In preparation of the Grindstone 100 Miler, I have finally decided to start being smart and using a training plan. Although I've done a ton of ultra marathons in the past, the majority of these were simply by relying on my pre-established mileage and experience. Basically, I can do a 50k without too much training, have fun, and finish. That was fine when I was simply trying to get used to it all, but now I'd actually like to feel good about my time and challenge myself. And what better way to do that than with Grindstone!
So, today is the start of a training plan that should get me up to doing several weeks of 70 miles per week prior to October 3rd. The plan I'm using comes from "Relentless Forward Progress: A Guide to Running Ultramarathons" by Bryon Powell and Eric Grossman which I'm reading anywho. I picked it simply because it had the distance I needed and Dr. Horton has an essay in the book. Good enough for me.
Today's run started in my neighborhood, at the east end of Madison Ave where it runs into Lake Washington. Following Madison west, it eventually crashes into the Puget Sound, at Coleman Pier. All told, it's only about 3.5 miles out and back, but the fun is in the elevation. Starting at my place, its flat for just a minute, then begins a slow gradual incline for a bit under a mile. As that mile comes to an end, we arrive at the Arboretum and keep going up Madison, but the incline returns quite a bit more sharply. About the time I get to 18th (or Trader Joe's, however you measure these things), the downhill starts. At this point its all downhill to the water, with the last five or so blocks being straight "I'm afraid I may fall forward and start rolling and not be able to stop till I hit the water or a car" down.
Finishing the out portion, I started in on the back. This includes going back up those hills, which I am quite happy to say I actually ran up them all with only stopping for traffic lights. Then its a long gradual uphill to 18th before a slow down, an easy up, and gradual downhill all the way back home.
I needed eight miles but I only got 7.5. Let's just round up given the incline.