Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Perkele, Where's the Birth Certificate?

Usually running is an afterthought this time of year, maybe I'm jogging a few miles a couple times a week. However, I'm not quite ready to stick a fork in the season. I wanted to do something 'big' this year and so I've saved up my flyer miles and will go to Bend, OR next month for the USA Track and Field Club National XC championships. As a result I've only skied a handful of times this fall, but have kept running five or six days a week.

I just got around to signing up this week--I'm In!--but still need to send them a copy of my birth certificate so they can verify my age. Waiting for guys in tri-cornered hats tracking me down and asking if indeed I was really born in 1958, and with a mother's maiden name of R. Orvikki Hynynen, questioning whether am I a real American! I mean those Finns are Socialists you know.

Anyway, I'm excited at the prospect of going down there and racing 10K cross country. My marathon ventures in 2005 and 2009 were semi and then utterly disastrous, so a 10K is just more in my comfort zone.

Training following Equinox has gone fair to pretty good. In October I ramped back up to 50-55 miles a week. It's been a little less than that in November, but I have mixed in a bit of skiing to sort of offset the lower miles.

I thought the wheels came off last week when we went six days with out electricity following the ice storm that hit on the 12th-13th. It took all I had to keep the house from freezing up. Lost a lot of sleep and had to cut way back for a few stressful days. But in the end it all worked out. All I can say to that is F'ing Alaska! And thanks to many friends who helped us out or offered to.

I've been getting in regular tempo runs, a few long runs, and even a little bit of pace work/speed. And since the snow fell earlier this month, I've been on the treadmill. For the past three weeks about 1/3 running outside, 1/3 treadmill (either when it's too cold or I want some quality work), and 1/3 skiing. Had a good indicator/confidence booster run on the treadmill yesterday with 30 minutes that included about 15 at tempo (just over 6:00/mile pace) mixed in with 8X 1 min surges at 5K effort (getting progressively faster) with a short brisk recovery (roughly 6:40 pace on the recovery). This a nice simulator workout and if I can do 30-35 minutes of such, I'm usually confident and ready.

Meanwhile, my unorthodox tuneups will be TD Relays ski race (4K) this week and the Heart of Darkness snowshoe race (4 mile) next weekend.

It will be fun going down there to race, and more fun to see my son who's off in college now, and to see the elite races that will follow the masters races. A little sun for a few days ought to be nice too!