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G vs. the Black Mountain

So, after a rest day and some more training, my test run last week, from the bottom of Rhus Ridge to the top of Black Mountain improved to 1:14. I knocked 5 minutes off my time! I think doing weights helps, and here’s the thing. It’s not so much that a fit runner doing weights would see so much benefit, but someone going from not quite so fit to fit again, there’s where the benefit is. Another challenge when you get back into training after little to no training is the potential for injury. Don and I were both struggling with various trouble spots, so the gym work to balance out the muscle strength was a big help to work through it.

This week, we ran the Black Mountain trial (trail trial) again, and I got it down to 1:12. I felt like throwing up at the top, but recovered quickly to run fast all the way down. So now that we’re feeling good, the only things to worry about are heat training and organizing gear, crew, pacer and all that. And Sunny the cat-sitter. Heat training can mostly be taken care of by sauna time. It’s quite effective to get in the sauna, add extra clothes (non-breathable waterproof jackets are a plus), drink water and electrolytes and take it from there. Heat adaptation can take place in as little as two weeks–conveniently about the same time as a good taper.

Here’s another thing I’ve been trying to sort out. What shoes to wear? My favorites right now are the Sportiva Crosslite and the New Balance WT840. But, the Crosslite is so firm, it’s hard to iimagine it going the distance and the 840 is kind of shapeless like a sausage, it’s hard to imagine my feet loving it for that long. I think if I have two pairs of each I can switch off as needed. For sure I know I will be in the Crosslite for the first 30 miles. They will be great in the snow (as tested on the training run), and give me the confidence boost that I need for that part of the course. From there I’m not so sure.

Another shoe note, for Badwater I’m really unsure. I have always run in Asics shoes on the roads, but their latest versions of my favorite models don’t work as well for my feet. I need some more road time to figure this stuff out. Oh yeah, and I also need another crew member… Who’s up for a super hot vacation in Death Valley in July?


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