I completed much lower mileage this week due to work and other commitments. Despite running just 32 miles, I was able to fit in a fair amount of climbing. I was due for a step back week anyways, so the timing was excellent. I intend string together four consecutive weeks of solid training before allowing a short taper for the Ray Miller 50 on February 25th.
My favorite run of the week was a night trail run at Westridge on Monday. A Coyote Running teammate named Marshall regularly hosts these runs every Monday night. People refer to it as “Marshall Mondays.” It was my first true night run since last Summer. Even in the light of day, trail running requires constant focus on the path ahead. Depending on the technical difficulty of the terrain, you anticipate your foot placement several moves in advance. In road running, you can safely tune out or focus your attention far ahead. In a 100 miler or even a 100k, you run into the night after already having run all day and fatigue can compound the hazards of the darkness. I enjoy running at night about as much as running in the rain. And in case that sounds ambiguous, I love running in the rain! It was also a good opportunity to talk with another Coyote teammate named Tiffany who successfully finished the 2011 Angeles Crest 100. She was very insightful regarding training and pacing for 100 milers. I like her smart and intuitive approach to training for ultramarathons. She clearly puts in quality training as evidenced by finishes at extremely tough ultras like Angeles Crest, Chimera, Twin Peaks (she didn't mention that she won it), and others, yet she does not get bogged down trying to hit specific mileage goals or otherwise obsess over a training schedule.
The other highlight of my week was volunteering at the Carlsbad Marathon with Insulindependence. We had about 120 diabetic runners out on the course, competing in either the half or full marathon distance. As an official charity of the race, $50,000 was raised to support the various fitness and recreation programs under the umbrella of Insulindependence like Triabetes, the triathlon club for which I served as a captain last year. I am grateful for the impact that this organization has had on my life and especially for the friendships that I have developed by participating in its programs. The picture of our aid station is courtesy of Blair Ryan, IN Media and PublicationsDirector. It shows Blair’s friend Tammy, me, IN volunteer leader Cindy, and my Triabuddy Ryan’s mom Annette preparing cups of water for the runners as they passed mile 24 of the marathon or mile 11 of the half marathon course. It was pretty cold all morning as you can tell by my gloves and beanie. I had to jog a few miles to warm up, or at least that was my excuse. I love to race, but volunteering today was lots of fun and I enjoyed meeting some new friends.