Thursday, February 9, 2017

Ramping Up in February

Lee Anne and I run year round, but that is about as far as any similarities go.  I ramp up in the winter, to get ready for a Spring ultra, although I have been known to delay the year's first ultra into June.  Lee Anne on the other hand, runs 50K on Friday and 40K on Saturday, practically without fail.  If you run 90K in 2 days every week, there is little point in ramping up.  So, she has an easy time running in the winter, while I have a truly momentous task.  I know, some of it is perspective, but what freak of nature would consider increasing his or her mileage on days when the temperature slowly warms up to -15C?

We are not hardcore runners, who must run outside.  We have been know to sneak over to the Base Borden indoor track (220 meters at the Buell gym) and we have a dreadmill in our house.  Trails are a different matter.  Lee Anne does not run trails.  I think her running style (eyes closed, running towards traffic) is not overly effective on the trails.  She tends to get injured.  Her last 50K trail race (and I do mean her LAST trail race) was at Pick Your Poison in 2016.  She smashed up her knee, face and arm.  It wasn't pretty.  However, as I willingly volunteer, she only trains on roads, so you have to realize something is going to give, during a trail race!  On the other hand, I strive to run trails throughout the year.  February has not been a good month for running trails in the Creemore area.  In January we had a warm period, which packed down the snow on the trails.  We have since received a few inches of snow, which is covering rock hard ice.  Each foot placement moves to the nearest and deepest depression, which is typically an imprint left over from postholing early in the year.

I wrenched my left arm and tore a muscle in my back from a couple of spectacular falls, and have a few black toenails from the pounding.  Some of the trail sections are drifted over, which becomes problematic because of the pain of breathing with a torn back muscle while postholing.  Due to several reasons (see above), my pace has slowed.  However, I'm stoked that all this time on the trails will pay dividends once the race season begins.  I might not move faster than a tortoise, but my lateral muscles are developing nicely!

Looking out my window just now, it is hard to believe that the Spring Warm-up is a mere 2 months away.  It will take place at Dunedin again this year, on Saturday April 8, 2017.  For $35, you can get in a nice run in the country, on dirt roads and the Bruce trail.  Lunch and an aid station are also provided.  There are spot prizes and of course, the grand prize, which is free entry for the winner, into most of the OUTRace events.  Check out the OUTRace website for further details.  I'm hoping to get in 3 loops (13K per loop), although I will likely have to pull the plug to get back in time to organize lunch and the prizes.  The 13K course is typically quite tricky, with snow patches and a few hills...

Lee Anne and I are off to Costa Rica for a week in about 10 days.  We are travelling with our 2 grand children Hannah and Griffin, Lee Anne's daughter Lily and Lily's husband Daryl.  We hope to get in some hiking and a few runs in the warm temperatures.  It is 36C and humid in Jaco, Costa Rica today, so perhaps the runs will be shorter than anticipated.  I'm sure Costa Rica is flat, so at least we won't have to contend with hills...