With the 2011 Lake Sonoma 50 only 9 days away, it seemed like an appropriate time to take a look at what a month March has been and where it all seems to be heading this year. While I haven’t raced since the Redwood Park 50k, I have taken the opportunity to continue to heal from my arm contusion suffered in February and put in some quality miles. I have also done a number of track workouts and tempo/long runs on the Miwok 100k course in Marin, which have yielded promising results. As my weight has crept back down to 166-167, my stamina and resolve to maintain consistency in my running has improved. While the end goal for my weight is still 162ish, I can feel that as the season kicks into gear that a lighter body has meant an easier time going up hills such as the Rodeo Valley trail or Coastal trail. While I may never be 140 lb., I believe that I can still fly right around 160 lb. The improved strength in my core and toned down body that I’ve worked harder to develop for this season will hopefully lay the foundation to take the next steps in my running career much as I did between Dec ’07 and Dec ‘09.
The most important of these Miwok course runs could very well be this weekend as I lace them up for a run from Muir Beach to the Turnaround Point and back to Pantoll Ranger Station. For those not familiar with the race, this equates to almost 27 miles and encompasses the two most important climbs of the race: up Deer Park Fire Road and 1.5 miles up from the turnaround at the highway (from Stinson to Pt. Reyes) to the Bolinas ridgeline. Deer Park Fire Road and that climb back up to the ridgeline represent the two key points where people’s races turn due to their relative taxing nature. People seem to either finish them feeling renewed with confidence and strength or lethargic and beaten down as they get back onto the quicker, rolling landscape that characterizes the ridgeline. While there’s still a possibility that this training run will get moved to after the LS50 due to the weather conditions, the most likely scenario has me doing this training run once before and once afterwards. While it could potentially have a residual effect on my race at Lake Sonoma, I anticipate that an abbreviated taper period should be sufficient to keep me fresh for the race. I plan on using Lake Sonoma as a checkpoint for Miwok, so a full 2-week taper period is probably not appropriate until before Miwok. At this point, my Uncle and I have gone over the general race plan and are in the process of developing a more definitive goal; we are definitely eyeing sub-8 hours, but I’m going to let these last training workouts play a role in swinging it one way or another.
Also on a side note, I just wanted to thank the individuals who have helped make this year a success so far. Although it’s hard to see since I’ve been patiently taking the time to train, 2011 couldn’t be a year for breakthrough without the efforts of my wife Wilma and Uncle Andy who have sacrificed time and energy to help me get ready for this year. My wife gives me the time and space to put in my evening and long runs because she knows how much this year means to me. Uncle Andy has been putting in time to help make my weekly track workouts at Kezar Stadium a success by watching my form as well as keeping me honest to the clock. While keeping motivated is always a challenge, it makes it a lot easier when I know I’ve got two people who can give me the proverbial swift kick to the arse when I need it. Sometimes recognizing the commitment and sacrifice of others is a powerful reminder that there is always more at stake than one’s own ego.
I also wanted to thank those organizations and companies who have put their faith in me to represent their brands this year. To Brooks, Diakadi Body, Injinji, GU and NUUN, I hope that my running reflects well upon you as my successes are a direct result of not only your products and services, but of the personal relationships that have been cultivated with folks behind these companies over the years. Thanks again and cheers!
God bless everyone and happy trails,