Friday, August 3, 2012

Elvis may be dead, but I'm still here

Fast forward through a very hot, humid (just like I like it:)) summer in Georgia, and I find myself running around 40-45 miles per week under the typical slowdown that occurs when running in 95 degree heat. I manage to avoid this most of the time since I still do the majority of my training after the midnight hour, but it's still at least 75 degrees when I head outside to run. Nonetheless, I'm targeted now and moving forward toward the goals I have set for myself.  

I know, I know. I also hate it when I'm a regular blog reader and the author just goes missing for a few months. About the time you get into a "flow" with what the blog writer is working through, dealing with, etc, he/she just vanishes with no explanation.

I'm guilty, there's no doubt about it. But I'm back on the horse again now, so let's get it back going, shall we?

What's been happening:
Around the time of my last post back in March, I was coming to slowly realize that the 100k effort I had put forth earlier in February had begun to take it's toll on my body, my mind and my ongoing training. If you recall (and you'd have great memory if you can), I finished the Iron Horse 100 in February. I marveled at how quickly I seemed to recover from that race. Actually, I was back to routine training within the 5 days following the race, and I remember being astounded at how quickly my body had shook off the ill effects that accompany a 100k race. In short, I thought I was much tougher and stronger than I ended up truly being.

By the end of March, my fitness, motivation and enthusiasm all seemed to just take a nose dive. Not only did I not really want to get out and train on a daily basis, I couldn't even seem to put together a decent run at a decent pace. Fatigue was all I felt. Heavy legs, labored breathing and a boat load of discouragement were what I typically felt following a run. At the end of it, I just couldn't understand what was happening to me, and I began to wonder if simple aging was rearing its head and affecting my overall fitness. I'm 42 years old, just for reference, so I'm not as young as I used to be, of course. Was this what getting older feels like? I didn't like it at all. Not one bit. I gradually accepted the fact that my fitness level had diminished (for whatever reason) and chose to begin from the beginning and start re-building.

Where I'm at now:

Goal #1: The North Face Endurance Challenge 50 miler
There was never any doubt that I have to revisit this race and redeem my poor performance last year. I'm trying to attack it differently this year and have been making a few forays into the Pine Mountain Trail for the much-needed on-the-course training that I was lacking last year at this time. This is my goal, focus race for the remainder of 2012, and I've actually managed to secure a trail running partner to join me (at the Starting line, at least). If you remember me talking about Tim running the Iron Horse 100 with me back in February, you'll recall how much of a help he was in those long, early miles of the race. He's registered to run the 50 miler as well, so I'll have company along the course and that's a big, big plus on my side.

With the race less than 75 days away, I'm really stoked about getting people signed up and at the Starting line in October. If you're anywhere near the state of Georgia, I can't recommend this series of race highly enough. From the 5k to the 50 miler, there's a distance that will meet your fancy and give you an incredible trail running experience in the process.

Click Here to Register for The North Face Endurance Challenge

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