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!


  1. Ah tennis! Now I am JEALOUS!!!

    Looks like I might have gotten you to switch to shorter races ;) before you convinced me to switch to the ultra...but I hope you can get in a revenge race 100 or two this year.

    Looks like you have some great plans!!

  2. Tennis is a lot of fun. I even started a tennis club at work, so I can usually find people to play with, both doubles and singles. My wife has 5 brothers, and they ALL play tennis, so family gatherings always involves tennis! Too bad no one in my extended family runs.

  3. What's fabulous for me - though *possibly* not for you =P - is that you DNFed your 100 mile race. I don't think you failed. You did everything you could, you learned and you grew...and you gave to others. How can that possibly be classified as a failure? Anyway, it's inspiring to me that you didn't give up on running, you just took a deep breath and moved on to the next goal.

    Of all that you have tried, what do you think has helped you recover from injuries the most? How did that Compex EMS work?

    GOOD LUCK in the Way Too Cool! =) I hope you have TONS of fun with it. =)

    And good luck to you and your wife on the birth of your daughter. So very exciting. =) How is your wife feeling? Hopefully she's doing really well. I imagine she's popping beautifully. That big belly and the kicks were always my favourite part of pregnancy. =)

  4. All these tools worked in different ways and I recommend all of them. I could probably write an essay on each tool. I think professional treatment works best, but I'm still trying to find something to fix my right calf. I think the Graston technique is next at bat. Sighs... I can finish a tough 50 miler, but I want to do more than just finish it. I want to be able to train without an injury holding me down... Way Too Cool may not happen if I don't get a handle on this leg problem. And if it does happen, it'll be more of a fun run because I won't be fully trained for it.

    My wife is doing great. She's definitely getting more and more uncomfortable. Grace Anabelle is really kicking my wife all the time! I think she might be a runner when she grows up! =) 11 more weeks!

  5. Looked up the Graston technique and wowsers that looks painful! Good luck with it. =)

  6. You have chosen a REALLY beautiful name for your daughter. For each of my pregnancies, I didn't know the gender. And for each, Grace was at the top of the list for girl names :).

    I haven't played tennis in over 5 years. The only court in town is asphalt and the net is torn. :( booo. When all the boys can swing a racket, I will have the motivation to get back into it. For now, it's run run run. =D

  7. Ah!!!I am going to have to set up a tennis date with hubby now. I am missing it so much!
    The nearest town with a good court is 25 miles from here, so, with kiddos- it ends up being half a day. lol. Still- probably worth it, though. It is an excellent sport.