Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Stoke!

"The reward of running--of anything--lies within us...We focus on something external to motivate us, but we need to remember that it's the process of reaching for that prize--not the prize itself--that can bring us peace and joy." --Scott Jurek, Eat and Run

HELLO! The Stoke is at an all time high. Maybe it's finally feeling like summer that I don't have the stress of parenting 12 kids 24/7 for two weeks at a time. Maybe it's Scott Jurek's badass book Eat & Run. Maybe it's the fact that school starts soon and I'll be reunited with my buddies. Maybe it's the Olympics? Perhaps it's just my body feeling damn good, or maybe me not having eaten meat for 7 weeks. Whatever it is, I'm not fighting it or trying to pinpoint it, cause I'm straight pumped about what's happening and what's about to go down.

Quite a bit has happened in the past couple months. Basically I was taking middle schoolers around New England doing day hikes, 3 day backcountry trips, and some sea kayaking. As this is mainly a running blog, I won't get into any detail about that besides that our itinerary was freaking sweet and kids are exhausting but fun and I got giardia. Yup, I got giardia. That was a good experience haha.
Ridge along Mt. Washington!
From a running standpoint, I managed to maintain a decent base. One week would be mainly lots of slow slow hiking with a few short runs and the next week would be cramming in a run wherever my awesome co-leader would let me, which was usually quite early ams. Nevertheless, I had a couple three day stretches where I felt like I was peakbagging and getting in some tight vert. The stem of The Stoke. I was basically always tired from 7 hr sleeps which build up after a few weeks, but I made running a priority; I couldn't let the incredible trails go to waste. Vermont was my fav (Vermont 100 some day?), but New Hampshire was pretty sweet too. Maine was eh. Mass has some good stuff.

Me and my awesome co! Both with post run endorphins. 

Due to Giardia sucking all my energy out (literally) I came home two weeks earlier than planned and was able to catch up on sleep and start actually running again. MMTR is a good ways away, so I signed up for Uber Rock 50k at the end of September which is great timing. The week after that is GRINDSTONE where I'll be pacing/crewing Guy Love who is gonna kill it. His training is getting me super stoked and I'm confident he's gonna do great. We're hitting some training runs on the course in a couple weekends, and I can't quite contain myself. We're also starting an ultra club at Tech, the Trail and Ultrarunning Club at Virginia Tech (ultraVT) (@ultraVT) and are hoping to build a community of students there!

Now I'm back to some medium distance long runs, and I'm feeling pretty good. Nothing nagging, but I still have a lot of room for improvement. For my sake,

1. Core/back
2. Hip strength (ITB rehab routine) to prevent ITB stuff again
3. Leg strength (lunges, squats, wall sits, etc)
5. Arm strength (the arms don't really have anything on them right now)
6. Mileage build up (hoping to top at 65 or 70 mpw this fall)
7. Speed work for fun/to just be a better runner

That's a pretty big list of things to improve upon in the upcoming months, I'll be keepin' busy. Theme if you didn't see it: strength. Going to make a priority to do a solid strength routine incorporating those things at least twice a week. I'm feeling pretty good but not very strong, but I'm confident that'll come back pretty quickly. Uber stoked to get back to Blacksburg (and for Uber Rock, ba da chhh).

See you round the mountain!

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