Checking in more than halfway through the summer, everything has been great with the exception of run performances. That’s mostly due to injuries but I’ll get into that a little later. Below I’ll recap the summer to date and go over what’s on tap for the rest of August - November.
May 26th: Pineland Farm 50k: This was a race I signed up for last November and it was always on my bucket list. The 50k made the most sense since it was only two loops of the course. The 25k seemed too short and the 50 miler (3 laps) seemed maddening. My running legs just weren’t there - this winter I took a break from running to let a hamstring issue resolve itself but that never happened AND I lost touch of speed. Lesson learned! This race I knew I’d be lucky to hit 4hrs. It was a hot one and after making a wrong turn early on, my day was over. I put in a good effort and on this long course I ended up with a decent finish. Many of the finishers in front of me didn’t complete the course so results don’t exactly tell the story but I know I’m capable of a great race here. Strava
June 8th: Chocorua Mtn Race: Hilary signed up for this one so I followed suit, ready or not. I struggled on the flats to hold pace and fell apart on the climb with cramps early. Just not tuned up for such a big effort. I also forgot my gels so that didn’t help things out and a half mile from the finish I was in 3rd place but cramped so badly that I had to stop and get some water in the stream. I’ll be back for this one and will look to clean up the performance. Strava
June 15th: Mount Washington Road Race: Well aware that my running legs were taking a long time to come back. I decided to throw time out the window and play with going off effort / HR. In May I ran to the summit with an HR of 155 and that resulted in a time of 1:24. For the race, I decided to go for a HR in the low 160s. It resulted in an evenly paced hard effort and a time of 1:18. I’m happy with it given the last two races but it’s a far cry from my goal of clipping 1:10. Maybe next year if I keep my running legs through the winter. Strava
June 18th: Pemi Loop: DOWNFALL OF SUMMER RUNNING. This was supposed to be a fun run but turned into a survival hike. Early on (between Liberty and Haystack) I tripped and landed on both knees and somehow managed to find the only rocks on the trail, smashing my kneecaps. I didn’t think it was a big deal but my right knee throbbed and I lost almost all range of motion. I should have bailed then and there but decided to hike it out and then run the last four miles out of Lincoln Woods. Bad ideas all around and the knee would haunt me for the next month. And running the Whitaker Woods Fun Run that night didn’t help either. Strava
June 22nd: Evan’s Notch: This was a fun run with Peter Howe. Knee wasn’t too bad but this didn’t help things. It was too nice out to pass something like this up. Strava
June 27th: Franconia > Pinkham Traverse: Continued to push things to prep for the WM100. Never felt great but also didn’t feel horrible. Knee started acting up towards the end. Was worth it in hindsight! Strava
June 30th: Cranmore Hill Climb: Running uphill didn’t seem to bother my knee so knowing I could take a lift ride down I decided this race wouldn’t be a problem. Weather was great and I was able to push fairly hard but still backed off a bit when I had a good sized lead. Strava
July 1 - 5: Hut Traverse: NOPE
July 18th RESET: At this point in the summer it was clear that I was aimlessly training and not improving in the mountains or on the road. It was this week that I decided to back off, let my body heal up, and start to prioritize running again from the ground up. This meant adopting a basic marathon plan and then building around that. My summer goal was to run the WM100 and I have too much respect for the White Mountains to just go and try to half-ass it. They would eat me up. In turn, I wanted to start fresh and get fast on the roads again, then apply that to the mountains. This was disappointing but gave me a new sense of direction.
July 26th: Awarded Media Bib to TDS: Well here’s another turn. I sent some emails off earlier this summer to try to get a media bib into TDS since I didn’t get in through the lottery. A last ditch effort but they gave me one meaning my summer just took another shift and now I had to remap the rest of my summer. More to come on this but here’s what the new schedule looks like:
Aug 11th: Ragged 50k (Last minute, seems like a good last effort before TDS
Aug 20th - 23rd: Run UTMB course over span of four days
Aug 28th: TDS Race
September 14th: Start rebuilding aerobic engine.