People Get Ready!

AJW writes about meeting his long-term Hardrock 100 training goals.

By on July 8, 2016 | Comments

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?

Andy Jones-Wilkins

Andy Jones-Wilkins is an educator by day and has been the author of AJW’s Taproom at iRunFar for over 11 years. A veteran of over 190 ultramarathons, including 38 100-mile races, Andy has run some of the most well-known ultras in the United States. Of particular note are his 10 finishes at the Western States 100, which included 7 times finishing in the top 10. Andy lives with his wife, Shelly, and Josey, the dog, and is the proud parent of three sons, Carson, Logan, and Tully.