Friday, December 16, 2011

Training Update - The Reload

It has been more than a month since the IMM. Since then I have jumped into a couple of 5Ks without really being prepared for them. Because I love racing so much, they were both fun experiences, but I had an epiphany about halfway through the second one. I'm done. My legs and mind need to be rested.

 An intense marathon training program came on the heels of a summer filled with sweat fest long runs in Indiana, sporadic hard efforts on the bike, and two fifty mile mountain races. Relatively speaking, those 5K were tiny efforts, but they were long enough to let me know the flame had gone out.

So, I am now in a reloading period. Though the training lacks the structure required for achieving a goal, it is still purposeful. I am enjoying running for what it provides me. I value sunrise runs through forests. I really love running when it is cold. And I love to sometimes run fast simply because I the energy and excitement are there.

I am also making an effort to put cycling back into my regimen after hardly training for almost eighteen months. The rides are short, but they are happening and they are enjoyable. I am still trying to pinpoint why I love cycling so much.

The only real structure to my training for the month of December is that I have decided on new test courses for my training. These courses are important facets of the overall plan, because they allow me to monitor my progress, by tracking my heart rate with the Polar RCX5, as I work through race specific programs and, well, age. I decided to change the courses for 2012 in order for them to more accurately reflect my goals.

Goals . . . Yes, it is that time of the year, isn't it. I've started mapping out a plan for racing next year that will help me attain the only real goal I have - stay actively healthy!! The racing includes duathlons because they cause me to train at both running and cycling. I will also be running some half marathons next year since I seem to have picked up an addiction to them in recent years. And, as a focal point again next year, I will run in some ultra events. Which events will I enter? I don't yet know. I came up empty in the Western States lottery. In the coming month there are openings for other ultra race registrations. After those occur I will decide on an overall schedule that is sure to keep me well rounded.

The annual winter trip to the southern Appalachians is less than two weeks away. That trip is always a blast.

As for blogging, the reworked piece about the first time my sons accompanied me to the Smokies will be up this weekend. I had hoped to post it by now, but this week has been full of 13-16 hour work days due to wrapping up the semester.  ST

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