I haven't posted on here in quite a while, so this will be a pretty comprehensive post. Recovery from Cruel Jewel back in May was definitely the hardest I've had. I didn't run a step until 12 days after I finished (2 full weeks after the start), and after that EASY eight miles, I went on to sleep about 18 of the next 24 hours. From there, it took me another month to get back to running a normal schedule, 5-6 days per week and about 70 mile weeks. But after those first few weeks of stumbling over my own feet, I felt good again. I got invited to crew and pace Eric Grossman and Troy Shellhamer on their Colorado Trail FKT attempt, so I bumped up the miles in preparation for lots of running and little sleep. Their attempt did not work out--these endeavors are logistical nightmares--but the trip was still a blast; I got to see the dark side of ultrarunning and be immersed in nothing but mountains, running, and friends for nine days. We hit four 14ers in four days. The vistas from 14,000 feet inspire like nothing I've seen on a run in the east. Beyond that, the sheer simplicity of climbing to the highest point and back down is so aesthetic, I will be back. Soon. That week was definitely the best way to recharge my batteries before my Grindstone 100 peak.
I returned from Colorado 5 weeks from Iron Mountain and 10 weeks from Grindstone. Perfect timing to buckle down for some real training.
Here are the four weeks I had leading up to Iron Mountain, each was Tuesday-Sunday:
July 30-August 4: 104.5 miles, 34/17 weekend, 17,100 feet of gain
August 6-11: 110.25 miles, 40/13.5 weekend including a 30 mile long run and 10k race Saturday, and a 3.7 mile hill climb Sunday, 14,900 feet of gain
August 13-18: 109.5 miles, 30/21.5 weekend, 15,500 feet of gain
August 20-25: 100.5 miles, 13,800 feet of gain
August totals: 80.5 hours, 468 miles, 67,600 feet of climb
Iron Mountain report coming soon.