I have one race left for 2013, Deception Pass 50k in December, and then I'm out for at least 2 months. On Sunday I went out to run at Hagg Lake since I hadn't been there and to preview the trail. I knew it would be muddy, and with 300+ runners and more rain, February will be insane. I don't hate mud, but I have a feeling after that race I won't be keen on it. I haven't made up my mind yet though.
Bryce Canyon is something that both Deb and I are really interested in, because how gorgeous would that be?! But if we travel that far, I'd really like to run the 50 miler for the scenery and challenge. When did 31 miles not become enough?
I have hesitations on Bryce Canyon for a few reasons. Cost, training shifts (my focus is later this year) and difficulty. I plan to go back to Sun Mountain to re-visit my first 50k as a slightly more experienced runner. If Bryce Canyon was on the list, I'd likely consider the 50 miler at Sun Mtn. After some reflection, I think tackling this is too much for me right now, and I'm sticking with my plan to run Mt Hood 50 in 2014 and push Bryce and Sun Mtn 50m back to 2015.
Another June race that has piqued my interest is a 24 hour run near Eugene on June 21st. The 24 hour run is a 2.5 mile loop trail and during this time the goal is to just move and do what you can. You can stop whenever you want. The 24 hour run would be great for Mt Hood due to time on feet, though I'd still log many hilly miles and more specific trail training for Mt Hood. Though Mt Hood's 50m is pretty mild sounding with 5,600 ft of gain and nice cushy trails. It's an out and back course. Bear in mind, that 50 miles is not something I'm considering easy - but when I say "mild" it's in comparison to other races I've been looking at.
List of races
(Maybe's are in italics)
February 15th - Hagg Lake Mud Run 50k ~2k ft gain, super muddy
March - Possibly Mercer Island 1/2 again, Gorge Waterfalls, March 29th, 6kft, point to point, (lottery), or just a long training run
April 13th - Peterson Ridge Rumble, 40m, 3k ft, Sisters, OR
May 18th - Sun Mtn 50k, 5k ft, Winthrop, WA
June 8th - Beacon Rock 50k, 7500ft gain, North Bonneville, WA
June 14th - Smith Rock Ascent 50k, 4500ft gain, Terrebonne, OR
June 21st - Elijah Bristow, 24 hour run, near Eugene, OR
July 12th - Mt Hood 50m 5600ft
August 16 - Waldo 100k 18 hr limit, 10k feet
August 23rd/24th - *Volunteer* Cascade Crest Classic 100m (volunteer to secure spot in 2015)
September 6th - Mckenzie River Trail Run 50k (barring lottery acceptance)
September 27th/28th - Mountain Lakes 100m, 30 hr limit, 10k+ ft gain
I've decided I'm going to target Mountain Lakes for my 100m, since it makes the most sense for me in terms of elevation, location, and low chance of sell out. I'd love to run CCC but I don't think I'll be ready for it as much as I could be in 2015, it's a lottery entry, and it'd be harder to secure pacers due to being further from PDX and me not knowing many people yet. Pacers are something which I will take advantage of if I can find people. Deb and I agreed that volunteering at CCC this year would be our best call then we could both run next year. The only downside to that is she wouldn't be available to pace, but that's okay - she'll be here this year and I've got 18 months to figure the rest out!
I'm hoping to volunteer for at least 2-3 other races this season. I'd really love to sweep, since it means I can run the course too, but I also enjoy aid stations and finish line activities. Deb is up for this as well. It's a great way to meet people, give back to the community, and sometimes get a free race entry for the future!
Waldo 100k is a race I'd really love to run, but I'm nervous about the difficulty of the course. Deb has expressed interest in running a 100k this year, but I'm not sure if this is a race she would run without wanting to murder me. I'm not even sure if she'll sign up. If we do, it'll mean we need to get incredibly serious about our climbing and downhill running skills -- something which I'm keen on doing, and it helps to have a partner to train with. Hill/mountain repeats in the Gorge! My goal is to get her to sign up without looking at the website. Ha ha ha!
The next two months after Deception Pass (Dec 15th) will be my serious downtime. I've been working on glute and core strength. I've realized that (as everyone has said) my glutes are shit. All the split squats I'm doing hurt, but even after two weeks I felt stronger on the uphills this weekend at Hagg Lake (even if they were shorter). I anticipate going starting 2014 much stronger and working from a solid base. I need the downtime too. I adore running but I don't know how people perpetually train for races year round without a few months of decreased mileage (less than 20/week).
In the spirit of embracing the downtime, I have reached out to pace a marathon training group for a couple months. I'll be pacing the 4 hour group, but the coach has them train much slower than target pace, so mileage pace is 10:40. This is perfect as I want to keep it slower. Their long run mileage for the two months will be 10 - 16 miles, so it's where I want to be. It'll be flatter road running. It'll keep me accountable, but not overdo it. This weekend will be my first weekend with the group and we're running 10 miles. I'm only vaguely familiar with the route so it should be interesting. After the run I am going to head to either Powell Butte or Forest Park for another 10 miles, as I need to get in a final longer run for the 50k, and I want some quicker trail miles - but most weeks the group run will be it!
Cheers to your 2014 planning! Now I get to share the plans with my running buddy and hopes that she doesn't veto anything super awesome. I've learned I can talk her into a lot though...just don't tell her I said that. Deb has bought a stuffed mini-weasel that is her new trail buddy. She's already started taking pictures. MW is going to freeload and hitch a ride on all of our trail adventures. She makes me want my own trail mascot. I bought a bunny the same day as mini-weasel, but I'm not sure if he'll be my trail buddy because he's a little big. Bunny and mini-weasel!
I shamelessly stole her pictures from this weekend because I didn't bring a camera.
These are not my shoes. I wish I had taken a picture of mine and my muddy legs, but she's a big fat copier and wears the same shoes (different color) and socks as me, so just pretend they are mine. ;)