Thursday, May 28, 2009
Western States Training Camp
Western States Training Camp was this past Memorial Day weekend. Rick Mayo and I flew to Sacramento Friday morning for 3 days of training on the Western States course.
We opted for staying at the Motel 6 in Auburn instead of camping at Forrest Hill. It was actually cheaper and just more convenient overall. We spent Friday buying some food and getting stuff organized for the weekend. I also was trying to get something rigged up with my shoes to get me through the weekend. I had not ran since the prior Monday due to a very bad pain under the 2ND & 3rd toe on the ball of my foot. It is a very intense pain, almost burning, I put 3 insoles in my right shoe and cut a hole in all 3 where the pain was and it at least allowed me to walk.
Day 1 Robinson Flat to Forest Hill summary
This is a 32 mile section with 2 of the harder climbs, Michigan Bluff and Devils thumb. We started out in the snow with 360 runners. It was amazingly beautiful and difficult. There is no way to sufficiently prepare for the 4 mile constant hills in the Midwest, it just is not possible. The climbs were tough and hot but I am happy with how I did on those climbs and passed a lot of people going up. The downhills were unexpectedly difficult. I could not run fast on many sections and stay under control. My Quads and Toes were hurting from the long downhills. I was able to run the last 2 miles up Bath Rd strong after 30+ miles and was good with that.
Day 2 Forrest Hill to Green Gate summary
I believe this was around 21 miles. We ran crazy hard that day thanks to Rick. I ran hard the first day and paid for it then. It is 16 or so down to the Rucky Chucky river crossing, mostly all down. We were hauling some serious ass down those mountains. Like 6:15 pace for many long stretches. When we got to the aid station at Rucky Chucky were the 4th and 5th runners to come through there and the first shuttle bus wouldn't go back until enough people finished to fill it up so we hung out in the River and soaked in the ice cold River water. The last 4 or 5 was up all the way. We ran that in 1 minute intervals which worked well. This is the first section after picking up a pacer and there definitely needs to be something left to run this section.
Day 3 Slinger Road to Placer High Finish Summary
22 miles of mixed terrain. There are many more flat sections here and if we were not on the side of a mountain it would seem like running at Wyco. There were still many tough climbs but none more than 5 or 10 minutes long. It was a good painful run. The heat was getting rough out in the open sections. We definitely got a taste of how will feel with the Quads and toes hurting so badly that last 20 or so. There are a lot of sections which will be rough terrain at night, especially on trashed legs.
I would definitely suggest anyone running in WS 100 go to the training camp. It is definitely worth it. We met a lot of amazing people there and ran through some breathtaking places. My right foot hurt a lot the entire weekend but sometimes you just have to get through it. I was very glad to be able to make it. It is easy to forget how amazing the human body is and what it can do. I was barely able to get out of bed the 3rd day but was still able to run over 20 miles pretty strong. All of these amazing people are out here doing the same thing and it is fun to be around such a strong group of like minded people for 3 days.
I am approaching Western States a little different now. It is going to be hard, definitely harder than any of the previous 100's. I desperately want that silver buckle. At the same time I know it will take my best effort, I will have to be physically, emotionally and mentally tougher to get there. The fear is there. Not being scared of the course or scared of failing, rather a respectful fear. I have 3 weeks of training left to get to where I need to be to get this done. I heard there is Silver in them there Mountains....
Here is a link to the pics from the weekend