Saturday, January 28, 2012

2012: on the trails again!

January 28, it is time to talk about my 2012 running and racing plans... Overall, it will be a lot about ultra trail running again, more of the same and even more on top of that!

And, since we are going to talk about trail, here is good opportunity to highlight the work of volunteers who make the trails we run on so nice. At our Quicksilver running club, the trail maintenance guru is Paul Fink and he leads a 4-month trail maintenance program from January to our 50K and 50-mile race in April. As Darcey, former Race Director of our ultra races, reminded us, this is the 10th year the club has adopted these trails and offloaded a lot of the trail maintenance from the County Parks. We had a great group of 6 of our QuickSilver Ultra Running teammates and worked on removing many rocks from a trail near Manzanitaville. It actually didn't feel so good making the trail so nice as most of us, runners, did like this moderate technical section very much. But the County wants groomed trails which people cannot trip on... Here is the boss:
And here is a look at the upgraded trail!
You can see a few more pictures in my Picasa album. On this one, Dorsey is showing us the optimal cross slope of the trail to let the water flow:
After 3 hours of such a maintenance work, I took off and ran the second part of our Quicksilver 50-mile course, actually the 10 miles out and coming back on the finish of the 50K course from English Camp, including the "roller coaster" which I ran entirely (phew, the insiders will appreciate... ;-). It wasn't as hot as it will be in April, yet it was close to 70F, what a gorgeous "winter" run... It took me 2:47 to cover the 20.3 miles (8:17 min/mile average), I pushed in a few hills and scared a few hikers whom I crossed in the final down hills, flying under 5 min/mile, sorry!

So, what's in the bag for 2012? So much in the beginning of the year that I will only cover the first 6 months and schedule the last 6 months based on what will have happened by the end of May. As I told you after Last Chance in November, I won my age group in the Pacific Association USAT&F Mountain Ultra Trail for the 5th year in a row and I feel both happy, excited and obliged to actively participate in the Grand Prix again this year as the defending champion despite getting quite close to the next age group (2 more years...). On top of that though, our team Captain, Greg, launched a new challenge, a Pacific league in which we'll compete with other teams from the states of Washington, Oregon and California, in races ranging from the Canadian border to South California. Like I needed more races in my schedule. The result is that I'm now planning on competing in 9 ultras in 4 months, another first! Here they are:

Date Event Distance Edition # Past runs Personal Best
4-Feb Jed Smith 50K 24 3 3:25:13 (2010)
10-Mar Way Too Cool 50K 23 6 3:56:52 (2008)
17-Mar Chuckanut 50K 20! 0 NA
7-Apr American River 50M 33 4 6:47:53 (2011)
21-Apr Ruth Anderson 50K/50M/100K 20! 5 (*)
28-Apr Leona Divide 50M 20! 0 NA
5-May Miwok 100K 17 5 9:41:01 (2008)
12-May Quicksilver 50K/50M 28 3 (**)
20-May Ohlone 50K 25! 5 4:37:50 (2010)

(*) 3:44:58 (2008, 50K) - 6:07:34 (2010, 50M) - 8:05:36 (2011, 100K)
(**) 3:56:19 (2011, 50K) - 6:49:02 (2009, 50M)

With 85 miles/week average since I resumed my training, not counting the 80 miles at the New Year's Eve 12-hour, I got the machine back in full swing. One trip to Austin, TX, this coming week, two trips to Washington, DC, in February and most likely a few trips to Saudi Arabia and the Emirates in the coming 3 months will force me to juggle and optimize my calendar again. And you see why I leave some options open for the second half of the year. In July, I may run the Montagn'Hard, then there will be a scoop for August up in Tahoe, and I would love to enter the JFK 50-mile for this very special 50-year anniversary. Speaking of anniversary, that will be number 20 at Chuckanut and a quarter century at Ohlone, not to be missed! And, according to the results published on Ultrasignup, I believe it will also be #20 for Ruth Anderson and Leona Divide. What a year, what an alignment of stars!

The 2012-part2 schedule should clear up by June after I ran these 9 races. With that, I don't have a single road event on the map yet, probably a few 10Ks in the Fall to round it up!

Back to the title, see you a lot on the trails in 2012 then!


Scott Dunlap said...

Whoa...that's a lot of racing! In particular that every week streak from the end of April through May. Normally I would say "hold back", but you are far from normal. ;-)

I will see you at Cool!

Pascal Roy said...

Cher Jean, 1ère fois sur votre blog... conseillé par Carole M., avec laquelle je travaille.
Impossible de vous contacter par mail, ce qui explique ce post peu en rapport avec le sujet! désolé.
Dans l'espoir de vous rencontrer sur une course en France.

Anonymous said...

oh,lala...quel programme!
Que tout se passe bien...