Saturday, September 26, 2015

Oregon Coast 30k training plan

As summer turns to fall, I've finally put the backpack away and started focusing on running again.  Though I logged about 150 good, steep and rugged trail miles this summer with a backpack on, my running mileage has been scant-ish.  In August I finally picked up the ol' runners again and started logging some quicker miles.  As per my usual training schedule, I am a 3 day a week runner, mostly.  On ambitious weeks I run 4 days.  But I will say that I'm pretty good about keeping to my long runs and those have been slooooow this time around.  All the backpacking has made my legs strong, but my body thinks that 15 minute miles are fast, so that is a problem...

Also, I'm about 5 lbs heavier than my ideal race weight, and I can feel it this month as I do my long runs.  In fact, since so many of my "runs" are on very steep trails, I wasn't even sure if I could run 16 or 18 miles these days, so last weekend I decided to run from Yachats to Waldport and back on the beach, which is about 15 + miles round trip.  I was able to run it, but I was about 1 minute/mile off my usual pace.  Ouch!  That being said, I haven't had a single ache or pain during this training cycle, so maybe the trade off (fatness and slowness vs. skinnyness and speediness) is worth it so that I can continue to enjoy running.  And food... 

This is part of the problem.  My garden has been providing tasty treats, and I keep thinking of delicious recipes I must prepare... So there's that.  Plus, it is chanterelle season, so not only are there great mushrooms in my coffers, but the actual problem of seeing them while running and getting seriously sidetracked while I pick them-- and even go so far as to empty my water bottles, line them with moss, and stuff them with mushrooms-- all adds up to slower runs and also me eating a lot.  Oh well. 

My goal time for this next race is 3:54:00.  If I believe Ultra Sign Up I will run it in ~ 4:14:00, and if I believe Endomondo (my free App that tracks my runs for me), I will die from slowness on the course and be devoured by hungry wolves as my corpse tries to crawl to the finish line months after the starting gun.  So, who knows.  It's always a surprise, and of course, I wont be wearing any kind of race timer thingy when I run, so I'll find out how I'm doing about 10 seconds before I cross the finish line, when I catch sight of those big digital numbers telling runners how they stack up against the clock. 

The Amanda Trail is in good shape this year-- much better than last year.  However, it remains the single most vexing trail in the world:  up-hill both ways for the whole traverse across the north side of Cape Perpetua.  Arg!  How does that happen?  I usually start cursing when I'm heading back to Yachats after running a dozen miles and then get to that mysterious uphill that should be going down hill to my little village.  I'm convinced that it's a vortex, probably a karmic punishment I must continually repay for some past-life running failure. Damn. The remainder of the course is pretty awesome, as usual, with the usual roots and other such natural trail textures to keep the mind from falling asleep.

When it's all said and done, it wont matter how fast or slow I go.  It never does.  I'm mostly excited to have the Canadian crew here in Yachats.  To have Woody here, up from California.  To have a reunion with folks I love.  To cook and eat lots of food, and drink good beer, and continue to work towards a vague goal of someday running a 50 mile race.  Ya!