Saturday, October 23, 2010

Starting with a Clean Slate in 2011

With today marking the 28th day of my break from running, I've had plenty of time to think about my goals for 2011. I'll start training again on November 1, so that means I'll have a solid two-month base in my legs once New Years rolls around and I start to look for some tune-up races. The Big Question is, what races should I run? Odds are I won't get into Western States or Hardrock (both lotteries have steep odds), so my focus 100 miler for the spring most likely will be the Massanutten 100 (I have much better odds in that lottery). Since I have some unfinished business at MMT100, I'll be more than happy to return there in killer shape to make things right. As for my other first-half-of-the-year races, I'm pretty much looking for ideas from other people. I know the 100 mile world pretty well, but I've only run two 50 milers, and two 50Ks, so any suggestions anyone has for great races to run, I'm all ears!

Once summer rolls around, I'll be super-excited to head out to Death Valley and crew for my buddy Chris Roman at Badwater. I'm very much looking forward to seeing that course up close and running as much as Chris needs me as a pacer.  After I return from that race, I'll focus on making a splash at the 24 Hour National Championship (it'll probably be in Ohio at NorthCoast again), and then find something fun to run in the fall (also looking for suggestions for races in October-December).

No matter where I end up toeing the line, I know I'll be in a "different" kind of shape next year. I've had plenty of time to plan out a new training schedule, and hopefully this plan translates into a little success for 2011. I haven't really focused on any "speed work" since I started running ultras, but I think this is as good a time as any to see what remains from my old 4-minute mile days. It's been a while, and I know it's gonna hurt like hell, but I'm also pretty darn excited to see what I can do with this new speed/distance hybrid training plan I've cooked up. It all kicks off in one the meantime, how about some race suggestions?!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Anatomy of a Running Closet

Just because I haven't been running these past couple weeks doesn't mean I've been taking it easy. For the past week or so, Lizzy and I have been moving into our new home! It has certainly been its own special breed of "ultra" over this time, and even though my back is pretty much shot, I'm happy to report we are officially all moved-in!

My first project in the new house? Setting up my running gear! I'm not sure how everyone else organizes all their stuff, but I'm loving my new set-up in this over-sized closet!

In terms of my body, my legs are definitely enjoying the break from running (15 days and counting!), and now that the move is over, I think my overall energy will be jumping back to normal as well. Now that I have a new starting point for all my daily runs, I'm excited to head out on a few mapping expeditions to see what fun routes I can find. I'm already excited by the fact that I have a BIG hill (just shy of a mile long) just around the corner from me now, and there's also a nice cushy high-school track 2.5 miles down the road that will be perfect for speed work (I've decided to blow a few years of dust off my track workouts and integrate them back into my training for 2011).

For my long adventures, I'm just a couple miles away from hooking up with the Mt.Vernon Trail (my old friend), the W&OD trail (45 miles long), and the 4 Mile Run Trail (longer than 4 miles!).  All this talk of new training routes is getting me excited, but for now I'm even more excited to rest up for a couple more weeks so I can be completely healthy when I hit the ground running in November!