:36 based on my training and also very happy to finish #2 in the Montrail Ultra Cup with a $2000 cash bonus. I'll post more on all of that later.
The top 4 Montrail Ultra Cup finishers:  Meghan, me, Pam and Gretchen.
Meghan is rubbing her belly and thinking of food.
Pam is thinking about how she is going to crush me the next time we race.
I'm more than a little bit scared of Pam, for good reason (I love you, Pam!).
(Photo taken from Gretchen's blog ).


Brett said...

Well Bryon Powell says he ran his 19h24m WS100 on about 40 miles per week.

So I'm going to ignore everyone else who ran 100 mile weeks and only focus on you two in order to justify my continued low mileage. ;)

Congratulations on a great race!

Olga said...

I am with Brett!!! Amy, I was thrilled to see you picking girls up and moving steadily, and ending up with a top-10. It's awesome! And yes, getting Montrail cup 2nd spot and a cash bonus to add to automatic WS entry next year is a sweet, sweet deal. Guess you had a good weekend!

Gretchen said...

I love your assessment of people's thoughts during that picture! And in case you were wondering, I was thinking, "Oh my gosh, what am I doing up here with these awesome ladies?!" That was fun.

Awesome job on your race, Amy! I'm super stoked for you. Such a competitive field! You should definitely be proud. Congrats!

Helen said...

Great race! Looking forward to the full report. I am hoping that same training plan works for me at Leadville... :)

sea legs girl said...

Amy, congrats! What an awesome finish. Can you believe one of the first things Rasmus and I talked about when he arrived back in Denmark was your 8th place?! We are a bunch of geeks and you are our inspiration. :D.

So, you know I think a lot about ultra running and training and it just seems like doing well at Western States is VERY dependent on 1. years and years of base training 2. natural talent 3. the right mindset and somewhere further down the list is "training in the last year". I am not trying to say anything bad about your training - but do you agree with this or am I totally off? I may find out myself as I am planning to enter the lottery this year :). In which case, I may just see you there.

Melissa said...

Congrats! It was great to watch the livecast and see you staying strong, moving up across the miles and conquering your injury/aftereffects. Really incredible and the Montrail Cup placing is sweet (and well-deserved) icing on the cake. Enjoy your rest and the many miles to follow. It will be amazing to see what you'll do next!

amy said...

Thanks all!

Brett, I'm not sure that low mileage is ideal. It's what I had to deal with. I'd like to think I have faster than 19:36 in me.

SLG, I look forward to meeting you and Rasmus in WI and hopefully seeing you at WS next year!