Saturday, March 29, 2008

How to recover after 100 miles

Beach and Feet
Originally uploaded by thr3ee

No race report yet, but, as the photo demonstrates, this is definitely a low-motivation type of environment. OK so I did run 6 miles barefoot on the beach the morning of this picture, but I needed to burn off the margaritas from the night before and prepare for the fully loaded buffet breakfast. You see, it's an active recovery and I am continuing to take in electrolytes and plenty of calories :-).

Monday, March 24, 2008

News Flash

San Francisco Bay Area trail runner, Steve Ansell, was hit by a large truck just outside the small town of Ojai, California shortly after 6pm on Friday, March 21st. He was kept under close supervision for the next 33 1/2 hours as his condition was really touch-and-go. His vitals fluctuated wildly throughout the two day ordeal and he could be heard mumbling strange, nonsensical utterances. One close observer mentioned hearing phrases such as "22 degrees at Rose Vally, 95 at Thacher", "homemade pot stickers, PB&J burrito, giant Easter Bunny" and something about being "passed by an antelope wearing a headlamp whose feet didn't touch the ground." Steve was kept at the Rancho Grande near highway 33 where there was some sort of "endurance run" taking place. Fortunately, for him, the incredible staff of volunteers who were in attendance for this event were not only able to keep Steve out of critical danger, but are really due much credit for his very survival. Some time shortly after 3:30am Sunday morning, Steve spontaneously came to and, still relatively incoherent, began stumbling around "The Ranch" thanking people and shaking hands. After taking in some nutrients and sharing tales of the, obviously fever induced, dreams that he had of the past two nights, he was transported a few hours north where he is currently convalescing at private residence in the city of Arroyo Grande. He is expected to make a full recovery and has plans to publish the memoirs of his recollections once he is able to "sort out the scrambled eggs that used to be my brains" (his words).

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Most of a Marathon

After Saturday's successful (though frustrating) jaunt up Mission Peak, I was ready for some big hills on Sunday. My mother called on Saturday to remind me that I don't come visit enough so the simple answer was Mt. Diablo. I would head over there and get in a good 20+miler and then hit the parents up for dinner. Big hills and big food. Perfect.

I didn't really want to do multiple trips up the main road or anything and I didn't have much time to plan a particularly creative route. That's OK, my good friends Sarah and Wendell over at PCTR had already done most of the work for me. I took a look at the map for the Diablo Marathon (I'm running the 50 miler later this year) and decided that I would do a modified version of the course. Instead of going up to the peak twice I would make only one trip by heading down to Rock City after Juniper and then taking the Peak Trail all the way to the top. It would cover most of the trails, but cut out about 3-4 miles and over 1000ft of climbing allowing me a chance to finish the run in less than 6 hours.

I printed out a trail map and the course directions from the web site then packed my gear and headed out leaving the map and directions sitting in my bedroom. I didn't realize this until I was at Mitchell Canyon trailhead. Ah well, I would have to run by memory. While I grew up on Mt. Diablo, we lived on the "back side" and most of my youthful wanderings were over unnamed trails on private land. I am not actually that familiar with the trails in the park itself though I knew a few of the people (or their descendants) for whom some of the trails are named. It's hard to get too lost on Diablo since everything goes up and the views are so good. I had a pretty good idea of the route.

The first part was to go up and over Eagle Peak. I'd heard of this peak and knew it by profile, but had never been up. It's a grind, but a really nice one that offers rewarding views in a very short time. I think I mostly covered the correct route here heading up the switchbacks to Mitchell Rock then on to Twin Peaks and over to Eagle Peak at just over 2350ft. Covering this in less than 3 miles was a bit like the run up Mission Peak. The trail then headed on a short, but fun single-track downhill before going back up over Bald Ridge and then down to meet the Meridian Road firetrail. This shortly intersected with the Deer Flat firetrail with which I am very familiar. I followed this up to Juniper Camp where I refilled my water bottles. It was actually getting to be quite warm and with my lack of acclimatization, it was going to be a bit like a summer run.

From Juniper I headed off on the Peak Trail, but then turned right and headed down towards Rock City. I wasn't too sure about the trail here, but just tried to stay on the main trail. When I reached a sign pointing towards Curry Canyon I knew I'd gone a bit far and made a turn right towards Rock City (as a side note, Curry Canyon goes all the way down near where I grew up). I arrived at Rock City and mostly just wandered around. It was crowded with picnickers, day hikers and people just driving through. I hadn't been here since a field trip in grade school. I stayed on the "Trail Through Time" until it came to the Devil's Slide trail. I followed this for an out-and-back not knowing if it was part of the marathon course. It's a beautiful trail and it was fun passing through the climbing area. I turned around just passed the bridge.

