This morning, I went back to the workout in the gym where I tweaked my hamstring last week. There are three different lifts in this workout that would cause problems for a pulled hamstring, but everything went great this morning. I did the main workout and then added a number of core exercises at the end.
The workout this morning was the last in the Fat Loss 2 program from The New Rules of Lifting. In the 10 months since I bought that book, I've now completed the Break-in program, Fat Loss 1, Fat Loss 2, Hypertrophy 1, Fat Loss 1 (repeat) and Fat Loss 2 (repeat) programs.
Next week, I will start Fat Loss 3, which looks to be very intense for the next six weeks. After that, I'll start the Strength 1 program, although I'll only be able to do the first 4 or 5 weeks before I start tapering for Western States.
Last night, I ran a 10K course home after work. My legs are still a bit beat up and running downhill is still not pleasant. But, the course I ran last night is almost all level or uphill, so it felt OK. Approximately 2 miles from my house, the course starts to climb almost the entire rest of the way. There are 3 different major hills and I rarely run any of them the whole way. I usually run half of each hill and then hike the second half. Last night, I ran the entire final 2 miles home. This is a case where I feel the lifting has really helped my running. I simply felt strong on those uphills, even though I wasn't fast. The last time I ran this course faster was in August of last year.
I'm currently trying to focus my entire day, not just my workouts, on Western States. I'm reminding myself regularly that I'm "training" for an event, and not just "working out." There is a difference.
My wife works out on a regular basis and tries to eat well. She is focused on an improved body, but she has no specific performance goal. I have a very different focus. I want to run as well as possible at Western States. My goal is not strictly body-related or weight-related or even health-related. If overall health was my goal, I think that training for and running a 100 miler would be counter-productive.
I'm trying hard to have every decision be about optimizing my race. That means that every workout has a purpose. Every meal needs to be about fueling my body rather than about the pleasure of the moment. It means that if my body wants to fall asleep at 8:30 p.m., as it did last night, that I respect that decision, put down the book I'm enjoying, and get some sleep.
Through January and February, my focus on training for Western States was where it needed to be. In March, things got a little off track. Right now, I'm back on track and truly focused on the end goal.
I have no idea what I'll be able to do at the race. Most likely, I'll be there with a goal of just finishing. It's a hard course and it deserves respect. In some ways, I think that I failed to respect the race enough 3 years ago, and I paid the price with a DNF. After finishing Wasatch and Hardrock the two prior years, I think I'd gotten a little bit cocky going into Western States last time. Not this time.