Today the Western States 100 race officials sent out the email to would-be 2008 participants asking them to confirm their entries for 2009. I went ahead and confirmed and paid the entry fee. A nice surprise was they reduced the price from $295 down to $195 for us. I thought that was very decent of them. I'll gladly take a $100 savings any day!
Now that I'm locked and loaded for WS, I'm feeling a renewed vigor towards running again. I still have the MDI Marathon next month, and I'll see how my training progresses before I make any goals for that race. But knowing that WS is on the horizon and I'm in again for that sucker has given me a good mental spark.
Speaking of progress, today was extremely encouraging. The plantar fasciitis seems to be fading away pretty quickly. I've barely been feeling it at all the past few days. I can't tell you how happy this makes me. I know, I might not be out of the woods yet. From what I've read and heard, this is one of the trickier injuries that can quickly reappear. But I'm optimistic. The continuous stretching seems to be doing the trick more than anything else, but that's hard to verify.
The only downside now is that I have a mild case of shin splits. This isn't that big of a deal for me though. I've had it quite a few times before, and the worst case scenarios have lasted just under a month and the pain has never been that bad.
As for today's run... wow, it went really well on several fronts. I ran the first three miles as a warm-up with the XC team. The workout today was mile repeats (along a very hilly course) and you either pulled someone or had them pull you. This consists of a faster runner teaming up with someone who is not as fast, and the faster runner leads them a little and encourages them along. I got to pull one of the girls on our team and she did great, coming in at 7:18 for a 25 second PR.
The second mile was solo running, and though I had originally planned for a 6:30/mile pace. I ended up running it in 5:45. That was a pleasant surprise!
The third mile I pulled the same girl again, and she was off of her old PR by just two seconds. Thankfully, she didn't appear to hate me for pushing her.
Ran 7.0 miles total.
Warm-up: Ran 3.0 miles at 7:37/mile pace.
Pull: Ran 1.0 mile in 7:18
Solo: Ran 1.0 mile in 5:45
Pull: Ran 1.0 mile in 7:47
Cool-down: Ran 2.0 miles @ 8:22/mile pace.
Warm-up/cool down: Mostly flat.
Mile course: Very hilly.
Upper 70s, sunny, windy.
Shorts, short sleeved shirt.