The rain has rolled into Boulder at just the right time. Yesterday finished off my last long block of training prior to Tahoe (though I think my body decided it had had enough the day prior). This final build has gone pretty well and I was able to get through the majority of my training without issue. Each time I was given an easy day (or two) I was quite tired, so it seems as if we timed the loading/unloading appropriately. Now I'm moving into my taper before the race and backing off some of the overall volume and intensity. Cliff and I have done 7 IMs together and we seem to have found a pretty good balance of work to do in the final couple weeks. While I like to to switch up certain aspects of training prior to a race, I like to keep the final week or two consistent from event to event (if I can).
A couple weeks ago the Rim Fire in California was causing some major air quality issues in the Lake Tahoe region. Even though the fire was pretty far to the south, the size (250K+ acres) and the wind (southerly) was causing the air to be really bad. During the Four Mile Fire in Boulder in 2010, we had similar issues. On some mornings, you could barely see more than a few 100 meters and layers of ash would form outside on our balcony. It seems as tough the Lake Tahoe area was experiencing the same thing.
Fortunately, it looks as though the firefighters in California have been able to get the fire close to 100% containment and the air quality has improved considerably. I think the race could have been in jeopardy if it was taking place a couple weekends ago, but (fingers crossed) it seems as though that threat has diminished to almost zero.
I'll check back in again before the race. Be sure to watch Texas A&M vs. Alabama this weekend!