Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Coming down the Pike.

So - the longer and longer I look back on Sehgahunda, I realize just how much of a success it was.  I had a plan. I ran my plan. I didn't suffer, and for that reason I felt like I missed out on something. What a dork. Since then I have run a couple of races that have slapped me down hard and reminded me of a few things.

I am not a fan of the heat. I read a great book by Vanessa Runs called "The Summit Seeker". I recommend the book, and even better was I got the electronic version and for an additional $1.99 got the Audible version which has Gordy Ainsleigh reading his Foreword for the book. So cool.. In this forward he talks about Vanessa's boyfriend Shacky. He explains it perfectly. "His genes are from cool foggy Ireland, and are still having trouble adjusting to the American Southwest."

Between this heat, and the lack of depth of knowledge about running, I am being taught lessons. Lessons not learned in only a shorter run. Or, I should say, you know it's a hot day when you go for a short run, you know it's hot, and that it's not fun, but you can suffer through it. Extend this out past a couple of hours and it turns into a death march. That slogging of feet that feels like you can't take another step. I still haven't witnessed this on a truly long race, but can only imagine just how bad it can get, and have respect for the people who get through it with grit.

Sehgahunda was cool. Mid 40's at the start, and that was a blessing for me.

I have started religiously wearing a heart-rate monitor also. This, with the fact that I now have a trainer who is setting up my runs to stay in a certain zone has me really paying attention to my HR. Guess what, when it's hotter out, for the same perceived exertion, your heart-rate is higher, sometimes considerably higher. So.. You cannot run your race pace if it's hot!

I like the cold. I like snowshoe racing. I like running in the midst of winter, when my face-mask freezes, and I have to step carefully on the icy roads.

So. When I started looking into my race plans for next year, I thought about it, and figured that maybe it would be smarter for me to choose some cooler season races. It's hard to train for the long mile when it's dark out, but I enjoy running with a headlamp, and I enjoy running in the cold. So Kris and I talked about my options for a first race and decided that there is a 50K in Virginia that is called the Holiday Lake 50K. It's held in February, around Valentines Day, and Kris and the boys have the next week off.  So, it would be a great way to start a vacation week.  Additionally, a great friend and Ultra Mentor, Rich Shear, told me that the Race Director is a friend of his. 

Now, of course, with my inability to do anything half way, and additionally a goal of doing a 50 miler next year, it so happens that the Holiday Lake 50K is part of two different race series. One is called the Lynchburg Ultra Series, and consists of 3 - 50K's, each getting tougher - in Feb, Mar, and April and then ending with a 50 Miler that Rich suggested I do, The Mountain Masochist Trail Run in November. The other series is the BEAST Series which includes these first 4, plus an additional 100M and 100K race. I am not ready for those, and won't be next year. I might be crazy, but I'm not stupid. 

There are other 50K's coming up this fall, but I think after Imogene, I'll be looking for some recovery time, slowing things down some and getting a few more 1/2's in before the end of the year so that I reach my 2015 goal of a half marathon per month. I happened to look the other day and found that by the end of October, I will have run in 23 races this year. Obviously I will need 2 more halfs before the end of the year, and it would be illogical for me to not find some other race between now and the end of the year so that I at least have an average of a race every 2 weeks for the year. 

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am the king of hobbies. I am an addict for change and hobbies. Guitars, Whitewater Kayaking, Cycling, Running, Photography, etc. Trail running I feel might stick, just because it implements, running, hiking, camping and photography, all in the outdoors. It's everything I want out of life. Everything I have always enjoyed. I am going to try to start running with a camera. We'll see how that goes. Hopefully I will have pictures to post in the future to make the blog a little more fun to read.  

Take care. 


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