I thought with 2 weeks to go I'd give a sort of status update on my training and feeling going into the race. Over the last two weeks I've had a sort of roller-coaster in terms of general well being and feeling on my training.
First I got sick about a week and a half ago along with the rest of the family and it hit me hard, especially in my energy levels, I was tired all day. Through that I took some rest days but managed to eek out some miles though they were mostly all flat and at a moderate pace. That and I continued my regimen of lifting weights twice a week with an emphasis on squats. I have heard much on how ultrarunners don't need to lift and such, however most of these folks have access to tons of vertical on a daily basis and end up building strength that way. I however live in Denver with responsibilities that limit my access to big vertical, and I've found that lifting really helps me develop the strength needed to maintain composure, form, and power throughout the extended climbs.
Anyway, I had two terrible weeks of training where I wanted to be in the 70+ mpw range as I continue to bump up the intensity but managed 70, followed by 60 the next week. However, right towards the end of last week I started to claw my way out of the sickness I'd been dealing with (and get more/better sleep) and there's been a general turn in my feeling and training. Monday was awesome because I got to get up in the hills and run true "trail" (ice) for the first time in a while. I had attempted a 50K tempo on the Saturday before but ended up getting lost and picked up by my wife after crashing at 22 miles and 15 miles from home. Monday was the exact opposite; even through it was a pure ice chute I felt solid on the climbs and bomber on the descents. When I got back to my car 15 miles later, I wished I could just go back and do it again! This week should get me into the prime base training load of 85-100 mpw and I hope to keep it there consistently through the summer.
Now, when I look forward to Way Too Cool in 2 weeks, I'm becoming more and more satisfied to come in without expectations and just run solid all day as a training run. It will be super easy to stay engaged with the new trails, as long as I don't get lost! Who knows, the low altitude could help me turn in something faster that I think I'm geared for, but I'm not worried anymore. I'm just excited to hang out with all the fun trail folks and soak up the early season race atmosphere. I'll leave the hanging it on the line for Cheyenne Canyon...