The result: made it without crashing like last time 3 weeks ago. Not only did I not fall over going either up or down - I made it up to A-Frame over 10 minutes quicker this time. I also ran the entire way down at a 9 minute average. Actually - most of the way down I was going slower than that, but I gradually picked up the pace through the W's to get down to a 9 minute per mile average descent.
The big issue of the day was lack of food / resulting in lack of energy. Silly me, I need to learn and plan better as this has happened before (more than once) - but I took with me only one Gel / GU and about a dozen jelly beans, along with 2 bottles of water. Hydration was fine however as the temparature was fantastic to run in. Lack of food was evident - on race day I
I really think that if I had more food early on the way up I would have done much better - especially above Barr camp, the trip down would have been better too. But still - made my best time up to A-Frame (2:34:20) and a 90 minute trip down for a total time just over 4 hours, covering 20 miles and over 5700' elevation gain.
In an encouraging sign of fitness - I recovered very well post run and next day was able to push out a good 6 mile (flat) tempo run.
Now - it is taper time - still plenty of miles and vertical to run - but coming off 5 weeks of averaging nearly 50 miles per week, with over 45,000' vertical gain in that - my body is tired and needs some revitalising.
With the hard training behind me - I still don't know what to expect or what I am capable of on race day. Wishful thinking says I will summit in under 3 1/2 hours and descend in under 2 hours. Reality may be worse than that - or better. I just don't know. 2 weeks of mental gymnastics could be fun (or not).
I am very pleased with my training - this same time last year, due to July knee surgery, in the month of August I had run 2 (very, very slow) miles, on a flat treadmill. So, a lot different and a lot better prepared going into it this year.