Monday, January 3, 2011

Planning for the 2011 Running Season

In 2010, I ran my first two 50-mile races. I also attempted my first 100-mile race and failed spectacularly. It was a year in which 50K races (4) felt more like fun, relaxing, training runs for the longer stuff. It was a bad year for nagging injuries though. I had a few strained/sprained ankles, one IT Band flareup, a peroneal strain, some hip inflammation, and some persistent calf/soleus problems. To counter these many ailments, I experimented with massage therapy, ART Chiropractic treatments, and electro-myoscope/acuscope chiropractic treatment. I also incorporated some lateral band strengthening, wobble board practice, and even used a personal muscle stimulator (Compex EMS). And then on Thanksgiving, I started practicing Bikram Yoga, to heal and hopefully prevent many of the problems that plagued me in 2010. I'd like 2011 to be more injury free. I want to be able to train better and race a little faster in 2011. But since we are expecting a second daughter in March, I won't be able to race as much. I would like another shot at the same 100-mile race that kicked my tail in 2010, but I don't plan on attempting it under-trained again.

My favorite race of 2010 has to be the American River 50-mile. It was my first 50-mile race and the conditions were perfect (overcast). I ran it in 10 hours and 21 minutes and was all smiles the whole way. Having my wife, daughter, and my brother-in-law's family there to cheer me on made it extra special.

My least favorite race of 2010 was my DNF at the Rio Del Lago 100-mile. The conditions were miserable (hot and sunny). I was only able to cover 44 miles before my body rebelled on me. It was the toughest race of my life, and the adventure was bittersweet. I had fun at times, I was miserable at other times, I met some amazing people, and I learned a lot. It also left me with a deep hunger for redemption. I want to be back to slay that dragon someday soon.

In 2011, the only race that I have signed up and paid for is the Way Too Cool 50K (March 12), which I got in via lottery. I haven't run in a month, and might take at least another 2 weeks off before ramping up my running again. So I might not feel completely prepared for this 50K, but its only a 50K, right? As long as my nagging calf injury is "fixed", I'll be happy. Last year, I walked in the last 5 miles with an inflamed IT Band, so I kinda wanted a little redemption in this fun race that draws so many elite runners (like Geoff Roes).

With my busier family schedule in 2011, I might target shorter, faster races (maybe a marathon or two). I still want to run at least one 50-mile race and make a more reasonable attempt at the 100-mile distance in 2011 (maybe the Headlands 100, where the weather is usually cool in August). I plan on continuing my Bikram Yoga practice, hopefully squeezing in 2-3 practices per week. I also hope to squeeze in some tennis 2-3 times per week. And I don't know how I am going to do it yet, but I'd like to run 3-4 times per week. Sighs... we don't always get what we want, do we? Family will be top priority. Sleep time is expendable, isn't it?

Hope you all have a wonderful New Year!