Monday, July 28, 2008

Racing Into Shape

I'm in the mood to race right now, even though my running conditioning isn't quite there yet, and I can't quite compete at the level that I'd like to. The solution: I'm going to run as many races as I can in the next several weeks and use them to add some variety to my training while also satisfying my hunger to compete right now.

It started with Crow Pass last week and then this past Saturday I ran The Mount Roberts Tram Run (about 3.5 miles with 2,500 feet of climbing). I forget how strange it is to race these short uphill races. It hurts so much while you're doing it and then you finish and within 30 seconds you feel completely recovered. It's such a strange sensation. It was a fun race though. Juneau native and Team INOV8 runner Dewey Peacock was in town so we had a fun little low key race with each other. Each one of us was sort of expecting to show up and put in a comfortably hard effort and quite likely be able to cruise to a win. With both of us there though we had a fun little race to the top. I trailed him for most of the run but I knew that I was a little stronger whenever it got more steep, but then had all I could do to keep up if it leveled off for a bit. With this in mind I waited for the last steep uphill and went for a quick decisive move. Almost immediately I put a 20-30 second gap on him and was able to hold on to the finish. I also put in some decent mileage on Friday and Sunday (18 and 20) and am starting to feel more and more ready to really amp up to the training that I'll need to be ready for Wasatch in less than 6 weeks.

This weekend I'll probably run a marathon (it'd be silly not to because it starts about 100 yards from my porch). I've actually never run a marathon so that'll be kind of fun. I don't really like running on the road though so it'll kind of suck a bit also. On August 8th I'm thinking pretty seriously about going up to Anchorage to run the Resurrection Pass 100 miler and then on August 16th there's a 15 mile trail race here in Juneau that I'm definitely planning on running. If I end up doing all of these races that will be 5 weeks in a row with a race ranging from 2.5 miles up to 100 miles. It sounds like too much racing to be much a benefit to my training but the reality is that I won't run any of these so hard that they take too much out of me. I did need to take 2 days off after Crow Pass but as I'm getting into better and better shape now I suspect that I can run these races at about 80-90% effort and not need to take any time off. I'm sure I'll need some time off after the 100 miler but I was looking at that week as a likely recovery week anyway so the timing for that couldn't be better.

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