I have been grappling with the reality of running the WS/HRH Double in less than two months. Part of me says I'm crazy while another part is psyched. If nothing else, I'll get a fun family vacation out of it and see some amazing places in the process!
Anyway, the challenge for me over these next few weeks is training for both events at the same time. My typical WS build-up includes long runs in the heat with moderate altitude and more running than walking. I try to find places to run that mirror the conditions of The Course and mentally prepare myself for the feelings I will inevitably have on the run up Bath Road, the 20 minutes into Cal 2 and the climb up from Highway 49. Interestingly, this approach has worked pretty well over the years and I seem to be on track today based on my training. I've even gotten over my "sweat hump." (For those who care, my "sweat hump" is the point in the year when I can tell my body is holding onto sodium. I determine this through the highly scientific method of licking my arm after a 30 minute sauna session. If the saltiness doesn't sting my tongue, I'm over the "sweat hump." That just happened this morning!)
Back to The Double. The different thing now is, at the same time I am preparing for the familiarity of WS, I am also looking into the mystery world of Oscar's, Handies, Virginius, American Basin, and the rest. It's a tricky dance. With the snow quickly melting in the High Country here in Idaho I am now able to get up to 10,000 ft and in the next two weeks should be able to get up to 12,000 a couple times. I won't be getting past that until I get out to Silverton around July 4th and I hope that that will be enough.
Thus, the plan at this point is to try to run 10 times a week for the next three weeks. Five runs per week will be WS training (heat, rolling hills, hard, runnable trails, etc...) and the other five runs will be HRH training (big elevation, power hiking, altitude, gnarly trails, etc..). It's certainly a new experience for me but one for which I am oddly excited. I'll keep you posted!