Friday, October 29, 2010

Fresh Plans

With my racing season having pretty much ended at Haliburton, I’ve been taking it pretty easy. I’ve been running 3 or 4 times a week for a total of 4 to 5 hours. I’m eating as if I’m running 100 miles a week, so I’m afraid to step on the scale, which I haven’t done since August. We’ll cross that bridge when we have to.

One of the good things about running less is that it allows me to run harder. After a few difficult races early this summer, I slowed everything way down with the definite goal of finishing Haliburton. That worked well. The second half of the season was slow, but I enjoyed every single race. Now that Haliburton is done, I can go with the flow a bit more, without making a conscious effort to stick to a certain pace or effort level. Personally, I find running fast exhilarating and my mood is always sky high after a harder workout.

That’s why I decided to start a marathon training cycle, with the Sedona marathon on February 12th as my target race. Since most programs are 24 weeks, I don’t quite have enough time for the full program but I think I can ride my current fitness level and compress it a bit. It’s not as obvious as I thought. I found out this week that running faster means changing my stride and form and that means pain. Right now both my calves really feel the burn from my last couple of workouts. I might race a 5k or 10k race in the next couple of weeks to kind of see where I’m at and set my various training paces. That should be painful.

So I’m kinda, sorta, semi-excited about running my second marathon. Compared to my earlier idea of another epic trip to Alaska, running a marathon is a bit underwhelming. I guess I’m desensitized or something. With a Winter hundred miler, for just a bit more training you get to enjoy over 30 hours of fun in the snow instead of a paltry 3 or 4. Damn, maybe next year. Still this marathon will definitely be a challenging race for many reasons: I haven’t raced hard in a long time; the race is at 4500 feet, not quite officially at altitude but you definitely feel it; only half the course is on pavement; and finally, there over 1800 feet of elevation change. I doubt I will break my marathon PB on that course, but it should be fun and I’ll give it a shot.

This is it for now. Enjoy this nice cool weather.

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