Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Getting Serious

I've come out of Jemez Mountain feeling mostly warm and fuzzy about Leadville.  I made it up climbs that were steeper than the steepest climbs at Leadville.  Go me!  My last four runs have been hill workouts, two of them in Colorado.  I'm feeling strong, but something is definitely nagging me.

The biggest naggy thing is the elevation of Leadville - 10,200ft in town.  12,500? at Hope Pass.  I'm planning on going out to Leadville at least a week before the race and that's pretty much my plan for dealing with altitude.  I suffered from altitude sickness at Jemez and that race was several thousand feet lower.  Ugh.  So that's probably my biggest worry.  My other attempt to deal with this is heat training.  Yesterday I ran my campus hill repeats when it was 90+ degrees.  I felt like I was back in CO.  It was hard to breathe and I felt like barfing.  All good signs!  So I will probably keep doing that too.

The other thing I need to focus on is logging those miles.  This ain't no 50k.  So I need to start taking it seriously.  No more of this 20-30 mile/week crap.  There are only 80 days left until race day!  I need to do some good long runs.  I've also started running in the mornings, so some weekdays I will do two runs.  The Lunar Trek 100k (July 15th) will serve as my last LONG run before I start tapering.  I'm pretty excited about that one.  At least the running-with-friends-at-night part.  The race starts at 9pm, so at some point the sun will come up and I will remember it's July.  And I won't be happy about it.

Well that's what's on my mind now. Nothing interesting or funny.  So sorry.  I'll work on it a little and get back to you.

1 comment:

  1. Don't worry, it's interesting.

    Heat training now will give you an advantage in the cooler Leadville temps, and help offset the elevation. So keep doing that, as much as you can.

    On my two L-ville finishes, I acclimated for 5 days at 12,000 feet and above. I recommend spending as much time as high as you can in the days preceding the race, up to Thursday.

    Spend all day hiking around at 13 and 14 thou, if possible. You might not have enough time to build a ton of new red blood cells, but you'll build a few. Red blood cells, as I'm sure you know, are what carry O2 to your muscles.

    You get your first new red blood cells 72 hours after first arriving at altitude. You can probably start counting the hours from when you first arrive at a mile above sea level. The full acclimatization process takes about two weeks, but just a few days spent as high or higher than Hope Pass will at least get your body familiar with conditions, and it will help.

    Here's another secret I got from one of my running books -- eating dried apricots can help increase your red blood cell count because dried apricots are high in iron. They're used in treating anemia in fact. So eat lots of dried apricots to increase your ability to use what little O2 there is up there -- start now.

    You are correct again in thinking now is the time to ramp up the mileage. But take it as gradually as you can, and don't worry about speed on the long runs. In fact, speed work is pretty much useless in training for a hundred, unless your objective is to injure yourself, and so get out of having to do it.

    Be sure to build in two rest days, two easy days, two moderate days and one hard day -- your long run -- per week.

    Drink a glass of two percent chocolate milk every night before bed.

    You are in for the adventure of a lifetime, Laurie. Can't wait to read your race report! You're going to do great and have a huge time!