It tears right into the gut. Please, please bring rain.
It is possible that the Leadville Trail 100 might not be held this year. This area could be either unreachable or directly affected by fires. So I'm preparing a backup plan, the Woodstock 100 miler, which is practically in my backyard, and it's held in September, so my fitness would be right there without too much re-building or having to peak again.
For now, I'm sticking with the Leadville plan, which calls for a three week build, then one recovery week, followed by two more build weeks, and then a two week taper. The one week taper, of which I'm a big fan for races of up to 6 hours, was not enough for Mohican, and will certainly not be enough for a first 100. And anything more than two weeks would be too long, so that's the plan.
I'm going to take a page out of Ellie Greenwood's playbook, since she recently shattered Ann Trason's 18-year-old Western States 100 record just three weeks after finishing 2nd at Comrades 56-mile ultramarathon; for between the two races, she did some power hiking, but no running. The work is done once I arrive in Colorado, two weeks before the race, and I can only dig into my readiness by going crazy and running mountains when I arrive.
Back to the trails.
Every other day, I try to run the trails at Cedar Bend and The Arb, for they are loaded with hills, most of which are runnable but challenging, and some that demand a keen power hike, which should be good Pb-ville training. I can run from my door up to the Huron River base of Cedar Bend in 2 miles, with a mile of that on trail. Yesterday, I hit these two adjacent parks, plus one loop of the flat Barton Nature area as a cool down, for a very tough 20 miler in 85 - 95 degree heat. Although I fell behind on salt and hit some really low spots energy-wise, I didn't give up on this run and pushed through the heat, reminding myself of something Kilian Jornet said about the strongest muscle you need in a 100 mile race is your mind.
Here are some pics from yesterday's run:
Cedar Bend is a wayback machine. Love the old, natural hand rails.
Ancient looking steps from Ann Arbor's oldest park
Kayakers enjoy the heat on the Huron River at the base of Cedar Bend
The Arb lookout
Arb trails: pines, hills, single track, beauty