A lack of recent blog posts certainly doesn't reflect the level of running I've been experiencing lately. January/early February has been a fruitful month here in Louisville and I feel like the old pistons are pumping better than ever.
With the help of my PT at Advanced Orthopaedics I recovered well from Hellgate and was running again in no time. 2013 was up in the air as far as race plans went, but my running was not only stronger than it has ever been, but also fun was, and is, back in full in my running.
On New Years Day, I ran the Hangover Classic 10 miler in 1 hour flat while pretty sick with a sinus infection acquired from my job as an urgent care nurse. I recovered from the race, (and sinus infection), quickly and I decided it was time to call the speed work off for a few months and focus on economy and efficiency. I got in about 8 solid weeks of speedwork during November and December and so after a week off in early January I hit it hard with some super fun long slow distance. I knocked out a 115 mile week mostly on trails which was a blast. I've been setting heart rate limits on the road at 100 Miler heart rate pacing, (140 bpm) and my speed has bumped up noticeably over last year which shows gains in effienciency as my hips, glutes, and core are all functionally balanced due to my morning workout routine band exercises.
I had originally hoped to run the Tour De Virginia again to relive the experience from last year, but as it won't be happening it took me a few weeks to figure out the game plan. I'm pretty excited with what I worked up.
Next week as always I'll be looking for the win at Louisville Lovin' the Hills 50K, the toughest 50K+ around with over 6000' elevation gain on technical singletrack. Following LLTH 50K, every March I always run the 50 Miler at Land Between the Lakes and I'm pretty happy with the results I've had there. This year however I'm tackling the 60K, (38 miles), as it's the original classic distance there. I'm shooting for the course record of 4:26 and with a good run I'm pretty sure I can break it as long as the weather cooperates and I'm feeling froggy. The reason I'm shooting for the exciting 60K this year is to hopefully go into my "A" race a little fresher this year. I have high hopes for the Umstead 100 mile on April 6 and the 60K at LBL will save my legs 12 miles of racing only 4 weeks before Umstead. The 60K course record will also pay out a nice prize purse to help pay for some of these adventures! Last year for the 50 mile I was right on the 60K course record splits so as long as pacing and fueling are flawless I've got high hopes. Its all about the weather and course conditions though...
After my "A" race at Umstead I'm going into an unstructured training period to allow for recovery. In May I would love to run a 24 hour event such as "3 Days at the Fair" in NJ to try to qualify for the USA Worlds 24 Team. Worlds won't happen for another year though so there is plenty of time to peak for a 24 hour run at another time. Last year I learned some valuable lessons about taking time off and recovering inbetween races. I always have known that we can't function at 100% all the time and trying to do so yields unimpressive race performances.
After my break from serious training in April and May I'll be pacing Traci Falbo during her Grand Slam attempt. I'm pretty stoked to get to run on some of the most storied courses in the sport, like Leadville and Wasatch without the pressure of racing myself! I'll get to truly witness the beginings of the race and then pace one of the fastest chicks in the country! Pretty awesome stuff. Currently I know I'll be pacing for Leadville and Wasatch.
In lieu of the Tour De Virginia this summer which won't be happening I've managed to come up with another adventure which spawns the same sentiment and epic nature; The Colorado Trail. I'll write more about this endeavor as it come to form. Many options are on the table; supported, self-supported, etc and so I need to gather more data. If anyone is interested in taking part in running on some of the most amazing terrain in the country for two weeks averaging 50-60 miles per day at an average elevation of 10,500', give me a shout and lets chat. I'd love to make this a group event in the same vein as the Tour De Virginia.
Of note also is the Backside Trail Marathon. I've taken on the role of race director and I hope to grow this trail marathon and half over the next few years. We have great sponsors lined up: Quest Outdoors, Smith Optics, Clif Nutrition, Olmsted Parks Conservancy, Headfirst Performance, Injinji Socks, and more! There are still spots available. The race can be found on facebook at Facebook.com/backsidetrailmarathon . Registration is at Ultrasignup.com
Looking forward to good times in 2013.