Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Year in Review: 2013

2013 turned out to be a very satisfying year at Wanderplace, despite interrupted training by a mid-spring groin pull. I did not see the volume I set out to complete, but I did finish all of my races, and I ventured into new territory via a couple of fifty milers. Here are the numbers:

  • Total miles run: 1499
  • Average week: 28.8 miles
  • Total miles raced: 300.25
  • Elevation gained: 154,553'
  • Avg HR: 139
  • Total calories burned: 172,108 (about 49 pounds worth!)
  • Longest run: 49.88miles
  • Avg run: 8.56 miles
My total mileage for the year was a bit low (only 125 miles more than 2012) but within my goal of keeping it under 2000. Too much too fast has gotten me into hot water more than once, and upping the distance raced in lieu of total volume worked well for me in 2013. In fact, I doubled my total distance raced from 2012, despite participating in only 10 races, compared to 16 in 2012. Elevation gained increased 50% and my average run rose 33%. The numbers are trending in the right direction.

2012 provided me the opportunity to get to know my body and how it feels under exercise stress. My daily training impulse graph (TRaining IMPulse (TRIMP) = Avg HR zone * minutes) illustrates my progression from running Bizz Johnson 50k (Zone 2 * ~400 minutes) at a much lower TRIMP than CIM (Zone 5 * ~225 minutes), to fully realizing how hard I could push, and for how long, in the Tamalpa Headlands 50k and NFEC 50 Mile. Ironically, it was my Garmin that was holding me back. I raced Tamalpa Headlands 50k and NFEC 50 Mile without looking at anything but the time of day and using a heart rate alarm to let me know when I was nearing my lactate threshold, and my resulting effort was much higher. I was letting my watch tell me I was going too fast, when I actually had another gear (or two).

Daily TRIMP Chart
Finishing the year with a strong and comfortable day at the NFEC 50 Mile was the icing on my ultra cake for the year. All of my GI woes were mitigated by using Tailwind for calories and electrolytes. This simplified my fueling and allowed me to focus on my performance instead of reacting to my discomfort. Of course, just when you think you have everything figured out, everything changes.

2013 also brought Nevada County's first Hash House Harrier club, the Cougars. Twirly and I have really enjoyed getting out for fun runs with like minded beer drinkers. The hash runs are just the thing to break up my regimented training schedule. They remind me how fun it is to run with no expectations. Speaking of expectations, after employing Footfeathers as a coach for a little over a year, I had to let him go after NFEC 50; we just weren't aligning anymore. The feedback had become scarce, the support failed to materialize in my darker moments, and Tim held the opinion that States was "a lot to bite off" for someone in my position. Obviously, that attitude was not one I cared to have in my camp while preparing for my first hundo. Fortunately, Jorge and Laura at Mauka Running have stepped in to support the next six months of training.

Last but not least, 2013 brought me my first Western States 100 entry. This follows a rather smooth progression into longer distances, and despite feeling a deep-seated anxiety about the distance I am eager to experience such an epic and prestigious event.

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