Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Re-Set

Week Summary (7/15/12)

Ophir Intervals: 7.3 mi (+788 ft); 9:04 pace
Emma Quarry OB (YMR): 5.1 mi (+577 ft); 21:14 pace
VC to Washoe Lake SP: 12.3 mi (+909 ft); 10:39 pace
Emma Quarry OB: 5.6 mi (+553 ft); 11:27 pace

Weekly Totals: 30.3 mi (+2,826 ft); 6:09:09 on trail

I've been playing a bit of catch-up on slightly forgotten priorities that might have faded a bit in the build-up to my run at the San Diego 100. A few little runs here and there, while following a couple of the events that the ultra-year revolves around -- Western States and Hardrock. In the course of being unhealthily glued to the @iRunFar and @footfeathers twitter-feed throughout these events, I realized I could now view these events a bit differently. Yes, I was surprised at how much I felt I should be out there competing, and, no, I in no way thought I would actually be competitive simply because I now had an event under (or "on", given the buckles) my belt. An so starts the trail to a little more 100-miler competition, me against me and the demons, tangible and otherwise.

This week I climbed back on the regimen that took me this far and farther. Footfeathers has upped the training a bit and I look forward to pushing forward and upward. Where will it take me?

The big goal now is a sub-24 at the 100-mile distance. A bigger goal, however, will be to walk (or crawl) away with a finish at Hardrock and Western States.  There are many more variables in play now than there were in simply gaining the first finish (I could target that event with a calendar; the new goals are likely multi-year efforts). I've taken the first small step and qualified for the lotteries that, by chance, gain entry to each event. Odds may be better for Hardrock based on the number of qualifiers, but I better think about the obligations of simply winning that lottery. Western States may not be as difficult, depending on the temperature in the canyons, as San Diego, but it has its own challenges, of course.

The preparation for each goal is the basically the same, stick to the regimen and get some more 100-mile experience. With that in mind I will re-enter the disciplined approach I've successfully maintained, and will look at a relatively aggressive schedule of 100-mile events. Pine to Palm in Ashland, Oregon, is a distinct and likely possibility -- two months from today. Buffalo 100 at Antelope Island will begin the 2013 season, and we'll likely have some lottery results by then. I'm ready to keep going...

With all this in mind, the Young Mountain Runners (Dennis, Mary, Darren, and myself) gathered in western Nevada over the past couple weeks. Because the talk so commonly revolved around running, much to the boredom of the remainder of the YMR family, we looked forward to each of our "re-set" periods. Dennis and Mary are prepping for a first marathon in the fall and the 25K at Buffalo next spring. Darren is building back from the setbacks of Buffalo and returning to full mileage and searching for a bounce-back event. Desna and Strider are similarly re-bounding from injury and looking toward the first equine endurance challenge. The stage is set.

Cheers to Tim Long (aka Footfeathers) -- 34th finisher in the Hardrock 100; he, indeed, is Wild and Tough.

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