Training thus far in 2011
It’s been a wonderful start to the year. First off, my leg has fully recovered and with the added rest from the injury I’ve never felt so ready to start training.
Withlacoochee State Trail Florida
My first week in 2011 was a vacation with my wife’s family in Florida. I had to readjust to flat/sideways running…it was fun. As much as I love to run in the mountains, it’s still a good idea to keep it fresh and different. Running in Florida was definitely different. I had the pleasure of running 146 miles in my one week there including a few out n backs on the beach. An added bonus to where we were staying was this beautifully wooded 2-mile figure-eight dirt/sand loop only 2-miles from our vacation home. I spent a few days on that as well as doing sort of track/tempo workouts. What I mean by that is I just ran a lot of my miles under 7 and close to 6 minute pace and enjoyed working on my stride, as I had no hills to vary the pace. It was fun, but I’m so grateful to be back home in Ashland and running up 3000+ ft on a daily basis again.
I did run a lot of miles in Florida, maybe too many, but I had beautiful sunny days with nothing to do but run. Another attribute to the high millage for that week was an unexpected phone call from my family. My Grandpa had a heart attack and needed bypass surgery. This was quite a shock and I had many emotions flow through me as I processed this in my mind. The best ways for me to process is by hitting the nearest trails and feel my true emotions as they come up. So that’s what I did with a lot of prayers and mindfully setting intentions for my grandpa to be healthy and safe. My grandpa is a strong man and determined to keep enjoying the gift of life. He’s recovering superbly and getting stronger every day.
It was hard being hours away from my grandpa when all I wanted was to see him and be there by his side. My grandpa and grandma are huge factors in my running and have encouraged me in everything I try. When I was a chubby sophomore in high school I decided I wanted to train hard during the offseason and be good the following year in cross-country. My training every day was running 6 or 7 miles as fast as I could to my grandparents home where they would fatten me up with delicious food and bring me home. This formed into a great routine that I continued for years. Every time I would run my way over there my grandpa would wait for me on their porch and when he’d see me coming a half-mile down the road he would hoot, hurrah, whistle and clap till I made it exhausted to the front porch. That last half of mile I gave it all I was worth, and even today I think about that last stretch to my grandparents house a lot when I’m feeling extra low in a race. The feeling of their love and unconditional support gives me goose-bumps and pushes me even more. Those memories always boost my spirit and still to this day as I make my way to my Grandparents house or to a finish line I think back on those great summer days.
So with a good start to the year I was ready to get back to Ashland and start running some mountains. I thought it would be a little tough transitioning to the cold weather, but apparently I brought it back with us. It’s been so beautiful around here and it’s even allowed me to where shorts in January, I love it! My training thus far has been a pretty simple routine of running up to four-corners via the BTI (mostly single track) which gives me about a 14.4 miles and 3500 ft climb every morning. I switch up a little bit with an even harder climb in the middle of the week (18miles/4200 ft), sprinkled with a few night runs throughout the week. I’m average about 120 miles per week and feeling stronger everyday. The first week of the routine left me a little tired, but running this on a daily basis takes a little bit of time for the body to adjust to. I look forward to keeping my daily routine like this with some progressively longer runs on the weekends or if I have a slow day at the office.