April is here! Warm weather and lots of races are finally blossoming on the calendar...and this time couldn't have come soon enough for me - What a mess the past 3 months have been for my running! Hopefully I can learn from some mistakes and be smarter in the future. Here's a quick recap of 2009 thus far:
Even though I dealt with some knee issues in January, I was still able to rack up a solid 350 miles of running on the roads for the month. By the beginning of February, my knee was feeling great and I was looking forward to the Iron Horse 100. Then, of course, my shin blew up (totally my fault for running a 20 miler on it the day after I initially hurt it), and both that race and my month of training were shot. I was only able to cover 137 miles in the month...and I needed to take a whopping 14 (!!) days completely off as my leg healed up. ...and yes, I was quite miserable the whole time.
With March came some new hope (and smarter rehab planning). In the end I was able to run/elliptical on all but 2 days. Here's the breakdown:
Elliptical Workouts: 10 days - 70 miles
Running: 16 days - 132 miles
VersaClimber: 4 days - 28,000 feet
Lifting: 20 days (after all elliptical sessions and some runs)
Off Days: 2
With the turn of the calendar to April, my shin feels great, and I'm hoping I can stay out of the elliptical world completely. This weekend I'll be putting in my first honest days work in a long time (30+ miles on the Bull Run Trail). Since that race (on 4/18) will just be a training run for me this year, I won't do any sort of taper before it (not that I have anything to taper down from anyway!). My only goal right now is to stay healthy while racking up enough miles to turn in a strong effort at the Mohican Trail 100 in June.
As for my schedule after that race, there are too many ???s right now for me to really know what the heck I'm doing. The main reason for the confusion is they still haven't named a site/date for the US 24 Hour National Championships. I received an email last week from the folks who sanction the event, and they said they're in the process of finding the right race - they hope to have a decision in a couple weeks. Since that event is my #1 priority for the 2nd half of this year, I'll just have to be patient and wait for the announcement before solidifying my schedule.
In addition to the National Championship, I'd love to squeeze in a couple of these as well:
Viaduct Trail 100 - August 8 - Just the perfect example of why I love ultra-running: No glitz, glamor, bells, or whistles. Just Man v. 100 miles of nature. This race is a "Fat Ass" event, meaning you have to crew for yourself and no real aid is given by the race directors (they do supply water). The race also has a $0 entry fee, which is right up my alley. Each finisher gets an old railroad spike as their award - how cool is that?! I'm on the wait-list right now (only 30 people get in), but I have hopes some will drop before the race (I think I'm 5 or so deep on the list). My big thing this year is to save $$ by picking races I can drive to, so with this one being just 5 hours from home, I'm definitely looking forward to it.
North Coast 24 Hour - October 3 - This is a brand new race located directly on the shore of Lake Erie in Cleveland. The .91 mile loop looks to be flat and fast. If the National Championship isn't too close to this one, I'd love to head out and give it a try. With Cleveland also about a 5-6 hour drive from home, this also appeals to me as another drive-in race option.
Pinhoti 100 Miler - November 7 - I REALLY want to run this one. I hope the National Championship isn't too close. The course is the type of point-to-point trail run I love with enough elevation to keep the quads burning all day long. Sure, an 11 hour drive is pushing it, but a stop off 1/2 way in Nashville could break it up and make for a nice vacation book-end.
In the meantime I'll just focus on making April a healthy month, and hopefully by May we'll all know when/where the National Championship will be and the rest of the year can finally fall into place too!