I ran from 9:30 to 12:30, and the heat (mid-80's) was difficult to deal with at the end. This was a bit of a slow pace, but I feel that it's better training than some of the mountain slogging I did last week. The time was about what I expected for 6k, because I'm still a little sore from all the running around on Saturday.
Tuesday, 8/12--Sentinel x 4 + a bit extra
This felt better than yesterday, and my splits were very consistent (34 to the top, 18 down). The times were a little slow, but I'm still a little fatigued and am trying to do more Long Slow Days. The first time I ran Sentinel x 4 I was doing about 44 minute round trips, but that was in cooler weather and in an easier week.
Wednesday, 8/13--Snowbowl North Facing Hills
Almost the same stats as yesterday. Some pleasant early morning repeats up and down the Paradise ski slope, plus a bit of single track on the Centennial Trail and some scrambling up in the cliffs. I didn't get sun until about 9, and was off the hill by 11, plus the higher altitude helped to keep the temps cool. The legs are getting used to 3+ hour runs again (I'm worried those four days of no running threw my body a curveball).
An early run starting before sunrise up one of the Missoula area's biggest climbs. Half an hour in, I was treated to some light showers, lasting maybe 30 minutes, but by the time I hit the summit the rain had passed. I was thinking of running this twice, but thought it might go a little faster and decided to spend the extra time napping instead. That's the best decision I've made this week.
PM--Pengelly Ridge, North Ridge South Sentinel
A late night run in the dark, giving my headlamp a good test for the first time. I may have run a little slower than during daytime, but not much, and could see well even on the steep descents. Lightning played across the sky to the east, but not much more than a sprinkle and a few murmured thunderclaps came my way.
Friday, 8/15--Sentinel Repeats
For ten minutes of this run, I was being pounded by small hail and heavy winds, but by the end of the run my shirt was dry and all the rocks were no longer slick. This felt pretty good, and my repeat during the storm was about 45 minutes round trip--fairly good for being in an exhausted state. Today felt easy, even though it was still nearly a mile of up.
Saturday, 8/16--Rut 50k Scouting
A big day, just a few minutes shorter than my finishing time from last year. I first headed up to the new ridge section, climbing beneath the Challenger Lift--I couldn't find anything that seemed like a good way down the other side (until I drove over to Moonlight Basin later this day), so went down a chute called "Parachute" to Tram Dock, then up Bonecrusher, down the 50k descent, back up, down and up Bonecrusher one more time, and then down, mostly, with some more up in the middle. I ran this pretty slow, just trying to commit parts of the course to memory, especially the downhill sections. The top of Bonecrusher is challenging to run down, but even that becomes more runnable the more I learn the terrain.
Sunday, 8/17--More Rut 50k Scouting
Up Swiftcurrent and Bonecrusher, down the 50k descent off Lone Peak, back up, and then I repeated the last 1,000' of climbing up Lone Peak and back down to the bottom of Swiftcurrent. On the way down I actually felt decent, and took about 40 minutes from summit back to base, running down faster than the Swiftcurrent Lift. That being said, that's probably about what Kilian's ascent time will be a few weeks from now in the Vertical Kilometer.
That number isn't a coincidence, and was my goal all week. Biggest week of vertical for me, ever. And I don't feel too bad. Midweek I feel like I had a bit of a crash, but then I tried to eat a little more and a little more healthy, and bounced back. I'm hoping to make a couple more outings to Lone Mountain before race day, but feel confident about getting sub-6 even with the limited scouting I did this week (just repeats up and down the mountain, really). The altitude hit me a bit, but not too bad, and I think it was more just being tired from the previous big days this week. I'm feeling good, and now begins the taper.
Ward Mt. Summit
The new ridge section
The "Parachute" gully I came down (not part of the race course)--loose!
I think we join the ridge at the left end of this picture--"Parachute" gully in the middle
Brilliant saxophonist! Reminds me of Phillip Glass: