Wednesday, March 19, 2014


It's the third week in March, and it's time for me to get down to business.  Meaning:  time to get some serious running training started.  I've been "maintaining" fitness all winter with minimal running miles (about 20 per week) mostly on flat terrain.  I counted up my ski days:  14 days ski touring, 10 days skate skiing, and 5 days skiing in resorts.  Spring is here to stay, I'm afraid, and it looks like although winter still hangs on some days with a dusting of snow and some cooler temperatures (40s... not really "cold"), most days are 55-60.

So, getting down to business means:  an interval run once a week (6-10 times 1-2 minute intervals at 7:30min-mi pace, which is pretty fast for me), more trail running, higher weekly mileage, a weekly "long" run, and more elevation gain.  I looked back through my running log, and the last time I did an interval run was over 3 months ago:  Yikes!  So, last Thursday in the Park, I hit the intervals, and man did my hamstrings feel it for the next couple of days.  I did a longish run on Sunday (13 miles) and felt kind of/sort of worked by the end of it, but at least I'm feeling stronger.

Talk about getting stronger, even with the fair amount of skiing I did this winter, I am feeling my quads today after a 6-ish mile trail run and about 2,000 ft of elevation gain up to Mt Van Cott above the University.  I didn't push it:  just ran easy 11 min-mi pace average (with 20-25min-mi pace on the climb) and my legs are aching today!  I took the dogs for a walk in the Park this evening just to loosen things up before I hit a hill-interval/repeat session tomorrow.  Ouch!

So why all the focus on intervals and self-inflicted pain?  Well I have a bit of a schedule planned for the summer.  First race is coming up just a couple of short weeks away:  the Zion 50k (about 31 miles for those of you measuring in statute units).  I'm guessing that after my experience yesterday with the achy quads, my "race" in a couple of weeks will be more like a training run for what I have planned over the summer.

The other part of my plan is to start throwing down consistent 40+ mile weeks, working my way up to high 50s or low 60s by mid-summer (July).  I'll do one 50k race in early August and then start tapering for a big event.  Here's the line-up:

April 5th:  Zion 50k
May: 3 days in a row of 20 miles each day or a 40+ miler (self-supported)
June 7th:  sweep 20 or so miles at Scout Mountain 100k (formerly Pocatello 50)
June 14th:  Yellowstone Half-marathon (with my sis-in-law, this will be her first half-marathon)
June 20th:  Bighorn 100
July:  5 days in a row of 20 miles each day
August 5th:  El Vaquero Loco 50k, Afton, Wyoming
September 4th:  Wasatch 100

Honestly, I don't know how it happened that I signed up for all of these races!  (Or as I like to call them, "events".)  I guess I signed up for the Zion 50k because I needed a longer training run before Bighorn, and I wanted a cool hoody sweatshirt.  I'm helping friends out in Pocatello, and that's a dang tough race, so I'm happy to only be running 20 miles of it instead of being committed to the whole thing.  Yellowstone Half is self explanatory, because I want to support my sis-in-law, and it will be a good last longish run before Bighorn.  At Bighorn, I have a score to settle (not really, but I'd like to improve on my time from last year).  The July deal (100 miles in 5 days) I did in 2013 and felt super strong afterwards, so I want to do it again.  It was really fun to run local trails and have a daily routine where all I had to think about was:  wake up, run, eat, sleep, repeat.  It's the 10th anniversary of El Vaquero Loco, and the race director says he has big plans, so I can't miss out on that!  And, I will get another cool hoody, so that's an added bonus.  Wasatch 100:  yeah, what was I thinking?  I always sign up for that lottery and don't expect much and then I get in...  go figure!  A great race supported by an amazing, local trail running community.  Hard not to pass up the opportunity.

So, I have a lot to look forward to the next few months.  Big plans means getting down to business.  Wish me luck!  And happy trails...
Happy to be hitting the trails
on a chilly Spring day ~
Frank & Artie on Mt Van Cott