Wednesday, December 10, 2008

About a Million Things to Say...

Since this weekend I have started and saved close to three new posts. They all may see the light of day, but I wanted to throw a few thoughts out there.

First, the last couple of days have been really positive for me. I have been really careful with my training based on the IT Band issues, a little because I didn't know it was the IT Band until last week, but also because I didn't want to overdue it and essentially do the one step forward, two steps back thing.

One of the things I have realized about the injury is that with the proper amount of stretching and preventative measures it is manageable and I could take on some of the longer training runs.

With this in mind I embarked on my first attempt at an hour-long run. I have been trying to slowly build back the long run, and this was the next step in the process. I was a little worried because on the 50 minute run last week I started to tighten up around 45 minutes. Other than the darkness it was a great run, and though I did have a little tightness at 35 minutes, I started to feel great at the end of the run and finished with 65 minutes, and felt like I was just getting the party started! I wanted to keep going and see how long I could maintain the groovy feelings, but it was getting late, and I needed to be home to see the kids off to bed.

There was some definite tightness following the run, as well as earlier in the day today, but I made sure I did IT Band stretches at every opportunity during the day. Yeah, I was the weirdo in the kitchenette at work stretching while my soup was warming up! The reward was that I felt good enough when I arrived home tonight to go out and run an easy 20 minutes. I figured I'd try because the forecast for tomorrow and Friday is a fairly uniform "extended crappy" - cold and sleet.

The air temperature felt downright balmy when I stepped out to start the run, and that alone put a charge in my stride. I haven't made an attempt at running fast since the injury because of the possibility of strain, but I went with the quicker pace for the heck of it. I actually felt great pushing the pace a little, and though I held to the 20 minute time limit, I ran negative splits the whole way: 7:50, 7:30, and the .7 of the 3rd mile was at 7:15 pace. Yes, not blazingly fast, but it was nice to see 7's, instead of the 8's and 9's I had been accustomed to on previous runs, on the minutes-per-mile read out on the Garmin summary. Easily the most satisfying 2.7 miles I have run in the last 2 months!

All this has made my brain start rolling over the idea of winging it and attempting to run the GAC Fat Ass 50k in January, since it is a 10k loop and I can bail if things start to deteriorate too much. Then there is the part of me that is rational and is thinking that the best action would be to make sure I can get healthy for sure and run my first Ultra at the Pineland Farms Trail Challenge 50k... Oh the mind of a trail runner!

On the topic of 2009, my general thought is that I am going to stick to the trails and my two goal races are going to be:

Pineland Farms 50k - May 2009
Stone Cat 50 Miler - November 2009

In addition, I am hoping to run at least six of the Eastern New England Trail Running Series races. Merrimack River Trail 10 miler, Oxford Dam Race, and the August edition of Wapack are three I really, really want to do in 2009. The Blue Hills Skyline Trail Run in July is also a consideration, but that is an experience in itself :-).

I would like to perhaps find a way to run a road marathon, but the adventure of the trail and the challenge of doing an ultra makes a road marathon look sort of like a moot point in the grand scheme of things.

So here's to a brief snapshot of 2009!

Cheers everyone!


Pathfinder said...

It sounds like you have a great handle on your training and 09 plans. I too am entered in the pineland 50K It will be my first so who knows what will come of it. I ran the 25K there last May and though I was not as prepared as I thought I was, I did finish with a new sense of knowledge and pride. Perhaps I will see you there.

Dan said...

Good to hear you're getting back to normal. Sounds like you have a good plan in place. Can't remember the last time I ran a 7:30 mile ;-)

RunninRob said...

As I am sure you read, Pathfinder, it looks as if Pineland Farms 50k will be my first Ultra as well. I did run a road 25k, as well as a few long trail training runs (a couple 20 milers) so I'd hope I have a bit of a taste, but you are right, it will be interesting. And we will definitely see each other there, provided I stay in one piece! :-)

Does this mean that Pathfinder and I are calling out Dan to run the Pineland Farms 50k as well??? We could have "Mad Blogger" team entry :-)