Sunday, March 29, 2015

2015 outlook: the planned and... unplanned

It is almost the end of the first quarter of 2015, we already are out of the winter season --not that we've seen any of a winter in California unfortunately...-- it feels kind of late to talk about yearly resolutions on March 29, doesn't it...? Well, you know me, you know I haven't procrastinated that long to lay out my ultra running calendar! As a matter of fact, as you were able to see on this blog or FaceBook, I had already 4 important races, the first two of our Grand Prix (Jed Smith and Way Too Cool) and 2 Nationals (Rocky Racoon and Caumsett Park).

Blogging on a weekly basis, I was waiting for a week without a major event, either a race or a fat ass. I had planned on sharing my plans (!) last week then but, injured, I wasn't in the mood. Some may have noticed that I was walking funny and limping at our PAUSATF award banquet. I could barely walk indeed that morning, with a sharp pain in my left heel which started after a training run in freezing conditions in Columbus, 3 weeks ago, a few days after Way Too Cool.

I'm still not sure what exactly this is, I assume it's an inflammation. The closest I could self-diagnose on the web is a peroneal tendonitis. I've been on the road for 5 weeks in a row (Vegas, New York, Oklahoma City, and 3 round trips to Columbus, OH through Chicago), not ideal conditions to properly taking care of my heel. I ran 6 miles this Friday and, although it was ok during the run, the sharp pain fired again a few hours later, confirming the hypothesis of the inflammation.

With that, I spent a few hours at the gym, either at the hotels, or at my office on weekends. Spinning and stair master, while watching TV for a change. Hundreds of calories burned, good leg work, but no miles in the running log.

Not blogging last week also freed up some time to read about others, in particular those who are also struggling with injury, for instance:
  1. Much more serious issues encountered by Andy Wilkins-Jones which he discusses on iRunFar
  2. Jez Bragg's training struggles
  3. Jon Olsen's ramping up after months of injury preventing him to even walk normally
Like I often say, what I love the most about ultra running is, well, the running part. Not the walking when getting too tired in races. And of course not the "no running" when grounded with injury... Yet, compared to others, I feel blessed that this doesn't look like a major injury and I'm confident one more week of rest will do. As you can tell, I still plan on toeing the line at American River 50-mile next weekend, and, assuming this works out, go on with the 100K Road Nationals the following week.

A good segue to the 2015 calendar topic...

Not planning for injuries (damned!), I planned for another crazy racing year which I tried to capture in the maps below (click on the picture to enlarge). For the past 8 years and leading to 8 consecutive age group wins, I mostly focused on our PAUSATF Grand Prix, running between 10 to 13 of the yearly 17 events. Continuing on last year's direction, I decided to add a few National Championships to that. I know, it is a lot, and we'll see what my body can endure... And adjust accordingly...
Here is the legend (of the map... ;-):
  1. Rocky Raccoon 100-mile Trail Nationals
  2. Jed Smith 50K
  3. Caumsett Park 50K Road Nationals
  4. Way Too Cool 50K
  5. American River 50-mile
  6. Mad City 100K Road Nationals
  7. Ruth Anderson (most likely 50-mile)
  8. Miwok 100K
  9. QuickSilver 100K
  10. Ohlone 50K
  11. Cayuga 50-mile Trail Nationals
  12. Summer Solstice 24-hour
  13. Skyline 50K
  14. Tamalpa 50K Trail Nationals
  15. NorthCoast 24-hour Road Nationals
  16. Trailblazer 10K (yes, only 6.2 miles...! ;-)
  17. Dick Collins Firetrails 50-mile
  18. The Fall 50-mile Road Nationals
  19. Silicon Valley Turkey Trot 10K
Phew, just having typed all this makes me tired, and that doesn't even include Desert Solstice in case I'm invited again and decide to go for a few (hundred...) laps in December! Thankfully, this is over 52 weeks, so there is some time to execute on this, good health permitting... And if you think this is a lot, it's not much compared to the 54 races that Michael Wardian completed in 2014, most of them finishing on the overall podium, and crushing the Masters category too!

Time flies... When I started running seriously upon coming to the US in 1998, running a marathon in a year was my key yearly goal. After running 110 ultra races, I don't get much of a celebration by family members or friends. Completing an ultra, or even winning it, as become BAU (business as usual)... Oh well, I run for my own passion, and for the pleasure of being out there, challenging myself, in great company. Speaking of great company, hope to see many of you at American River next Saturday!

1 comment:

Scott Dunlap said...

That is a crazy schedule! But a lot of good races. Hope to see you at a few of those!