Friday, December 16, 2011

Race Planning

As you all know, I am an obsessive overplanner.

For a couple of months now I have been perusing potential races to add to my 2012 calendar. In fact, at one point, I threw everything that looked interesting on the calendar so I could have a visual of where everything fits with everything else.

When I finally got down to selecting the races I was most interested in doing in 2012, I came upon something interesting. The race calendar I'm building contains races on consecutive weekends as well as at least one weekend with a race each day.

And I'm not that worried about it.

A few weeks ago, I came across this article about the mechanics of running & started utilizing the "100 Ups". While I'm not going to say it had the miraculous affects it maybe had on some of the other runners in the article, what it did do for me was give my legs a muscle memory of what proper form should feel like.

My very next run was nothing short of fucking amazing.

All the pain and struggle I'd been having was gone. Just like that. I did the three mile 'hood loop without stopping or walking. I even did it faster than I've ever run three miles*. Then I did the loop again. Without stopping. In the same amount of time.

Any time since then that a run has gone less than awesome (regular worn out aches aside), I've discovered it's because my hips and glutes aren't doing their fair share. Once I get them back into action, I'm fine.

Maybe this sounds stupid or weird, but runs had become for me a serious battle of stubborn. I will complete this run. It wasn't fun anymore. It was painful and made me question myself time and time again. Because of this, the only reason I completed the Four Bridges Half Marathon was my stubborn refusal to ride back on an Arctic Cat.

The fact that, suddenly, running doesn't hurt more than it reasonably should? The fact that it's become a joy again? That is amazing and I am really, really grateful.

I feel like, as long as I maintain my form and do all of the ridiculous, painful training (hi hill repeats!) I'm supposed to be doing, I should have no problem building a strong enough base to make running three half marathons in one month a perfectly reasonable thing to do.


To supplement "normal" road races, I really want to get in at least one really good, challenging mud/obstacle run. Now y'all know I'm indecisive as shit, so maybe you can help me out by letting me know which one you think I should do.

Here are your choices:

Tough Mudder September 8th & 9th, 2012

Merrell Down & Dirty Mud Run October 28, 2012

Survivor Mud Run April 21st, 2012

Weekend Warrior Games April 29th, 2012 - Oh, wait. That's right. I've already registered for this one. And, yes. It is, in fact, the day after a half marathon I'd like to run. Crazy?


so what do you think? Which one should I run? Am I completely insane, or just a runner?

*As far as recorded times go.


Grumpy Granny said...

My wife, an Army veteran, really wants to do the Tough Mudder, but with a back injury and 2 replaced knees, realizes it may just not be feasible. I totally envy your love of running. I am going to attempt a sprint triathlon this summer and I just CANNOT get past the running thing, even though it's only 5K, a distance I walk regularly. The word "run" just makes me want to curl up and hide. Guess I better keep reading your blog!


dolphyngyrl said...

I started with Podrunner Intervals... It's a free podcast that takes you to running by gradually increasing intervals. It's set to music with chimes for each change. Running is definitely love/hate for me and that's mostly mental! I know you'll be strong in the swim & bike portions. Don't let a little 5k scare you! Even if you mostly walk, you're still completing the tri & probably faster than others. I certainly couldn't do a tri soon!

Tough Mudder looks scary fun, but I think it's meant for teams & I don't know if I'll have one.