Monday, July 11, 2011

It's Go Time!

Ok, officially back in training.  For what you say?  Still not sure.  I'm tinkering with the idea of doing UTMB next August, it's a 100 miler around Mont Blanc going through France, Switzerland and Germany.  I need 5 qualifying points on 2011 in order to register.  Doing HURT gave me 4 points, so I just need one more but it's surprisingly hard to find a race around here that qualifies.  If I'd planned this better I could have found one earlier, but that's just not like me to plan ahead! I'm waiting for an email back from the organizers regarding a question I had about the qualifying races.  Anyhoo, I'm trying to decide between two 100 mile races on Oct 9th this year. One is a qualifier for UTMB, the other isn't.  There are pros and cons to both, but soon one of them will be full so I'd better decide soon.

Grindstone 100: In the hills of Virginia, very hilly course, almost as much elevation as HURT.
Pros: Very hilly, I love this shit; qualifier for UTMB; such a challenging course and being a qualifier will both keep me motivated.
Cons:  Very hilly, only 3 months to get ready; 10hr drive, so an extra day off work Thursday and still cramming for time, drive back will suck on Sunday after the race, need to be back for Thanksgiving on Monday; start time is 5pm Friday night, so it's basically running through 2 nights and 1 day; double the price of Oil Creek, plus one of the requirements is I have to volunteer at another race for 8hrs as part of the registration.

Oil Creek 100: Located in Pennsylvania, hilly tough course but not nearly as hilly as Grindstone.
Pros: Hilly but not too hilly, so will be tough but no madness; only 3.5hr drive, so could leave Friday morning and drive back Sunday afternoon no problem; starts Saturday morning instead of Friday night.
Cons: Not a qualifier for UTMB; will struggle for motivation with it not being a qualifier and not being the same challenge as Grindstone (yes I'm an idiot, it is still a hilly 100 mile race).

I'm leaning toward Oil Creek, but it will sell out soon so I'd better make up my mind.  Either way, training starts today!

Here's where I currently am: I ran Creemore Vertical Challenge 50km the weekend before last.  I'm still knowhere near the shape I was in last year at this time, I finished about half and hour longer at 5hrs 37min.  I didn't feel too bad, at least I felt better than I did at Niagara 50km 2 weeks before that, so I'm getting better.  Training has been poor, but that all changes today.  This weekend I'm doing Limberlost 56km, I missed the inaugural event last year so I'm really looking forward to it.  3 weeks after that, I'm doing Dirty Girls 24hrs again, I had a blast doing it last year.

In order to get my mileage up, I got a membership at a gym next to my office.  It has a gym and a pool, but I really only wanted it for the showers so I could run at lunch without stinking the office up.  I've started using it a few times a week.  I work at the office almost exclusively now, so the gym is necessary to get runs in like I used to on lunches working from home.  My workouts with weights and using stationary bike has been pretty much non existent, so that changes now too.  I've got kids 50% of the time, so those mornings are now for stationary bike or weights, not just sleeping in.  This means I have my kids every other weekend, so I'll plan around that as I can't run long those weekends. Still playing soccer once a week, although sometimes it conflicts with my son's games and I'd rather watch him than play myself.

Bought new trail shoes last week, same Montrail Mountain Masochists that I wore for HURT.  I'd better wear these in quick before the 24hr race in 5 weeks.  Got up and ran trails this morning, then went out at lunch for another run.  I haven't tracked my mileage since HURT in January.   Prior to that, I'd tracked every single run since I started running in October of 2007.  Suppose I should start again to stay on top of things.

Well, I'll decide in the next while which race to do.  Until then, I'll keep training with that date in mind, it's less than 3 months already!


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