Sunday, February 27, 2011

Weekly Summary: Feb 14-27

Mon- 11 miles (1:25) West Cliff, 445'
Not really feeling as sore as I thought I would, so I decided to extend my shake-out today. Took it really easy down West Cliff and even ran into my parents along they way! They came down from Sacramento to camp for 2 weeks, so it's been great hanging with them. My heels are really sore, and it was a bit difficult falling asleep last night because of the pain, but all-in-all I think I'll recover nicely.

Tues- AM: 6 miles (:45) Seacliff, 203'
A cold, but beautiful morning for an easy run. I did an old route through the Aptos neighborhood which was a welcomed break from West Cliff. Legs are feeling good, but heels are (not surprisingly) still sore. 
PM: 11 miles (1:27) Nisene, 1150'
Hung out with the gf for a bit before hitting the trails in Nisene. Not much to report on this run...felt good on the way out, but started to drag coming back. Kind of skipped lunch, but made up for it with some cookies. =]

Wed- AM: 12 miles (1:34) Nisene, 1421'
Not too much to say. Beautiful run in the park and met up with the parents at Costco before class. Had a mocha freeze and trail mix for lunch...not ideal, but tasty!
PM: 8 miles (1:03) Pogonip, 540'
After a little debate, I finally headed up into Pogonip for an easy stroll. There was a little break in the rain which made for a gorgeous run. Legs are feeling surprisingly chipper.

Thurs- AM: 14 miles (1:49) West Cliff, 610'
Kind of a sucky run. Sunday is definitely starting to catch up to me. I had two pieces of toast for breakfast and got ravenous about 6 miles into the a result I bonked pretty hard on the return home. Had a big bowl of greek yogurt with blackberries after...yum.
PM: 1 mile w/up, 3x1mile @ 3k pace w/ 400m jog, 1 mile cool-down, Track
5:59, 5:49, 5:48
I was really questioning whether or not to hit the track tonight because of how tired I've been lately. If I didn't make it to the track, I was planning on an easy shake-out, but not wanting to run in the rain alone I decided to suffer for an hour with my teammates. Once I warmed up, the intervals were rather effortless. Coach had us run the first lap at 3k pace then add 20 seconds to the second, then back to 3k, and finish the fourth lap at 20 seconds slower. It was difficult at first to judge how slow I was running the 'recovery' lap, but I got into a groove. I never found myself really struggling which may be neither good nor bad. Overall, it felt like a solid workout.

Fri: AM: 9.75 miles (1:11) West Cliff, 404'
I'll be honest...kind of a miserably run this morning. Although my pace was surprisingly quick, it was a sufferfest the entire way. Lately I've been feeling completely drained even though I've been sleeping about 8.5 hours a night. I'm probably not as recovered as I thought, so I'm going to monitor my body pretty closely at this point.
PM: 7 miles (:52) Pogonip, 377'
Went for a quick run through Pogonip before my History of Life mid-term (yikes!) and surprise, surprise I felt like garbage! This should be a red-flag to back off the training, but of course I'm too stubborn. I'm also wondering if my performance this week has been struggling because of my's been pretty heavy in the sweet's/junk food department. I think I've eaten more chocolate, cookies, and pizza this week than I have ever in my life, but who knows. At about 2:45pm and with ~2 miles left in the run, I remembered that my class started at 3:30 and not 4, so it was a mad-dash to get home, change and make it up to campus for my test! Luckily, I made it with some time to spare, and even did quite well on the test.

Sat- AM: 16 miles (2:05) Nisene, 1571'
This week has been pretty Nisene-heavy, but I've enjoyed the mix-up in my training. I had a banana with peanut butter pre-run, which apparently wasn't enough. I bonked with about 6 miles left and just felt totally crappy. The return home was painful, but I refueled with some egg whites and fruit.

Sun- AM: 16 miles (2:01) East Cliff, 584'
Mixed things up this morning with a long run on East Cliff. Set out with SCE for a planned 18 miles, but turned back early for a total of 16. The last miles were yet again a struggle as a few of the guys decided to throw down some sub-7min miles. It's time to really focus on performance and dial back the training in preparation for WTC. I some greek yogurt post-run and lunch was pizza with about a million cookies. I feel gross.

