8 Tuff

8 Tuff

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Winter Running, 8 Tuff and such.........

Well its been awhile since I have posted on here and I wish I had more interesting stuff to post, but I dont! I was hoping I could start writing about putting in 100+ miles weekly or doing some type of awesome race in the mountains somewhere, but I cant. So I will write about my past few months as a mediocre runner with injuries and trying to make a comeback! Exciting right???!! While I may not have any noteworthy 'edge of your seat ' updates to share I have valued this time to rebuild the stablitity that I need in my running.

Ever since my 12 hr race in October I have been battling some hamstring problems. I had a few solid days right after the race when about a week after I started to have tightness in my left hammy. I have had previous problems before, but they never really turned into anything. This time was a little different. I had multiple runs where I was walking in the last mile of 6 mile or so run.  I decided to take a few days off but to no avail. I decided that I needed to do some active recovery, so I chose to start a relationship with an elliptical and foam roller. Did a pretty strict regimen of this for about 2 weeks which seemed to work  well! I was still experiencing a little tightness but I was able to run. I did let a friend's girlfriend, who recently graduated from PT school, have her way with me. After 30 minutes of PT school magic I was free of the aches and pains that seemed inescapable.  She stretched me for a good 30 min after a run and BAM no more problems! (knocking on wood.)

Since then I have kept my miles somewhat lower than usual, around 40 - 65 weekly. I have thrown in quite a few speed workouts to get ready for my annual 8 Tuff Miles race in St John VI. For those who dont know about it, its one hell of a race, the tuff part being an understatement for the massive mountain climb that is made for over half the race.  It starts at Cruz Bay (5ft above sea level) and climbs Center Line rd that reaches 999 ft at around 5 miles and then plummets to Corral Bay which is at sea level. Needless to say, it wreaks havoc on the ole get away sticks! Unforunately living here in the Nati, its hard to find hills that replicate anything similiar to those of St John. So coming up with a route is some what tricky. We do have a pretty solid 10 mile route we do one night a week as a group that runs up through Mt Adams and around a local park and we try to hit every big hill around. While the hills generally induce a sense of dread, I have come to value the persistence it takes to complete an intense hill workout. Elevation change is right around 2000ft, which is no joke. Keeping the run below 70 min is pretty "tuff."

I was also able to get a few local races in to get ready for 8 Tuff as well. In mid Jan I did the Topo 10 (actually 8) mile trail run at the  Devou trails. This was my first race under 50k since last years 8 Tuff. Man did it hurt! Not only from running hard but also twisting a ankle about 3/4 mile from the finish. Over all good race with an finishing time around 55 min and a baseball sized ankle to prove it.

Also got a 5 miler on road in on Feb 3rd in Centerville OH. Actually did this one last year but this year it was 20 degrees cooler at around 18 degrees! Felt pretty strong here and I was 2 sec faster than last year! With being wayyyyyyy colder, Ill take it! 5th overall at 27:27. It was def weird racing on roads again but Ill have to do it in the Islands, so it was good practice.

I have also nailed down a few ultras to my schedule this year. Hallucination 100 mile (re-try), also the ORRRC 50 miler at the end of June, looking to get at least another 50 miler and maybe a 50k in as well. With this increasingly busy schedule after 8 tuff  you will be relieved to hear that not only will my updates become twice as exciting as they are currently,but my mileage will become more exciting also.