Thursday, April 19, 2012

Time to get (semi) Serious!

Doesn't that trail look awesome?  Nope, not me, but someday.......

Anyway, been a while since I have "blogged", mostly because my training has been pretty minimal this winter and spring, mostly 4-8 mile runs, feeling good but nothing really long or epic that would inspire a cool blog.  God willing, that is going to change very soon!

As I mentioned in previous blogs, I was able to transfer my race entry (after some serious begging, offering to help with trail work and a very understanding RD) for the Pinhoti 100 (anyone who wants to join me, registration is still open;  Pinhoti 100 site for November 4-5 of this year).  It really puts running 100 miles into perspective when the race date listed on the website covers 2 days!   

Once I entered this race (again) I decided not to make the same mistake I did last year of doing a big race in March and then continuing with long training through the July, when the "real" training was to begin, I was burnt out and could not imagine training for a 100 miler!  I absolutely LOVE trail running but it is incredible to me the people that I run with that race year round and due multiple 50 and 100 milers!  So, I have enjoyed a relatively easy winter and spring, staying active, working a lot on strength training (read:  CrossFit Endurance workouts Information on CrossFit! at FormWell - awesome!) and enjoying not really having any type of plan or pressure to do long runs when I don't feel like it.  Gotta admit, it has been kinda nice, but also not very inspirational or spiritual!  My mind and body probably needed a long break and so this was good, but now I am ready to start ramping it up!

What does training for a 100 miler look like?  

This is an interesting question that probably has as many different answers as "what are your thoughts about solutions to the current economic situation in the US"!  Since this is such a fringe sport and has only been around for about 40 years (last year, approximately 4400 people completed a 100 mile off road running event: about .0001% of the US population, if I am doing my calculations correctly) there really is no strong data or proven training plans to go by - mostly blogs,  personal anecdotes, etc.  In fact, recently one of the top elite ultra runners in the world was asked this question and he, and many of the other top guys in the sport agree, answered, basically:  "just do what feels right for you"!  Obviously, you have to run a lot of total miles and put in some very long training runs if you want to be competitive, but for the other 99% of us who just want to finish without going blind, losing a limb or dying, the range of training plans is immense!  For instance, I have seen some people finish well on "only" 35 miles of running a week - crazy!  On the other end of the spectrum, there are top guys that are averaging over 200 miles per week, some of us don't even drive that much!

For me, I am using the next 6 months to test my "training intuition" and connection to my body.  I have a off road 1/2 marathon in Mid-May that will kick off my training, but I am not going to have a strict plan this time!  I tried to put it all down on an Excell spreadsheet a month ago and it looked so freaking daunting (using similar training volumes that worked for my 53 miler) that I was ready to quit running and take up shuffleboard!  

I also plan on running this race for some type of charity.  For me, something like this needs to be much bigger than just my personal goals, so stay tuned for more information on that.

More details (and, God willing, more interesting blog entries :-) and as I get closer, I promise!  I will be looking for a few good men (and women) to be pacers (after mile 50 so if you are not comfortable running at night, no need to apply) so be thinking about it!

Blessings to you all, remember, we are ALL capable of much, much more than we think we are!