2010 Trail Running Review and 2011 Trail Running Preview
The new year is always an exciting time of year as I begin to think about what I hope to accomplish and where I hope to go with my trail running. Sometimes I think it would help if I did this in other areas of my life like my marriage and family but we do have to have our priorities in life.
Let’s review 2010 before thinking too far ahead. Last year saw some major ups and downs. I started off very well by breaking my own course record at the notoriously tough Athens-Big Fork Trail Marathon. It was a perfect day and one of those days where I felt that I could run forever, where the mountains seemed small and easy to run. These types of days come about less often as I get older and so I tend to savor them more. I went out in 2:15 and came back in 2:09. I wish I had a blog then and I would have written about it.
February and March of 2010 was not so good. Sciatic and piriformis issues led to a DNF at Psycho Wyco in February, I did know races in March and finally signed up for the Ouachita Trail 50 Mile in April. I just thought I would try to run through it.
As it turned out, though there was some pain, I had another great day. The temperature was unusually cool for April and I set a course record and the first ever sub 8 hour time on that course! I had always dreamed of going under eight at OT and I felt like I was on top of the world.
May was a training month and I just did some road races including a 17:09 5K (short course) and had some good races. But everything was geared toward 2009’s DNS (did not start) at San Juan Solstice 50 Miler in June. SJS is considered one of the toughest 50 mile courses in the country and I was scared in 09 but determined to make up for it. I also needed the confidence leading up to Leadville. I ran very well until the last mountain and considering my flatlander status, was very pleased to turn in a 10:30 performance. Everything was now ready for Leadville in August.
Well as you could read in a previous post, Leadville 100 lead to Leadville 87 as I dropped with the easiest part of the course to go and with nearly 12 hours to complete it! What was I thinking!??!??!!
Post Leadville had more sciatic issues and I struggled.
was slower than last year and I struggled to finish. Tulsa Route 66 Marathon was a DNF because it was so warm and humid and it was going to be a struggle. (That may be the only DNF I will never regret.) I finished the year with the Lovit Trail Marathon in Dogwood Canyon in December. I just used it as a training run because again it was warm and humid and I just wanted to run easy and not push too hard. Arkansas
So 2010 began very well but from August on, it just did not go well. The good news is this has me excited about 2011. I believe I can have my best year ever in trail running and what makes it more special is that I will be turning 40.
JANUARY - The year begins this Saturday with a return to Athens-Big Fork. I’ve run the race for 10 years now and I love going back every first weekend in January. I am not anticipating having a run like last year but if I run well, then it does not matter the place or time. I just want to enjoy running up and down those mountains! Looks like there will be a large contingent of Poteau friends going with me. Most have no idea what awaits them!
FEBRUARY – Return to Sylamore Trail 50K. Okay, I realize I have almost no chance at the ridiculously fast 3:40 course record and the $2000 prize money but it is still one of the greatest races of the year with some of the best scenery! So after missing last year, I am looking forward to returning. The question left is whether to go to the White Rock 50K two weeks prior which may hamper my efforts at Sylamore. I’m leaning now toward doing both.
MARCH – Little Rock Marathon Pacer – 3:10 – I paced this group the first three LR Marathons and so it will be fun to do again. It will be a great workout, fun to help others, and FREE! A week later is Spring Break and I would like to do the Rim2Rim2Rim at the
Grand Canyon. It is a bucket list run for any ultra-runner. My fortieth year would be a good time to do it but this is not definite and we will have to see what the family is doing for Spring Break and what kind of funds are available.
APRIL - Ouachita Trail 50K. I had hoped to go to the Boston Marathon but registration closed in seven hours and so I am going back to the OT. Maybe I can get the course record for the 50K??
MAY - Jemez Trail 50 Mile - This is not a definite but I would like to go back. By this time of the year, it is so hot and humid in Oklahoma that you need to head to the mountains out west for any ultras or suffer terribly.
JUNE - Also unsure for June. Depends on what we choose to do for the family vacation but right now I am thinking of Bighorn 100 or maybe the 50. But if I go, I would have a hard time not doing the entire thing. I then could incorporate trips to Yellowstone, Badlands, and Mount Rushmore. But then again, I may need to spend all my money on airfare to Europe or kids trip to Disney.
JULY - Training
AUGUST - Leadville! Leadville! Leadville! It cannot happen soon enough!
I'm not going to predict what I will do after Leadville this year. Everything is geared toward getting back to May Queen aid station at mile 87 and hopefully get there in 17 to 18 hours.
I also made a New Year's resolution to run fewer miles. The last couple of years I have totaled somwhere between 3650 and 4000 each year. That's over ten miles per day on average! And I may even have had more than that. I just do not need that kind of mileage. So far I am off to a good start as I have only done five miles a day in the last four days and I feel great. I'm only going to increase from 50 - 60 mile weeks up to 90 - 100 mile weeks as I prepare for Leadville. At least that's my resolution anyway.