People Get Ready!

AJW's TaproomIt’s one week until the start of the Hardrock 100. It will be my first 100-mile race since October, 2014 and my first 100-mile race with a new, surgically resurfaced left hip.

Back in April, 2015, I was unsure if I would ever be able to run again. After surgery on September 21, 2015, I still had my doubts so I poured myself into rehabilitation and recovery like never before. In January, 2016, I laid out some very specific goals for the year in this column and set about with single-minded determination to prepare for running Hardrock.

Here were my published Long-Term Numerical goals on January 8th of this year:

  1. Mileage — Hike/Run 1,900 miles before Hardrock. Hit 2,000 for the year at the race!
  2. Time — Commit at least 15 hours per week to training through April. Twenty to 25 hours per week in May/early June. Thirty-plus hours per week on the weeks of June 10 and June 18.
  3. Elevation — Climb 350,000 feet before Hardrock.
  4. Weight — Start Hardrock at 159 pounds. I weighed 163 when I ran it in 2009. Lowest starting weight ever for an ultra was 161 at Western States in 2005. As of January 4, I weigh 171.
  5. Race Goals — Sub-30 hours at Hardrock.

Taking stock of these goals with a week to go before the big day, I am pretty happy with my progress and hopeful that it will be enough.

Here is my report card:

  1. Total mileage through July 7 — 1,887 miles

Grade: A

  1. Total weekly time average from January to the present — 18:16 hours per week

Grade: B+

  1. Total elevation gain through July 7 — 360,948 feet

Grade: A

  1. Weight as of July 7 — 156 pounds

Grade: A

  1. ?

It is safe to say that I am going into Hardrock having done all the work I possibly could have done. I have stayed injury free throughout the last six months and have steadily monitored my progress. Additionally, three intangibles have allowed me to excel beyond my goals and feel at peace with where I am going into the race.

  1. I embraced climbing and descending hard. Highlighted, actually, by yesterday’s culmination run in which I simply floated through an 18 miler with 4,500 feet of climbing and felt strong and steady from start to finish.
  2. I found a wonderfully compatible training partner in Bethany Patterson and was able to join her over a dozen times on long mountain runs this spring in her build-up to her seventh-place finish at Western States. After running without a regular training partner for over a decade, it was great to have one again. I truly believe we made each other better and I hope Bethany’s Lucky #7 might rub off on me.
  3. I joined dear friend and fellow Hardrock runner Bryon Powell in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado in mid-June for four outstanding training days on the course. From the ramps in and out of Ouray, to the wall of Handies Peak, to the twin towers of Green Mountain and Little Giant, Bryon and I got after it in four glorious days in God’s Country.

And so, with that, I am diving into my taper. Sleep, eat, and get ready. Hardrock awaits. It’s time for me to get another chance to “Live My Life in One Day.”

Bottoms up!

AJW’s Beer of the Week

This week’s Beer of the Week comes from my new home town of Staunton, Virginia. Having just moved up here to start a new job, I have had a bit of time to sample some of the local breweries, which are, fortunately, quite plentiful. Just yesterday, in fact, I discovered a great beer from Queen City Brewing here in town called Pace-Maker. This is a great summery American Pale Ale infused with just a light touch of lemon. At 5%, it makes a perfect day beer.

And a bonus song, Joss Stone singing “People Get Ready:”

Call for Comments (from Meghan)

What do you think about AJW’s report card? And how do you think AJW will fare in his return to 100-mile racing post hip surgery?

There are 13 comments

  1. ClownRunner

    I predict a 29:59:59, but a stumble crossing the line, leading to an awkward lunge trying to kiss the rock…followed by a bellowing uproar of a laugh that only AJW can deliver. The crowd goes wild…

  2. David Harrison

    Best of luck to you at Hardrock – sounds like you have prepared well and are going to crush it! Thanks for sharing your journey – for those of us that are working through back/knee/foot issues, it is reassuring to know that if we are smart about rehab and training, we can still get out there on the trails and push our limits.

  3. Tony Mollica

    Good luck to both you and Bryon at Hardrock! So are you planning on tacking on thirteen extra miles to reach 2000 miles during the race? ;)

  4. Joel Schafer

    So, do you know if the hip damage itself was caused or exacerbated by all the years of ultras? I don’t know the back story on this ailment…

    1. Deevid Millar

      Same! I seriously just let it play for 30+ min on a Joss Stone YouTube binge.

      Also, awesome job nailing those goals. I’m very impressed

  5. Justin

    Amazing discipline to hit such specific training goals and stay injury free during your recovery. Best of luck to you next weekend!

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