Friday night I had a great training run. First I ran over to Brandon's place then we left there and headed down to the lake. Once at the lake we parted ways with them headed towards the dam and me headed on the single track to Mayqueen Campground and beyond.
The lake trail, I love it... I hate it. Regardless... I know it. I completely attribute my being able to finish the LT100 last year on my intimate knowledge of the 13 miles or so around the lake and into town as I ran is so much last year. It isn't a tough trail, or a bad trail, it is just a long trail. That north shore once you come around the boat ramp just seems to always go on and on forever. Friday night was no exception. My pace seemed erratic but still far from labored. I cruised through the campground to the Colorado Trail trailhead and started the climb up Sugarloaf.
Feeling tired from the night before made the run up the road and to the top of Sugarloaf tougher than I remember it being but it did reinforce my belief, that that particular climb is deceptively steep and easy to go out too fast on or go up too fast. It isn't that it is a hard climb but I think it is just easy enough to sap more out of a runner than they might realize at the moment. It was still fun running and cresting the top, seeing the full moon rising and following the trail markings.
I had my best run ever down the powerlines that night, even in the dark and with my headlamp on I still felt great coming down and I was on the hard road before I realized it with wet feet after missing the tiny footbridge in the bottom. Though I had run 20 miles the night before and then another twenty that evening and still having more to go, I was feeling pretty good. Strong.
Strong enough that I began to really wish that I were running the LT100 this weekend instead of the Bear 100 in September. I just feel so much better, stronger and faster than I did this time last year. I told Melissa Saturday night when we were bowling that I truly think that if I took this week off and rested, I would go to the line with a much higher chance of finishing than I even had last year.
That being said I looked at some numbers tonight and it stands to reason that I feel the way that I do. Last year, I went to the starting line for the LT100 with a total of 1544 miles for the year and that included the seven weeks struggling with the injury after the Salida Marathon in March.
This year... comparing to the same week as last year, I have a total of 1881 miles and I am uninjured and have not really had to manage any injuries this year at all. So just looking at the miles run and the races I've run as well, it is easy to see why that I feel way stronger than last year. Way.
But... this year has never been about coming back here in 2011 for the Lt100. No. It has been about keeping my eye on 2012 and seeing if I can come back and get the big buckle. It has been about getting faster and stronger and seeing just what I can do. I never really got to have THE race that I wanted this year for various reasons but I have had a solid season and there is no doubt that if I keep my training on track the next few weeks that if I get to actually go and run the Bear that I will do great. Right now going and running it is doubtful due to the strike and well, to be honest... driving 10 hours to Utah... well, that just doesn't excite me at all, so I might just bail on it.
I have just finished an 81.5 mile week and so far have 156 miles in for August. I am going to load this week up front mileage wise then take it easy later in the week in order to be able to give it my best pacing my cousin this coming weekend when he is running his Lt100.
And to all of my friends running and pacing next weekend I wish you all the very best race weekend!