Well, it's been about 6 months since I posted here. Sorry, it's been kind of a different year for me. In 2012 I ran 8 "official" marathons/ultras and 2 "unofficial" marathons/ultras. That really left me burnt out mentally and physically. I needed to reassess how I do things. I needed a break. This year just became about learning to get my love of running back and to come up with different ways to go about things to prevent such burn out from occurring again. As someone who loves running, it wasn't a pleasant feeling when I hated every run I went on. That's a big part of why I've disappeared from this blog. I'm not going to give you a step-by-step update, but I thought I'd let you all know that I'm still around and doing well.

I spent much of the year just running when I felt like it and not running when I didn't. It wasn't until September that I really started running and training on a regular basis again. At that one of my friends, Brandon, commented that he wanted to run a 10k. He'd not really been a runner before, he's done a couple 5ks and is into MMA, but hadn't run further than a 5k. He lives down the street from me, so we started running and training together. He was training for the Pilgrim Pacer 10k, and I for the Pilgrim Pacer Half Marathon. Running with him got my enjoyment of it back, then running the race with my friend Katie reinforced it. I even signed up for the Psycho WyCo Run Toto Run 50k in February!

I'd been saying since my last 50k of 2012 that I was not likely to ever run a marathon or further again, but getting my enjoyment back and being around so many great running friends got me fired up to face a new challenge. Not just another race; a true challenge. Run Toto Run 50k is that challenge. This will be BY FAR the toughest trail I've ever run a 50k on, it is always cold on and leading up to race day and I have cold induced asthma. So what makes me think I can conquer this challenge? This will be the first marathon/ultra that I will have specifically trained for since my very first marathon, the Napa Valley Marathon in 2011. I was excited to start finally training for a specific event. On such a tough trail and with who knows what kind of conditions, I started with the simple goal of finishing, but trying to do well. I didn't want to set a specific time goal until I'd run the trail a few times again in training.

A goal that went along with my race goal is a weight loss goal. At the beginning of November I was at 195#. Hard to believe I'd accepted getting my weight up that high again. In 2009, when I started my weight loss lifestyle, I was at 220#, got down to 176.6#, then got back up to 200#. Time to get back on track. At the beginning of September I bought and began using a BodyMedia FIT, which is helping me a lot. As of this writing (12/12) I am down to 182.2# and have a goal of 165# by race day. I've been losing weight pretty consistently with a renewed focus on managing my nutrition.

I've been improving my times running the WyCo loop (a 10.35 mile loop, three of which is the race course). I've been running with my Husky, Katya, and planning on running her with me during the race. It's been fun having her along. It's also been fun running almost all of my runs with my wonderful Trail Nerd & Mud Babe friends. They have been keeping me honest with getting out on even the most freezing of cold mornings/evenings to run. It's not easy to do when, not only do you hate cold, but you have cold-induced asthma. But I can have no excuses if I want to be successful at the race, and to be honest, I've begun enjoying running in the cold with my Husky & my friends. Don't get me wrong, though, I cannot wait for a return of warm weather. As my times on my runs have improved, I've lost weight and I've gotten stronger, I've begun to set some goals. I now want to PR at the 50k, which would mean beating 7 hours. My stretch goal is 6 1/2 hours. I think these are achievable goals if weather conditions are not TOO outlandish. This weekend could be a good test. Katya & I are signed up for the Alternate Chili Trail Race. It is a 10.35 mile race that is one loop around the course. The weather makes it sound like we could have some muddy and/or icy conditions, so it'll be a good test. After the race, I will have 8 weeks left to finish my training. I have a good plan, I have confidence, and I have have good friends to train with. I believe these things will help me be successful. But most of all, I hope to continue enjoying running and training stronger for specific events rather than just running all the events I could find without any real training. I make no promises, but I hope to begin posting here more often again.


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