Now it was time for the long grind up to the peak. Its a haul, but there are a few portions of shade that make it not so bad. I made had another missed turn as some hikers were standing and sitting in front of the trail sign around Pioneer Camp. I realized this quickly and headed back up. I'm quite familiar with the last steep gravel section up to the South Peak. However, at this point I started to feel some intestinal problems. I was hoping it was just some gas, but knew the top (and restrooms) were near. It was great conditions at the peak even with the crowds. I chatted with a couple of bikers as I filled my bottles and then went to hit the restrooms before my trip down. I was deterred by the long line and decided to risk that maybe my stomach wouldn't be an issue as it felt OK at this point.

Heading down was nice especially since I knew there was only one more big climb to North Peak before the final downhill. However, the jarring of the winding downhill let me know that my body definitely needed attention. I passed a couple of hikers going down and urgency started to turn into emergency. With steep hill on either side of the trail there was no way to venture off in search of a useful bush or tree. Finally I made it to Prospector's Gap and shot off into the trees. Taking care of business was a huge relief. I felt better as I started on the trail up to the other peak. As I moved along I realized that I just wasn't feeling well overall. I started to worry a bit, but then a look at my watch told me that I was a little over 4 hours into my run. Ah...our 4...always a transition point. I sucked down my last gel, drank some water and headed up the firetrail determined to push through, but also take it at a nice slow pace.

I hadn't been up the North Peak since my mountain biking days and even then I recall pushing my bike quite a bit and eventually dishing it for the final climb. I soon realized why. The trail is steep and loose most of the way up, but the final few hundred feet are just ridiculous. It is pretty much a scramble to the peak and I was moving all of 1 mile per hour. I didn't recall if the race went all the way up here, but if it did this would be hell at mile 43 of a 50 miler! I wandered around up there and took in the views before the even more precarious downhill. One near slip was all I needed to remind me that this was no place to take a fall. Slow and easy were the word. From the North Peak the route headed over to Mount Olympia. I had never been over there an was looking forward to it. It was also some more downhill trail, but not necessarily the most runnable sort.

Arriving at Mt Opympia was amazing. It just a little peak hanging out off the ridge from the north peak, but it was so quiet and peaceful out there. The views were a little different and I decided that I would just take a little break and enjoy it for a few minutes. I sat down looking out over the delta to the east and then I noticed the Sierras poking through the clouds far in the distance. A wonderful way to spend mile 19 especially knowing that I had about 4 miles and 2300ft of downhill ahead of me. I eventually headed out and was looking forward to no more climbing. There was some real runnable downhill here though without knowing the trails I couldn't go all out. I remembered a bit of this section Zippe Trail, Olympia Road, Olympia Trail, a few others and eventually hitting the Donner Road firetrail. I knew that I was somehow supposed to get onto Back Creek Trail, but I wasn't sure how far along the fireroad that was so when it started heading down I just continued. I was also out of water at this point and had used up all my fuel as well so I wasn't really interested in anything that didn't head downward.

When I started seeing signs giving mileage to Regency Gate, I knew I was on the wrong trail. However, I was hoping that there might be water at that entrance so I just kept on going. Regency Gate is a no facilities entrance. Bummer. It did have a trail map kiosk so I could see that there was a pretty direct route over to Mitchell Canyon. The only question was how far. I headed out in that direction shuffling up the first hill. A family of hikers came down towards me and I stopped to ask them how far to Mitchell Canyon. The response was "about a mile and a quarter". I could make that even dry as I was. Then I was offered a water bottle and I felt like someone had thrown me a life line. I thanked the guy profusely and picked up my pace knowing that a I could do a mile and a bit with ease now that I had hydration. It turned out to be even shorter than expected and the parking lot came into view and I was happy. So happy that I even managed to miss the final downhill to the lot and started going up again! Oops.

