Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Miles in the Javelina Bank

This past month I have really been focused on packing in the miles for the Javelina 100 and I was able to pull it off. In the month of September I ran 213.33 miles and this included one marathon and some well timed recovery. I have read in a number of places that someone getting ready for a 100 mile ultra should be able to comfortably run 60 miles per week in the month prior to the race and I was able to do that 3 of the last 4 weeks. I took the week after the road marathon a bit easy to make sure I recovered well. So for the month of October I have the Palo Duro 50K on October 17th and the Javelina 100 on October 31st; everything else will be taper and recovery time.

Also in September, last weekend, I ran the Elephant Man Triathlon. I was very curious as to how I would be able to perform on this difficult Olympic distance race given my high running mileage and the fact that I did a 25 mile long run the day before the race. I also have not been training for triathlon. I ended up having a much better race than expected earning third place masters clyde and third clyde overall missing 1st place by about a minute and 30 seconds. Amazingly the race among the clydes was won in the swim. I had the second fastest bike, the fastest run and the third fastest swim and that landed me in third place. I felt pretty good for my efforts ans as usual had a great time.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Looks Like Pig is on the Menu

I'm in...oh crap!

This year has been a pretty horrible with respect to my planned training and racing. The job of filling in as acting Chief of Psychology blew out my planned training and because I didn't feel I was well enough trained I skipped out on some ultras that I planned. Also our sudden drop in income after the GGs job loss made it seem prudent to skip out on the only Iron distance race I had planned for the year, the Oklahoma City Redman. Fortunately the RD at Redman is a very forgiving guy and he rolled our entry fees over to next year's race but my entry into the Tahoe Rim Trail 100 and tickets to see Shakespeare on the beach at Lake Tahoe were a loss.

As this year has worn on though I have seriously been jonesing for a long distance race. I had a bit of it at the beginning of the year when I was recapturing my lost mojo at the Bandera 100K but still failing to regain my place back among the ranks of serious untrarunners at the Rocky Raccoon 100 miler with a DNF at mile 80. Like any good addict I started casting about for a possible fix.

I have enough experience to know that I can't just blithely jump into a 100 mile race without prior training so as my ability to manage the temporary job became better I started ramping up my mileage. I set my sights on the Javelina 100, lovingly known as the “Javelina Jundred” It's held on “Jalloween” this year! (oh, for those who may not be of the southwestern U.S. or Hispanic persuasion Javalena is pronounced Have-a-leena). When I went to register the race was full but I put my name on the wait list and started focusing my training for a run through the Arizona desert.

Now that I am officially in I'm feeling pretty good about my chances at finishing the race. I have my ever-present source of inspiration, the GeekGrl, as my main crew and cheer leader and fellow friend and multi-time IronMan Andy Cope out to pace me and kick my ass through the night. While not as high as most training plans would suggest my mileage is up there as high as it was prior to my successful attempt at the Lean Horse 100 and I'm just coming off a successful and fast 35 mile pavement run. Now all that is left is to turn in a big month now in September, I am at a record setting monthly mileage pace right now, and remain injury free.

Between now and the Javelina I have one Oly Triathlon and one 50K in Palo Duro canyon just south of Amarillo, TX.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Blue Sky Trail and the New Mexico Marathon

Two weeks ago I went up to Windsor Colorado to ref the inaugural Wild on Windsor triathlon, which was put on by 5430 sports. The race went great, very clean, well organized and therefore easy to ref. Being away from home of course I had to take the opportunity to get in a run in a new and unfamiliar place. Windsor sits in the flat, farm country of Colorado but is extremely close to Ft. Collins, which sits up against a lower part of the front range. You just can't be in central Colorado without trying to get is some mountain trail running so I started my Google search and came across this entry about the Blue Sky Trail just outside Ft. Collins and a brief half-hour from my hotel.

I didn't intend on going more than 10 miles but was having such a good time that I ended up with 16. Just like my erstwhile tour guide I started my run near the Horsetooth Mountain Park at the southern end of the Horsetooth Reservoir. From that point the trail, at least for me, was difficult to find, and I spent a bit of time just wandering around. Right where I parked I started at the inlet bay trail, which is a little short gravel trail around a tiny part of the southern end of the reservoir. The beginning point of the Blue Sky Trail is over by the south east section of trail to the left of a few houses where there is a small single track heading off the main trail. You follow that to a tunnel that heads under the road and onto the Blue Sky Trail. If you find yourself heading towards the bar or bead and breakfast or anywhere else you are going the wrong way. Once on the trail it is easy to follow because it is well maintained and heads straight down a large valley and there are no side trails. The run was great because it was gently rolling for the most part with only a few climbs so running the entire length is fairly easy. If you are ever in the Ft. Collins area it is definitely worthwhile.

This weekend was the New Mexico Marathon, one that the GeekGrl did last year while I was off somewhere probably for work. I am not really all that excited about running a road marathon in my own town but this one has a cool hand painted ceramic finishers medal and it starts about one mile from my house so how could I pass it up? The New Mexico marathon is a scenic marathon too. You get a bit of everything Albuquerque has to offer, beautiful mountain vistas, dramatic views of the Rio Grande valley, a run along the famous Bosque trail and a finish line right next to Albuquerque's Old Town.

Because I have spent this entire year about 15 to 20 pounds heavier than last year I have spent the year obsessing over the idea that I'm not is good shape. Nothing has proven otherwise to me. This run helped me see that while I may be a bit slower I am in excellent condition. I planned on taking the run easy because I wanted to head out for more miles after the marathon. I really expected to turn out something near 5 hours but I ended up running a 4:17 and still felt good. I headed back out looking for the GeekGrl in order to run back in with her. I ended up getting in 34 total miles and broke my 50K PR by 26 minutes. Despite all the miles being on road I still felt pretty good after all of it and still could have gone further even at 34 miles of almost continuous running.

The results of the weekend make me feel pretty good about my current endurance fitness and my chances at finishing another 100 mile race. Oh yeah, I sent in my application for the Javelina 100. The race is October 31st but there is no guarantee that I will get in; I'm on a waiting list right now.

If I don't get in then maybe I'll try and register for the Ozarks 100 with a couple of ultra-running friends. In either case at least now I'm feeling like it is at least a realistic goal.