Monday, February 27, 2012

Dirty Thirty 50K on the Horizon

For the next three months I intend to chronicle my preparation for the Golden Gate Dirty Thirty 50K race which takes place June 2, 2012 in Golden Gate Canyon State Park a bit to the east of Blackhawk, Colorado. I've never run an ultra before, nor a marathon, although I have run 27 miles and I have run for six hours in the mountains summiting three peaks. Most of my runs last an hour or two, but I occasionally I go for three or so.

I registered for the race last weekend after having let a month slip by without getting out once for a run. A combination of sniffles, snow, and snags made it an effort to get out, so I allowed myself a break. Last Saturday I inaugurated my training with a two hour and twenty-five minute excursion on sloppy snow, ice, mud, and hardpacked dirt. It took about four days to not feel the effects of the run. I had a pleasant run yesterday afternoon; for a little over two hours I ran up and down hills on the North Louisville Open Space. I felt good running, but can feel the effects today, although I think running for an hour today would certainly be within reason.

I do not intend to follow a training plan, although I do have a plan. I intend to do at least one long run per week, increasing in distance as time progresses. I also intend to run uphill climbs as much as possible since this race has 9000 feet of elevation with many of the climbs of significant length. I plan on three or four rest days per week, partly because of my schedule and partly because I think rest days, after a three or four hour run, may be of more value than a couple of five mile jogs. I'd also like to drop about ten pounds in the next twelve weeks just so that I'm not carrying the weight with me. I'm at the high end of my running weight and the low end of my sedentary weight which is 181 lbs.

Yesterday was an important day. I was amused at the ambiguity of being signed up for a 31 mile race and not wanting to run because it was chilly out. The temperature was about 42 degrees and the wind was steady making for a raw day; just going from the car to the grocery store entrance was jolting. About ten minutes into the run though I was already warmer than I wanted and pulled off a fleece top and ran the rest of the time comfortable with a thermal top and windbreaker.

At this point my goal is to finish, and looking at the times from last year I expect to do that in under eight hours, but I'd like to get in a position to amend that to something closer to seven hours as the date nears. The winning mens' time from last year was 5:01 and the last place male finisher came in at 9:44.