Photo courtesy of Andrew King - D4 Productions

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Official end of the racing season

You've probably all guessed by now (due to the lack of posts) that I've decided to end my racing season for 2008. I contemplated doing the Bear 100 in two weeks but I'm just too mentally and physically tired. Nagging injuries start to creep up on me around this time every year so I think to increase my longevity in the ultra running scene it's best to switch gears and rest. So what next?

Good question. What next? In the last couple of off seasons I have done cyclocross bike racing once a week to maintain my fitness but I'm just not up for it this year. In the two seasons of cyclocross I worked my way up to a category 3 racer so I was in the middle of the pack and doing fairly well. Cyclocross is a 45 minute race that is completely anaerobic. The bikes are basically beefed up road bikes with nobby tires. The course is usually in a park or open space and on a dirt track with obstacles. It was fun but I need to do something else this year.

I've decided this off season, which consists of October and November, I am going to learn how to swim for fitness. I've never been a good swimmer so I think I've always had an aversion to the water because (just like golf) I hate not to be good at something. Well today I went to the local lap pool and did 20 laps in 30 mintues. I need help! I have no technique and I don't know how to breath properly. My good friend Tim Hola is an excellent swimmer so after Iron Man Hawaii I might employ his services. So for the last 3 days here is what my workouts looked like:

  • Tuesday - Mtn. Bike 15 myles - 1.10:32
  • Wednesday - Run 11 myles - 1.15.11
  • Thursday - Swim 20 laps (1/2 mile) 30 minutes
Don't draw any conclusions from this - triathlons are not in my future. I just feel that swimming and mtn. biking can get me off my feet, give my Achilles a good rest, and keep me fit. I am an adrenaline junkie, I admit it. But most of all I like the feeling of being fit. Even with two weeks off from running I feel sluggish and run down - I need my adrenaline fix.

I have been running pretty much non-stop for 5 years and my body is starting to show signs. If I don't take a break now then I won't be around much longer in the ultra running scene. And besides being fit, I also like the challenge of learning something new. I was amazed at how inefficient I was in the water today. I was also amazed at how much I started to enjoy the workout once I started to figure things out - like breathing. This swimming thing is gonna take some time but I have a real good feeling that it will only make me stronger come January 2009. I will keep you posted on my progress.

Next year I will be 40 so I want to make it an epic year. Here are a couple of things that I would "like" to do (key word here is "like"):

January - Calico 50K
March - Rim to Rim to Rim Grand Canyon
May - Miwok 100K
June - Squaw Peak 50 M
July - Hard Rock 100 M
September - Colorado Trail (473 myles) in 14 days ending on September 13th

Remember "like to do". Nothing set in stone, just some things I am thinking about

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. - Mahatma Ghandi
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