The weather is warming and the long runs are stretching with the days length. Now sitting at 7 weeks until the Chattooga 50k I am feeling prepared physically and now adding some quality to increase mechanical and physiological efficiency. Still having two long runs to go and some 50 runs all told there is still much work to be done which balanced with rest will do nothing but increase fitness and confidence.
This weekend I will depart from the 5k racing I have been doing recently and step up to a 25k. The 5k races have done well to reacquaint me with the feelings involved with racing, balancing of anxiety, adrenaline, patience and ultimately performance. Those races both went very well competitively and I felt my approach was a well rounded one allowing for the best results for my training accumulation at the time.
Now with a 25k looming including over 1000 ft of elevation gain and then loss, I will really see how the blend of long runs and tempo runs have blended toward a goal of performance. Fortunately the race takes place about 15 minutes from home so I won't be driving an hour or more to get to the start... more sleep is always welcome;)
Today I will go and drive the course, get a sense of the climb from mile 2 to 4.5, where the course peaks out. This is the 1000 ft climb before the road plummets to its original elevation around mile 10. From there the flat and rolling terrain will test the quads and their ability to withstand the previous punishment. I have been running quite a lot of up and down tempo runs and longer runs so I feel that with a patient approach I should fall into an excellent run that will be fulfilling. Otherwise, I will be fortunate to have 6 weeks to correct any deficiencies that are made apparent.
This will be a real test and a beacon toward the bigger goal of the 50k. Beyond that I will run the Grandfather Marathon in July. A 26.2 miler that ends with a 5 mile stint leading up to the mile high swinging bridge on Grandfather Mountain.