Week 6 – Another “epic” week of training. Not the highest mileage week but definitely a week of training that fully focused on the quality versus quantity.
62 hours for the month of August!
We planned a long run with many other local Grindstoners, a special run we like to call The Crucible. A perfect weekend was to be had. It was Labor Day weekend and we were all anxious to get a long run in that would make it quite clear what we were getting ourselves into come October 3rd. Little did we know The Crucible would strip away all our dignity and give us every little doubt there is to completing a 100 miles in the weeks to come.
The run consisted of repeats, up and over MD Heights, down n' back to parking lot and an out n' back to Loundon Heights overlook and back to the parking lot. We set up an aid station in the Leonardis Mobile so runners could easily fuel up as needed.
The temps that day heated up to the mid 90s with enough humidity to slow anyone down to complete stop. We were all extremely spoiled since the summer never actually heated to a true Maryland summer. Which usually means high humidity with grueling hot temps. So leave it to mother nature to heat up on this weekend. The name of this run really showed its true colors as many runners were feeling beat up, chewed up and spit back out by the these two huge climbs over and over again. As the day got hotter runners started to drop off like flies.
Many of us hung in there for a solid 20, 25, 30 and even 35+ miles that day.
Even though it was a hard days work. I think we all walked away feeling like we could not have had a better training run. It was a grueling challenge with endless climbs providing us with long down hills to really beat up those quads.
My run that day along with a couple others consisted of 36 miles total with just under 10,000ft of elevation gain. That included 3 climbs up MD heights and and twice up Loudon. The time on my feet set the stage for the following weeks to come which would focus on quality long runs with LOTS of climbing.
As I sat in the parking lot with fellow runners we were all feeling completed exhausted. It was good to know that I was not the only one questioning “How the hell do we run 100 miles?” The answer is always, race day is just different.
The Crucible an epic day filled with challenges, laughter and fulfillment.