05 February 2012

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Two weeks until Fuego Y Agua 100K and 4 weeks until Double Top 100M. It's gonna be a busy but exciting 4 weeks. My training over the last 10 weeks has been more consistent than ever. However, I'm still not sure if it's enough for solid performances and "less suffering". My training schedule called for a long run this morning and since the "We Run Huntsville" training group had scheduled a group training run on the McKay Hollow 25K course, I figured I'd join them.

Since I needed more than 15 miles, I met up with Richard at his house to run the 5 miles to the hiker's parking lot at Monte Sano State Park, where we would meet the other runners as well as Jason Shattuck, who is slowly but surely turing into a trail runner...and maybe an ultra runner? We left from Rich's house at 5:55AM, giving us just enough time to arrive at the top of the mountain to meet the other runners at 7AM. The trail were still extremely muddy and it will be weeks before they will dry out fully. There had just been too much rain.

Still, Rich and I made it just in time to meet the others, but Rich wasn't having a great day. He felt sluggish and a little sick, so he decided he would peel of at some point during the group run to head home. When I called him later, he told me he still managed to run 13 miles, much more than I would've ever done feeling sick.

When we took off running the McKay Hollow 25K race course, there was about 10 of us with different goal distances for the day. Cary Long, Jason Shattuck and I as well as a couple of other runners opted for the full distance. The course did not disappoint. The muddy trails coupled with temps in the low 50s made for a great training run. While we did move slower than usual as is common when you run in a group since you generally wait for others at major trail intersections, it makes a training run much for fun than just running by yourself. I'm someone who struggles to do long runs on his own. It sometimes feels like a chore, so teaming up with others for long runs has always been my preference. I ultra race, however, I generally don't mind running by myself. It's just a different mindset.

When I completed my run, I had been more or less moving for four and a half hours, which is even more important for ultra running than the actual distance you cover. It's all about "time on your feet". Hopefully, I will be able to continue my training without any snags between now and the two big events.

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