-Miles: 117
-Time: 15hr 01min
-Vertical: 7,355'

I'm not really sure what's been going on with my training this week. Part of me thinks it's my diet and part of me says I'm just not completely recovered from Sunday...maybe both? In regards to my diet, I've been having difficulty keeping on weight, so from here on out I'm going to begin tracking what I eat in an attempt to fill in the holes. Having come this far in my training, I cannot afford to mess things up because of sloppy nutritional habits. WTC is quickly approaching, and the more I think about it, the more I feel this could be a break-out race for me. My original plan was to semi-taper for it and use it as a tune-up for the AR 50, but I'm beginning to see my potential in 50k races. I really don't have much experience in 50 milers, and with WTC bringing huge talent from across the U.S., I think it'd be foolish not to give it my all here. I can feel my attention slowly slipping away from this blog as my appetite grows, so I think it's time to go destroy a burrito...and hopefully get out of this calorie deficit! 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Weekly Summary: Feb 14-20

Mon- AM: 13.3 miles (1:48) Pogonip o&b, 1132'
Have to be honest...I kind of slacked off this week with keeping a running log, so most of this is by memory! Just too much to focus on this week. If I remember correctly though, I felt pretty good today. Just tried to keep it fairly easy and soak up some of the remaining sun!
PM: 5 miles (:38) West Cliff, 199'
Super easy shake-out...nothing special. Took me a bit to get motivated, but I'm glad I got outside. My legs are feeling pretty strong from yesterday's workout.

Tues- AM: 8 miles (1:03) Nisene, 700'
My foot's been hurting, but not enough that I can't put weight on it, so I decided to head out for a few miles. It was chilly this morning, so motivation was lacking. The foot started acting up around mile 4 and my Garmin's battery died, so I decided to head home. =[
PM: 6 miles (:43) West Cliff, 220'
After a trip to Costco to stock up on groceries and a new Droid X (both compliments of the parents!) I headed out for an easy run. Unlike this morning, I actually felt good, but the top of my foot still feels funny.

Wed- AM: 12 miles (1:32) West Cliff, 410'
Bleh. Super windy run this morning and my legs were heavy. I managed to miss most of the rain, but got hailed on while coming home. Needless to say, I kind of just wanted to get back to the apartment and veg in front of the TV.
PM: 6 miles (:46) Pogonip, 230'
Well, I wasn't planning on running again today, but the sun started to peek out, so I threw on my shoes and sauntered up to Pogonip. Lots of puddles and mud, which I absolutely love to splash hit with a little drizzle on the way home. Watching the sunset from Pogonip with the light rain was amazing. =]

Thurs- AM: 8 miles (1:02) Nisene, 692'
Just a bit of a shake-out in preparation for tonight's track workout. My legs felt really strong, so I had to remind myself to keep the pace easy.
PM: 1 mile w/up, 3x1mile @ tempo w/ 1 min recovery, 1 mile cool-down, Track
5:43, 5:38, 5:38
Another solid track sesh! Not too many SCE peeps were out there tonight due to the rain, but I'm glad I braved the weather. I haven't done one of these tempo runs before, so my track coach, Aaron, gave me a time to shoot for, and I hit it every split. Surprisingly, I only felt semi-uncomfortable. Maybe this is good? Not quite sure what to expect from this workout.

Fri- AM: 10 miles (1:19) Pogonip, 925'
After holding out until the absolute last second, I laced up the 101's for a run in the rain. It was actually pleasant once I got soaked. I didn't really want to push it too hard on the mile climb through Pogonip, so I settled into an easy pace and focused on good form/footing for Sunday. All in all, a cold, but very enjoyable run. 

Sat- AM: 6 miles (:44) West Cliff, 216'
My original plan for today was ~10 miles, but I decided to cut it short and save the legs for tomorrow. Not too jinx myself, but I'm feeling very strong and hopeful for tomorrow! The sun disappeared for the last 2 miles of my run and was replaced by rain, but the forecast is showing beautiful conditions for tomorrow!

Sun- AM: PCTR Lake Chabot 50k (3:36:41), 4243'
I don't want to go into too much detail since I'm in the process of writing a race report, but...I (somehow) won! I toed the line as close to the front as I could and took off strong, holding the lead for the entire race. Looking at my splits after the race, I was shocked to see most of them in the low 7's with a handful in the 6's. Although the course was a bit short (I think it totaled around 29.5-30 miles), I still put forth a strong effort, and it paid off! Even with the added 2,000' of vertical gain as compared to the Folsom Point 50k, I shaved 10 minutes off my PR. I never had the feeling of "Oh my god, this sucks" like I felt at the last 50k in fact, I kept waiting for it to hurt, but oddly enough the sensation never came. Not sure if that means I should have gone harder, or my training is paying off? Either way, I'm thankful that I was given the opportunity to race and need to remember that my main focus is still on WTC/ AR 50. Full report to come!

