Sunday, January 2, 2011

Ringing (and Running) In 2011!

Happy 2011, Everyone!  Even though I'm now stuck back in the working world with my fellow cubicle farm animals, I'm still smiling from the past week I spent living the life of a pro runner: Sleeping in, running 20+ miles every day, napping whenever I felt like it, etc etc. It's not often I take time off from work to simply stay at home and enjoy the running life like this, but I had so much fun I think I definitely need to do it more often!

When I wasn't out on the trails racking up the miles (it was a HUGE mileage week, as you might imagine), Lizzy and I had a blast with lots of quality family time. I'm including this photo of us because I had a dream the night before that I wore this shirt on the podium at the Spartathlon awards ceremony. Could that be the running gods trying to nudge me into finally making the trip out there in 2011? Hmmm...

...and here's a shot of Uncle Dan showing off his Pez collection to Nashville nephew Will. It turns out Will is wise beyond his years: When I said he could pick any Pez dispenser from the pile to add to his own collection, he immediately grabbed the giant Kermit the Frog and said, "Thank you!".

Just to make sure this is the only running blog you'll ever read with two Pez photos, I'll include this one showing the evolution of the Hulk dispenser from the original 70s version to the present-day model. ....I know, I know, Will didn't really care about my Pez history lesson either. He was more interested in asking questions like, "Why don't you have any candy in these things?".

The running highlight of the week was me finally convincing myself to wake up on New Year's morning to run the RedEye 50K which has been a VHTRC tradition for 15 years. Club legend Gary Knipling was nice enough to coordinate the race this year, and 105 runners proved to be hangover-proof and showed up to run through the leafy trails of the Prince William National Forrest. Not knowing the course at all, I hooked up with super-nice guy Jeff Holdaway at the front of the pack around mile 2 and proceeded to chat his ear off for the next 29 miles. As an added bonus, we got to see Jeff's 14 year-old son Matt finish 20 miles of his own out there. Well done, Matt!

As the first full training week of the year kicks off today, I'm officially focused on my races for the spring. In order to get into the kind of climbing shape I want to be in for MMT100 (and possibly Hardrock), I'm integrating two-a-days for the first time. This morning was the first 5:00 a.m. hill workout (I never train in the mornings, so it was a little tough to get the engine going!), and I'll follow it up with my usual evening run (tempo or speed) after work. The weekends will have my usual long runs, most of which will take place either on the Bull Run or MMT course. By including the 4000 feet of climbing every morning, I think I should be able to even the playing ground with some of the runners out there who have the good fortune of living (and running) in the mountains every day. If nothing else, it will at least help me build up my legs to more of a "Current Hulk Pez" size, and that can only help with my climbing speed!


UltraBrad said...

Keep it up, stay smart about your training, listen to your body, and you can do big things this year! Stay healthy!

Casseday said...

Happy New Year Dan! I hope you have a great year of running and racing.
- Adam

nmp said...

4k of vertical a day - yikes!

Ric Munoz said...

I hope 2011 turns out to be a banner year for you, Dan! If I can manage even 10% of your training mileage, I'll be extremely satisfied. Keep it up and get plenty of rest!

Chris Roman said...

Awesome buddy, especially like the Hulk Pez history lesson. Here's to a great 2011, going to get off with a bang in Brazil :)

Runner Tammy said...

Happy New Year Dan!

Now I know what my fanny pack has been missing: a pez dispenser. I bet you there is a cupcake shaped pez dispenser:-)

I know you will do great in 2011!

I have my fingers crossed for you being selected to the Hardrock lottery followed by a hugely successful race this summer!!