The challenges Mother Nature presented while training in DC this past week most likely will never be repeated. Tuesday offered up a 5.8 earthquake, and Saturday/Sunday gave us Hurricane Irene. There were reports of tornadoes touching down inside the hurricane too, but thankfully none of them were in DC. I mean really, a tornado inside a hurricane? That's a bit much, right?! Even with Nature's curveballs, I was able to plan and adjust my runs accordingly to get them in...and even though about 52 of my miles this weekend were covered while 100% soaked, I'll just consider that good "rain training" in case a monsoon hits Greece next month during the race.
In the end, despite all the surprises, my third peak week of intense training (of six total) for the Spartathlon went perfectly with another solid total of well over 100 miles. I'm not one to go much over 100 miles/week too often in training, but things have been going so amazingly well recently that I've just taken advantage of all the (many) extra miles as they've come so easily. We all hit stretches like this in training every now and then when our legs feel bullet-proof and our energy seems limitless, and I can't say how lucky I am to be riding one of those waves in my training for Greece right now. I'm noticing the parallels to my last similar stretch of running like this (Oct '09 to May '10), and knowing the successful runs I was able to put together in that period has me champing at the bit to get out to Athens start the race! Of course, I'd be foolish not to take advantage of upping my fitness even further with 3 more weeks of peak training, so there's that to be settled first. ...Back to the grindstone!
Before I get back to work, a quick and hardy congrats goes out to my friend Nick Pedatella who rose above a million challenges out in France/Italy/Switzerland over the weekend and ran a brilliant race at UTMB. In a beyond-loaded field of world elites (and tons of American studs), Nick finished in an awesome 14th place overall (2nd American)! Between the 5 hour delayed-start due to horrible weather, a mid-race course re-route that almost none of the runners knew about, and the 32,000+ ft. of elevation gain over the 100 mile course, Nick was steady-as-he-goes all day and night out there. It was a blast watching him climb from 99th place at the first check-point all the way to 14th at the end. He informs me that he is now doing his best to support the pastry industry while relaxing in Chamonix this week, and that sounds like the perfect reward for such a brilliant race!