-Miles: 109
-Time: 13hr 53min
-Vertical: 8,967'

What an absolutely crazy week! I honestly wasn't expecting to perform like I did on Sunday not only because I haven't raced in ~3 months, but also because of the amount of mileage I've been logging. These last few months have been a huge learning curve as I experiment and dial in my training, so my decision to include a mini-taper this week had me second guessing myself. During the week of my last 50k, I ran about 15 miles leading up to it, while this week my taper was ~80 miles. Granted I run more than twice as many miles compared to three months ago, but even still the doubt persists! I'm not sure my win from the Folsom Point 50k had totally sunk in yet either, and that just put more pressure on myself to perform and prove that it wasn't a fluke. Anyways, I'm happy to see results from my training and am thankful that the amount of time I spend running isn't all for naught! At this point, I really cannot ask for much more...I'm performing better than I ever thought possible, while still enjoying training/running as much as ever! Looking forward, I'm not sure if I'll continue with the 140 miles/week, but I do plan to stay above 115. I think that constantly training on tired legs was key to my success on Sunday, and at least for me, I find comfort in knowing that if I can run 140 miles in one week, I can absolutely run a strong 30 miles in one day. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Weekly Summary: Feb 7-13

Mon- AM: 22 miles (2:52) Pogonip-Wilder-West Cliff, 1748'
Not much to say here. The legs were feeling pretty exceptional, so I thought I'd extend my planned 16 miler to 22.
PM: 5 miles (:39) West Cliff, 189'
Nice shake-out. Legs are feeling surprisingly light and responsive.

Tues- AM: 6 miles (:45) West Cliff, 229'
I got up a bit earlier than normal and after finishing a bit of homework, I decided to head out to meet the sunrise. What a gorgeous run on West Cliff. A slight breeze, but fairly warm for 7:30am. I'm feeling strong from yesterday.
PM: 14 miles (1:50) Wilder-Pogonip, 1542'
Despite the gnarly ~20mph headwind up through Wilder, this turned out to be an awesome run. Based on this morning's strong shake-out I knew this afternoon would be enjoyable. My first couple of miles were in the low 7 minutes, which surprised me considering yesterday's 27 miles...this might have actually been one of my fastest Wilder-Pogonip loops to date!

Wed- AM: 20 miles (2:52) Ohlone Bluffs-Wilder-West Cliff, 1656'
Met up with local ultrarunner and new friend, Sean, for an awesome trail run this morning. I've never been in Wilder that early in the morning (7am), so it was awesome to experience the sunrise from the Ohlone Bluffs. We made our way along the ocean to 6 Mile Beach and ran into another runner who tagged along for a few miles before we headed up the Wilder hills. I think we hit the Enchanted Loop trail, Wilder Ridge, Wild Boar, and Engelsman...probably another one, but I'd never been out that far before, so who knows! My legs felt really strong today, despite the miles from Monday and Tuesday, and as far as I could tell was floating up most of the climbs. The majority of the run was pretty mellow, which didn't bother me one bit! I was planning another shake-out this afternoon, but I'm feeling pretty tired so I'll just use my time to get some work done. Looking forward to doing this again next wednesday. B-fast was: cereal and coffee

Thurs- AM: 5 miles (:39) Seacliff-Nisene, 378'
My legs were feeling a bit tight this morning, so I decided to get in a few easy miles before this afternoon's trail run and the track workout later tonight.
PM: 13 miles (1:48) Pogonip o&b, 1100'
Legs are still pretty sore after the run, but I took it super mellow so I'm hoping it won't affect tonight's workout. I'm definitely not feeling as fresh as I was last Thursday prior to track, but that's probably because of yesterday's 20 miler. Before the run I decided to have some whole wheat french bread with a little hummus, and what a bad idea that was. The entire run I felt a little queasy, and I'm still feeling it now.
PM: 1.5 miles warm/cool (:17) w/ 6x600m @ 5k pace, 300m rec. jog, 3.5 miles (:25) Track
2:01, 1:55, 1:54, 1:55, 1:55, 1:55
Solid track workout...definitely more intense than I thought though! Today was 6x600m repeats @ 5k pace. Like last week, I wasn't sure what pace to shoot for, so I just sort of went out with the faster guys. My 400m splits were between 75-79sec, and I was around a sub-5 min/mile for most of the efforts, so I think I pushed myself pretty hard. By the end of the repeats I was ready to keel over. A great day of running, but still feeling weird from today's hummus incident.

