I have been thinking of what ultra to race in 2014. To raise the bar this year I want to complete a 100k and maybe 100 miler. The 100k has been on my mind for over a year now. My lack to training in late 2012 cost me the chance to run a 100k in 2013. The 100 miler is aways on my mind and is my ultimate ultra goal. I did take Oct. and Nov. off this year and it did help the nagging injuries I had from the North Fork. Now with Dec. coming to an end I am very happy where I am at in my training. I am back to a solid base with the DecemBeard 100 challenge I have been doing. Legs feel strong and despite running every day all month I feel refreshed and excited for the 2014 season.
Here is what I plan to run in 2014. This works out really nice since it builds the distance of each race to the final race in November for my fist 100 mile ultra. Here is the schedule.
- Feb 8th: Psycho Wyco 50k in Kansas
This is a race that I have not done before. Being in Feb it will be interesting how I do since I will only have 2 months into my training. I only hope it is not cold and snow on the group.
- April 14th: Free State Trail Run 40 mile in Kansas
I have done the Free State race for the last three years. Each year I did the trail marathon distance. They also have 100k and a 40 miler. I won’t be ready for the 100k but I will move up to the 40 mile distance in 2014.
- June 28th: North Fork 50 mile in Colorado
This will be my second time running the NF50. Last year it was very hard due to the CO elevation. I completed the race but with a few injuries. This year the goal is to cut an hour off my time and come out of it injury free.
- November ??: Wild Sebastian 100 mile in Florida
The race date for the Fall version of the Wild Sebastian is not set yet but last year it was November 16th. This entire month or December I have been asking myself if not 100 mile race this year then when? 2014 seems as good a year as any. With a November date I really don’t have any excuses not to be ready. I picked this race for a few reasons. First my in-laws are in Florida so it is very convenient. Next it should be right around my 47th birthday. Last, this event has a very unique race format. The course is 25 mile loops. They offer a 25, 50, 75, and 100 mile options. You register for the distance you want to complete. If you fall short then you are credited with the last full lap you completed. So as long as I register for the 100 I could still PR on distance even if I fell short and only completed the 75 mile distance. The farthest distance between aid stations is less than 4 miles. When I add it all up it should be an excellent way to run my first 100 mile ultra.
I may have a few other races in between these around Des Moines that are not ultra distances. If I can make the entire year injury free then the 100 will be clearly in my sites come November
Not a very good week. The weather was terrible. There is only one weather issue that I can’t manage running in and that is ice. We have had sheet ice on 80% of all sidewalks for the last week. It has made running outside slow and a dangerous. I don’t mind snow or low temps but ice makes it impossible to keep any pace up. I am just doing what I can right now. It is going to be a rough week to reach 100 miles but I am giving it my best.
It is hard to believe that it has been September since my last post. For December I set a 100 mile month goal to start off the 2014 season. This will get me into a good spot come January and I should be able to hit the trail running. Pun intended!
Here is the current progress with 2 weeks into the month. I should also note that November I did not run at all. The schedule below has me at 116 miles for the month. The extra 16 is a nice buffer since I knew it would be slow going for a few weeks with a no run November. If I hit all projected miles the last two weeks of the month I’ll be at 113 miles. All the miles so far except 3 have been outside. The coldest run was -1 last month for 5 miles.
I hope the winter is treating you all well and you are ready for 2014 ultra season!
It has been a while since I posted. I am happy to report that I am 100% off injured reserve. The knee took some time to heal. Much longer than I was expecting but I am going on two weeks now without any knee issues. I am feeling really good and up to this week legs have felt really fresh.
Last week I post a 40 mile week and I was pretty excited about that. I am currently running a 9 day run streak and plan to keep it going to the end of this week. A full 14 day run streak will be a nice accomplishment for me. After this week I will get back to a couple rest days and plan my weekly running around the long run.
Here is how last week looked. No long run but pretty steady with half of these being trail runs.
I still plan to get in at least one 50k this year. Maybe a second one if I can siwng it. I am started to think about my first 100 in 2014 so I need to get on finding the right race and registering for it.
I have not been running much at all since the NF 50 mile. I think only two runs to be exact. After a week of vacation post race the knee was feeling just fine. I attempted a run two Monday’s ago. Ran about 4 miles and after the run the knee felt like it did right after the 50 mile. Very painful but reserved to a specific part of my knee cap. Very painful on the top inside of the knee cap. No pain inside of the knee at all. No pain on the sides or below the knee cap.
I decided to take another week off of running but I have been biking. Biking gives me no problems at all. So the issue has to be impact related that is aggravating things. After another week of resting I ran on Sunday with my wife. After the first 1.5 miles it started acting up. Not as bad as the previous Monday run but still painful. After I stopped running there was no chance of running any more that day. I iced it and stayed off of the leg as much as possible. Within 24 hours is feels fine to walk and bend the knee. That is the same it felt after the first run a week ago. I feel like I could go run right now. But I know it will act up after the first mile.
Here is a photo of my knee and I have circled the issue area.
