Last night the hard truth hit me though. I was surfing the web looking for some examples of 50 mile training plans (not a whole lot, btw) and the common theme was their duration: 16-24 weeks, on average. Some even recommended taking an entire year to prepare! I pulled up my calendar and began to count backward from April 9th...15 weeks. Ummm, shit. Talk about motivation to get my butt in gear! I still don't have an official plan yet. In fact, I probably won't be able to use any kind of super specific plan since my work schedule varies so much. Instead, I want to focus on a few key components to focus on during training, which I'll elaborate more on in a future post. My primary goal, however, is to simply get in as much trail time as possible. I'm hoping to get some advice from my ultra veteran coworker and get some sort of "plan" ready to kick off the new year.
I had the day off today and had made plans to go to yoga later in the day, but after reminding myself of the impending race mentioned above, I decided to go for an impromptu run just before yoga. I didn't set out for any specific distance, but I had time to do 4-5. The nagging rain had finally stopped and the sky broke to reveal a beautiful blue sky, sun streaming from behind the clouds. The grass was a vibrant green thanks to recent showers and the air was cool and crisp. My goal was to keep the pace easy and relaxed and focus on listening to my body. I brought along my Garmin (of course) but didn't allow myself to look at the pace during the entire run. As I started out I was greeted with a nasty head wind but I was so glad to be back out there and feeling good that I hardly cared. For about the first mile I had a weird, sharp, and persistent pain in one of my toes. It was a completely new sensation and I actually had to curl all my toes under just to continue running. After I warmed up it went away, but it will definitely be something to keep an eye on.
Mid-run I decided to do 5 miles. I was feeling good and made sure to reign in my pace when I started to speed up. I even used a trick à la Aron to keep things nice and slow: I avoided my usual fast tempo songs, which always seem to make me push harder. In my previous runs I've started out feeling good but tend to bonk a bit toward the end, but today I felt so good toward the end that I felt like I could keep running for miles : ) I even started singing aloud to myself! When I finished I was surprised to find that I had actually been running my faster pace and average 9:48 over the 5 miles. It was just one of those runs where everything falls into place, the kind of run that is few and far between but is the reason we continue to run, hoping our next one will be that one.
so lovely (source)
p.s. Yoga did not happen unfortunately thanks to holiday hours. Instead I had a little date with Jillian : ) How's two workouts in one day for getting things started on the right foot?!