Fri- AM: 4 miles (:30) West Cliff, 224'
Got out earlier than normal this morning for my shake-out. I have class at 8am, so I laced up the shoes and headed outside around 6:45 for an easy 4 miler. I'm feeling awesome, and the sunrise was beautiful over the ocean!
PM: 13 miles (1:50) Wilder-Pogonip, 1546'
Definitely one of my slower days in Wilder, but I think the miles are finally catching up. I've been feeling completely drained this entire week, so I tried not to push the pace and just focused on recovery.
PM: 3 miles (:24) Western, 83'
I decided to throw in a few extra easy miles to see if I couldn't shake the cobwebs off the legs. This run probably walked the line between junk miles/recovery, but I'm feeling better...still tired though. Hopefully some homemade sushi tonight is the answer!

Sat- AM: 14 miles (1:54) Pogonip-Wilder, 1704'
Bleh. Today was just one of those runs that kind of suck. I was hurting from the get-go, and by the end just couldn't wait to get home. My legs feel a bit crappy and now the top of my right foot is starting to hurt. I think I might have bruised a metatarsal head from the 101's, so I'm going to monitor it closely and take it easy. I was hoping for a solid 16-18 miles this morning, but it just wasn't in the I don't plan on pushing through the pain in my foot for an 2 miles. I'm still absolutely exhausted, which is strange because I've been getting 7-8.5 hours of sleep each night. Having said that, I've been finding that I wake up sporadically because of my super firm/uncomfortable futon mattress. Oh well.

Sun- AM: 6 miles warm/cool (:47) Levee, 284' 
12 miles @ 6:29/mile (1:18), West Cliff, 298'
Considering yesterday's run, I anticipated needing some extra motivation for today so I met up with ma boy Jon for a run! He's training for Boston, so my plan was just to run the tempo workout him. I figured we'd be able to motivate one another and get some speed in my legs. After an easy 3 mile warm-up, we set out on West Cliff for 12 miles @ 6:30 (his marathon pace for Boston). I was fully expecting to drop off the back at about 2 miles in, but to my surprise I stuck the whole workout without feeling anything more than a little uncomfortable! I think I've been underestimating my fitness, especially considering Thursday's track workout and today's tempo-ish run. I probably could have easily ran ~20 seconds faster/mile, which I'm thinking is somewhere around my marathon time. We go a bit over-zealous at one point (mile 4) and hit a 6:18 split, but to my surprise I recovered within ~.25 miles and once we slowed back to the 6:30 pace, I felt like I had settled into a pretty easy jog. My legs started to get heavy towards the final 1.5 miles, which I accredit to not having eaten during the run and only a piece of toast beforehand. We finished with a super mellow 3 mile cool-down through Pogonip. Jon put in an awesome effort today, so I think he'll have no problem hitting his goal in two months! Hopefully this is a good predictor of how I'll perform at Sunday's 50k too!

-Miles: 142.5 
-Time: 18hr 59min
-Vertical: 10,981'

I'm writing a few days later than I would have liked, but this week has been amazing. Like most of my training, it lacked structure, and I just sort of ran as to my heart's content. At first I thought this would be problematic because I wouldn't recover properly or wouldn't be running workouts as hard as I could; however, I've found that by simply listening to my body and taking it easy when I feel tired, I am able to string together back-to-back-to-back 20 milers with no problem. This became most evident on Thursday when I hit the track. Besides last week, it's been years since I've done any sort of track/speed work, so to have ran those splits makes me pretty darn happy...and not to mention excited for Sunday's race. I surprised myself again on Sunday with a solid tempo run, which left me only a little winded/uncomfortable. However, having said that I do believe it's time for a small recovery/taper week in preparation for the Lake Chabot 50k and because of the questionable foot pain. My plan for the upcoming week is to log around 80 easy miles prior to Sunday. I want to go into the race feeling almost recovered, but at the same time use it as a tune-up for WTC. Not entirely sure what to expect, considering that the last time I raced a 50k my peak mileage was around 70mpw, and the week of the race I ran only about 20. We shall see!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Weekly Summary: Jan 31-Feb 6

