All you WS runners, tell me you’re as tired as I am. I am one old cooked goose. Actually, it’s been a couple of weeks now. Sleep requirements have skyrocketed (10 hours last night). My easy runs have included bits a walking in between 8-10 minute mile shuffles. My races and workouts have been going well, but the recovery days are just pathetic. I’ve been complaining to my training partners that I’m getting old. Yeah, I know what you 20 or 30 somethings are saying, “just shut up and train.” I used to say the same thing when I was younger, but now at 45 years old and still trying to train like I did six years ago … either I forgot how hard it is or it is harder.
While I have resisted posting “I ran 4 miles today” entries on this blog, it has been suggested several times that I share some of the key training runs I do leading up to States. Today was Rooster Rock with Tapeworm. Nate McDowell discovered this beauty of a run in 2001 while doing some kind of water-going-up-trees research for his PhD. I can’t remember the details of his research but I definitely thought it was cool that he got to go to wilderness areas and discover new trails while doing research. Computer science research, well, we didn’t get to go outside, except to get big gulps at the 7-11.
Rooster Rock is a small summit in the Menagarie Wilderness east of Sweet Home, Oregon. There are only two maintained trails in the wilderness area: Trout Creek Trail and Rooster Rock Trail. One is about 3 miles to the summit and 2300 feet of climbing and the other is about 2.5 miles and 2200 feet of climbing with a short shared steep section at the top. A single “Nate Loop” consists of running up one trail to the summit, down the other, back up that trail to the summit, then back down the first trail to your car. 11 miles with about 4500′ of gain and the same amount of loss. There is absolutely no flat terrain on either trail. Very similar to the two climbs in the big canyons at WS. A very fast Nate-time was right around 2 hours. Most of the time for me I’m at about 2:30 with some good sitting at the summit for the views of the Three Sisters and Mt Washington to the east. I usually don’t even bring a watch anymore. The goal today was a double Nate (four summits) but I bagged the last one so only got 21 miles and three summits. The reason I go there is to trash my quads. Well, and also to practice walking but primarily to trash the quads on the downhills. And, no matter how fit I am, my quads will be sore in the next two days. Not just sore, but screaming sore to the touch.
Two maybe three trips to the Rooster along with some good training on the WS trail and either a trip to the Grand Canyon or the Shafer Butte in Idaho and my quads are good to go come race day.
Now it’s time for some beer and contrast bath. What did you do this weekend? And please tell me you’re as tired as I am or you’ll make me feel old.