Sunday, January 31, 2010

January - Quick like this post!

Now that 2010 is official 1/12th over... yikes... I am able to look at some of the early returns for training and improved health this year.

Sure the goals are still floating in my head, and while I did think I'd be headed for another shot at 50k next weekend, some family issues have come up and I need to stay close to home for the next few weekends.

Today I finished up one month of training in 2010 in an uncharacteristic way - RUNNING!

Indeed, I have been training, but I realized that I haven't actually 'run' for a continuous and challenging pace in quite some time. In fact, I cannot remember the last time I went out for a run that didn't include walking breaks. Not that I am complaining, because it has made each odyssey much more soul satisfying, but part of the reason I added interval training and speed work back in November and December was to try to get a little faster on the shorter distances in order to get faster on the longer runs, by virtue of pushing that lactic threshold.

It seems the speed and interval training has paid off because I essentially ran 2.5 miles at 7:02/mile pace, which is way down from any of my road racing PRs since deciding to become a runner again. The 2.5 miles were purposefully quick and I pushed to the point of feeling all sorts of rotten over the last 1/2 mile. Hopefully the ice will fade a little and I can get some more interval training in.

Weight is a little bit of a disappointment, as I was eeking closer to 185 a couple weeks ago, but seemed to get into a rut of being tired and busy and disinterested in counting the calories. I also haven't made it to the gym in a couple weeks, so my resistance sessions, the REAL calorie consuming exercise I do, haven't been there. The good news is that at the end of last month I was wrestling with my weight to stay south of 200, now I am fighting to stay south of 190, so overall I am winning the war. Time to get back in gear and make sure I toe the line at Hyannis somewhere between 180-185.

Ultra Training is going well, and I feel like I am suddenly in a bit of a bind with what my overall goal should be. On the one hand I'd like to plan and commit to running the Pineland Farms Trail Challenge 50 miler at the end of May, but the race falls the day after one of the USATF-NE Mountain Races, which also has another race the following weekend. So now I am left to wonder which goal means more to me? Do I want the Mountain Goat moniker, or am I in the mood for more cowbell? Yes, I could do both, but I have a wife who is not keen on carting me around to all these nooks and crannies of New England! :-)

By the numbers:
I officially ran 9 times in Jaunary and logged 82.2 miles. I also logged 6 to 10 more miles on the treadmill with my 'Uphill Challenge' runs before resistance training.

Including my last run of 2009, half of my training runs have been long runs of 20k or more:
12/27 - 13.3m, 2h, 11m
1/9 - 12.4m, 2h, 56m (Fat Ass 50k through snow)
1/16 - 19.7m, 3h, 10m
1/24 - 14.1m, 2h, 30m
1/26 -13.5m, 2h, 20m

This is wonderful news for me because these runs were all focused with Ultras in mind, and included run/walk strategies. The 1/9 run was followed by a run on 1/10 that totalled an hour and covered over 10k, and the 1/16 run was followed by a really tough 2 hour snow hike on 1/18.

I have read many seasoned ultra runners comments about how less can be more, and some runners can get away with running 3 times a week if the three runs are focused on going long and learning to run 'tired'. Essentially it becomes a matter of learning how to function when the time on feet increases.

I am a little bummed I am not able to do more training with the rest of the Gang, but I know I am slowly getting back into the swing of things.

Above all, this month of training and recent family situation has led me to understand that this life isn't necessarily about the journey overall. Rather, it is about the people with whom we are fortunate enough to share the trail.

Until the next adventure...




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