As I made the final jog to my car my Garmin told me that I had covered just about 25 miles for the day. A little more than I had planned, but I actually felt pretty good. This put me over 32 miles for the weekend with a total ascent of just about 9000ft. Why, that's almost 1/3 of the mileage and climbing I will be doing in a couple of weeks. Completing this with a 50 miler the previous weekend gives me pretty good confidence that I am as well trained as I can be (given the circumstances) for the 100 miles. Now it's taper time!

Monday, March 10, 2008

To Kill a Hiking Nerd

Saturday was mostly about running errands and catching up on some long overdue chores at home. However, the perfect weather conditions pretty much made it impossible to stay indoors. By mid-afternoon I could no longer resist and had to head to the trail. I would do something longer on Sunday, but I wanted one last weekend of hills before tapering for C2M so I would head to Mission Peak and do one nice loop to the top.

Before I even arrived at the parking area it was clear that the arrival of Springtime weather beckoned many others to the trail as well. The street was lined with cars and people walking to and from the trailhead. I decided that I would do my 8 mile figure-8 route heading up the Peak Meadow trail rather than contend with all the hikers on the main fireroad. I love seeing so many people getting out and enjoying the trails, but sometimes they can be a bit of a chore to deal with especially on the lower part of the trail. There is always a certain percentage of people who seem to be oblivious to the existence of others on the trail, walking 4-across, kids wandering on-and-off the trail, people with headphones on who don't hear you coming. By the time the Peak Meadow meets the Valley View trail things have thinned out a little bit.

For the first two miles up the trail I encountered all of two people on the trail and managed to see one coyote wandering about near Horse Heaven Trail. With the two last weekend and the one I would see on Sunday that makes 4 coyotes in 3 runs, I consider that good juju for the upcoming race with the word "Coyote" in its name! Alas, my path would eventually take me back into relatively busy hiker territory and it turned out not to be a happy place for me. Immediately upon intersecting with the main fireroad I see one hiker just about to head onto a shortcut with a clearly posted sign saying the trail is closed. I let him know that he its closed and that he should stay on the main trail. He looks surprised, but does the right thing. Not long after that I pass another of the many cutoff trails and notice three water bottles sitting at the top of it. One is about half full so I am hoping that someone (some lazy idiot) left it to pick up later. I vow that if they are still there I will grab them on the way down. I think about how ridiculous it is as the Mission Peak rangers have gone to such trouble to place trash bins along the trail in at least 3-4 different locations. How hard is it to carry a little empty plastic bottle with you especially when you don't even need to tote it the whole way down? I would soon learn...

I always like when I get up over the saddle and onto the Eagle Loop Trail as it is, once again, a place of solitude. It's also an opportunity to stretch the legs out before the final trip to the peak. I'm enjoying the hills and the legs feel good. Taking some extra days off after last weekend's 49-miler has payed off. As I come back around to the ridge the views are beautiful, sunny and clear. I reach the peak and touch the view pole. There are a few parties mulling about as expected. And then I notice it. More empty water bottles. Just left there sitting between the rocks. I ask a couple near me if any of them are theirs. The answer in the negative. I look around and then start picking them up. Five in all. I ask loudly, "What the fuck is wrong with people!" and then head down the trail with the bottles in had (as well as my own handheld). People give me strange looks as I pass them going down. Hopefully the image of someone moving fast downhill, leaping over rocks with hands filled with empty water bottles makes them think. The most absurd thing is that the trash cans at the top are like only a couple hundred feet from the peak. I push them in with emphasis and then head down the trail filled with ire.

As I head down the main trail, my frustration with peoples inanity fuels my downhill pace. Who goes to all the trouble to hike to the top of a peak covering 2200 ft in under 3 miles and is too lazy to carry their garbage a couple hundred feet down to a trash can?!? I'm running a sub-7 minute pace down the hill. Coasting by hikers on their way up I'm not nearly as friendly as usual. As I come around a curve I see some guy that I just passed cut right across open land. I yell at him to "STAY ON THE TRAIL!!" My pace drops down to 6:30 and then below. Luckily, someone has picked up the water bottles I passed on the way up since I am in no mood to slow down. Oh, I still would have picked them up, but any kids near by probably would have been subjected to a string of expletives as I did so. The missing water bottles alleviates a little of my angst and I'm able to clear my head of the images that were filling it; dead hikers laying by the side of the trail, empty water bottles shoved in every orifice.

