A month ago I was still exhausted from my GDR attempt. I began running again exactly one month ago though. It felt pretty much horrible for a week but I just needed to suck it up and get started to get my legs back into running shape in time for The Wasatch 100 which is one month from tomorrow.
It's been an amazing month of training. I feel like a real endurance runner again. I still don't have much speed and even my climbing muscles only feel strong every third day or so, but I can now click off 100 miles a week and feel pretty much fresh everyday. I honestly felt one month ago like I was never going to get back to this point. Now I just need to find a way to keep feeling stronger everyday for another month and I'll have a shot at being in the best shape of my life for Wasatch.
I'm racing The Resurrection Pass 100 this weekend as a distance training run and then a 15 mile trail race next weekend as a speed/tempo workout and then I head to Utah on the 20th to acclimatize and get to know as much of the Wasatch course as possible before race day.
Although Wasatch is going to be my big race for the year I'm not going to take it too seriously. That is to say I'm not going to use any pacers and very limited crew, if any at all. I'm a lot more into doing these races on my own. I wish there were more races that didn't allow crew/pacers and had fewer aid stations. I think that navigation, nutrition, hydration, gear choices, etc. should be a major part of a 100 mile race and not something you can just rely on your "team" for. The unfortunate thing is that you're basically shooting yourself in the foot if you're trying to race against others who are using a full "team" while you're going at it alone. For now I'm happy to work with this disadvantage.
This whole season is more than anything an assessment for me. Last year was about learning how to run these races. This year has been about learning if I can be competitive (Miwok taught me that I can be, especially considering that I didn't even feel very good that day) and now how to be competitive in these races. And next year will be about putting together what I've learned and running to win. Obviously I'm not expecting to win every race I run next year (especially with the schedule I'm brainstorming right now - I likely won't win any of them), but whereas to this point I've lined up for each Ultra I've run just trying to have fun and learn some things about what I'm doing, next year I will be lining up to race; i.e. to win.