Its been a few weeks since I posted anything on this blog. Unfortunately running 45-50 miles a week and a hectic work schedule took its toll on my allotted time for posting much. I figured I would post an August big picture progress post detailing where I am currently at with my training along with a few developments that occurred this month.
I Change My Mind on Not Doing A Marathon… Kinda
A month or so ago I changed my year end focus to running my first greater than half marathon race, a 50k instead of a marathon (Details Here) As I started to train and research ultra running, I joined the Georgia Ultrarunning and Trailrunning Society(GUTS) and found an interesting little trail marathon they hosted. After hours of researching the race and reading old race reports I was frightened. This trail marathon was tough, and extremely hard. I immediately signed up for it, figuring it would pose a good challenge and provide a great shakedown race for my 50k race a month later. I have mentioned to some of the ultrarunners in my Tuesday group run that I signed up for this race and they have verified the difficulty I will have on race day, especially as a slower runner. Its going to be fun.
I Finished Half Marathon Number 4
Late in August I finished my fourth half marathon for the year. Atlanta’s heat and humidity has been high at the end of the month and that made this a challenging race. Add to the heat and humidity stomach issues the night before and the morning of the race, this half marathon proved super challenging. For the first couple of miles I figured I had outpaced the stomach issues and I had taken in enough fluids. I felt strong, like I would have a great race. Then mile six hit and suddenly my stomach lurched with every step. I fell into a pattern of light jogging for short periods followed by long walking breaks. In the end I still finished, albeit with a very unhappy time of three hours and twenty minutes.
August Numbers… First Month of Ultra Training Lead to Huge Numbers
August was my first full month of training for my 50k so I shifted my attention from triathlon training and put all my focus on my ultra marathon training plan. This shift in focus has led to almost no time on the bike as my long runs take so much time to complete.
Numbers wise, I could not be happier. I have shifted to 50 mile weeks and have not incurred any major injuries besides a soreness and tiredness that comes from logging long daily runs. I have found that my weekend back to back runs, often Saturday involving a 18-24 mile run and Sunday involving a 5-10 mile run, have made me stronger and better able to recover quicker.
The 50 mile weeks left me with a new monthly mileage high of 176.4 miles per month with 864.4 miles of running for the year. My first mileage goal for the year was to get to 800 miles with 1000 miles being my stretch goal. At this rate I should have my stretch goal by the end of September. Compared to my 307 of last year, I think my 864 so far is pretty amazing.
The only area I really need to improve on is increased speed to make the DNf cuttoff times in the marathon. I am now running with a faster group of trail and ultra runners at least once a week and I am finding my legs getting stronger as I run more trails with hills rather than roads. I would like to get some bike time in September, but as I stated earlier my running is eating up most of my time right now, even though I have found a bit of time to still work on my swimming. I will try to post more often in the weeks to come as I have thought up numerous topics for posts I would love to share and explore as I stretch my sites to completing my first ultra.