I've had a lot of time off for Winter Break--one of the perks of working in education. My main goal for this week was to stock up recipes on this blog so I could start formally launching it. My other goal was to figure out what I am going to do, running wise, for the next few months.
My last big race was October 15th, and it was tough. I trained essentially all year for 50k trail races (one in April, and one in October) and I knew it was time for a break. The break turned into two months of junk miles. Great for the dogs, and great for me for a little bit to decompress. I didn't intend to take that long of a break, but work got a little crazy, the weather got cold and dark, and before I knew it I was in a routine of running 2-4 slow miles a day.
So, after some deliberation I picked a March 50k. I'm pretty confident I'll be headed to Moab to do the Behind the Rocks Ultra. Sounds pretty, and sounds like the kind of goal I will need to keep myself moving this Winter. And of course the dogs can still come with my on my warm up and cool down miles.
Like every good little trail runner, I made my training calendar. I lift very heavily from the Sage Running plans. They're affordable and you can combine the various levels to make a plan that works for you. The printouts and downloads are really easy to read, but for some reason I still feel the need to scribble the plan out in my own strange shorthand on oddly sized sheets of paper that I will inevitably misplace 50 times. It's just not a training plan unless there is an unidentifiable stain on one of the pages from something that was on my kitchen table.
I was surprised, when I was putting the plan together, how excited I started getting. I didn't really feel like I was raring to go, which is why I wasn't in any hurry to pick a race, but the familiarity of putting the plan together and gearing up to take on another training schedule was more motivating than I expected. And also a solid reminder of how much I do love training and pushing myself. This past week was my first formal week of training, and it kicked my non-trail conditioned butt. My hip flexors have been replaced with lead and I'm constantly starving. But, I also went back to a trail with a 15.8% incline, and got my third fastest time, in spite of being pretty lethargic for the past two months. So, the past year of running must have rewired me slightly.
I have five more days off. Training is easy when you don't have to go to work. I'm guessing in about a month when I'm training, working, and trying to keep this blog going that I'll write something complaining that I'm in over my head and just want to curl up on the couch (like the two below), so stay tuned for that update!