As I reached the bottom of the trail where it levels out, I eased up and caught my breath realizing that I'd covered the last two miles in about 13:30. I planned to do at least 20 miles of trail on Sunday and I had probably put a little beating on my feet since the trail has already turned to hard-pack after only two weeks without rain. I reminded myself of the beauty of the trail, the incredible views and amazing weather that I was lucky to be able to experience. I empty the few other bits of trash I had picked up on the trail from my handheld's zip pocket and jogged back down to my car to make for a total of 8.5 miles on the day. I tried to wipe all the bad vibes from my mind and focus on that wonderful post-run glow that inevitably follows a solid effort.

Then all thoughts turned to food as I checked my messages and received a voicemail from my wife saying to meet her and the boys at Red Robin at 6:30. An hour and a half, 8.5 miles, +/-2300ft, how many "bottomless" baskets of fries is that worth?

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Bad Idea Gone Good

Pre-race Plans
Well, having managed through (a modified) version of the hill work I needed the previous weekend there was one more important test that I had assigned myself in order to determine if I should stick with the C2M plan or not. I knew that none of this was really a good idea and that my overall fitness was nowhere near where I had wanted it by this point. However, I also had convinced myself that if I could just finish a reasonably tough 50-miler three weeks before the 100 that I could stick it out for the full distance come race day.

My plan was to run the PCTR Skyline Ridge 50K. However, I would turn it into something closer to 50 miles by starting early in the morning and parking my car about 9 miles away at the Saratoga Gap parking area at the intersection of Hwy 35 and 9. I would start by running about 2 miles on the Saratoga Gap Trail to the road crossing at the start of the Hickory Oaks Trail. This was the location of the turnaround for the 23K loop of the 50K so it would be marked from this point all the way to the Start/Finish location at Skyline Ridge.

I arrived at the parking area around 6:15am and quickly gathered my stuff together to head out. The race started at 8:30am and I didn't want to push too hard or have too much time to stand around cooling off. It was a beautiful morning and looking like perfect running weather with a nice cloud layer overhead promising mild temperatures. I hadn't been on these trails since my mountain biking days and I'd forgotten how great they are. In fact, they were almost too runnable and I had to force myself to slow down and walk some hills when my body wanted to keep going, reminding myself that I had plenty of miles to go and needed to maintain an "all day" pace. Mostly I just tried to focus on enjoying the morning and the trail alone. I did make one wrong turn along the way since the markers were set assuming that you would come in the opposite direction first, there was one location where an arrow made of sticks sent me heading back in the wrong direction and added a nice little loop for some extra miles. After this I pushed it a little bit, but then realized I had plenty of time (and an extra 1/2 mile was not a bad thing). I saw a family of deer along the way which once again reminded me that I really need to start packing a camera on these runs. Beyond this the 9.5 miles was fairly uneventful.

I was carrying two handhelds and testing out my rig of mounting my GPS watch on one of them so that I could later recharge it during the run. It seemed to be working out fine, but the one downside I discovered about 2/3 of the way into the run was that the slight added weight of the watch and charger made me think I had more fluid in my bottle than I actually did. I kept trying to find that last little bit at the bottom and, perhaps, it was due to this that a tear developed in the nipple of my UD Fastdraw Plus. It was a pain, but I was still able to drink from it by placing my lip over the hole when I drank. I also had on my waste pack to carry some food and gel for this trip out as well as the return after the race. I didn't plan to use it during the 50K figuring the handhelds and aid stations would be fine. I also had a light shell stuffed into the horizontal bottle holder. At any rate, I made it to the start area with plenty of time, maybe even a little too much as it was much windier and colder there than in the woods.


I arrived at the check-in area certainly more warmed up than I normally would be. Miki was doing the race bibs so I chatted for a bit and then looked around for others that I knew. There were a number of people I knew doing this race including Craig Slagel, Jenny Ray, Leslie Antonis and Harry Walther among others. Harry was going to run some with me at the end perhaps doing the 23K loop an extra time. However, he also wanted to put in a hard race. I however, wanted nothing of the sort and was worried about not taking it easy enough during this middle section of my run. Luckily, I also met Steve Holman who I knew was usually slower than me. I decided to take it out with him. I stuck back there as long as I could and enjoyed just chatting and taking it easy. Then, one of the steeper downhills came and there was simply no way for me to maintain that pace. Steve hollered something about needing to learn a thing or two about being a back-of-the-pack runner. I still focused on ting it easy on this loop and enjoyed the now familiar route back to the aid station. I refilled my bottles, grabbed some goodies, said hi to everyone and headed on out. About half way along the return trip, I could feel my pace and my energy level slowly degrading. Each of the legs was a little over 7 miles which would not be a big deal in terms of hydration and fueling. However, I was now around mile 20 (not 12) of my run which is generally where my needs tend to accelerate. I was regretting having left my waste pack at the start.

