Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The End is in Sight

There is less than a month to go before I shift into my running "off season". It's been a long time since I ramped up my training routine back in July and I've been hitting it hard. Since then I've run one half marathon, three marathons, one 50k, one 60k, one 50 miler, one 12 hour "all nighter", one 100k and one 100 mile race. I've broken or set new PRs in almost every one of those distances, done back-to-back long training runs virtually every weekend and helped coach a marathon training group. Now one last big race weekend in March when I run a back to back marathon and half marathon and I'm done. I will be glad to shift into maintenance mode for a few months before refocusing on the self-styled "very nasty" Cactus Rose 100 miler in October (if I decide to run it).

On Monday morning I did a nice recovery run at Walnut Creek. I recently agreed to lead a "trail 101" class for some road runners at work one night a week (starting in mid March), and I wanted to scout out some alternative routes. I found some nice variations to my usual loop and this will hopefully become a fun regular 6 mile run.

Tonight was the Wednesday night club run at the greenbelt. I got there early and did hill repeats on the Hill of Life for an hour. A large group showed up and we did a nice easy 6 mile run. I had no hangover from the marathon and finished off by hammering that damn hill again.

No running for me tomorrow as we have some friends coming over for a dinner party and a board game night. I will be making a nice Greek salad, Goulash and some homemade wholewheat pita bread (great for dipping and mopping the Goulash). Should be fun.


johnt said...

Alright, I knew you were going to do Cactus Rose. Its going to be a blast.

Eddie Parber said...

It sounds like you are an avid runner like I. About how many miles will you be running during your "off season?" I find that I often over do it when I'm suppose to be resting between races. I just don't feel "right" if I'm not running decent distances at least 5 days a week.

Mark said...

Hey John - note my caveat "if I decide to run it". You know me though - I'll probably be out there.

Hey Eddie, and thanks for stopping by my blog. I'll probably still put in 20-30 miles a week during the off-season, I just won't feel obliged to put in super long back-to-back weekend runs every week.

Tom Grant said...

You seem like a pretty good runner. With your Welsh background, do you have any desire to fell run? Does anyone do that in Texas?


Mark said...

Interesting question Tom - I would love to try Fell running, though some would say I fall often enough as it is :-). It's similar to trail running, but not quite the same. They go "off trail", the emphasis is on the ascent and descent of mountains and the course is often unmarked between checkpoints (hence the need for some orienteering skills). While I think I would hold my own on the ups, I suspect they would wipe the floor with me on the downs.

Fell running is very popular in places like the Lake District in Northern England and Snowdonia in North Wales, so definitely something to consider the next time I go home. I haven't seen much reference to it in Texas, and I guess the closest approximation would be the mountain 100s in places like Colorado and California.

There is a fascinating book on the subject - "Feet in the Clouds" - that I've been trying to get a copy of for some time.

brendaontheRun said...

How come you're at the end of your running season - does it get too hot and humid to run through springtime?

Mark said...

It does get hot and humid, but I'll still run. I just don't have any ultra races planned (at least until August).