It’s been a few months since I’ve offered up a race report or any kind of commentary on the athlete side of life, so now I’ve created A Running Rundown – a new category of post that summarizes my harrier activities for those that wonder about that stuff. I’m currently 3 1/2 weeks from Holiday Lake 50k++, my first actual ultra of the season, and, well, the preparation hasn’t been seamless.
Around the holidays, I made the mistake of checking my last year’s training log to see what my mileage looked like one year ago at the same time. That was a mistake. It makes a difference when (A) you started your running phase a month earlier and (B) you have a stupidly long event (40 miler) to train for scaring you into more mileage. For the record, once you’ve done a 40-miler, somehow 50k’s no longer count as ridiculously long. Argue with my logic if you like, but I challenge any of you to come to a different conclusion after treading those same miles yourself.
So, anyway, I figure, no problemo about the mileage because I’m not concerned about being super fit or fast for this winter’s events and hey I’ve still got time anyway. Then I ran 2/3 of a FA 50k on New Year’s Eve at a faster than intended clip while living in a den of hacking and sniffling. This was rapidly followed by me participating in the hacking and sniffling. For the record, the boys are still hacking and sniffling as am I, but I thankfully managed to stave off the worst of the bug.
After that, the period of time intended to see a build-up of miles became a time that mileage dropped in order to not make myself so sick I had to stop running altogether. All said, my run fitness may not be all that amazing right now.
Yet I still had the Little River Trail Run 10 miler on my docket. Meh. I figured it would be good speed work. It was. I figured my mental race toughness would be a little off. It was. These all sound like excuses and I guess they would be if I had gone into this seeking a PR or some sort of high overall placement. I wasn’t.
Early on, I saw a Bull City Track Club teammate lope away and had a train of three women to purportedly pace off of. Really what happened is I would fall back going up hill because it was spiking my heartrate really high to try and keep up, and then catch up on technical and/or downhill sections. This lasted until the extended climbing section in the middle, which is when I simply lost sight of them.
In the end, I went about a minute or so slower than last year, which isn’t too bad. Even better, all the speedier runners ahead of me were under 40 years of age. Huzzah! Hello sweet new running shirt and gift certificate for dinner for 2 at local swanky joint!
So the next day, I run 16 miles on the ATT before the soreness really sets in. Then follow that with lots of stretching and a massage session. My body was feeling a little worked over come Monday morning, but I made it to pilates class.
I’ve been doing well with two long runs each weekend– one on singletrack and one on bridle type trails– but each run tends to be around 2 hours long or a bit longer. I have a 50k coming up and my longest training run is still only 22 miles. That was leaving me a little anxious until I heard about another FatAss event up at Falls Lake for distances between 26-53 miles. I’m going 26. It’s this Saturday and the forecast is for rain in the 40’s. Perfect.
I’ll check back in with you folks later.