The pain during and after running is entirely on the surface of my knee cap. It never extends past the circle I drew for the photo. I’m convinced that I just tore the ligaments attached to the knee cap. I should also point out that I had swelling after the race but nothing after the first week post race. I also never had any bruising at all.
So another week is my guess of light activity and hope the pain keeps receding.
We managed to get a lot of photos from the NF50 race. Some are from our iPhones and some from our Canon point and shoot. They all turned out great and I can’t wait to get a few of these printed for my medal display area in our bedroom.
If you have any issue viewing the slideshow from the race you can also check out the set on Flickr located here
I knew going into the North Fork 50 mile that I was biting off a lot. Living in Iowa and at about 1200 feet we just don’t have anything that I would consider an mountain. Also we have not had access to the trails this spring due to the rain. Add in the Colorado altitude and I knew things were going to get serious real quick.
I want out to Colorado a week early to get acclimated. I knew without giving my lungs the change to get used to the thin air I had no chance of finishing. I stayed n Evergreen, CO at about 7500 ft at a friend house. My plan worked out better than I expected. I had a handful of runs between 6 miles and 3 miles with a 3+ mile hike 2 days before the race. Each day leading up to the race I felt a little better. I could run the down hills and flats without any effect of the thin air. The up hills were hard and I knew I was burning more fuel that I ever would have at 1200 ft back in Iowa. The extra calories would be easy to account for come race day. I had no injuries so my confidence was high come race day.
Since I started running and training for ultras in 2012 the hardest part has been consistently running high mileage weeks. The 50 mile week has become a target for me and somewhat of my nemesis to be honest. Looking back at my training history and excluding any race weeks, I only have two weeks that I was able to get in 50 mile. Why is the big five zero so hard for me?
I have a simple philosophy that I follow in ultra training. It’s not based on anything other than my own body and how it responds. If I can consistently run 70% to 100+% of the race miles during the course of a week then I feel I am prepared to race that distance. So if I am training for a 50k then I need to run 20 to 31+ miles a week. 50 miles ultra means 35 miles to 50+ mile weeks. The more often I can top the week out at the full race distance or higher the better. Right now the 50 mile ultra is the farthest I have entered but the 50 mile week continues to be elusive. I know when I register for my first 100 mile ultra that 70 miles a week need to be the norm. If I can’t get to 50 mile weeks now how am I going to get in 70+ mile training for a 100 mile race?
For me it all comes down to finding the time to get out and run. Between work and family I do the best I can any given week. I don’t beat myself up if I can’t get in the miles I need. It is what it is and I move on. Right now a 35-40 mile week is a win for me and I feel good about my efforts. Any week in the low 30′s and I know it is not enough.
I have started to think about what a solid 50 mile weeks looks like for me. I like to keep things simple so I have settled on a 25 mile weekday and 25+ mile weekend routine. I have not implemented this routine yet but after my next race this is the training path I intend to try. I don’t know if my 50/50 plan breaks conventional ultra training wisdom or not. The long run is key for ultras so a 20+ mile run needs to be the norm on Saturday or Sunday. The other weekend day needs to be a recovery run of 5 miles minimum. The weekdays need to be flexible so I can get in the miles when I have time. 25 miles over 5 days on paper shouldn’t be near as hard as it seems to be for me right now.
I can’t consistently run 7 days a week at low miles. I need one, if not two days off a week to recover. So let’s say I am running 5 days week. I need to let the 3-4 mile days go from my mind and think longer. I often feel like the 3 mile runs are just junk miles. I don’t get a lot out of the 3 mile runs to be honest. I think my week needs to be more like two 10 mile runs with a 5 mile run. Ideally this might be Tuesday 10, Wednesday 10 and 5 on Thursday. That gives me a Monday and Friday as rest days. But when do I really have an idea week? Not that often so I need to be able to work in any combination of 25 miles over 5 days. Maybe 1 rest day is more realistic. I am going to play around with this some more but you get the idea. I will also need to have a couple of weeks of hard running and then scale it back a week to help with recovery.
Looking beyond the 50 mile week, increasing weekday mileage is going to be difficult. I think the weekend miles are going to be key for me. The 30 or 40 mile weekend is a real possibility and the easiest way to get above that 50 mile barrier. Can I do that every weekend? No.
There are also some other combinations that I am thinking about. Two-a-days is a routine I have done before. Two 5 mile runs in a day is a nice way to break the routine and get my body wondering what is going on. 5 miles is around 40 minutes and something I can almost always find the time for. I have said this before but one big issue in my training is that I am not a morning running. This needs to change at some point. Maybe it is the key to reaching my 100 mile ultra goal. Even if a morning run is a once a week routine it would help at this point.
I am running my next 50 mile race in two weeks. I feel pretty good going into this event. After I get back I am going to decide on my next race and really try to implement a different routine in hopes of getting more 50 mile weeks under my belt.
Tags: 50k, race
I have not seen 199 in a long time. This was post run but I’ll take it. I hope it becomes my average morning weight very soon.