Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Getting my head in the game
Here it is the middle of February and my next big race (a 50k ultra) is only 3 months away. I guess it's time to get a little more serious about my training.
Since Christmas, I've been running regularly and gradually lengthening my Saturday long runs. However, I put training on hold for a couple of weeks to travel to Belize with hubbie and friends (I'll post an account of that adventure soon), then recover from a nasty chest cold. To complicate matters, we're in the midst of a bus strike at the moment and I've decided to run or walk to work, rather than spending hours stuck in traffic every day. In theory, it's a good way to kick start (or restart) my ultra training - but I, though I'm running lots, I can't pretend it's good quality training.
At any rate, now that I'm back from vacation and reasonably healthy, it's time to figure out what I can realistically accomplish before race day. I ran a heck of a lot in 2011 (nearly 1750 kms in all) and have managed to maintain a reasonable level of fitness since my last marathon in October 2011 so hopefully a 50km run is still within reach - though, of necessity, I'll be taking a "less is more" approach. :-)
It makes me nervous to think about training to run "50 at 50" so it was nice to stumble on this photo today. It's from a 5km race I ran in June 2011 in a personal best time of 26:36. Not fast, objectively speaking, but smokin' for me. I was especially happy with my performance because the course was a tough one - with a number of long, steep hills - and I finished first out of 18 women in my age group. As it turns out, my age group was a relatively slow one (there were four women older than me who whooped my butt!) but still... It might be the one and only time I ever finish a race in first place.
Looking at the picture reminds me of how good I felt that day. The weather was perfect, the race well-organized, and the course truly delightful with breathtaking views of the ocean at every turn. I think I started a little too fast which made the last kilometre feel tougher than it should have but it was still exciting and exhilarating to run a PB on such a tough course.
I plan to run the same race (the Chester Cut 'n Run) this year and it would be nice to shave a few seconds off my time. Since I'll be 50 years old come race day, I'll likely be running head to head with some of the women who beat me last time out and it would feel good to give one or two a run for their money. In the meantime, here's hoping memories of last year's race get my head in the game so that I'm properly trained and ready to run 50k by May 12th!!