Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Training for Lean Horse (part 1)

Lean Horse Ultra-marathon
Custer, South Dakota
August 27, 2016

Once bitten, twice shy, third time's a charm.

Lean Horse will be my third attempt at a 50 km ultra marathon. I'm hoping for third time's a charm.

Injuries kept me from starting the previous two. Both injuries occurred within a couple of weeks of race day and both were the result of overtraining. I was on schedule for both ultras. Running 25 miles on trails in southern Ontario while on vacation, Almost stepping on a large golden-brown snake napping on a gravel trail in the backwoods of lost Ontario. Hills.  Hills.  Hills. Running 70 or more miles a week for the days leading up to the ultra. I was even considering upping the ante to a 50 miler. I was that fit, that strong, that cocky.

And then the injury.




I like to think I'm a little smarter this time around. Thanks to my super-fit niece, Ainsley I've been cross-training regularly at Goodlife since January.  I found Bodypump and I haven't looked back.  It's an intense one-hour interval training session that leaves me fully exhausted, yet paradoxically fully exhilarated.  It is without a doubt the single best thing I've done to improve my running in years, not to mention my mental health and my confidence.

"Hi. I'm Mike and I've been working out... you've probably noticed."

I've scaled back on my distance. I will not run more than 50 miles in one week. I won't run speed drills because of the high possibility for injury. I've slowed down to 11 minute/ miles on my long runs.  My shorter runs are no less than 6 miles. I will become less compulsive and more zen. Less competitive and more happy.

I can't really believe I'm saying this but....

As of yesterday I'm eating chicken and fish for the first time in 10 years. I became vegetarian at age 50. Now, two months shy of 60, I'm eating meat.  I haven't the stomach to cross over to red meat or pork. The yuck factor is very strong... think gag!

I ran 22 miles yesterday and truly it felt okay, almost like an old friend, but it was hard... really hard.

When I was 49 I set a goal to run a marathon before age 50.  I've since run 18.

At 59, my goal is to run an ultra before age 60.

Stay tuned for part 2.

It's a good day to be alive.