Been one of those years.  But it’s always one of those years. Knee pain followed by gall bladder removal surgery put me off the trails for June and July after a personal best at 31 miles in May.  It’s been a scramble to train and recover fitness, let alone try and improve on fitness levels at this time in 2010.  Now, I am 78 days away from looking back on the year. After 8 months the next 78 days will let me know if all those nights on the treadmill and weekends in the park end up  paying dividends, or end up sending me into another year trying to fix the mess.

What’s coming up in the next 78 days??

9/2-9/17         Continue to train and throw in as many long efforts as possible

9/18                Pisgah Mt. Trail Races 50k

9/19-10/7       Taper.   Ride the fine line of working out but not trashing the legs

10/8                Oil Creek 100k

10/9-10/14      Race recovery

10/15-10/30    Final long training for year

11/1-11/18      Taper.   Ride the fine line of working out but not trashing the legs.  Again

11/19               Stone Mill 50 Mile Race

Three Ultra’s a 50k, 100k and 50 Miler.  Pisgah is a training race and my goal is to finish, take it easy and not get hurt.  No personal bests there.  Oil Creek is the big event for the year.  After dropping last year at 53.5 miles, only death is a viable reason for not finishing this year.  And even that’s no excuse.  Stone Mill has its own special meaning, but I am not looking that far until Oil Creek is done.

I wish I had more time to make up for the lost long runs in June and July; I wish it was 9/18 to get the ball rolling already.  Current leg issues have caused a cut back in total running miles, although total miles have not been cut back.  I have run and power hiked alternatively (for those who don’t know, power hike is a fancy stupid term for walking fast). Actually, the last two weeks have averaged around 50+ miles per week and it’s likely I’ll end up the rest of the training year that way.  Unprecedented numbers for me so the chances of finishing are better but….chances of being fast (fat, slow, 48 year old fast) are very low.

When the year is done I am hoping to have completed 4 Ultra’s and set myself up to try for my goals for 2012.  But today is just day one of the final 78 of 2011……..

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