Friday, February 1, 2013

Month in Review (January)

1/2010: 58.7 miles
1/2011: 97.6 miles
1/2012: 123.2 miles
1/2013: 128.4 miles

Just a quick update. So far, this year's training is going well. I feel like I'm off to a solid start. I managed to exercise 28 out of 31 days this month. That's gotta be a PR. Right now, things are pretty easy. I'm just focusing on building a base and preserving whatever fitness I can from '12. I'm trying to concentrate on opposite ends of the training spectrum-- shorter, higher intensity sessions on the bike trainer and long, slow runs. (Well, long for this time of year...) In past years I would grind out an hour on the bike trainer and not bother with anything shorter. This year I'm trying to take a different approach and try more frequent, higher intensity 30-minute workouts on the bike. I have no fixed plan at the beginning of the week. Generally, if it's less than 20F out, or if I'm short on time, I hit the bike. Otherwise, I suit up, grab an old pair of "screw shoes" and head outside for a run.

I ran my first 100 in '10 with these guys (sans screws). Good times.

The other difference this year is that I've started using a resistance band every day to strengthen my hips. Before, I'd just do side leg lifts-- which are helpful-- but I feel like the band is doing more. I think balancing on one leg is the key difference-- it really activates a bunch of stabilization muscles that don't get activated when I'm simply doing side leg lifts.

My left knee still occasionally feels a little creaky. Mostly before I've warmed up or after I've finished a run and I'm just walking around. It hasn't interfered with my training, but the occasional flutter of pain is a good reminder that I've got to stay diligent in my ongoing battle with ITBS. We'll see what happens as my mileage slowly ramps up over the next few months. If I can make it to April without any major issues that would be a confidence boost.

I'm trying not to look too far ahead and just focus on getting into reasonable shape for my next race-- in this case, the Salida Marathon. Since every race I plan to run this year is one I've run before, each serves as a great fitness benchmark. The single big new training dynamic this year will be a R2R2R attempt on 4/5 with my good friend, Alex. I'm really looking forward to it, though I'm a little nervous about a 42mi run with 10,000+ft of climbing so early in the season. That's, oh... about 22 miles farther than a typical long run in April for me! There will probably be significant hiking involved, but it's all good! The amazing scenery will hopefully keep me distracted from my aching quads. 

We kicked off January with a traditional 10th Mountain Division winter hut trip with a bunch of good friends-- this year to Vance's Cabin. Hauling a 3.5 year old and a 0.5 year old, and all the necessary food and gear (30+ diapers!), in single digit weather was an adventure, but well worth it. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the trip-- especially the kids, I think.

The view from Vance's Cabin: Mt. Massive and Mt. Elbert in the distance.

Looking west: Homestake.
Ethan went in the chariot; Sierra in the sled (along with plenty of hot water bottles).