September 16, 2010

The Trail Ahead



After a long, lazy summer I recently began picking up my mileage again.  There are times when I’m really focused and turn my attention to running, and there are times I drift away from that.  This summer I drifted.  And I enjoyed every minute of it!  It was refreshing just to be able to wake up in the morning on a weekend and not even think about running.  I need that every so often. 


Last week I ran over 40 miles for the first time since Western States.  My fitness is actually pretty good, which I’m pleased with given the time off I’ve had.  On the other hand, I didn’t refrain from running entirely, and when I have run I’ve been able to focus more on quality.  Hills, stride outs and a few intervals a couple times a week have helped me hang on to a little fitness over the summer months.


But fall is here now, and I’m looking forward to trying some new things this season with my training.  I’ve started running on the track with Snails Pace, an Orange County running club that has been around forever.  I haven’t run on the track consistently for over 10 years and I’m anxious to see how it will impact my training and racing in ultra events.  One caution I’ve given myself is TAKE IT EASY OUT THERE!  The track is notorious for causing injuries and, as a victim of it, I’m very aware of this. 


Another spin I’m trying is instead of just running long (and slow) on the weekends, I’m going to put more emphasis on quality by shortening up my long run but also push the pace a little.  Last week I ran with my WS pacer Rob M and we pushed a lot of hills and straights.  While I was out of my comfort zone for much of the run, I was pleased that I was able to recover during the run even after some of the more difficult sections.

So what is next?  I’m looking at a trail marathon this fall which will set me up well for next year’s ultra season, now only just around the corner.  As for which races to run, I’m still pondering that.  My gut tells me not to do Western States again, maybe try another 100 miler, but my heart isn’t quite sure.  In any event, I’m looking forward to running some fun races in 2011, and I’m as enticed as ever by the trail ahead! 

11 comments:

Emz said...

YAY for new motivation!

Love it.

Enjoy it!

shannon said...

After running WS you deserve a long and leisurely break from running. I agree with you on the track, injuries happen frequently. Be careful out there! :)

Kovas Palubinskas said...

Sounds like you did the right thing this summer and have a good plan going forward.

EricG said...

Will. Sounds like you are feeling well and positive. Awesome EricG

Rachel said...

it sounds like that break was much needed. looking forward to following along with your new goals!

Asha said...

I have a question: when did you know that you wanted to try an Ultra for the first time? It's just amazing to me that people can run that far...and I'm...just wondering for now.

Will said...

Asha, wow, that is a really good question. I remember coming back from the London Marathon several years ago thinking that I needed to try something different with my running. I was so charged up because I got into London by raising $20k for asthma research, a disease that my sister died from at the age of 28. I'll never forget the last few miles of that marathon, I felt I was running with her watching over me. It was very emotional. When I returned I remember sitting in an Irish pub with a long time running buddy of mine who had done a few ultras, and I just stated right there that I was going to run Western States 100, and asked him if he would do it with me. He agreed and the next thing I knew we were training for Helen Klein 50 miler to qualify for WS. It's now four years later and I'm hooked on the sport. It really doesn't compare to road marathons, the people, the scenery, the quest, they all just draw you in. Its hard to explain, but not hard to recommend for anybody that is looking to find a different kind playground from the concrete jungle. Hope that helps.

chris mcpeake said...

looks like the break was good for you. Have fun on the track

Hardcore running bitch said...

Thanks for the comment! I enjoyed the entry, it was very inspirational! :) Just keep yourself on the track, listen to your body and avoid any injuries- then you'll be fine! :D

smartwool said...

Good luck on your races...Wishing you what you want for...
Keep running.

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