Places lived = 6
States visited = 6
Races (ultra distance) = 6
Favorite number = 2 (as always)
Beginning the year living in California, I only raced once from Jan to June (Diablo 50k). It was a light year for racing but picked up steam from June on with at least one race per month (counting the 50 miles with Lucho at Leadville in Aug). My consistency continues (hell, it's about all I got in races!) I've now run 21 ultras and placed in the single digits 18 times, just three races out of the top 10 (two of them were intentionally slow runs - Red Hot 50k in '09 and Silver Rush 50 mi in '08).
With my crazy schedule for 2011, I'll try to continue that top 10 consistency but realize that anything can happen. 5-6 100 mile races would be an epic year for me. Setting goals is difficult, since I won't know about Hardrock until Feb 1. If I do get into that race, then simply finishing would be nice and in the low 30 hour range would be very nice. My biggest goals are ambitious (but so was my sub 24 hr goal at Bear), in order:
1. Top 5 finish at Leadville 100
2. Hard, hard effort at Ice Age 50 Mile
3. 20:XX hour finish at Bear 100
4. If no Hardrock, then I'd like to finish top 5 at Tahoe Rim Trail 100 (and may just opt to do this race anyway)
Of course, staying healthy and uninjured (as much as possible) is more than a goal; it's a necessity.
I mentioned to my friend, Darren, today that I've never trained in the winter, not like I'm doing this year anyway. It'll be interesting to see how this translates into the race season in terms of ability and mental attitude. Speaking of mental attitude, I know the heavy race schedule will be a drain mentally but I thrive on having an upcoming race. In the midst of blinding pain at Bear over the last 10 miles of the race at 3am all I could think about was how much fun I was having and actually planning which 100 I would run next. This is in stark contrast to the last 10 miles of the North Fork 50 mile in July where I repeatedly and adamantly said I would never run anything longer than a 50k in my life.
I know everything could change with an injury and am training as intelligently as possible to avoid it. I feel pretty in tune with my body. Unlike many guys I know, I don't have all the little aches and pains. I start each run feeling pretty well. I don't chase miles and don't compare myself with other runners (though it's frustrating sometimes when I take a day off and see on Jaime's blog that he popped another 15 mile run while I'm drinking beer on my sofa). I like the feeling in a long race when I stay even-minded and even physically. This is a carry over from my training, both daily and over the course of the four week cycles I follow.
Type of training: I'm not known for running (I use this term lightly because I know four people who actually run up Green or Bear mtns) up the local peaks regularly (more than once a week). It's fine to do that but for me I benefit more with the constant running on trails over rolling hills. Knowing I can hold a decent pace for 3 constant hours gives me more confidence and fluidity in a 50-100 mile race than knowing I can get up Green mtn in x number of mins. That said, I intend to improve my overall speed and efficiency on long climbs this year too. I run based on feel and thus don't have set days for set workouts. If I feel particularly eager and have good energy, I'll work in a fast pace effort. If I feel like a slug, I'll force out 45 mins and call it a day. The overview of my training is:
1 long run of 2.5-5 hours (depending on which week in the four week cycle that ascends in difficulty each week)
1 hill day that can be 5,000 feet of long climbs or repeated hard efforts on a shorter climb
1 mid/long run of 90 mins to 2 hours at a marathon pace effort
The rest of the week is a mix of recovery runs (45 mins) and maintenance runs of 60-90 mins. I always take at least one rest day (sometimes two) per week. I think the rest days are possibly the main reason I run with no aches or pains and can bounce out of bed at 2am and walk normally.
I'm excited to get racing in '11 and even more excited to be running for McDavid. I'll be kicking off my representation of them this Sunday on Channel 9 (KUSA) discussing McDavid, compression clothing, and endurance running. I'm a bit stiff on tv (know this from the two times I've been on the tube) but am still looking forward to talking about something I wholeheartedly believe in.
So, a wandering blog post to cap off a wandering year (a wandering life for that matter but I wouldn't want it any other way...).