Wednesday, March 14, 2012

More Finish Less Fail

Orcas came and went with very little fanfare on my part. No PR, no joy, and no finish.A little over 24 hours before the start of the race I came down with a stomach bug that had me unburdening myself of all the fluids and calories that I had painstakingly placed into my system over the previous few days. Not the greatest way to prepare for a training run, let alone the first race of the year. In any event, we got to Orcas, I attempted to start, got 10 miles in and pulled the plug at the first aid station.  DNF's are tough to choke down even when you know there is very little you could've done about it. I wasn't too happy about the result but got to spend some time with my wife and our dog at a cabin on Orcas, which is never a bad thing.

Pippa putting up with a photo op
My two buddies Josh and Danny knocked the race out of the park. Big congrats to them as they both put in a lot of time prepping for the event. Danny came in 20th in a pretty stacked field. Josh and I are waiting for him to get sponsored so we can beg for some free stuff. Josh ended up finishing his first Ultra with a good time and in good spirits and as such has decided to throw his name in the hat for the White River 50 miler. Another person converted to ultrarunning awesomeness?

The bitterness over Orcas didn't really last very long. Looking at my race calendar I realized the following:

1) Wow I have more races I get to run
2) Holy crap that 100k is less than 2 months away.
3) Cripes the 100 miler just got a month closer too!

Panic momentarily set in as I tried to wrap my brain around the enormity of these two endeavors. Best case scenario I will run 11 hours in the 100K. Though I suppose "move" would be a more appropriate word to use over "run". The 100 miler will likely take me 24 hours OR MORE to complete. The panic quickly gave way to excitement...though admittedly at times it is difficult to explain why. I like being out on the trail. I like talking to other runners. I like the challenge. I like the isolation. There isn't much about running that I don't like anymore. Though just thinking about that amount of running gives me enough reason to pause and consider whether or not I am a little off my rocker.

Spring (or winter?) in the foothills
Enough rambling. Onwards and upwards! Training began anew after the early season debacle and I hammered out an awesome 4 week block that included a 75 mile peak week. For comparative purposes, last year it took me until September to hit that kind of weekly mileage, which was done more slowly and with less vertical gain. My goal is to put together a killer back to back run next weekend when I take part in the Chuckanut 50K. I'll hopefully hammer out a sub 5 hour time in the race and will then spend a few hours the following day hobbling around Seattle...eeking out anywhere from 10-15 additional miles. The following weekend I'll partake in another 50K down in Cascade Locks, OR. It should be a pretty spectacular month. In April I'll put together back to back 12-15 hour weeks to start off the month followed by a taper period leading to the Miwok. (First Focus race of the season)

Finally, since I use this blog more for my own benefit more than others (Though I do appreciate you few readers) I feel like I should list some of the cool/surprising things that happened over the past few weeks of training.
  • I ran out on the San Francisco bay trail and heard a bunch of gun shots. Right around the time in which I was getting ready to call the police on my phone I saw a sign with arrows directing me to a gun club. (Which was smack dab in the middle of a PARK) Thank god my hands were a little frozen and it was taking me so long to type in my phone password...
  • Postholing up on Rattlesnake mountain with Doug, Marc, Joram and Jay. There is something about struggling along at 1-2 MPH that is incredibly satisfying...
  • Eating a ridiculous amount of fruits and vegetables. Nutrition is going to play a huge role in getting me up to the mileage required to run in these longer races. I'm buying organic when I can and adopting a new "eat lots of raw, green or brightly colored vegetables and fruits" rule.
  • Sharing the trails with all my training buddies. Doug, Joram, Marc, Danny, Josh and the members of the Seattle Mountain Running group. 
  • Running in the rain in the morning, watching it snow in the afternoon, and then heading out for a run in the sun in the same day. Only in the Pac NW. 

Three days to Chuckanut...I should probably be resting more but I'm having too much fun on the trails...and the pavement. I'm 0-1 for the is to hoping that I finish the rest of my races.

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