Finally checking out the Grindstone website tonight for a few minutes, sniffing out details on the next race. What’s this? Me, posting thoughts on the next race only days since the last one? Yes, indeed. You know how I roll. Anyway, as I was saying, I was checking out the website and it’s hard not to get excited. In fact, I should be in bed right now instead of drafting this post, demonstrating a small measure of said excitement. Nothing like capping off a big summer of running with a final long, mountain race with a healthy dose of climbing. This is apparently what Grindstone offers and this is exactly what I’m in the mood for. Same as in ’09 and ’10 (both summers culminated with my running of Wasatch). Virginia has its share of mountain ultras and they’re all very good in their own unique way. Massanutten, of course, has the rocks, which absolutely kicks your ass. What Grindstone lacks in rocky trails it makes up in long climbs. Or so I hear, and so I read on the race elevation profile webpage. Looks to me like the real race for the front runners will begin around mile 67 after a long 4k+ foot descent, straight down. My plan (hope) is to catch the sunrise- after the 6pm start Friday- hopefully somewhere near the top of the next climb, on Lookout Mountain. There will be two more climbs after Lookout, followed by a bump of a climb and then a final few miles of downhill running to the finish line at the totem pole. Plenty of terrain-park style running to add some drama to any front runners still huddled up at that point.
Last year I blew out my legs at Western States early in the summer. Same thing this year at Massanutten in May, only worse. Last year at Western was more of a bonk, though. Each race was my first 100 for the summer and I think my body just needs a warm up. The legs came around well enough after Western last summer and I was bouncing down the steps only hours after the end of Wasatch a few months later. The morning after Leadville a week and a half back, same thing. And since Leadville I’ve enjoyed the best recovery ever after a 100 mile race. Aside from a few days of general fatigue and remote sorness, which is to be expected, I only felt a twinge of tightness in my left calf muscle for a few days early last week, most of which occurred during a run up Vail’s North Trail with Gaby on Wednesday. Hopefully by the time 6pm, Friday, October 7th rolls around the legs will be even more warmed up and ready for the 102 mile pounding, and 23,2k up and 23,2k down. It’s going to be another blast racing in the Virginia Mountains, only this time in the cooler, fall environs. Looking forward to capping off the Virginia Triple, to boot.