I finished the loop and decided to just spend a little extra time at the aid station. I ate some extra goodies including cantaloupe dipped in salt. The next part of the race consisted of two loops of about 8 1/2 miles each. However, there would be an aid station half way out so it wouldn't be an issue now. There was some decent climbing here and I was definitely feeling the hill work that I had done the previous weekend. My calves were tight and I actually felt my quads on the downhill which is abnormal for me. I was mostly worried about any ITB issues that might arise so I again focused on taking it as easy as I could. The difficult part of this loop was that the front runners in the 50K were now starting to lap me as they finished their final loop. This was a little demoralizing as (from my estimates) I would normally be working to hold off the front runners before heading out for my final lap. However, I kept reminding myself that I had extra miles on my legs and more of them waiting for me after I finished. I passed through my own 50K mark before the end of this lap in a time of around 6:15. Definitely a fair bit slower than I think I could manage on the course, but not nearly as slow as my actual finish time would be in the race results as I knew my pace would further degrade.


I met Scott Dunlap as he lapped me a little before finishing my first lap. I am always impressed by the speed he can maintain while taking so many photos along the trail. He snapped this one up on a particularly windy section. This loop alternated between windy/cool sections and still/warm ones. I decided to stick with my warmer clothing since my pace was so slow. I finished this lap at a bit over 32 miles which meant that I would have a total of close to 40 when I hit the finish. The struggle on the last lap as my average paced continued its trend from 13 to 14 minutes per mile was whether I should just do the smart thing, call it done at 40 and find someone to drive me to my car. The temptation was strong especially as I was cresting the final hill of the last loop. Then, coming towards me, HARRY! He'd finished the 50K in a blazing sub-5 hour pace just missing a top 10 placing (man there were some fast folks in this one). I joked, telling him he should have done the whole loop and caught me from behind, but really I was just happy to have him join me. He said he would continue with me on the final journey to my car if I could drive him back to the start. No problem. Now I was now committed. I finished the "race" in a little under 6:44. I'm pretty sure that this is about an hour slower than I could do on this course under very different conditions.

I was glad to be done and the soup at the finish line was very welcome. However, was also getting pretty stiff in the legs and Leslie was tempting me with a ride back to my car. I refused, but certainly thought about it. Before Harry was ready to head out I found my waste pack and put my shell on. I needed to keep warm if I didn't want to totally freeze up before these final 9 miles.

Harry and I headed out slow. Very slow. I was stiff and could definitely feel my ITBs. To further frustrate me, my other water bottle had also developed a hole in the nipple. I wander if Ultimate Direction really tested these things over the long haul. With his hard race on his legs, Harry was happy to take it easy as well, but I still had trouble keeping with him on the uphills. I was estimating about a 2 hour trip back to my car. This would put us there right around 5:30pm. About a mile into our run, Harry realized that he didn't know what time the lot at Skyline Ridge closed. His car was parked inside the gate and the last thing he wanted was to have it stranded up there. He tried to find cell reception at various locations and I suggested that he could head back. Heck, I would go with him if he would drive me to my car. Dauntless, we pushed on. He finally found a connection and left a message for Sarah about his car. At this point we were pretty close to the 3 mile point and turning back wouldn't be that much better than continuing on anyway.

We also decided that once we reached the 7 mile mark at the intersection with Skyline Blvd that we would just take the road back to my car. We were thinking it would cut about a mile off the trip. I certainly didn't have any burning need to hit exactly 50 miles. The trip was already going to total well over 10 hours for me and that was more than enough to convince me that my endurance was not totally lost. In fact, somewhere in there I actually ran a bit of the uphills. Running being more of a shuffle at this point, but still it was encouraging. Somewhere around mile 5.5 of this leg we saw a sign pointing towards the road. We decided to cut off the trail a little early thinking it would be quicker on the road. Well, I'm not sure what the distance was that the sign indicated, but it wasn't exactly a direct route to the road. Somehow we ended up on this private dirt road running through some dilapidated old houses culminating in a nasty climb up to the Hwy. At a little over 47 miles we were on asphalt moving along the shoulder where we could. Not only had we hit the road about 1/2 mile earlier than expected, but it wasn't the "mostly downhill to the parking lot" that Harry had promised me. Furthermore, I was out of water and trudging along the road with cars whizzing by was just annoying. I was wishing that we had stuck to the trail where we could at least have been distracted by some nice scenery. I didn't mention it too much as I could tell Harry was worried about his car.

