Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Upcoming Races and New Training Plan

Anyone who has been reading my blog has probably noticed that my running and blog posting have been quite sporadic this summer. We have been incredibly busy at work and that really made it difficult to follow any kind of running schedule. When I did have some time to run, I lacked the necessary motivation to go out in the heat and humidity especially when most of my days are spent working outside. Now that the days are cooler and work isn't quite as demanding, I seem to be much more excited about running.

This Saturday is the FM Mini (Half-marathon). I was a little worried that the amount I have been running would not be adequate preparation for thirteen miles. Lately I've been able to get in several runs of ten or more miles and numerous runs just short of ten miles. I am much more confident that I will finish this race. I am not concerned about finishing in a certain time. I look forward to just enjoying a run along the Red River and all of the fall colors.

My last two runs have been fantastic. Last week Erin e-mailed me and asked if I would like to join her at the running store at 4:30 a.m. on Thursday to get five miles in before everyone else showed up at 5:30 for the group run. Then we would run another five with the group. Her husband Jon was out of town and Connie was tapering for the Twin Cities marathon, so she would have been running the first five alone. I said yes because I always enjoy our runs. I was so tempted to just stay in bed when the alarm went off at 3:30. I knew Erin would be expecting me which was all the motivation I needed to get going. We had such a pleasant run. The sky was crystal clear, and it was a little cool and windy which was fine as long as we were moving. It was a great morning for a run. I'm so glad she asked me to join her.

Last Saturday I went out to Buffalo River State Park to run the trails. I didn't have any distance or pace goals; I just wanted to get out and enjoy the weather. I also wanted to shoot some video of the trails but discovered that I am horrible at trying to hold a camera steady when I run. Only one short clip is steady enough to watch. I guess I need more practice.

The weather was warm, clear, but very windy. I had the trails to myself except for the garter snakes sunning themselves on the trails. I saw at least a couple dozen of them. They skedaddled pretty fast when they saw me lumbering toward them. At the end of my run I saw that I went 8 miles at a decent pace for such a relaxed run. All-in-all it was a super day.

Later this month I will be starting a new 24 week training plan in preparation for my first ultra-marathon -- The Trail Mix 50k. Jon and Erin ran at Trail Mix last year. Jon ran the 50k (31 miles) and Erin ran the 25k (15.5 miles). The route is a 7.75 mile loop which means four laps for the 50k race. Last year the trails were wet and muddy which resulted in cold wet feet for the whole race. The elevation profile shows it to be really hilly and includes running up a ski slope. Jon and Erin have both said it was a grueling ordeal, but the confidence they gained by completing this helped them prepare for the Fargo Marathon just a month later. While my goal at this point is to shoot for the 50k, I realize that I may have to try the 25k first.

My next post should be a recap of the FM Mini.

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