This coming Sunday I'm going for a run, and I'm stoked. Since Leadville I've done zero running; I'm starting to go through withdrawal. I like taking two full weeks of rest to sit around and let my body heal from a hard effort, but getting that full two weeks tends to be difficult to achieve. The first week is easy, when everything is still out of whack and sore, but the it's the second week, when you feel fine that is the tough one.
While I've enjoyed my beer, I'm looking forward to enjoying the fall weather, even in small doses. Rachel is motoring right along towards having this kid and we're ready at any moment to have it. The sense of imminence means I'll be doing shorter runs, closer to the car and my phone. Sunday, I'm planning on hitting Mt. Morrison. This is the steepest climb on the Denver front range and one that is not frequented by runners or hikers. During the rest period I've decidedly come to recognize the importance of addressing the biggest weaknesses in my running: flat speed and climbing.
This past year's training log focused on base mileage and volume. I would do it again, because with my limited experience, I don't have a real base to draw on, but I feel that the past two years have given me enough to start to focus more on things that I believe will increase my performance. Conveniently, Lucho posted something that essentially confirms my thinking. However, I don't have the base (or talent), so I don't think I can get away with 50 mpw but from my experience I tuck nicely into 90-95 mpw in the meat of my schedule. It's an area that allows for volume AND intensity. That's my focus for the year; never sacrifice one for the other.
In regards to addressing my weaknesses, vertical is something I've lacked in my training at least on a regular basis. My desired race schedule next year will include plenty of vertical, and so Mt. Morrison will likely become a regular fixture in my training alongside Mt. Falcon and Lookout Mountain. Variety is key. Lookout being the best spot for workouts, Falcon being the most logical steep running trail, and Morrison being the place for masochistic workouts. It's our Sanitas/Incline/whatever. I'll also try to get some flat fast work in, while I've constantly avoided the track for a few years, it may be time to find a group to help me. I'm lost there, no experience whatsoever, so a group is likely my best option. That and joining up with folks doing marathon training. We'll see, but it seems like a good option. My group of running buddies has increased dramatically in the last year, so I can hopefully sneak into other workouts without too much hassle.
In short, my ideal race schedule for 2012:
Salida, Fruita 50, Ice Age 50, Hardrock, Wasatch, and Hellgate. Basically a two half season with a focus on speed early and mountains later.
Obviously that depends on my ability to gain entry into the latter four and there are plenty of great races that could replace them if I don't get in so finding races isn't the hard part, the hard part is addressing the issues in my training and tackling them.
Speaking of tackling, it is the start of football season, both here and aboard and my son is taking his cue. He just began preschool (see pic below) and we had a potluck dinner/meet and greet last night at his school. There were a few older kids (6yo) playing with a soccer ball that he wanted to partake in. The older boys began a game of keep away that was frustrating to my kiddo. After about 5 plays, Xavier decided to fix the problem by spearing the oldest kid and taking him to the ground. I know I'm not supposed to condone such behavior, but it made me proud. Find the problem, fix the problem. Now we'll have a double dose of that thinking soon.