First off, I just signed up for the Pocatello 50K which is on May 28th in Pocatello, Idaho. This looks to be a burly 50K that is actually 35 miles long and sports a healthy 8,000 ft of gain...just the kind of race that interests me. Check out the race website here.
Next January's numbers:
And a stat I like to see: Median Elevation gain 1,037 ft...this means that half or more of my runs had 1,000 ft of gain or more...this is good for me and is reflected in my new best for a month of elevation gain of 26,312 ft. This bodes well for this years running if I can keep consistent and healthy. The good news was that I didn't feel like January was a huge effort despite running in some rugged temps and snow covered trails for the majority of it.
The biggest change I've instituted this month was the decision to run everyday. I made this decision in the first week of January and have run 26 runs in a row since with only 1 day off in the month (on that day I went on a 45 minute hike with Zach and Alyssa while we were on vacation). I am attempting to gain a new level of consistency in my running that I feel I lacked last year. It seemed that when I was struggling with some soreness or nagging tendonitis it was a result of subjecting my body to large shocks all at once. I would take a day or two off when I got sore, but then first run back I would bust out a 12 miler at a quick pace and wonder why my body wasn't liking it...this month I never even broke 10 miles, but put in at least 45 min or 4 miles (usually with 1000 ft of gain or more) a day and had long runs in the 1:30 range around 8.5 to 9.5 miles with 1,500 - 2,500 ft of gain. So in short nothing crazy, but nothing unsubstantial.
I realized one thing along the way...being an ultrarunner isn't sexy...success in the sport is likely the result of putting in a lot of seemingly insignificant runs to the point where your body is as prepared to run as it is to eat, sleep, laugh, and work. That is what I'm attempting at this point...I'll let you know how it goes. I know one thing; I'm enjoying every minute of it.