Monday, March 31, 2014

March


Although the really crucial Miwok training runs happen in April, as an overall training month, March was hugely important. The goals were pretty straightforward:  no significant injuries; consistency in frequency and effort; and a couple of reasonably strong runs of 20+ miles.  For once, I was able to check off all those boxes.  A 190 mile month isn't all that impressive - hell, plenty of folks do that in two weeks.  But for me, it goes down as the highest single-month mileage evah.  And, honestly, it really wasn't that hard, given the 31-day month and lack of extended downtime.  However, doing pretty much all my long runs solo did become a bit of a grind. 
 
Looking ahead, the April goals are pretty clear.  First, make it through a couple of longer runs - 31 miles at Hell's Hills and 34 (or so) miles a couple of weeks after that.  Second, get the quads as strong as possible without crossing the line.  Just going to have to be careful about this.  Third, really up the focus on the core and hips - got off to a good start on this last month, but I really need to ramp it up.  Fourth, figure out gear and nutrition.  Think I've got the shoes locked down, but the hydration system is still an issue.  The AK race vest just isn't going to work in its front-loaded form, as I can't adjust it in any way that prevents the bottles from digging into my ribs.  Frustrating.  Likely back to a hydration bladder set up or some hybrid plan.  And, after so long away from the really long efforts, nutrition is something that needs figuring out.  Finally, it should go without saying, but staying healthy is the most important goal of all.  As befits the spring season (regeneration, rebirth, and all that shit), I'm actually looking forward to the challenge of Miwok for the first time since I signed up.   

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

February

 
So, Punxsutawney Phil emerged at the beginning of the month, saw his shadow, and thus it was ordained that I would not make it through the month uninjured.  By the numbers:  121 of my 125 February running miles were logged during the first three weeks of the month. I was feeling goooooood. I even ran nine days in a row, such was my hubris.  Then my right knee hurt (seriously, who would have expected that?).  And I barely ran a step the rest of the month.  Less than ideal Miwok training. 
 
Despite the solid first 3/4 of the month on paper, other parts of my training were less than ideal.  Looking back, it was clear that the diet was meh.  There was too much fire water.  Too little sleep.  No real strength training or core work.  The sad reality is that I'm not young enough to employ the "just run a bunch" training method.  Toeing the line at Miwok in a couple of months is going to require a more holistic approach. That and no more foolish 9-day-in-a-row blocks of running.