Saturday, January 26, 2013

8am. It’s raining. I’m going trail running.

Basically that’s every Saturday morning. Oh, I love that long run!

Now, I know some of those ultra “training programs” like to say you should must do back-to-back long runs, but I’m not really there yet. Or I am but don’t want to injure myself. Something like that.

BUT. Oh yes, it’s Saturday evening and I got my long (in my terms) run in this morning. North Shore rain, Grouse Mountain wind and all those pesky off-leash dogs pooping on the trail be darned!

Having absolutely no experience in marathon/ultra training I end up reading almost all the resources I can find and then try to balance that with how I feel, anything specific I need to train for and what my (somewhat loving) brother says is, “too much too soon.” Yeah, I guess I’m glad I didn't jump right from 14 trail miles to 18 trail miles. I can see how that would have been a supremely-painful day.

Now with a solid handful of 10-to-15 mile trail runs in, it feels like a good distance base is brewing.

  • December 8: 10.6 miles – 1,080’ gain
  • December 15: 12.5 miles – 1,306’ gain
  • December 22: 13 miles – 2,203’ gain
  • December 26: 10.2 miles – 1,827’ gain
  • December 29: 12.2 miles – 1,916’ gain
  • January 5: 14 miles – 1,650’ gain
  • January 13: 15 miles – 3,406’ gain
  • January 26: 14.9 miles – 1,785’ gain

It’s not only the distance, but the time makes these runs so much more satisfying for me. Two or three hours outside in the trees (or at least not in town) really lets me get in the run. Doing shorter runs now feels odd; like I’m just starting to get warmed up when I’m finishing. Ggggrrrr. Hate that feeling. Unfortunately that’ll be the norm now that I’m going to mini-taper before the Golden Gate 30k (18.5 miles) with my bro. Think I’ll need the fresh legs for the up-and-down course (3,900’ gain).

So, Saturday 26th of January…you were my last real training run before this ill-conceived 2013 racing season starts. Today was a good run (frozen fingers aside).  

Let the games begin…

Sunday, January 13, 2013

I need to eat my words

For years, my brother, who’s a real runner, has been telling me that if I started running I’d get hooked and dive in head over heels. I guess he’s had the benefit of seeing me do it with all the other sports and activities I’ve done throughout my life.

“Sure man, I could mmaaaayyybbbee run a half marathon with you,” I surmised...for years...

“Once you run a half you’re going to see all those people doing the full and you’re going to want to do it.”

Yeah. So. He was kind of, a little bit, maybe, right.

Starting last spring I started to run a bit more than usual, which really had just been some mid-week activity for me to do in between weekend (adult league) soccer games.

Long runs went from 5-6 miles to 8. Once a week became two or three times a week. Nikes became New Balance. Mizuno trail shoes showed up to keep them company.  One trail race sign up suddenly spawned another and then was followed by two half marathons in three weeks, one which we ran together in our hometown.

But growing up and travelling, camping and backpacking in some of the most beautiful places in North America, trail running just feels better than any street ever will. I can’t wax poetic about it, it just feels better.

So, now I’m training for some longer trail runs which definitely will push me far harder than any other physical endeavor ever has.

Consider my words fully devoured, please.

Training is in full swing (sort of…). There are energy gels and chews in the cupboard (is it taboo to admit? Or maybe it’s the Body Glide that is off limits…), ice packs in the freezer and Pacific Northwest dirt and mud in the trunk of my car.

Here goes nothing…