I took a bit of a recovery week this week. Did only about 80 miles, a lot of which was with friends, so a bit slower than normal too. I feel great now and ready to hit a hard 10 day block of training before a bit of a taper before Miwok.
I can't say for sure if I'll run faster at Miwok than I did a year ago, but I do know that I'm in better shape right now than I was a year ago. When I look back through my training log and remember some of the runs I was doing last April I can remember some of them feeling so hard at the time. The same runs at the same pace right now feel ridiculously easier. It's shocking to me how much improvement we can get out of our bodies with consistent training. The question though is can we convert that into faster times come race day. I plan to find out in a few weeks. I ran 8:34 last year at Miwok. I'm feeling enough stronger now than I was a year ago that I should be able to run at least 15-20 minutes faster than that.
On the homefront here in Juneau I've got one more week of work, then 5 days to get all packed up (moving stuff into storage), and then on April 22nd Jill and I will be hitting the road for the long drive down the Alaska Highway and onto San Francisco for the Miwok before heading over to Utah. Gonna spend most of May in Utah and then Jill will be riding in the Great Divide Race beginning on June 11th. At that time I'll either be heading to California to train/scout the Western States course or to Colorado to train/scout/acclimatize for Hardrock. At this point I have almost certainly dropped the idea of doing WS and HR. Because of the competition that's going to be there this year I have made WS my first choice, but if that doesn't work out I'm going to be pretty dang excited to be able to put my focus into Hardrock (provided I can get in from #14 on the wait list). The way I see it is that I win either way. I either get to do the most competitive 100 miler of the year or the toughest one. Either one is really freakin' exciting.
Sometime in July I'll be done with my early summer racing and Jill will be done with the GDR. At that point we'll head back up here to Juneau and something will happen from there. Something, afterall, always does happen. We'll certainly be staying in Juneau for awhile at that time but it's very undecided right now just how long that will be. Either way I'm sure my late summer/autumn will include another trip back down south for 2 or 3 races. Maybe grouped together as a 3 week trip with 2 races or maybe a couple separate short trips. We'll see. I've got my eye on Wasatch (title to defend); the Bear 100 (heard nothing but great things about this one); the DRTE 100 (more climbing than Hardrock!); Cactus Rose 100 (again, nothing but great things); and The North Face 50 (can you say "cold, hard cash"?)
So there's a really loose outline of my next 8 months. Lots of uncertainties, but I'm certain it's going to be fun, which is the most important thing. Oh, and I forgot to mention that somewhere in there I'm planning to win a million dollars in the lottery :)