Call me inspired, motivated, scared or whatever - but after seeing Simon, Matt, Ryan and other top locals putting forth stellar training runs last weekend - they were working hard and moving uphill so strongly. It caused me to consider how hard I have been working in training / how hard will I work on race day?
Answer: ain't been working hard enough which means unless I get working harder now then on race day I likely won't work hard enough.
With 3 weeks to go, I'm thinking this is the key time to get the most work in. I built myself a training schedule a few months back - tweeked it a bit this week to up the work / effort load.
Tuesday: Based on The Incline Club workout - I started at Memorial Park (PPM start line) in Manitou and did a warm up jog up Ruxton to Hydro Street (approx 1.25 miles). Then continuing along the course I went 1 minute full effort, followed by 1 minute recovery (walk and try to breathe) - then repeated for a total of 20 times (40 minutes).
Wow, soooo tough. It certainly doesn't help that the first repeat is on the steepest stretch of the whole course. Plus, it doesn't get much easier after that for a while. Made it further than I thought I would, but not as far as I was hoping - ending up just below the Balanced Rock. Took it easy back down, total of 8 miles and 2290' elevation gain. I should have been doing this run in the past few months. Will do it again next week.
Wednesday: Tempo / ladder run. Was initially thinking this should be a moderately easy day. But decided I needed to stretch the legs. Ran on the Santa Fe Trail through the Air Force Academy (From Woodmen Rd, North 4 miles and back). This is a good stretch of trail with some noticeable rollers to keep the focus. 1 mile warm up, 2 miles at 8 min avg, 2 miles at 7:30 avg, 2 miles at 7 avg - then a mile cool down.
Thursday: High Altitude training. Drove up to Pikes Peak Summit. Ran down 3 miles (to A-Frame) at 9:30 avg pace, then back up 2 miles. As I started back up I initially struggled to get into a good breathing routine - but settled in eventually and managed to keep plugging forward. I tailed off towards the end of those 2 miles but still averaged 16:45 pace. I then turned and went back down a mile (9:15). Left with 2 miles to get back up to the Summit I was by this stage suffering.
Mentally though I was yelling at myself saying that I need to put in the effort. Result was a mixed bag - next mile was 18 minutes, last mile was just over 20. Was hoping for better, although if I can pull those on race day it will be good. 8 miles on the day and over 2700' elevation gain.
Rest day today and then a long, long run on Saturday. I'm questioning that I haven't trained hard enough, could do with another month, but grateful that with 3 weeks to go I can still get some (harder) work in. Will this week help by the time we get to race day? I don't know, but it hurts a little more than previous weeks.