At the end of last year (sometime last week) I perused the TRAQ and AURA events for the year, cramming as many as I could find within range into an Excel Spreadsheet. I then filled the rest of the weekends that weren't penned in for recovery with races at Sherwood forest. It was going to be a year with atleast 8 ultra races, and a bunch of 6km and 4km meets.
Then, on the 31st, I was playing NFL in the park after my first gym session in ages, and copped a knock on my right calf. It was really sore, but I figured it was just a cork, so I took the next day off, and then went for an easy run up Mount Cootha on Sunday. All was well calf-wise on the way up (although my hamstrings & glutes were really bloody sore) and I reached the lookout in a fairly average time. Then, after pausing momentarily, I stepped down the stairs, and the calf became painful. After a few hundred metres I stopped to stretch it, but that didn't do much, and I ended up doing the same thing all the way home.
The pain is odd; diffuse and achy it doesn't scream but moans at me. It hurt on and off when walking for the rest of the day, and is similar now the day after. I am supposed to be racing the Hares & Hounds 50km at Woodford on Sunday, and now that is up in the air. I will only be running once more before then, and that will be to clear myself, or otherwise, for the run.
Oddly, I am pretty nonplussed about the possibility of missing out on the race. And that, I realised, is where I have gone wrong with this year's calendar. I will diminish the probability of me racing well at all of the events, simply because of the fact that I will be racing so much. What's more, I will not be recovered enough between them to get any quality training miles in to prepare myself for the only race that I really care about, the Glasshouse 100 mile in September (although the other races COULD be considered as training).
So, with this in mind, I have thinned the selection of races to three:
May: Glasshouse - Cook's tour 50 mile - Goal = sub-8:00
July: Glasshouse - Flinder's tour 50k - Goal = sub-4:30
September: Glasshouse 100 mile - Goal = sub 24:00, but failing that, JUST FINISH!!!
I know that I could manage the 50 mile in such a time without a huge amount of improvement, but the sub-4:30 5km will be quite a test, considering that the course is actually 53.5km long and has about 700m of vertical gain. For the 100 miler, I know that I can do it, and I am super hungry, but will have to will myself to a sub-24. In no way am I underestimating the distace though, that would be a massive mistake.
Although I would really like to run the Sri-chinmoy 24 hour at UQ in June, the timing is probably not too good. But we'll see, I might just get in a sneaky 6-hour there as a tune up.
As far as other goals are concerned, the obvious are: enjoy my running, do not get injured and hit big mileage. The last two are, to a certain extent incongruous, but this can be mitigated by a long, slow build up.
Possibly the biggest goal of all is to travel from the base to the top-ridge of Mount-cootha 300 times over the year.
The way I am hoping to structure my training is to start by running 8-12km consistently with a quick 6km at Sherwood every Saturday. I'll be hitting the gym thrice a week aswell. Then, when I build to about 80km per week with this regime, I will start to concentrate the mileage as follows:
Mon: no running,
Tues: am: 12-20km, pm: 5-8km (in dark),
Wed: am: 20-30km
Thurs: am: 12-20km, pm: 5-8km (in dark),
Fri: no running.
Sat: 6km fast at sherwood
Sun (week 1): 30-50km easy,
(week 2): 12-20km Tempo.
This gives a max kilometreage of about 140, which I might try to bump up to 160 for confidence sake in the month before the race.
Whenever I write stuff like this down, I tend not to stick to it, and end up just running as much and as frequently as my body can stand, or just get injured. So let's hope that I haven't jinxed myself.
In any case, I'm really f***ing excited for this year, but I must channel this effectively into a slow build-up and not run on days when I say that I wont run.