Scatter my ashes here...

Scatter my ashes here...
scatter my ashes in the desert...

Monday, May 19, 2008

Heat-Seeking Heretic

Today it was hot in Ft. Collins, it was in the 80s by early afternoon. I needed some sun exposure before I go out to the desert next week, so I dressed down for the occasion. Tank top and shorts!

My legs have been feeling kind of flat, and I couldn't resist the opportunity to indulge myself. I was running 15 miles on the bike path and I decided to take a little detour...

to the CSU track.

I ran a mile. Just one, timed, to see what I could do. I didn't go all out, my legs are nowhere near ready for any kind of speedwork. I ran it hard, pushing a little harder with each lap. I had plenty of reserves but it was not an easy effort at all. I ran a pace that I knew I couldn't keep increasing for four more laps. I looked at my 400 meter splits but was almost scared to look at the total time. I waited until after I did a few cooldown steps to catch my breath before I faced the truth...


Not too bad for flat as a pancake, speed-naive, middle-aged ultrarunner legs. Almost a minute slower than I ran last year, though. I have to not let that bother me.

I'm an ultrarunner, but I have a secret. I love doing speedwork on the track. I haven't had time to do it this year, and it's not necessary for success at Badwater.

Most runners wouldn't call the multiple mile repeats and two mile repeats that I do on the track, "speedwork". Marathon and 10K runners would call it "long slow torture". But it's faster than I ever run in an ultra, so I call it speed. Call me a heretic if you want. I'm calling it speedwork.

Heresy or not, I put it on my "A.B." list, along with riding my bike, hiking, climbing 14ers, gardening, painting, going up to the mountains, seeing friends, drinking beer, etc.

After my 15 miles I stopped by Runners Roost before my sauna session, and got some new socks and picked up entry forms for the Houska Houska, the local 5K Memorial Day race. It serves as the "cooldown" for the Wyoming Double Marathon, which I'm doing on Sunday, the day before.

The Houska Houska is Ft. Collins' answer to the Bolder Boulder. I used to run the Bolder Boulder in the old days, but it's gotten so big, as far as I'm concerned, it's a good way to experience claustrophobia. The Houska Houska is a benefit for the Bone Marrow program and Cancer Center, all entry fees go directly to the PVH Foundation for this. I ran the Houska Houska for the first time last year the day after the Wyoming Double and I'm hooked.

This year the Houska Houska t-shirts are awesome! I'll take a picture and post it on the blog after I get my shirt.

The other thing I'm even more excited about is our latest addition to the crew, which I'll talk about more in a post later this week.

This week I'm attempting to re-create the fatigue conditions I did a month ago, by going into a 50+ mile race tired, getting in some good miles before the Double on Sunday. Only two more back to back hard weeks of training, then an easy week, then one more hard week in mid-June, and I taper!

For now, it's back to work in the morning...

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