It seems that the Orcas Island kick in the pants along with some gradual gains in fitness have begun to stoke the fire again. Funny how that works itself out after a nice long break. Plans are set in motion for the year and I'm finally feeling comfortable about how things will play themselves out.
About a month or so ago I was really searching for motivation, and voiced some concern in regards to fitness/recovery to Todd on a run around Green. Since we've moved to the foothills my weekly vertical has jumped by about 5,000' or more per week (as a reference, my biggest month ever was June of 2011 with 444 miles and +35,473, this January I ran 250 miles and +33,685'). Needless to say, the first 5-6 months were rough on my body, and I was not able to comfortably gain the mileage I'd wanted to prior to Orcas Island, feeling wiped after every run. Todd had mentioned a similar fatigue after moving from the Highlands to Morrison a few years previous, so it was nice to know that I was at least in a normal phase of "adaptation".
The week prior to Orcas I managed to kick out some decent runs and since then I've been waking up feeling fresher than I'd been in the past, and it seems that the body is beginning to take the vertical and mileage in stride. Despite some lingering soreness in the days immediately following the race (4 hours in a car and 3 in a plane are poor recovery tools), I've felt great since and am looking forward to Salida.
I've seemed to nail down my race plans for 2013 as well, though I've got some considering to do on a few things. April is a trip to the Grand Canyon for the R2R2R and is locked in! Originally I'd planned on doing a double Buchanan/Pawnee pass loop in May, but it's likely not going to be accessible for a running option that early and will likely be pushed back to July or August. I've been considering running Quad Rock as a tune up for Bighorn which I've confirmed for June after talking with the wife. I am not a fan of loop courses, though I do love the trails up there and I can't make it to Jemez this year because Rachel's 5K shares the weekend.
I'm planning to recover from Bighorn through June and early July, then just have fun in the high mountains through August. I do want to go back to the Mt. Werner 50K, but it looks to be too close to Bighorn for me and I want to make sure I'm recovered and rested before launching the second half of the year. Late September I'm planning on checking out the Devil Mountain 50 down in Pagosa followed by Deadman Peaks 50 in October as part of a build up to Hellgate in December. Obviously focusing on a few things: being ready and fit for Bighorn and Hellgate. I want to leave the latter part of summer and early fall for what makes Colorado awesome, big mountain running and camping with Rachel and the boys.
For now, it's simply time to get fit and have fun in the hills.