It’s slightly frightening how easy it’s been to forget about triathlon training and slip back into running/ultra training. No, I don’t think frightening is the appropriate adjective; comfortable, happy and calm are more appropriate identifiers for the feelings I’ve had since transitioning back to trail running. It may sound silly to some, but I’ve been saying hello to the trails I’ve missed so much and telling them that, “I’m back!”.
I took some time after the IM to figure out my back woes (chiropractor, massage, stretching, etc.) and sooner than I expected found myself hitting the road and the trails. I’m not going to lie, I can still feel my lower back tighten during longer training sessions, but I’m continuing the aforementioned therapies and am hopeful it won’t come into play again in the future.
With such short time to train specifically for this weekend’s 100K after the IM, coupled with two week-long business trips in between, I decided to go heavy on the weekend training with three back-to-back-to-back intense runs.
The first of these runs was an attempt at Segment 6 of the Colorado Trail: a 32-mile route from Kenosha Pass to Breckenridge. Unfortunately, the base just wasn’t there and I bailed at mile 19 (North Fork) and finished up in Breck just after 25 miles.
Two days later I was off to Vegas for the week – oh what a difference a couple of days makes!
Fast-forward a week later and less than 12 hours after landing in Denver I was off on an easy 20-miler along the Platte River Trail to see my mom and my nephew up in Thornton.
The weekend after was one of the best trail experiences I’ve ever had. My brother, Pete and I headed back up to Kenosha Pass to once again take on Segment 6 of the CT. I was hell-bent to finish this run. After 50K (31.30 miles), 7 1/2 hours, 5,064′ of elevation gain and a whole lot of determination, I dropped into Breck with a huge smile on my face.
A couple of days later I was back on the road to New York and New Jersey for a crazy business trip.
And now? Now I’m “tapering.” It’s hard to call it actual tapering when I feel like I’m squeezing months worth of training into about 5 weeks of what I’d prefer to call “work-train tetris.” Regardless, I couldn’t be happier to be back in the running groove, and I think the simple elation and energy I’ll have on race day (this Saturday) to be back on the trails will push me to the finish line. Feels like I’m finally home, sweet home!