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A Girl’s Guide to Trail Running » Western States 100
 
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Bye bye Recovery week…. Hello Western States.

Posted on Jun 22, 2009

Another week has gone by, a nice recovery week for me that included two whole days off from running- which I was needing very much as my body was screaming a little bit at me during Saturday’s 2.5 hour run reminding me that rest is also very key to running.   JB and I woke early to hit the trails in Golden Gate park and run to Ocean Beach and then head up to Mt. Sutro and Twin Peaks.  We were both lagging pretty good for about 3-4 miles when nearing the beach and the turnaround, JB decided to put the hammer down.  So to avoid looking like a total loser, I also picked up the pace to stay close on JB’s heels.  As we approached the 8 mile mark and Kezar Stadium, I knew my lactate threshold hill repeat was upon me and I had to “Get R done” as my Dad likes to say.  I yelled to JB that I was starting my threshold and would see him at the top of Mt. Sutro.  For me, lactate threshold occurs between the heart rate of 173-178 plus or minus a few beats.   After last week’s 2 x 60 minute hill repeats, I wasn’t too worried about the 20 minute climb ahead of me.   So off I went charging up the hill thinking I would really kill it.   It took me a few minutes to get into the grove and one look behind me revealed that JB wasn’t far behind.   I guess that was a good sign that JB is truly in peak form.  I finally got the legs motoring and got to the top a few minutes ahead of JB.  Yes those hill repeats hurt, yet I really think they make so much difference in acheiving top shape.

If every climb had a rainbow...

If every climb had a rainbow...

Now here it is Monday and I have a full week ahead of me- 8-9 miles of M pace, a 90 minute strides workout, 2×40 minute hill repeats (that I will do at Squaw Valley before WS100) and then pacing JB 38 miles on Saturday/Sunday at Western States 100! Time to push the training as it is peak workout time and the countdown to Headlands 100.

But  really I am most excited we have  finally made it to race week-  JB has been dreaming/talking about Western States 100 since forever.  My Dad and I will jump into the Journeyfilm van after the Squaw Valley start  and set out to get JB through one of the most important races of his life.  We are forming the “Team Benna” crew and will be busting out some serious crewing and pacing and we plan on having a blast.

The Journeyfilm Van

The Journeyfilm Van

More posts and pictures this week as we get into the good stuff- packing drop bags, driving up to Squaw and pre-race festivities!

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The Countdown to Western States…with the Flu?

Posted on Jun 15, 2009

What a wacky week… JB and I took a very much needed day off last Monday after some grueling back to back weekend running.  We were feeling refreshed on Tuesday so we hit the gym for a recovery run on the treadmill and a weight session.  JB then did a 20 minute sauna session to get his body used to holding on to salt for the upcoming Western States 100 mile race.  Well 24 hours later, JB was in a full blown fever of 102.6 with muscle aches and chills.  The flu in June, 2.5 weeks before the biggest race of the year?  After a trip to the doctor, and the obligatory question: “Could this be the dreaded Swine flu?”  The cultures came back negative for flu of any kind.  But JB did not feel better and in fact took another 2 days before the fever went away… How’s that for heat training?  So what was supposed to be his last big push for training, turned into coughing up chunks of yellow ick and laying in bed obsessing over his split times on his lap top.  He is feeling a little better today… but when should he start running again?  This is the question we are both wondering…

Calm Before the Storm

Calm Before the Storm

Meanwhile, I continued my training (alone), which in someway was kind of a revelation.  On Saturday I needed to run a 2x 60 minute uphill lactate threshold run… So I went to the base of Mt. Tamalpais (2700ft peak) and with the guide of JB via cell phone (I got lost a few times), I found myself exploring a great singletrack trail that went to the top of Mt. Tam with the most gorgeous views of San Francisco.  On Sunday after waking up and wanting to linger in my cozy bed, I made homemade berry scones, had some coffee and again found myself planning a long run alone.

Lazy Sundays

Wanting to stay in bed on Sunday.... but only a for a few minutes

I decided I should start getting to know my 100 mile course for the race in August, so I decided to run the 25 mile loop of the Headlands Hundred. This loop you run twice at the very end… not easy, mentally or physically.  So off I went and I pushed it fairly aggressively to see what it would feel like come race day on tired legs.  The thing about the Marin Headlands is you are always climbing or descending with very little flat stretches.  I ran a little over 26 miles in 5 hours exactly. I figured the loop is good for about 4000+ feet of gaining and descent- so it was a great run, albeit a bit slower than I wanted to run by about 30 minutes.   I have another 5 weeks to really push my training and to peak for this race… so hopefully I will feel even better come August 8th.

View of San Francisco from the Coastal Trail/ SCA trail intersection

View of San Francisco from the Coastal Trail/ SCA trail intersection

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