01 January 2013

The Year of the Ultra

I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list. - Susan Sontag 
Welcome Gentle Reader, to yet one more ultrarunning blog.  I have at least 40 of them in my Google Reader, so I know you have many to choose from.  You'll see a roll of some of my favorites on the right.  In the meantime, thanks for peeking at mine.

Since 2013 is the Year of the Ultra for me, I thought it fitting to chronicle the journey of moving from recreational trail running with a 10k base to running up, down and around mountains for 3+ hours to racing 50k and higher.  This can be quite challenging with two kidlets (ages 2 and 5) and a FT job that requires a 90 min 
daily commute.  My weekly training pretty much caps out at 30 miles.    

Until last fall, I assumed that ultras were out of reach for me.  However, where there is a strong will there is a way.  (My parents & hubs will vouch that I possess one of these.)  I've found that with smart, efficient training it is indeed possible to take 25-30 miles each week and prepare for an ultra.  Maybe there's a mom out there that has dreamed of the same thing... I hope this is a place where they can find inspiration.

I don't intend to bore anyone with the details of my training each week.  I'll stick to the highlights and share what I'm learning on this journey.  

So what did I do today, the first day of 2013?

Well, I repeated my Thanksgiving escapade of doing the Double Incline Double Barr (DIDB) and in doing so completed the iRunFar Holiday Run Challenge of running 50 miles between Dec 24th and Jan 1.  Since we were traveling back from Moab on the 24th and I had to work every weekday other than Christmas and today, I made a plan for the week to get this done.  Here's how I did it:

  • 7 miler on Christmas between a lazy morning and dinner plans in the afternoon
  • 4 mile speed sessions during lunch break (4 total) 
  • 20 miler on Saturday 
  • 7 miler today doing the DIDB (and smashed my PR to boot!)
Total: 50 miles

That's certainly the most running I've done in one week, and the cool thing is that it didn't feel at all like I was overdoing it.  I'd credit this to the increase to my base to around 15 miles during the past couple of months and eating better during recovery.

Are you familiar with the Manitou Incline?  It's 2,000 feet of vert in less than a mile. The average grade is 41%.  It's the Thing To Do here in the Springs, along with hiking up the Barr trail to the summit of Pikes Peak (13 mi).  For a good climbing workout, I like to go up the Incline and catch the Barr trail for some fun downhillin'.  Now that I can do two passes in 2 1/2 hours, I suppose I'll have to up the ante and make it a triple next time.  Boogity Boogity!     

Here's a few pictures from the day:
Pretty Christmas tree at the top
View from the top
Blessed solitude on the Barr trail


Happy Trails,


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