Yes, I have decided it's time to change my focus, training and racing and the new plan doesn't not include any ultra's for awhile.
Ok, let me explain. Like I mentioned in an earlier post, after failing to get any faster at the marathon in 2010 and 2011 I had given up on ever coming close to my Pr of 3:35:15 set in 2006 when I was 50. and it made sense in a way. You are not suppose to get faster once you get my age. So I decided to quit chasing after that goal but felt like I still had a shot at a 50 mile and 100 mile pr if I could just get everything to fall into place on the right day at the right race. And that became the focus of my training leading up to the 2012 Umstead 100. As you may recall lousy warm humid weather de -railed that attempt.
It was right after that race that Amy and I began to train her to get faster and get a Boston Qualifier. I had no plans at that time to go to Boston but our qualifying times were about the same so we could train at the same paces. I knew from past experience in 2005 and 2006 that I ran most of my best ultra's off of marathon training so it seemed reasonable to do the hard workouts with her while focusing on my ultra's. Of course over a period of a few months things were going great I began to feel that I actually had a legitimate shot at going for the marathon pr and added that to my list of goals.
Well, a couple of attempts and I fell short, most recently at Myrtle Beach due to the very windy conditions. But as I shared , I do my best ultras during the marathon training and it proved to be true again. During the training I shattered my 50 mile pr last year by an hour. and then this year after MB I have knocked an hour and seventeen minutes off of my 100 mile pr. and then I have just followed that up with a dream goal of 211 miles in 3 Days at the Fair and a course pr at the Boogie 50 miler. And also during that training period I have raced my fastest 5k in over 20 years and my fastest Half marathon since 2006 !
Ok Joey, then get to the point !
Well, the point is after running MB I had already decided that I was going to give myself every chance to get myself one more marathon pr before I turn 60. It already seems ridiculous to think I can do it at 58 but I have the confidence in myself that I will do it. I had planned on going for a 24 hour pr in the Fall and also another 100 mile pr but those plans were change after MB and the schedule has already been changed. I have already gotten the ultra pr's I wanted and now it's time to concentrate on the marathon.
I know it is a difficult challenge I am facing but I thrive on the challenges and training for them ! I also know that in order to do it I need to drop the ultra's for awhile. The recovery from them just
doesn't allow me enough time to train properly and I think that is the edge that I need to reach the next level. 6-8 weeks is just not enough time after an ultra so they are out of my life for at least the next 10 months. Ok, yes I still plan to run Derby at Thanksgiving as always but it is seriously just a long marathon and it will be an over distance training run.
I could just wait until after September and slow down and still get a BQ due to aging up for the 2016 event but this is not about Boston. It's all about the pr and actually I want to go sub 3:30 so there you have it !
Actually this is time away from ultra's is not without precedent since I began ultras in 2002. After Derby in 2008 I went an entire year without running an ultra before returning to Derby in 2009. The big difference this time around though is that in 2008 I was struggling with painful nagging injuries for the entire year and after taking 5 weeks off completely from running or biking, I began a slow re-building with biking swimming and just a little running as I returned to triathlon. After doing the Ironman Couer D'Alene in June 2009 I once again returned my focus to running. This time around not only am I not injured but I am in my best shape probably since my mid-30's !! And I am hoping that fact is what will allow me to push the barrier back just a little more before time does finally take it's toll on me an my speed.
So that is my announcement for the next phase of the runner formally known as Ultraman. It will be awhile before you get to follow along on any of my crazy ultra adventures but don't worry there will be more to come. Hopefully I will get lucky in the lottery and a year from now will be in the final days of training for The Western States 100 and if not I'll be looking for a qualifier to keep my name in the hat. And there are still so many more challenges out there I want to do. They will just have to wait awhile.
Stay tuned and I'll have an outline of how the training and racing the next 10 months will be looking like.