Monday, 18 July 2016

Fat Dog 120 - The Interlude

I can't believe its been nearly 2 months since I last posted!  Over the last 2 months I've basically been healing and recovering from the Grand Canyon 50 and did a hard training brick that had me peaking for the Fat Dog 70 this weekend.

My time spent on Vancouver Island the week after the Grand Canyon 50 was sublime.  It restored my soul and I was in a high from a race that left me with the endorphin kick of a lifetime.  Unfortunately, I felt so good that I overestimated my body's capacity and succeeded in mildly spraining my ankle during a run that week.  It didn't seem painful at all in the first several days, but obviously my body was stressed and didn't do well with more stress.  A little over and up on a root that I normally don't even think about turned into a painful lateral ankle sprain that took me over 4 weeks to recover from. With advice from my training partner and more patience than I am known to have,  I cut back on my mileage and allowed it to heal.

By the time I felt ready to tackle some big miles again, I had 3 weeks left for a hard block of training before I knew I would need to start tapering again for Fat Dog 70.  I did another napkin plan (see Self Doubt 2015) and got to work.

Riding Mountain - Kinosao Lake
I had booked a campsite at Riding Mountain National Park in January for the Canada Day weekend.  I had been told that if I wanted some elevation and good trails, that was the place to go in Manitoba.  So I told my family that we were going camping.  It was really a running trip disguised as a camping trip, but we didn't focus on that and instead focused on the great beach time, lol. I managed to get 40 (early) miles in that weekend with some nice climbing as well.  Riding Mountain is definitely a place we will be visiting again.

Wolf Print?

Riding Mountain - Whirlpool Lake

Over the past 3 weeks I have watched a LOT of sunrises and ran with my shadow for many miles.  I have glistened in the misty dew of hot humid mornings, and pounded out countless repeats on a short hill that gives me 2500' of gain over 5 miles in 120' increments.  I have slept in until 6:00am, and risen as early as 4:30 am, with 5:30 being average.  So average that I now wake at 4:45 thinking I slept in.

I have lost another few toe nails and made peace with my ugly feet.  And I have been systematically fine tuning my pack with the all the mandatory gear that we are required to carry for Fat Dog.  I'm thinking I'll be carrying a 10 pound pack with all water bottles full.  And I've been training with that and it's been taking it's toll.

So now is the time to start the most important part of the training process.  The recovery.  Letting all that stress on my system turn into strength.  Cell by cell, fiber by fiber, I am now rebuilding.  Stronger connective tissue.  Stronger muscles.  Stronger heart.  Stronger mind.  The work is done.  Time to let the magic happen.

Fat Dog will be my biggest test to date.  It's happening in the mountains that I can't wait to return to.  When I crest that first big climb, my mantra will echo Scott Jurek's, "this is what you came for."

4 weeks and counting!!!