Photo from the 2014 Ice Age Trail 50 Miler by Ali Engin. Permission to use header photo must be obtained through Ali Elgin.

"Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." - Howard Thurman

Thursday, 23 May 2013

The return to intervals & UROC

"The return to intervals" should be sung to the tune of Enigma's "return to innocence" ayiiiayiiiaaaayohayiiayiiay, etc.

It's been 3 weeks since Hammer Trail, 4 weeks since my last intervals. This morning I woke up with an intense desire to go to the track. When I have these desires, I find I just have to go with them (time permitting).

Ole had the following intervals on my schedule for this week:

8 x 400 meters, each 400 interval followed by a 400 meter jog.

Here's how it looked

1:19
1:24
1:26
1:26
1:24
1:20
1:24
1:24

This is about 3:29 min/km pace or 5:41 min/mile. I'm sitting here scratching my head- how did I get FASTER at intervals by running 100 miles and then going on lots of slow runs the weeks afterwards? Sometimes improvement is so counterintuitive. Yet, over the last month, I have done nothing but listen to the signals I've gotten from my legs & brain about what I can or can not do physically that day.

Or am I faster simply because I lost weight? (to this SR said- look at 400 meter sprinters, they aren't exactly skinny. To which I replied "just imagine how fast they would be if they were!" ;0))

UROC

The Ultra Race of Champions 100k. I have been eyeing this race ever since last September when they announced it would be held in Colorado. I had this little deal with SR that I would only be allowed to go if I were invited as an elite. I figured there was very little chance of this, but I had pasted it with a "?" on my race schedule, simply because I was dreaming. Last night my dream came true when Gill fom UROC & Bad to the Bone sent me an elite invitation because of my race at Hammer Trail. You seriously never do know what is going to happen!

(and it happened exactly 24 hours after I had signed up for the Superior 100 miler, which take place a mere 3 weeks before UROC!)

The thing that struck me most so far about being in the elite field (besides the fact that I don't have any scruples about throwing the word "elite" around) is the fact that there is a press conference the night before! Ha. I can't wait for this. It will be so fun to meet so many of the people I have only read about for years. Of course I don't belong there, but don't tell anyone, ok?

One of the things I promised to do is post these on my blog/website:


But the course and the exciting atmosphere are what are really going to sell this race.
Awe, look at the cute little runners. Photo: vail.com

I have been asked to fill out a questionnaire about my participation. And one of the questions is who my sponsor is. I'm sitting here wondering if I leave this blank if they will decide they don't want to invite me after all. Hmmm.

Okay- now as for getting better at running in the moutains. So far, I have come up with one strategy with Alicia & Divesh. I am going to sleep with them in their two person altitude tent all summer in Appleton, WI and Divesh has promised to pretend he is a foreign exchange student. Whoever said preparing to run a moutain 100k would be difficult?

7 comments:

Meghan said...

Many folks who do big events, like a 100-mile race or the like, find a massive increase in fitness in the three-to-five week range afterward. And that's exactly what it is! It's like a second fitness peak. The only issue is that, unlike the first fitness peak on which you run the big event, there's a lot of underlying fatigue leftover from the big event that can either continue to fizzle away or rear its ugly head, depending on how hard/long you train. My experience, you can capitalize on that fitness by running some shorter, harder efforts and stave off overtraining fatigue issues by keeping the overall weekly volume below normal for a couple more weeks. Return to high volume and intense workouts too soon and you're a walking fatigue time bomb. Enjoy the ride, though, it's awesome! I'm still there and busy setting PRs on all of my shorter training courses here at home. :)

sea legs girl said...

Meghan, that is priceless insight! Thank you. Makes sense that you would be in a similar cycle to me right now, though MDS was a few weeks earlier than my hundred miler, if I remember correctly. Great to know I still have a few weeks left to try to set shorter PR's! Congrats on your continued fitness. Seriously what you said about avoiding the longer stuff right now makes so much sense (though weren't you the one who just did r2r2r in 8:30??). Happy running, girl.

Meghan said...

Sea Legs, I pushed my luck with R2R2R. I kind of knew I would be. I was five weeks out from MdS. I felt good during the effor but it's taking me a while to recover from it. I'm pretty certain that's because of the underlying, leftover MdS fatigue. I'm going real, real easy this week so as to not tax the system anymore. I think a week of going really easy from R2R2R will put me back on a good path. I'm also finding this year that my bounce-back from MdS is faster than other years. I think I was just fitter overall, so it's less duress on your body. It's kind of a guessing game, but instinct tells me as much. Have fun zooming around the track!

Anonymous said...

Well now you don't have to worry about leaving that "sponsors" space blank!!

You and Divesh have a combined body fat percentage of about 2%, so I'm sure there will be space in the tent. You get the middle, though.

I'm sad you won't be racing with me at Sawtooth now but does this mean you're available for crewing...?

-Alicia

SteveQ said...

"We can hoist 10 flags, but we were only born one day?" Did I translate that right?

Danni said...

I think you should make up a sponsor and make it sound really awesome.

sea legs girl said...

Steve- correct! Except I would not translate hejse as "hoist". It sounds a bit more rambunctious than it is. "Raise" is probably a bit more accurate. Very good, though!

Alicia- I answered you by email - but yes, yes, yes! I would love to crew you.

Danni- trust me, I thought of making up some pretty wild things. Or at least something funny. But then something real came along...