Mon- AM: 16 miles (2:10) Nisene-West Ridge, 1734'
Went back to Nisene as promised, and wow, what a trail! The lush forest completely surrounded me with sunlight poking through, highlighting a very gentle mist. Amazing. Felt kind of slow heading from the house to the West Ridge trailhead, but I think that's due in part to the slight uphill. Played around on the single track for only a few miles because I didn't bring water/food and didn't want to get stuck in the middle of the forest. I figure I'll go out Saturday before work and do the full WR/fireroad loop...should be around 23-24 miles. The footing was pretty sloppy and technical at times because of yesterday's downpour mixed with the 101's...the super low-profile tread obviously didn't excel in these conditions. My legs started to loosen up with the ups and downs of the trail, and at a few points on the downhills I had to check my speed. =] Finding a new trail (single track, no less!) and exploring the unknown always reminds me why I run. Also, I can definitely feel that I'm getting stronge/faster on the hills, which I owe to running Wilder everyday. Glad I've moved the majority of my miles to the trails. Breakfast was: two slices of double fiber toast w/ peanut butter & jelly (unfortunately, all I could find), coffee.
PM: 6.3 miles (:47) West Cliff, 293'
Lovely shake-out run this afternoon. It was a great way to de-stress after my French test. Headed out around 3:20pm and was a little crunched for time since I had class again at 5pm, so I pushed the pace a little bit. Nothing all that fast, but more so than usual.

Tues- AM: 20 miles (2:32) Pogonip-Wilder-West Cliff, 1694'
Felt amazing on this morning's run, and I think I owe it to my breakfast! Took a while to motivate myself to get outside, but as soon as I hit the pavement I was off. I could tell I felt strong, so I pushed the pace and hit a PR on the climb from my apartment to the Twin Gates (~907' ascent in 6.25 miles- 53 min). Hit the descent in Wilder pretty hard, and decided to throw in a few extra miles on West Cliff. My planned 16 miler turned into's exciting knowing that I can throw down 20 miles on any given day, especially with no fuel during the run. =] Breakfast was: half sweet potato w/ Udo's oil and agave nectar, coffee, a few honey-wheat pretzel twists (my new addiction)

Wed- AM: 13.5 miles (1:44) West Cliff, 434'
Legs were pretty shot this morning. There was a pretty gnarly headwind on the way out, which made things frustrating. It was the first time in a while I contemplated turning home early, but decided to stick it out. Overall it was a beautiful morning! Breakfast was: lots o' coffee, small bowl of Life cereal, and two pieces of toast w/ almond butter post run.
PM: 5.5 miles (:41) West Cliff, 241' 
Well, ran a little faster than I probably should have to make this a true shake-out, but I was crunched for time and had to be back to take a mid-term. Legs were sore, but I surprised myself with the pace! I'm pretty tired today...looking forward to some Chinese food with the bestie and gf. =]

Thurs- AM: 5 miles (:38) Seacliff-Nisene, 325'
Felt awesome this morning...decided to get a light run in early and hit the trails once it warmed up. Legs were surprisingly light and reactive, and I completely enjoyed myself as opposed to yesterday's frustration-fest. I've spent a very relaxing morning just drinking coffee and getting homework done, but I feel like a bit of a couch potato at this point, so I think I'll go log some miles in Wilder. Pre-run breakfast: lots o' coffee. Post-run: two pieces of cracked wheat w/ almond butter, an apple, some soy nuts. 
PM: 14 miles (1:50) Wilder-Pogonip, 1456'
Lounged around the apartment a little longer than I planned before hitting the trails, but the extra rest was awesome! Got a good amount of homework done (which needs to be my main focus anyways), but started feeling kind of lazy and almost wasn't able to lace up the shoes. Leaving in the earylish afternoon (12:45) always throws off my eating patterns, so of course I got really hungry just before taking off. Raided the fridge and had two (very small) pieces of my leftover gluten-free vegan pizza. Definitely was not a good idea (DUH) because I was tasting it again and again on each downhill. Oh well. Took it super mellow on the climbs and just enjoyed the sun. It's kind of last minute, but I think I'm going to head over to the track tonight to suffer some 4xmile repeats with the team. It'll be my first time on a track in like 6-7 years...should be interesting! Now, time for some a solid couch sesh and cereal/ toast.
PM: 7 miles (:45) Track, 30'
1mi warm-up, 4xmile @ 10k racepace w/ 400m rec. jog, 1mi cool-down
5:35, 5:26, 5:25, 5:24 first 3-a-day! Did not think I could run that fast! It's been probably ~5 months since I've raced a 10k and since I've put in some solid speedwork, so I really didn't know what pace to shoot for. I decided to just pick someone fast (thanks Marty!) and try to hang with him. I think it was a solid pace for me, and I definitely was feeling it, but probably could have cranked it a little harder, since I didn't slow down on the last mile. Overall, I'm extremely pleased with my performance, especially having run 19 miles earlier in the day. Thursday night track sessions will now be added to my schedule, but I need to keep a close monitor on my body at this point. I wouldn't be able to forgive myself if I caused an injury this close to my big races. On that note, a little bump/ tightness has developed on the outside of my right knee. I've been icing it, hoping that it's just a little fluid build-up from the miles. Fingers are crossed!

