By: Paul Terranova
Wow, it’s hard to believe my last blogpost was 3 weeks ago following the Hells Hills 50km. Time certainly flies when you are training, working, recovering, traveling, racing, fundraising, etc. For me, I place a premium on staying consistent with my buildup to a major event, intermixed with little peaks and valleys to induce the appropriate training stimulus. The rhythm of life, the ebb and flow and days clicking by, has become synonymous with having a clearly defined focus and singularity of purpose as the training weeks dwindle and the first of many “big days” approaches, now just 8 weeks away!
Hells Hills was followed the following week by the Squak Mountain 50k in Issaquah, Washington. Meredith nailed her description of the course and even the Ewoks!
What a fun race on soft terrain compared to what we’re used to here in the Texas Hill Country. Although my time was 1 hour longer than the week before, I left proud of the effort put forth and the race-day execution (including the logistical fun of travelling, adjusting to a different time zone, adapting to different conditions, hydration/nutrition plan, etc.) The race set my legs up nicely for a well-deserved “easy” week.
The “easy” week included a Saturday 2 ½ hour bike ride with my longtime friend and training partner Jim Ryan who had recently returned from an impressive negative split at the Boston Marathon! We joked because just about every Ironman run is that hot! Our ride included a stop at Rogue Equipment for packet-pickup for the Maze 30k trail race the following day, a stop at Jack and Adam’s Bicycles for some odds and ends, and of course some coffee and light breakfast. Gorgeous day, and it’s never too soon to log some aerobar “cockpit time,” Kona is only 24 weeks away!
The Maze 30k ended up being the “easy week” icing on the cake: another great Austin morning, some impressive competition, and a very evenly run race for the three 10k loops: 47, 46, 47 minutes respectively +/-, which was good enough to hold off a hard-charging 2nd place who had a PHENOMENAL last loop.
This week, things started to get serious again, culminating with an overnight 95-mile relay from Enchanted Rock State Park in Fredericksburg back to Austin to benefit the Beyond Batten Disease Foundation. This was the 2nd year of the event: last year our 8-person Team BMW/Pure Austin ran from Austin to Fredericksburg. This year, I got a late start on fundraising, but our friends, colleagues, and clients came through BIG TIME by helping me raise almost twice ($1995) my goal of $1000 and collectively helping the foundation raise $224,000 this year!!!
Batten Disease is the common name of a group of conditions known as neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs). It is an inherited, neurological degenerative disorder that primarily affects children. It strikes without warning, starts with vision loss and seizures, progressively impairs the child’s cognitive and motor capacities, and ultimately takes their lives. Start time for us was 7:30pm, the last team to toe the line in a staggered start, with the goal for all 20+ teams to finish about sunrise Sunday morning in Austin. We cranked out the 16-leg relay in about 11-hours, finishing right about 6:30am. After a celebratory breakfast, hot shower (and nap), I am back to “normal” Sunday activities! Many thanks again to BMW of Austin for sponsoring our team again and Soleus Sport Watches for helping sponsor the entire event!
So what’s next?? Another tough week of training, and then a relatively lighter week before the Quadrock 50 miler in Ft Collins, CO. Time for a little altitude adjustment and 11,500’ +/- of elevation climbing/descending!!!! Two weeks after that is Western States training camp.
Now, if you allow me, I have a rhythm to get back to!