Finding My Ultra 2.3

The bar has been raised over the last three weeks. Volume, duration, intensity have all been pushed to new levels and I'm now ready for some recovery!

I'm roughly 3 months out from Traprock and I believe I'm setting myself up for success come race day.  As I look through my training logs to reflect and develop the next training block I cant help but be pleased.  The 3-3.5 months of base training I put in have certainly paid off.  The foundation created during this time has allowed my body to safely and quickly adapt to the increase in training stress I have applied over the last 3 weeks. For instance I have put in 60 mile weeks for the past three weeks without a hint of consequence.

I have opted to reduce the training volume this week and utilize it as a micro recovery period.  My intentions are to permit my legs a bit of recovery in order to absorb and adapt to the recent training stresses so I can put in another successful, big volume block of training before Race Prep officially begins.

I continue to pursue a vegetarian lifestyle and have been met with little resistance in doing so.  Currently I have one meal a month that contains meat.  This is a result of my enjoyment for patronizing new restaurants and dining with friends.  

For the month of February my number one focus will be on accumulating vertical elevation.  I need to start building the muscular endurance and power to not only charge up hills but to quickly recover and do it over and over again. I also need to complete at least one 4.5+ hour run ( I cant believe I just wrote that I have to run for nearly five hours! Hahaha).  Running this long might very well bring me to and above 30 miles however based on finishing times at Traprock I need to be prepared to race for 5 hours. I was hoping to jump in a race this month however the location and times of these races were not ideal. Hopefully I can convince a friend to run or race me on a local route.

Running long, especially in trails, has reignited a fire with in me.  I will admit that the  luster from triathlon was becoming dull and the accompanying excitement was dwindling. I still periodically think about triathlon however I now find myself dreaming of trail running. Last week I signed up for the first race in the Xterra Trail Race Series -North East Region.  There are four races in this series with the culminating National Championship Race in Utah.  Id be lying if I said this doesn't have my attention.  In order to qualify for the Championship I would have to race 3 of the 4 races and earn enough qualifying points.  The first race is at the end of March and my results at this race will heavily influence the rest of my competitive season. 

For those you interested in hitting the trails and getting off the pavement may I provide some insight:

1. One's running pace is dramatically different ( slower) in the trails when compared to the road. 
2. Gauge your run on Rate of Perceived Exertion rather than pace.
3. Never look around to take in your surroundings while running.
4. Always tell your significant other where you will be running and for how long
5. Always where your Road ID
6. Never jump over large rocks or downed trees without knowing what is on the other side.
7. You will roll your ankle, trip, fall and cut yourself.
8. Always respect the environment and don't leave a trace of being there.


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