Drove to the In-Laws for a visit yesterday. Well, I dropped off the rest of the family at the In-Laws. **I** went for a trail run to help me prep for the Mt Si Ultra (yes, I'm still planning on doing the 50 miler with the shitty training I've been through lately). The run was actually really good. I was aiming for 4 hours and to do the full out-n-back of 22.6 miles, but ended up doing something close to 18 miles (finishing time of 2:55:17) instead based on where I had to turn around. Seems that Mother Nature decided to knock a few trees down on the trail and I wasn't going to scale a natural fence to continue on the trail. The trail itself goes up at about a 2% incline. I was able to keep my pace even and "slow" going up. I incorporated everything Eric Sachs @ The Balanced Athlete told me. Shorter strides. Easier footstrikes. Faster leg turnover. Even with a hydration pack on my back, the effort and feel was at a good level. However, once when I turned back around, my legs had to get use to the pounding of going downhill. Now don't get me wrong. I LOVE downhill running. However, there is a difference between a short series of downhills and one long downhill that doesn't seem to stop. My body eventually adjusted, but I know I'll need to practice more LONG downhill running before Mt Si. Possibly hitting the same trail 2-3 more times before April 13th.
Now, regarding my goals for 2008 and my training in general, I finally came up with something...
"Better work / life balance = more time for training!"
And the rest of the goals:
- Stronger base fitness level (I want to be at the point where I could do a 50k or longer at a drop of a hat).
- Lose the "freshman 15" I gained at my previous job and the crazy schedule I left behind.
- Improve upper-body and core strength to improve running form.
- Get a serious sub-4 hour marathon finishing time (and by serious, I mean by finishing closer to 3:30.)
- Have a better run for the Mt Si 50 mile ultra in April and improve my time from last year.
- Finish strong for the White River 50 mile ultra in July
- Do well as a pacer for the Cascade Crest 100 trail run
- Get 2008 miles for the entire 2008 year.
As for my training itself, I think I've come close to a good solution for a training schedule that I can keep weekly. Basically, I'll be running about 5 times a week (4 times a week minimum). I'll have the long run of course, one tempo run, and one speed session. The other runs would be for recovery and maintaining stamina/endurance. So my schedule should look something like this during the week:
Monday: AM Easy Run (1hr/5-6 miles); Noon Strength Training & Core workout
Tuesday: AM Tempo Run (1hr/6-7 miles); Noon/PM Recovery Cross-Training
Wednesday: AM Easy Run (1hr/5-6 miles); Noon Strength Training & Core workout
Thursday: AM Interval Run (1hr/6-7 miles); Noon/PM Recovery Cross-Training
Friday: AM OFF or Cross-Training; Noon Strength Training & Core workout
Saturday: Race (they do tend to do them on Saturdays alot) otherwise OFF, Cross-Training, or Long Run depending on the situation for that week.
Sunday: Race or Standard Long Run if the Saturday was a non-run day. If Saturday was a race or a long run day, this would be a day off from training or cross-training. Otherwise, the day after (Monday) would be treated as a recovery day and either the day will be taken off or cross-training will be done in-place of the run and everything will pick up on Tuesday or be doubled-up on Tuesday with an AM Tempo Run and Noon/PM Recovery Runs.
I seriously need to re-dedicate myself to a training program and stick with it. I thought it would have been easy once I got back a normal work schedule, but since I didn't have ANYTHING structured and I have races all over the damn place as training runs, it has made things difficult. However, now that I've written it out - that's the first part to committing myself to it. So after my recovery jog/walk tomorrow, I can expect to start forcing myself to get up earlier to do these workouts and do them outside instead of on the dreadmill - I've been so bloody bored with being on those things for the past two weeks!!! I have to get use to doing outdoor runs and be the one to control the speed with my body and feet, not by a button. Hope this works! *crossing fingers*