In Moab, Utah one of the marks of the coming spring is the descending of runners from Fort Collins and Boulder into the Big Horn Lodge. This happens in mid-February every year for the Red Hot races, 55K and 33K trail races. Once again Fort Collins runners look to be over 10% of the field with probably as many from Boulder as well. It was a lot of fun seeing so many familiar faces out on the trail last year and should be much the same this year as well.
|Photo from Alex May
I had a bad race last year, really falling apart pace-wise in the last 10-11 miles. I can come up with some reasons why and some excuses but what's done is done. After being disappointed last year I am hoping to run better this year. Overall my longest runs were longer last year than this year but I still put in several in the 22-24 mile range. One thing that has been different this year is my overall mileage. With the streak I have been much more consistent this year and have run about 35% more mileage in Red Hot training for this year. I have felt overall strong and free of niggling aches and pains as I've tapered down the past couple weeks, I'll take that as a good sign.
I'm still haven't come up with a race day plan yet. It's tougher for trail races than road races as it's more difficult to compare training runs to race day performance. This is especially true with the slick rock surface in Moab, which is difficult to approximate here. I have not found running downhill on slick rock to be as easy as it sounds. I've tried to include a good mix of trails, hilly harder surface runs like Centennial, and harder effort runs on hard surfaces like the bike paths. Last year my training was much more skewed to trails. Originally I was hoping to chop an hour off 2011, so 7 hours or about 12:40 miles. Maybe that will still be my goal. Some runs it seems very possible, some it still seems far off. I still need to think about that one. Heck, I still need to decide which shoes to wear and what to carry for water/gear. The weather does look nicer than last year at least. That will be nice. Four days of work left, that's a lot of time to day dream about the details ;-) I'm getting kind of excited to find out how it all unfolds.
|Early view from the overcast and rainy course in 2011