Training and Racing Lately….

Not much blog activity from me lately…. I sprained my ankle during the furlough in October. It was kind of nagging at first, but enough to be annoying and register as ‘not normal.’  Had to bow out of running Cactus Rose, and then after weeks of not improving, finally went to see a chiropractor.  That helped some, but not playing volleyball seems to be the main culprit. December went on and finally saw some improvement, and then in surprising luck, I got into the Miwok 100k via the lottery. Crap, now I have to heal up and train for this beast.

 

I ran 171 miles in January, and felt pretty solid. No ankle issues. February came around, and I ran the piney woods 50k, as a first ‘tune up’ for training. Really really flat (don’t really have a desire to run that much flat miles again…..), but nice weather although the trails were a bit choppy from some rain. Ran a 50k PR there, but rolled my ankle which was sore for a good week or so, which was a bit troubling at the time.  Followed January up with 118 miles in February, with the goal of running the Nueces 50k. Nueces is probably the hilliest course I can train on to prepare for Miwok, so seemed mandatory, even though I would be driving all the way out there solo.

Nueces started off nice and cool (reportedly in the 30’s)… but that changed pretty quickly. The course is 2 50k loops, lots of loose rock and some nice climbs.  I also have to say it was quite nice that my bed was about 50 feet from the start line… a lot less stress in the morning with extra time to spare.  First lap I felt pretty strong, and rolled in to the hallway around 3 hrs, I could feel the warmth increasing. Had I known the temperature was going to top out near 90 degrees, I would have probably altered my electrolyte intake….

Second lap started off a bit slow, but then I was rolling. I passed a handful of runners the first 5 miles or so, and was cruising, before the heat came on. Felt like I was baking out there…. So I slowed down to keep my HR under control. Spent quite a few minutes at the aid stations just dumping cold water on my head… dang it was hot!! As slow as I was moving the first few miles after the heat bonk, no one was passing me. So I figured everyone must having a tough time. Eventually folks did pass me as I spent a few minutes recovering at the aid stations, and I joined up with a couple other folks to hike it out. Any time goals were pretty much gone by this point, but I was just here for a training run anyway. This next stretch has the mile long rocky hill, followed my a nice downhill to the last short section,  easy. Unfortunately I ran out of water in this 4-5 miles stretch, really wish I would have had an extra, and I had no plans to push it too hard to make anything really bad, so I just hiked it out. I had tweaked my ankle a couple times during the race, so I was taking the downhills rather gingerly to avoid making that situation any worse as well. Finished just above 7 hrs, and was glad to be done. Honestly felt like the hardest 50k I’d run given the course and weather conditions. But I got it done, showered, and then had the LONG drive back home on the same day… If it weren’t for visiting my family, I would have stopped the 5  drive a few hours earlier…

 

Legs were pretty sore the first few days after Nueces… I decided I would give volleyball a shot, since my ankle was feeling good (hadn’t played at all since December). Bad idea! Was really sore afterwards, and it has lingered several days. It was more sore after that than after running 30 miles in the hill country — what gives? Anyway, I’ve been doing a lot of massage and stretching, so hopefully it goes away like in December, just very frustrating to deal with. Next on the radar is a possible training run to Bandera, followed by also running the Possum Kingdom 55k, which is 3 weeks out from Miwok and gives me a nice 3 week taper. Just have to work in a lot of weight training on the legs, Kemah bridge repeats, and also a little treadmill incline hiking. Will it be enough to finish Miwok? Not so sure! But I hope so… really wish Houston had bigger hills….. After Miwok I will definitely take it easy during the summer, and focus on some strength training and sticking to short distance training. Just get me to the Miwok start line healthy !