So, every Tuesday morning for the last two months I've run a hard 10 miler to test my tempo legs. Taking a page from Morton and Clifton, I have been trying to build length strength and speed simultaneously with this weekly workout. It's basically a road loop with rolling hills through Sun Valley (all between 6000 and 7000 feet).
Over this two month period I have been averaging 1:05 to 1:08 for the loop. This morning, much to my surprise, I busted it out in 1:02 and felt very strong at the end.
I am basically writing this because I find it interesting and a bit perplexing how, why, and, most of all, when, the body adapts to a certain training volume and is ready to put the hammer down. With just over two months before the Big Dance I now feel like I am ready to increase the volume and intensity and see how it all plays out. I must admit, at this point in my preparations I feel as though I am in the best shape I've been in since 2005.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm not about to switch to 180 mile weeks in the Grand Canyon in bare feet but I am psyched to pick things up a bit. Sub-17 may actually be in the cards after all!
PS -- I'll be joining a bunch of those anonymous Oregonians during the first weekend of May on the Western States Course. Should be fun! I bet I'll be doing all the talking:)