Saturday, January 22, 2011

2011 Race Plans

ORN: 7.8 miles total, w/ 5x1 mile itervals @ 8:15 ave

No matter how long I run, surprises still come along; it's sweet when the surprise is a positive one. Such was the case with today's run.

It is the pit of winter here in Indiana. Today's dark lead-grey sky hovered over a sharp west wind with skiffs of snow blowing across the already-frozen tundra, the wind chill well below zero. I really didn't feel like running in this. Yet, the schedule called for mile repeats. I went out anyway.

And am I glad I didn't give in to the feelings.

What a terrific workout! The first mile checked in at 8:21 and I felt like I really wasn't pushing it. I picked it up and did my fourth at 8:04, finishing my last one at 8:15. And this counted the time picking around the snow drifts and gingerly working across the ice patches on the path. Bundled up. It was great and I'm glad I didn't chose to go with my feelings about heading out. And all of this two weeks after a 50K. Encouraging.

Have not mentioned here I upgraded to the Garmin Forerunner 305 w/ Heart Rate Monitor. Got a deal on-line just after Christmas and am still playing with the features which are an improvement over my old 201. I have had some problems getting consistent HR readouts, though, and tried an experiment; I shaved two spots on my rib cage for the electrodes to make better contact. Seemed to work for todays run. Gee, what we do...

My 2011 race plans are falling together nicely. The year started out surprisingly with my first 50K two weeks ago.

Next up is the Austin Marathon in Texas on February 20. This one rolled around wonderfully. Running pal Darrell emailed me last fall, noting he was going to run this race to knock off the Lone Star State in his quest for 50; did I want to run it with him? Well, I looked at the race and the calendar and suggested to my wife she come along and we spend the week following getting away from the aforementioned Indiana grey. She liked that. Before long, Darrell worked it out for his wife to come along too. We've all met before and we're looking forward to it. I'm renting a car; Darrell has to figure out interesting places to eat. Sounds like a good deal.

Five weeks later, March 26, I'm taking on another ultra. The Kal-Haven 33.5 mile Ultra Trail Run follows a rail trail from Kalamazoo, Michigan west to Lake Michigan, ending at South Haven. I've run the South Haven end of the trail a couple of times and look forward to doing the whole trail.

In five weeks after THAT race, I'll be back in Champaign/Urbana Illinois for my third straight Illinois Marathon on April 30. It's a nice race and super convenient for me, less than 2 hours from my driveway. They offered this year (and I entered)an odd "double"; a 5K on Friday night and then the marathon on Saturday morning. We'll see how that goes. Turns out Darrell might join me for this one as well, notching yet another state.

I'll use the time from May to October for shorter races, probably including the Sunburst HM in South Bend for the 7th straight year.

For the fall, I'm scouting for races. My birthday falls on a Sunday this year and it would be cool to run a Marathon on October 9. One possibility is Portland, but I still need to work out other possible visits with my son who lives there. There are lots of races that time of year...hoping to find an interesting event.

Looking longer term, I realized that had I run a marathon last December, I could be in line for my second star. I could do that next year...or I could just find two more marathons before October 10...hmmmmmm.

Shoot, it is fun to plan. And it also makes me smile to recall the phrase on the back of a shirt I saw at a marathon a couple of years ago: "It seemed like a good idea at the time." Yeah, that can happen too.




Darrell said...

"It seemed like a good idea at the time" - will probably be my mantra at Little Rock two weeks after Austin. :-)

Wes said...

305 is a good choice! You can program your workouts into it, and it will buzz you when the workout changes.

Planning is so much fun. I hope you guys have a great race in Austin! Hopefully, my life will allow me to meet back up with you guys for a race someday.

Congrats on a killer workout. That's a big confidence booster fer sure!

Karen said...

Can't you be more creative in shaving your chest, Joe? Maybe a heart or the letter "G" or have a contest so readers could win a free autographed copy of the "What to Wear" spreadsheet? Well, just an idea...

Sarah said...

I'm sure you can find 2 marathons before Oct problem! Looks like you have a great year ahead of you.