Training has been very consistent and has been going really well!
Highlights of my running have been a new order from Fits Socks, a 24 mile run the other day averaging 6:45 a mile with some vertical 1,000ft plus of it with one gel and some water as my fueling source, and a run out to Stone-hedge Golf Course running a fast 13 mile run with even more vertical, and many other strong training runs.
I have a lot of great photos that I can share with everyone to document the journey so far. I have been able to rack-up some decent mileage in the 80-90 mile range and have been getting in well-paced efforts that have been solid. I look forward to racing my next event at the Tom B Trail Run in Dryden, NY this May 10th. I am looking to run the new 52/53k event which will be my first ultra of the year. Though a low-key event, it is one of the historic trail races in Central New York State and this new longer 52-53k distance will be a doozie. Normally, the course has been 13k loops where the 26k was the distance I raced last year just missing the course record that has stood for 20 some odd years by about 40 seconds. I made some tactical errors in the race and it cost me the record. This year, I hope to set a new course record for the new distance of 52-53k which I hope will last for as long as the 26k record has stood. I will attempt to run 4 loops of the winding and difficult trails of Hammond Hill State Forest. Many of the trails out that way are great snowshoe running/xc ski trails in the wintertime. For anyone that has not run Tom B and would like an inexpensive trail race and new ultra, I highly recommend it. The Finger Lakes Runners Club who puts on the event are truly a hoot and a half. They are so much fun with all of their jokes and have nice water stations that do not have people at them but offer tons of water and trash cans. I think this is another reason this race adds appeal. For the competitive ultra runner like myself, this race offers the ability to test out nutrition and carrying devices for a decent distance without having full-aided stations with volunteers. This means that you have to stash goodies for yourself along the main aid station at the 13k loop or carry most of your gear which plays a large factor throughout the race. I will plan on using my hand-held, my fuelbelt, and gels and a few electrolyte drink mixes stashed to ensure I have all that I need for success. It is often great to test the body in different ways and to train on a 50k or so distance without a whole lot of aid that is strictly given to you is an important thing for when the body struggles in the 50 mile and up ultras.
I am excited about the opportunity to test my abilities leading up to the Cayuga Trails 50 where I hope to run a stellar race after last year's ankle issue. If for those that do not know of the story, I went out in the race with the top group running nice and comfortable. As the few leaders broke off, I continued running 7:30's to ensure a 7 hour finish. I then twisted my ankle near Buttermilk falls after making a huge move leading up the falls from fourth place at the time. I sat in Fourth and was excited about catching the next competitors. On a downhill, I hit a submerged rock and placed all of the downward pressure on my legs. It was painful. From then on, I struggled to maintain a running form. I lost tons of time still with 32 miles to go. I gritted it out for a ninth place finish in 8 hours. I feel that my fitness is in a much different category than last year and if I can replicate the Can-Lake 50 type of performance, I think that I am going to turn a few heads. Success is measured by the hard work you put into something even as it seems that the hard work is not paying off, it really is only a matter of time.
I am confident that Tom B will show me that I am ready to take on the best at Cayuga Trails. This is going to be a wild year of racing!!!! Seeing the fast times at Lake Sonoma and the other ultra events around the country, I am chomping at the bit to finally solidify myself as one of the very best ultra runners in North America. I feel like I am getting there and to have that inkling is a great thing. Train well everyone and see you all this summer and fall at the races.
New Fits socks! Using Cool Max!
High point of run
Long run out along Route 11 to Marathon