Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Spring Recap & 50sForYourMomma 50mile

After a fun-filled Feb-April, I wanted something in May. Big miles were logged throughout late winter and early spring, and good races were ran: >100k race (Ga death race) and the best >50k in the east (promise land). My goals for the spring were simple: race less and just have fun! After hellgate in December, I was deeply tired and it doesn't make much sense to race a ton if you want to preform well, so just race less! Performing well to me means doing my best and pushing myself hard. Eyes-wide, heart-beating, legs-burning with all they can give in the late miles of races. I don't think i can accomplish that goal by racing an ultra a month. Such a pace is simply unsustainable. 

I accomplished my spring goals and I am happy. I did end up entering a good number of races, but I treated them as runs and not focus races. And all kinds of distances and surfaces. Because they were not Horton races I was totally cool with running other events. Horton's races are so great and the competition is legit--I feel as though I should RACE those races. And I did not want to race all six races of the beast series, especially because it starts in February. With another season of experience under my belt, I think I have a grasp (grasp only) on this ultra business.

So I ran more than ever and without any true purpose. I logged consistent >75mi weeks, hitting 90 mpw for seemingly no reason at all besides I was loving the constant flow of training. Promise Land was my focus race for the spring semester, but because of its brevity and my not very race specific training, I didn't want it to be the end of my season. Like I said, I wanted something in May.

Escaping time with miles & exploring 

I pondered a few 100s (old dominion mainly) but I didn't want to simply just do my first hundo. I was running fast(ish) and wanted a PR. 50sforyomomma, a race i did as a tune up for my first 50 miler last year, seemed like a good call with it's low-keyness and small entry fee.

Not much special happened in the race, so synopsis: Some triathlete-looking dude disappeared from the gun and I ran a bit with Wyatt. The tri dude dropped out and I basically ran 40 miles in circles alone. Boredom set in around mi 33 but I felt completely fine physically  A full blown taper (mainly from laziness) kept a spring in my step. A very muddy course and two extra miles threw my sub 7:30/45 time goal out the window, so my motivation was a bit low. Some guy passed me and I didn't care. Not in a mad kind of way. I was never mad during this one. I ran decently quickly from the start and enjoyed it. I eventually rallied hard after being passed, passed him, and started dancing on the windy trails. Glove ran with me the last 10 miles and we had fun. The race was over pretty quickly and I was surprised at how easy it seemed (at least from this week-later hindsight as I write). Confidence boost! My family came which was awesome. My sister toted a sign from my triathlon days that read "swim bike run" and she crossed out the swim and bike. I chuckled the entire next five mile lap.

Laughing at the sign

Sometime very early on--no muddy shirt yet

Go UltraVT

So it was a good spring. My running career progressed naturally, me just doing what I wanted to, which is running ample miles and running fast. I said running a lot and running fast, not racing a lot and racing fast. I'd like to race a lot but i'll admit my ego gets in the way: if I do worse than I should have I don't like it. Ultrarunners are egotisitical. And that's ok. It just creates tension spots in the mind every once in awhile. But it doesn't matter.

I'm happy with my progression. After three years I am now ready to train for and run 100 miles, and do it well. My off period from the spring season has been full of family and relaxation and craft beers and getting my hormones back to normal. Plus a wild lake house trip with best friends. 

The infamous "Lake Anna Orgy". It wasn't an orgy, don't worry mom. 

Gstone is a ways away indeed, so I am not rushing my system. Plenty of time. Working in Raleigh NC this summer, it looks like ill be doing lots of flat road running and traveling to the mountains on the weekends. I'm looking to hit at least 4 consistent and quality 100 mi weeks. The specificity of climbing/descending will have to come in August-September for me. Come June first the real training begins. I feel good, I'm hella looking forward to it :) for now: friends, food, drinks, and a little bit of biking.

Forever stoke &
See you round the mountain.

PS) not sure why some of the font is messed up, can't fix it

PPS) My training partner and great friend Glove ran 110 miles in 40 hours at Crewl Jewl this past weekend!! Meeeega inspiring. Dude pushes me. Read his awesome race report here. The UltraVT contingent of us, jordy, and dmack is gonna crush gstone.

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