Fri- AM: 16.25 miles (2:06) Pogonip-Wilder, 1595'
Wasn't as sore as I expected from yesterday's pretty intense workout! Legs felt great and just seemed to cruise up the hills. The bump on my knee hasn't gotten any worse, so I've just been icing it and taking NSAIDs. Had the usual two slices of toast for breakfast with coffee =]
PM: 5 miles (:39) West Cliff, 203'
Really enjoyable run on West Cliff tonight. The weather was perfect and even got to catch a bit of the sunset. I was pretty tired heading out, but my legs loosened up around mile 2.5, and it didn't feel like such a struggle.

Sat- AM: 17.5 miles (2:07) West Cliff, 558'
After a good amount of time wasted deciding between trails and road, I eventually settled on West Cliff. I figured I could use a flat, mellow run as opposed to all the hills. Also, I thought not having the pounding descents might be better for my right knee. Anyways, I pushed the pace more than I intended and actually felt awesome! Got in a couple miles around a 6:45 pace...not terribly fast, but definitely surprising considering this week's load. The bump seems to be getting better...still a little tightness when straightening my leg, but nothing serious. Had some yummy toast for b-fast, per usual. Off to work!

Sun- AM: 14 miles (1:57) Nisene-Seacliff, 1224'
Amazing weather! I was sweating around couldn't have been any more perfect! Also, another inspiring run with the Fleet Feet training group! I actually got to lead everyone this week, which was an awesome feeling! I'm loving getting to know everyone and can't wait to see how they progress! As for my run, I sort of did a bunch of out-and-backs on the fireroad to make sure everyone was doing okay. I kept the pace really mellow...think the week's mileage finally caught up. The legs are pretty dead, but today was a nice shake-out. Did a few miles in the Green Silence, and wow are they quick! Definitely going to start using them for my weekly track sessions, and possibly as an everyday trainer. Finished the run in my 101's, of course. =] I was planning on a little 5 miler this evening, but work was so hectic today that I'm just too wiped! The knee is also feeling better and range of motion is almost normal! BUT, that dang blister on my pinkie toe from the sockless run is acting up (probably infected) and hurts pretty bad. B-fast was the usual toast and coffee...didn't really get a chance to eat lunch because we were so busy, but I did some damage on a bag of pretzels and some peanut butter, with a few apples thrown in. And now, I'm just waiting for some buds from work to meet me at Planet Fresh for a tasty vegan burrito! Can't think of a better way to end such a tiring, yet accomplished week.

-Miles: 140
-Time: 18h 6min
-Vertical: 9,787'

Wow, am I tired! It's been quite a physically/ mentally draining week, but I wouldn't change a mile of it. It seems like I've been saying this frequently recently, but I can't believe how much my running has taken off! This has been, without a doubt, the best week of training yet, and based on how my body is responding, it has me excited for the coming weeks! I'm planning on racing a 50k in two weeks as a tune-up for WTC, and with a solid taper at the beginning of March, I'm hoping that I'll put up a pretty respectable fight. Right now the plan is to use Cool as more of a tune-up for the AR 50 miler, but I still want to race hard, so I'm not going to completely train through it. Most likely, I'll ramp up the training again after Cool in preparation for the AR 50 miler, focusing on doing some longer 25-30 mile runs a couple weeks out to AR, then backing down for ~1.5 weeks. It seems like everything (weather, training, school, work, etc.) has been cooperating with me perfectly, so I'm just going to roll with it!