Eventually we crested the hill and then a little longer before coming to the final curve into the intersection. We were both happy to see the parking lot and Harry ran on ahead of me. I did a little lap around the lot to assure that my GPS watch hit the 49 mile mark (my software later measured it as a little bit longer). It was now just after 5:30 and my total running time came to just under 10:34. Not a bad days work. We made it back to Skyline Ridge just in time to see Sarah and Wendell about to leave. We chatted for a bit, got a few extra snacks and drinks from their van and said our goodbyes. I was definitely feeling satisfied with my effort and was now, more than ever, determined to get on with the Coyote Two Moons 100.

My stats looks something like this.

Total Distance: 49.16mi
Elevation Change: +/-7800ft
Total Time: 10:33:53
Average Pace: 12:54 mpm

I certainly didn't run negative splits as my average pace on the various sections tells quite the tale.

Trail Skyline Ridge 3-1-2008, Pace

Post-race Whine and Cheez
I was sticking with Coyote Two Moons. However, I had definitely decided that I wanted to be in an earlier start group. Harry had done 45 miles for the day and was clearly way, way beyond my fitness level. Even if he was at the front of our start group, I would be chasing the cutoffs at the back. I didn't need that added stress so I was going to have to beg the race director to let me start in the second to last, rather than the middle start group. I had friends in this group as well since it included Craig, Leslie and Chris Marloff.

I sent off a message to the RD, crafting it to convey just the right amount of temerity and levity to convince him of my earnestness. He accepted my humble request.

I spake thusly,

I know you mentioned "final whining and winnowing" in your
message, but please believe me when I say that I really
intended on sending out the following bit of whining,
begging, pleading, etc. yesterday, but was delayed due to
that nasty work stuff that often gets in the way of

Well, speaking of things getting in the way of running, I
have basically spent about half of the first two months of
this year with one variant or the other of the cold or
flu, culminating in a final blow to the lungs that was
taken care of with the help of Strong Medicine(tm).
Basically, my training has been far less consistent than
the color of the junk coming from my lungs and nasal
passages. Better judgment would have me dropping from the
race all together, but I am not in possession of a
particularly large amount of judgment in the first place
and even less of the better sort. Furthermore, being sick
so much I haven't been able to beg, borrow, bribe or steal
any decent judgment from to make up for my own lack
thereof. Long story short, I was finally able to start
training again a couple of weeks ago and I convinced
myself (not a difficult task) that if I could complete
a training run of near 50 miles last weekend, I would
stick to my guns and show up at C2M ready to roll.
Unfortunately, I accomplished that task and so I am
committed to finish this bit of insanity ... I mean
extreme fun ... you have put together.

OK, so the punch line is that I would like to request to
move to the A2(6pm) start group. Believe me that it is
definitely not out of a desire to finish in the front
rather than the back of a group that I make this request.
Consider it an effort on my part to simply maximize the
number of hours of fun I have out on the trails during
your event. Clearly, the way this year has started, I am
critically below my quota of "fun on the trail" hours.

My promise, if in your eternal wisdom (or idiocy), you
grant this request, I swear under threat of being beaten
about the head and body with a rubber chicken that I will
not cross the finish line before 4am on Sunday morning.

-Steve Ansell

The best news is that, while I was pretty sore and very tired after driving home Saturday night, I awoke to much less stiffness than expected come Sunday morning. I had no mobility issues and made sure I walked around as much as possible including taking a nice neighborhood stroll with my wife before bed. Monday brought on the expected DOMS, but nothing very severe. Lots of stretching, self massage and the use of various rolling tools allowed for a nice, short and easy recovery run of 4 miles on Tuesday. Yesterday and today I am back at my normal weekday runs with a little extra tiredness in the legs, but nothing to cause undo caution. In other words, things are looking good. I'll try to hit some hills this weekend and then try to take it fairly easy the next two weeks. However, I will be adding more hill (or treadmill incline) walking as that is what I expect to be doing a lot of in a race with over 28,000ft of climbing.