Friday, January 4, 2013

Ending the Offseason

The offseason is coming to a close and I'm still struggling a bit to find my groove in training, though admittedly it's starting to come back despite some setbacks.

Family photos.
I have a race in a month and I'm slightly uneasy about my fitness going in.  The specifics of the race are really intriguing as it's 50K at sea level with nearly 9K of vertical.  The distance is not crazy, but I don't really feel comfortable running that hard for 5+ hours yet, so my main focus is going to be endurance in the coming weeks.  Over Christmas we traveled back to CA to visit my family and I ran my Simas Peak route (15+ miles/+4,100') in 2:17 going what felt like 80%.  I pushed hard with sustained effort on the climbs, but did not push the downs at all, just controlled.  Logically though, it's not likely I'll be able to duplicate that effort for 30+ miles, so I guess my goal is to try and be as close to 5 hours as possible.  With a new course it's hard to really have any prediction of what my time will be, and the Ultrasignup "goal time" calculation is just BS (it predicts an 11+ hour finish for Diana Finkel at Jemez. She ran 9:30 last year...).  So, who knows, my running lately has left much to be desired.

Part of the offseason I'm trying to kick the habit of was some sickness.  I caught a virus from my kids that unfortunately wiped me out the 3 days surrounding my birthday/new year.  I had zero energy and trouble eating for those days and generally lost the desire to do much of anything besides sleep and lay around.  Hopefully that's behind me, but you never know with these damned kids around.

The highlight of the offseason for me was the reintegration of some actual sport in my life.  I started playing indoor soccer again with a fun group of guys who all happen to be talented.  Specifically we're playing futsal, which is a much better version of the typical indoor game in my opinion and it's helped me work a bunch of muscles that I hadn't used in a while.  Initially I thought I'd just play this season and take the running year off, but I'm considering more and more the idea of continuing through the year.  It's been a lot of fun, and while I've picked up some bruises, it's generally been beneficial for my physical fitness and helps break up the training.

Current standings.  We are "RUSH".
Aside from that, my planning for the 2013 ultra year has been pretty quiet.  I've pretty well nailed down some ideas for what I'd like to do, but still uncertain in some areas.  I obviously have Orcas Island 50K on 2/2 and then Salida on 3/9, but after that the race schedule is generally quiet.  Rachel and I still have yet to finalize some stuff in regards to an anniversary trip which will likely include a race for both of us.  I'm excited that it looks as though I'm going to be able to check off a major bucket list item, the Grand Canyon R2R2R over the weekend of April 20th with Donnie.  The only way I want to see it for the first time is to really see it, all of it, on a single run.

Some other things in the works are a "Fat Ass" which I'm looking to do linking some trails from my house over Green, to Mother Cabrini, Lookout Mountain, Golden, and then back.  It's somewhere between 31 and 36 miles depending on what you take to get there.  I need to scout the section from MW to Cabrini to Apex as it involves a fair amount of off trail bushwhacking, but it'll be sweet.  I might actually try this sooner rather than later if I can find a good way though to Apex.

Roughly the idea.
Also in the works for the summer is a Front Range traverse starting at Lookout Mountain and heading south.  This is something that I've chatted with Todd about for 2 years, so this feels like the year to get it done.

I'm leaning towards running my 100 at Bighorn for some redemption (depending on what I decide on Cascade Crest), and using a super long fun run as a way to get ready.  The idea is a Buchanon/Pawnee/Pawnee/Buchanon double loop.  Simple idea is to start at night, drive up around midnight, and start the Buchanon direction first.  Finish the loop proper back at the car, refuel and head out in the opposite direction.  The wilderness aspect of the race would be good preparation for a race like Bighorn which lacks substantial support for long periods in the middle of nowhere.  The loop would be in the range of 52-54 miles and +13K of vert, so solid training and a good excuse to hang out in the Indian Peaks.  I think mid-May would be good target so long as it isn't still packed in with snow.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2012 Recap

Been pretty quiet lately on the blog.  Mostly I've been busy with work and life, trying to get things in order and running when I can.  Rather than write a huge post in regards to the year, I'm posting some photos to help speed it along.

Final figures for 2012:

277 Runs
498 Hours
50 Minutes
19 Seconds
3156.39 Miles
341,907 Vertical Feet

Snowmass Lake from the 4 pass loop run.

Camping with friends.

This burned down.

My best friend got married.

We bought our first house. I can now run trails from my front door.

Ran my first track race.

Kicked JT's ass.

Won my first 50M race.

Awesome photo from said race. Photo: Jason Halladay

Hung out high on some big peaks.

Oliver was small to start.

We hung out.

He got bigger.

And then he got stuck.

Ran some other races. DNF'd a bunch.

Found the limits of the Subi.

Finally don't have to worry about losing that damn ring.

Xavier went to his first soccer game.

Xavier grew up, dropped his first curse word at school, and beat his mom bowling.
An unfortunate sickness mellowed my plan for any fun on my birthday, but the year was a great one by any measure.  I'm looking forward to lots of fun in 2013.  Haven't really nailed down any running plans after March, but I've got a month to get ready for Orcas Island, and then another few weeks to prep for Salida.  After that, it's anybody's guess where I'll be, but hopefully I can pull off the Grand Canyon trip with Donnie, and either Bighorn or Cascade Crest.  My resolution is to get up Green Mountain (here in Lakewood) 100 times.  Started out with one slow ascent today.  See ya on the trails this year, bitches!