I've had a wonderful four months of just running for the love of running. I've had some of my highest mileage weeks ever in October, November, and December over wonderfully hilly singletrack. This past month has seen some fun times in the woods, but with less mileage due to my return to full time work. Now with the coming of February it's time for me to utter that evil word... training.
I have signed up to run my fifth Vermont 100, and want to be in good shape for a decent run there. That's the only "race" I have my sights on, although I might jump into a few of my favorite shorter trail races this Spring. I know I have at least one more sub 24 hour hundred miler left in this weary body. So I have to stop my mindless meandering and get a little focused with my running...just a little focused, mind you.
I recall the days of laboriously charting out training plans to the last mile and the exact minute-per-mile. Those were the days of keeping meticulous records of all my training runs including every detail from miles, speed, grade, terrain, heart rate, shoes worn, how many times I stopped to pee, and what I ate and drank. I vaguely remember things like interval work, tempo runs, and hill repeats. Those were also the days of 3 hour marathons and 38 minute 10K's. That was an era of 7 hour 50 milers and 4 hour 50K's. Well let's get something straight right here and now... this is a different era! I'm almost 50. I now have a well balanced happy life with many interests besides running. So when I say training, I mean doing a little more than just sight seeing when I'm out running the trails. I mean getting out to run regularly and putting in an honest effort each time. And that's about all I mean, so maybe I should come up with a better word than "training". I'll work on that.
Monday, Jan 30: 4 fast miles on icy trails with Scout early in the morning.
Tuesday, Jan 31: 10 miles on hilly snowmobile trails alone. Poor conditions, powder on top of a thick crust. Kept breaking through with every step. Good resistance training. Averaged 12 minute miles, and that was working hard!