There isn't much of a break in trial running. As far as I can tell there isn't really an on season or an off season. Certainly there are months where races are more numerous, most notably in the summer months when a lot of the high country opens up due to snow melt. A runner can however find a race at just about any time of year. This isn't really much of a dilemma for those of us that like running...but it can definitely take a toll on the body. I'm fairly confident that I will be taking a pretty solid 6 weeks off at the end of this next season. (So..not until the December 2012, January 2013 timeframe...assuming the Mayans weren't on to something anyway)
Speaking of time off, following the North Face 50 in December I took about 4 days completely off from running. This was a bit difficult for me as a fair bit of my mental well being is now dependent on my ability to lace up a pair of shoes and pound away on the dirt or pavement on a near daily basis. The following two weeks were pretty light, running just enough to prevent myself from going crazy while taking it easy enough to allow my body to recuperate after a fairly full year of running. I believe the final tally last year put me at around 2,200 miles with upwards of 220,000 feet of elevation gain. Not bad for a wannabe athlete. Barring injury I will most likely increase that number by about 1,000 miles (or more) this year. It should be a blast.
As far as this year goes, January has been a fun month so far. I've spent about 80% of my time on the trails, up from the 55% I spent on the dirt last year. I'm hoping to keep this going through the entire season. Not only is trail running more interesting...but it also seems to be a bit easier on the joints. I've also been able to ramp up from about 40 miles a week (the arbitrary amount I decided to start off with) to 70 mile weeks without any issues physically. For reference last season I topped out with a 78 mile week. My hope is to ramp up to a couple of 90-100 mile weeks at some point prior to the 100 mile race I have planned for August. Suffice it to say my training is going great and I'm looking forward to keeping the ball rolling for the next 10 months.
After a solid month of training I'm ready to race. The Orcas Island 50K is this Saturday. I raced it last year and though I felt pretty good with my performance, given the fact that I was and really still am pretty new to Ultras, I'm confident that I should be able to greatly improve on my time from last year. Orcas is a beast of a 50K, much more difficult than many of the others floating around. It probably clocks it a mile or two longer than the advertised 31 miles and has well over 7,000 feet of elevation gain. (Probably more like 8K) I'll be giving the New Balance MT110's their first go in a race on Saturday. Awesome shoe...we shall see if they can turn this wannabe runner into something that resembles a real runner. In any event...Orcas Island, the rematch this Saturday the 4th in Olga, Washington. It should be a blast. Lets get ready to rumble.
Hopefully the next post will be funnier...this one just seems like it's full of numbers. I guess it makes sense though...what did you expect from an engineer? I'll leave you with a goofy picture of my dog.