Sunday, July 21, 2013

Summer Race Season

We are already deep into July, a bit hard to believe.  What this also means is that the summer race season is under full swing.  Even though my first big race is a week away, around the country several major races have already taken place, including the Western States 100 and Hardrock 100.  I can't help but look at the front pack of runners in these races and think that they are true professionals, they make it look easy.  However, the true winners of these races are the runners in the back slogging through the course in twice the time as the winners and often in much worse shape, they have huge amounts of grit.

I write this post a week before the White River 50, my first big, and arguably only, race of the season. While I am running other races, this is my focus race, the one I have trained for and the one I will push hard during.  This is a somewhat iconic 50 mile race that gets a bit lost in the hustle and bustle of some of the big 100 mile races.  A quick glance at the top times of this race and you can quickly see that there is quite the list of who's who of trail running that have run it.  Timothy Olson, Dakota Jones, Anton Krupicka, Mike Wolfe, Elle Greenwood, Nikki Kimball, and even Ann Trason have all run this race.  Many of these names were at the race a few years back when it was the 50 mile trail championship, and there are just a few well known names on the list this year.  But no matter the starters, I have heard this is a great race and really fun, so it should be a great day.

Training has been going well.  I wanted to up over 80 miles per week with a few weeks over 90, but the best I managed was a handful of 70+ weeks, still not too shabby by any means.  I used basically the same schedule as last year but added weekday AM runs to get my mileage up without increasing evening runs.  This worked fairly well but getting up before 5 AM to run for an hour took more determination than I had on many days.  Wednesdays I would do a hill climb, and many of those days I went up the Wolverine Peak trail.  After a mile or rolling double wide trail the path narrows and begins the 5 mile, 3,500 foot climb up to Wolverine Peak.  I like this route because it is not crowded and involves a good amount of runnable ascent and some really fun downhill.  Adding a few hilly routes on the weekday and climbs on my weekend long runs and I was able to get my weekly vertical up above 5,000 ft per week most of the time.  Not a lot, but I feel good about my training since my weekly hill run went really well just a few days ago.

White River 50 takes place on the 27th, 2 weeks later, granted I am not injured, I will start Resurrection Pass 50 hoping to improve on last years time now that I know the course.  I had a great debut at this race running just under 9 hours, I won't sent a time goal until after I recover from White River.  My hope is to run White River hard to get a good time and then I can kick back a bit the rest of the summer.  There are still many trails, routes, and peaks I need to check out before the season is over.

Here are my totals, I will get a race update sometime next week.

May - 250 miles, 42:06, 18,000 ft
June - 253 miles, 47:41, 30,300 ft
1 July - 20 July - 134 miles, 21:59, 13,600 ft