Last week I reviewed the second of three phases I use to divide the months of the year. (read it here). The biggest shift for this third and final phase for the year centers on running far and long and reduces the role of cycling and swimming, both triathlon related activities. From now til the end of the year, everything is focused on my remaining final running goals for the year.
Initially my plans were simplistic for the second half of the year… maybe I will run a marathon or even crazier a 50k. As the year progressed and my weekly mileage inched up into the mid twenties and upper thirties I decided it was time to take the plunge and I signed up for my first race greater than a half, a 32 mile or 50 k trail race better known as an ultra marathon. As I shifted my focus to trail running and running distance, I began to look around at local running groups and places to run. I discovered a marathon that previous year race reports scared me to death. So I signed up for a marathon, a very difficult training run/race to really challenge and provide the final bit of training I needed before tackling longer distance races. Before I knew it, my final months of the year were very full and juggling the balance of training and tapering for each race and the time between races took some skill and careful thought. Where do I need full rest only a taper could provide? How hard do I push my running between one event to the next? How long will recovery really take? I had so many questions and so I drew up a plan. Then I got scared… my final end of year race season resembled a terrifying roller coaster.
Scheduled Break Out
- September – This week is my last week of regular training(a 24 mile Saturday Long Run followed by a 5 mile run on Sunday for 50 miles for the week) before I begin my first taper leading into Mystery Mountain Marathon. I was unsure about tapering for this event as this is supposed to be a training race, but the difficulty of the course has swayed me to start a three week taper leading up to this event. If anything I will get to practice my taper and see what will need to be adjusted before the 50k. The three week taper starts with a short 16 mile long run in week one followed by progressively reduced weekly mileage there after.
- Mystery Mountain Marathon (October 12) – While the 50k provided the original cornerstone to this year, the Mystery Mountain Marathon’s difficulty overtook it as the large focus. This marathon is often referred to as one of the hardest trail marathons in the southwest and many of my ultra running friends claim they run it at their 50k pace. The biggest fear for me is meeting cut offs as I have been molasses slow lately.
- Ragnar Tennessee (October 23-26) Two weeks after running my first marathon I have to run a twelve man relay race covering 196 miles from Chattanooga to Nashville. Currently I am scheduled to start training for the 2 weeks in-between the Marathon and this event, but I will have to play it by ear and see how my body feels. This period between the two events is a big unknown right now and I am uncertain how it will play out. I do not want to miss out on some opportunities to extend my training, but I also want to be able to enjoy my Ragnar Tennessee experience.
- Tortoise and the Hare 50K (November 15)- Immediately following my Ragnar Tennessee experience I have to then move into my final three week taper leading into my second ‘A’ race, my first 50K. This taper will match the one I did before the marathon.
As I said, its one giant roller coaster leading up to the end of November. I think I might just sleep in all of December if I successfully get through this gauntlet I created for myself. Go big or go home… I guess. Til next time.