Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Burning River 100, Here I Come

Yeah, I realize I fell off the wagon with my daily run updates. This happened for two reasons:

1) I have been really, really busy and posting daily updates just hasn't been a priority. Plus, I've been traveling a fair amount but am back home and, wow, does it feel good.
2) There were few clicks on my daily updates. No one, it seems, reads blogs much anymore, which is sad. That said, my Syncroblogger entry got tons of clicks.

So I signed up for the Burning River 100, which is July 27. Burning River was my first 100 in 2007. Except pacing some friends in latter years, including my old pal Tim Clement to his overall win in 2008, I have not raced an inch of that course since 2007. Due to some construction going on in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, some major changes are coming to the course this year--changes that are not ideal as the course temporarily goes to out and back versus point to point. Yeah, sucks. Then again, Burning River just "feels" right and I can't explain why. I'm sure it has to do with going back to where it all started for me and at the same time seeing old friends. I weighed it against Javelina and Tunnel Hill and Burning River just feels good and the timing is perfect.

To say my training since January has been inconsistent would be an understatement. I have gotten out and run every day but I've been "consistently inconsistent" in terms of how I feel on a day to day basis--a product of aging. So we'll see how my training for Burning River goes. I tend to start feeling consistently better once spring is upon us and the weather warms up. As of now, I am not prepared for Burning River. But, I have a very deep base and something to work with.

I have 3 months of solid training I need to get in! That is not much! But, as Burning River is a "flat and fast" 100 (with very little technical terrain compared to what we have here in Colorado), I feel like what I need to do with my training is attainable. No pressure to go to the mountains to run. No pressure to hit the hills. Yeah, I'll be doing all of the above but only for pleasure within my training--not because it's "required." To execute a solid day at Burning River, I will need two things:

1) Lots of endurance
2) Economy

Oh yeah, and enduring heat and humidity.

On a course as flat at Burning River, there is going to be a lot of running required. There will be some hills but not many--really just speed bumps compared to what we have in Colorado. This will be about who can run 100 miles. I have done that before but it requires a lot of conditioning--a lot! So, time gods on my side, I plan to get my volume up to over 90 miles per week on peak weeks. If the time gods really cooperate, it would be awesome to get in at least one 100-mile week.

Currently, the only race I have signed up for between now and Burning River is North Fork 50K on June 1. I may up it to 50 miles--we'll see. I may also add Cheyenne Mountain 50K in late April. Both of these races involve way more climbing than Burning River but finding flat ultras in Colorado isn't exactly easy. They will help condition me and I will make the best of them.

Although I have struggled mightily with the 100-mile distance in the past two years, I really believe I have a few more decent 100s in me. I just have to pick the right courses and do the work to be ready. Burning River feels right.

So it's on!