Wednesday, September 19, 2012


As you know I promised Sue, and myself, that I would take a rest from running ultra races for a few months after running my 5 ultra's in 12 months. Well time goes quickly and its now been a suprising 4 months. I have of course continued running....and training intensively on body conditioning but I have not been pushing myself on big 6 hour plus runs......the most I've done is 3 hours. I also had to get all my heart, blood and fitness test results assessed. Many ultra guys run  most races in the summer and rest in the winter....but its just too hot here and so I've taken it easy. I suppose I could have run in the cooler mountains but  running in the Alps is quite brutal due to the elevation gain and with my MVP, I decided it best to take it easy.
     Next weekend there is a multiday ultra event nearby but unfortunately I only found out about it last week (they are not big on advertising these things) and I would have been unprepared. I realised this when I ran a shorter version of one of the races last Friday and I was so slow it was embarrasing. Clearly no matter how fit you are you still  have to prepare specifically for the challenge ahead. At 57 its not so easy just to wing it the way you could at 27. Its a shame as it was 3 races in 36 hours, a 15k, 25k and 23k and included a night run but nevermind there are many other possibilities. I notice the elite guys spend quite a bit of time in selecting which races thay are going to run and when.....obviously there are the nutty ones who do a full 50 or 100 mile race a month.......yep, thats what I said, a month. Anyways I am now trying to find the next challenge. Do I run an easy 20 k training race or a full ultra ? I think I'll ramp up slowly because I have to monitor my heart as well as my fitness levels. Its been recommended that I wear my heart monitor and keep the rate within a certain band as much as possible. The stress test heart specialist said if I train correctly then he would not advise against me running.........then again he doesn't advise me to do it either! Is that a non denial denial or just a sitting on the fence thing?
         After the Olympics I half expected to see lots of newly motivated people running on the trails with an excited sense of vigour and purpose to get fit and DO something healthy with their lives.......but sadly not a soul; I have not seen a single runner in the hills in 5 weeks, oh well, what can I say?
      Over the past few weeks I've done fast 20k tempo runs....and slow arduous painful 20k runs.....not sure why this is. I am fitter and stronger than last year but I don't know how this will play out in a full ultra due to the on/off nature of these runs.....que sera. My new Cascadia 7's trail shoes have just arrived so at least I'll have a bit more grip after wearing out my 6's. I have to say they are an impressive trail shoe for anyone interested (made by Brooks), very comfy and you can wear them 'in' very quickly.
    In the ultra world there have been some impressive performances over the summer, Tim Olsen's record breaking run at Western States, Hal Koerner at Hardrock, Mike Morton's 24 hour US record, Lizzy Hawkers back to back wins at UTMB (again) and RRR.....and speaking of the RRR (Run Rabbitt Run 100 miler), Karl Meltzers astonishing win at 44 years of age over a very young and talented field. Karl has won more 100's than anybody else (33 to be exact) and he just keeps chugging along. His best quote after his win 'To run a 100 mile race you don't have to run fast, you just have to run all day'......well quite.
     We had Anton Krupicka's return to ultra's after 18 months of injury, Dakota's new record crossing of the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim......and of course the Killian Jornet Speedgoat 50k switchback controversy.....which caused more heated debate in the ultra community than anything else.
    But what of my next challenge. I still haven't decided and the reason is simple. Running an ultra is tough but the long hard training is just as demanding and my age and MVP make the descision even harder. Its a bit like jumping out of a plane....the first time is hard but the second time is harder because you know what to expect. As I said earlier you can't 'wing' an I will prepare and select the next one with a degree of intelligence as well as passion. To use the American expression I have to make sure that I have the course well 'dialled in ', (organised, prepared, planned and ready).
Stay healthy.

No comments:

Post a Comment