The swinefest is over. Last night, in front of Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm and my loving wife, I powered down one last bag of chips, a couple of cookies and declared the indulging season done. With several extra pounds of Jim to carry and way more days off than on over the past month, it is time to begin training for my next goals.
For the spring season, I’m zeroing in on two races. The first is North Face’s Bear Mountain Half Marathon. I signed up for this last season but Achilles tendonitis whacked me down and I ended up eating the entry fee. Word is that this is not one of the best organized races but the difficulty is certainly appealing. The winning time last year was over two hours and there are two 1000 foot climbs on the technical course. One runner from last year commented that it was the first race they’d ever finished with sore arms. The reason for her pain? All the “four point” climbing she had to do. This race is in the first week in May and will be a nice test run before my big goal, the Nipmuck Trail Marathon. I ran this a couple of years ago and finished in just over four hours. Despite an over the top description on the website, this race isn’t all that gnarly. Granted on the back half there are some pretty serious hills but it’s nowhere near a Jay Mountain Challenge or even Seven Sisters. It is, however, a well run event, incredibly low key and judging by last year’s results, well attended by some very fast people. First in the masters is my goal here. Top ten overall would be great and I want to get done in at least 3:50.
As far as a training program is concerned, I’m kind of freewheeling it at the moment. I would love to return to Lowell Ladd, my online coach of several years but I’m having a hard time justifying the expense. In a couple of days, I’ll settle on some kind of program and put it up here. One thing I’m going to do this season, is not run so much. I hate to say this but I’m getting old and need to keep things varied. Through January and February, I’m not going to go more than 4 days a week. I’ll supplement with bike work and time at Hybrid. I’ve even given some thought to swimming.
After Nipmuck, I’ll make a decision to either focus on road races in the fall or gear up for a fifty mile. Much depends on work and how my body feels. I would dearly love tackling the Vermont 50 but I’ll just have to wait and see.
Finally, over this year, I’ve got to find a way to make my running count in a way outside of my personal satisfaction. I want to find a charity or some kind of program to volunteer for and share some of the fun, hope and joy I get out of this. If there are any suggestions, I’d love to hear them.