28 October 2013

Resting and Racing: Plan E

"Return to your rest, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you."
-Psalm 116:7
Red Rock Canyon
I keep changing my racing plans. Right when I think that it's settled for the year, dangit! something compels me to tweak it once more. In case you haven't been following closely as to the evolution of this year's racing schedule, allow me to recap:

PLAN A (Feb, 2013):
The original plan was to dip my toes into ultramarathons by running a 55k in February and 50k in April & December. Threw in a couple of marathons in March & October and a tough 25 miler in May. This seemed reasonable in light of my work schedule as I was leaving a demanding job 45 min away and planned to find another less stressful job locally.

PLAN B (March, 2013):
Met a new running pal who asked if I'd pace her at Hardrock. Met another runner who invited me on a R2R2R run in April. Pacing HR meant that my 25 miler got bumped up to a 50 miler as I then prepared for a summer of pacing 50-ish miles at several mountain 100's. Bumped my December 50k up to 50 miles since I'd have experience at the distance by then. Decided to suspend the job search until summer, to focus on training.

PLAN C (Aug, 2013):
Instead of pacing 50 at The Bear 100 in Sept, I planned to use the pacing opportunities at Bighorn, Hardrock, Leadville & Wasatch as training runs for my first 100 mile attempt. I made a plan to run The Bear with my friend, rather than pace her half the distance. No time for job hunting and I had a ball all summer long training and pacing at the races.

PLAN D (Oct, 2013):
With training fatigue setting in, I decided to forgo running TNF 50 in December, thereby ending my season in October. Mentally, I wanted a break from training. I had started increasing my weekly mileage back in November, 2012 so I had been at it for about 9 months. Taking a couple of months off sounded really good earlier this month.

PLAN E (Oct, 2013):
Oct 18th, I got an email from the TNF folks reminding me that the San Fran 50 miler was just 8 weeks away. At that point, I was about a week into my off-season with no running planned for at least a month. I tried getting out on my bike, but found it a real pain in the arse both in finding a safe place to ride (where cars aren't screaming by at 65 mph) and with my butt sore after 30 min on my saddle. The next day I went out for an easy run of <hour and it felt really good. 
Palmer Park
I've continued to run easy for an hour or so every other day for the past week. The legs feel rested and it's been great just running for enjoyment and not on a training schedule. So, I've decided to go ahead and run TNF 50 in December. This has been a year of taking advantage of opportunities so I hate to pass this one up. It will probably be the only time I run in the Marin Headlands. With that settled, I'm going to take it easy for one more week and begin a short bout of training (5 weeks) to prepare for the 50 miler.

I've started the job hunt again, but the market isn't favorable so I'm not expecting anything to materialize right away. In order to adjust to a more long-term unemployment situation, I've scaled back the childcare/preschool and being more of a stay-at-home mom, which is both awesome and exhausting. It also makes training a little trickier, but with at least one kid in school, I can arrange preschool for the other that gives me at least 2-3 days to train outside of weekends.

With limited finances, this means I need to be pickier about my races. Most of the races I'm interested in require travel so there's always gas, lodging and food expense to consider on top of the race fee. I was disappointed to find out that my favorite 50k jumped in price to over $100, which is hard to justify when I can run hard, beautiful 50 milers for $20 less. Both in terms of the cost per mile or cost per hour, it's over my price point. I can run that course unsupported anytime I want, so I'm going to pass on racing it next year.

With TNF 50 on the calendar and Red Hot off, I'm going to head out to Moab in a few weeks to explore some more trails with my friend Meghan. I look forward to sharing some amazing desert scenery with y'all again. Last February's run with her was pretty spectacular (blog post).

Other than that, I'm getting pretty excited about my 2014 season. After plenty of time to rest the legs after TNF 50, I'll begin to slowly rebuild my running fitness in Feb. My season will kick off in March with the Salida Marathon. I'm planning another R2R2R run in April that will help prepare me for Jemez 50, which will be a training run for the Bryce 100. After that, everything is pretty fluid, with plans to be at Hardrock and running another road marathon in the fall.

With the Red Sox in the World Series, I've been missing New England a lot. I needed a good laugh and Justin always delivers. Having lived in Boston and Maine, I'm very familiar with I-95, the Hampton tolls and crossing the 
Piscataqua River bridge. Steve Pero, this is for you. (Warning: Language) 

Live free and happy trails,


1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Shelby....awesome. Brings me home where I plan to back to next year.
    Live Free and Die, Yeah!
    Hope to see you at Salida, at least that's the plan...