Wednesday, May 8, 2013

I see speedwork in my future...

After finishing the 100 at Rocky last February, it took a while for me to figure out what I wanted to do next, as far as racing goes.  I found myself with 12 ultramarathons under my belt, which ended at Rocky with me reaching my goal of 100 miles in one day, with a finish of 23:27.  I had my sights set on that goal since my first 100 miler in 2011, and finally reaching it was an amazing feeling.  Once I was physically and mentally rested from training and racing, it was time to start thinking about what was next.  I knew without a doubt that I would continue to run ultras.  I LOVE these races.  I love the journey of race day.  You never know what the day will throw at you, or how you will handle it.  The only thing I know for sure when I start one of these races, is that I will cross the finish line one way or another, barring severe injury or illness.  What will happen between the start and the finish is anybody's guess.

A conclusion I came to early on in this thought process was that I was going to take the year off from 100 milers.  I had put a huge amount of stress on my body over the previous three years of training, and I felt like backing down on the distances run might be a nice break.  I really enjoy the 50 mile distance, and I am curious how fast I can get at it.  I had a solid PR at the Wild Hare 50 miler in November, 2012, with a 10:15 finish.  The more I looked back on it, the more I want to try to beat that time.  So, as someone who HATES speedwork, and does everything in her power to avoid it, I guess its time to embrace the inevitable.  I want to get faster at every distance this season, from half marathon to 50 miler, so intervals, tempo runs, and ladder workouts are on my calendar.

I am also doing something else I said I never wanted to do again.  I am running a full road marathon for time.  Over the last two years, I have gone to Baton Rouge for the Louisiana Marathon to support friends who were running it.  I have always been impressed by the course (especially the part that goes through campus - proud Tiger here!), as well as the organization of the race.  So, I am going to see how fast I can run a full marathon.

Luckily, at each of my races this year, I will have plenty of friends out there, also competing.  That makes it so much more fun!  Here is my schedule so far:

July 27th - Big Butts 50k (31 miles) -
Lane Gremillion trying to cool off after last years race.
 I get to run this one with my buddy, Josh Louviere.  It will be his first ultra, so we are running it together.  He is turning 31 on July 14th, so running 31 miles a couple of weeks later seems to make sense. (??)  My time here last year was 6:53, so if we can beat that, great, but with the temperature hot like I am expecting, just finishing in good health is a win.

October 20th - Gulf Coast Half Marathon -

 I did this one last year and loved the course.  It was pretty warm, so hopefully we luck out with a cool front this time. My time there last year was 1:56, so I just want to beat that without throwing up this time. :)

November 16th - The Wild Hare 50 miler -

This will be my 4th time doing this race and this is also the spot of my 50 miler p.r. last year (10:15).  I love this course - all within a working cattle ranch, and run on mountain bike trails which means lots of sharp drops and tight turns.  Fun, Fun!! AND I get to be here for Julie and Randy Carlson's first 50 miler!!

January 18th - The Louisiana Marathon -

Believe it or not, I am probably most nervous about this one.  It should be an interesting experience, though.  I get to see how long I can hold on until the wheels fall off. My loose goal for this race is to get under 4:10.  My pr at the marathon distance is 4:11 in a training run, and 4:22 at an official race.  Who the heck knows what the day will bring?

February 8th - Rocky Raccoon 50 miler -

 For the last 3 years, I have done the 100 miler on this course.  This was the sight of my very first ultra - the 50 miler in 2010.  Since then, I have taken over an hour and a half off of my 50 miler time.  It will be fun running with Liz Wooster and Emma Valentine as I do my best to break under the 10 hour mark.

So far, this is it.  I never close the door to other opportunities though.  I love suffering with friends, so if I get invited to join in on some other stupidity, I probably will.  Speedwork in the summer in Louisiana.  Jeez...