Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year

Well, my first full year of ultrarunning is under the proverbial belt and it was pretty good. I accomplished my main goals which was to complete both a 50K and 50 miler. I would have liked to have run more races, but due to inconsistent training, financial issues, and assisting a wife who had a rough year medically speaking, it just wasn't in the cards.

In 2009 my main goal is to complete a 100-miler and be more consistent in my training. Looking back at 2008, my inconsistent training resulted in only logging in less than 1200 miles - not enough miles to be a strong ultrarunner. This year I really need to focus on getting my long runs in and do some strength training in the form of hillwork, pushups, and core exercises. My weakness has always been my lack of body strength, which really comes into play with ultras, since they're more about strength and stamina, rather than conditioning due to the slower pace. In order to accomplish this and stay focus, I'll need to come with a training plan of sorts and some kind of weekly schedule I can stick with.

This year I will also begin training for another goal - running in the Arrowhead Trail Ultra 135-miler for 2010. An adventure runner I met during P.H.O.U.R. this last October, Mitch Rosssman, has been in it before and is becoming a mentor for me. We and a couple of other runners will be going out to Afton State Park on Saturday, Jan. 10 to do a training run. I think Mitch and I are the only ones planning to camp overnight. Mitch's training plan is as follows-

Day 1: start at 10 am and do a fast hike for 39 miles, take on hot food and water, then hike another 8 miles and camp overnite (47 miles total)

Day 2: Fast hike 22 miles, take on hot food and water, then fast hike again for another 28 miles (97 miles total) and camp overnight.

There is a plan for day 3, but I will not be doing that since I have to go back to work that day. I'm planning on completing the first 69 miles before heading home, which would be all of day 1 and then the first leg of day 2. I'm really excited about this training challenge and seeing how I fare. Mitch is being extremely helpful and generous in lending me a bunch of gear to borrow and use for a while. He believes that I should enter this year's Arrowhead and try and complete half of it. I think it's a bit ambitious, given the fact it's only a month away and I haven't been getting in that many miles, not to mention the $150 entry fee. Ouch! But, I won't rule it out until I see how things go on the training run and talk with the missus about it.

So, there ya have it - 2009 in a nutshell. I'll elaborate later as I flesh things out. Time for me to take a shower and do some things before meeting Mitch today to pick up some ATU gear for the training session. I might also be making an REI run to pick up some proper cold weather running gear as well. Happy Trails, Y'all!!


SteveQ said...

Mitch is a great guy (say hi for me!) but Arrowhead... jeesh. Not in a million years would I do it.

brothergrub said...

You are a stone cold maniac to even consider the Arrowhead 135. That thing scares the crap out of me!
Please try not to die as having a big brother is quite pleasant.

Steve said...

Well, it looks like I'll be around for at least another year as this year's AHU 135 starts on Monday, Feb. 2. Since I really don't have any vacation time to use, running AHU this year isn't going to happen. I'm not physically ready anyway. Next weekend will be fun and interesting to see how I handle the cold and towing a sled. Can't wait!

Joel said...


Wow. I've thought so much about Arrowhead the last two years. Marty actually told me I could try it last year, but I need to collect a lot more gear.
Good luck on the weekend running with Mitch. Say hi for me. He's a great guy. I hope to run again with him soon.
Let us all know if you do the half like Mitch says you should.