Tuesday, August 5, 2008

An Ultra Runner Reborn

A month ago I was still exhausted from my GDR attempt. I began running again exactly one month ago though. It felt pretty much horrible for a week but I just needed to suck it up and get started to get my legs back into running shape in time for The Wasatch 100 which is one month from tomorrow.

It's been an amazing month of training. I feel like a real endurance runner again. I still don't have much speed and even my climbing muscles only feel strong every third day or so, but I can now click off 100 miles a week and feel pretty much fresh everyday. I honestly felt one month ago like I was never going to get back to this point. Now I just need to find a way to keep feeling stronger everyday for another month and I'll have a shot at being in the best shape of my life for Wasatch.

I'm racing The Resurrection Pass 100 this weekend as a distance training run and then a 15 mile trail race next weekend as a speed/tempo workout and then I head to Utah on the 20th to acclimatize and get to know as much of the Wasatch course as possible before race day.

Although Wasatch is going to be my big race for the year I'm not going to take it too seriously. That is to say I'm not going to use any pacers and very limited crew, if any at all. I'm a lot more into doing these races on my own. I wish there were more races that didn't allow crew/pacers and had fewer aid stations. I think that navigation, nutrition, hydration, gear choices, etc. should be a major part of a 100 mile race and not something you can just rely on your "team" for. The unfortunate thing is that you're basically shooting yourself in the foot if you're trying to race against others who are using a full "team" while you're going at it alone. For now I'm happy to work with this disadvantage.

This whole season is more than anything an assessment for me. Last year was about learning how to run these races. This year has been about learning if I can be competitive (Miwok taught me that I can be, especially considering that I didn't even feel very good that day) and now how to be competitive in these races. And next year will be about putting together what I've learned and running to win. Obviously I'm not expecting to win every race I run next year (especially with the schedule I'm brainstorming right now - I likely won't win any of them), but whereas to this point I've lined up for each Ultra I've run just trying to have fun and learn some things about what I'm doing, next year I will be lining up to race; i.e. to win.


Phil said...

How is it possible not to have knee problems? Amazing.

Would you happen to have an email or shoot me one at kayak_ishigee@yahoo.com ? Nome is attempting to organize a semi-ultra (summer) run/canoe/bike race in the future and really need a distance runner's input on a few things...

Anonymous said...

Good luck this weekend Geoff, like its possible to really run this as a distance training. I think its your way of holding back for a relaxing first 25 miles at which point you pick up your pace because you feel great and your training has become a race.

HA HA, just joking good luck.

Geoff said...

phil, you can email me at: grroes@yahoo.com

i'd like to go to nome sometime and this could be a good way to get there without trying something stupid like knik to nome in february.

shawn, i was hoping for more like 50 mellow miles before i start "racing". we'll see though. it'd be great if i could actually hold myself back for the entire race but that is easier said then done.

Anonymous said...

i imagine you've been running for years, but when did you switch over to becommming a ultra runner?

Chris said...

Geoff you're such a stud! Can't wait to watch you run in 2009. Marni and I can crew for you down here in the lower 48 if you need. If I trained a lot I might be able to pace you for a 10k. Haha. Maybe not...

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Barkley should be on your schedule.

Anonymous said...