So, I decided to open up this blog to post my running training. I figure this will 1. keep me training as hard as I can if anyone is reading, and 2. help inspire other runners if my training goes well and my races go well as a result.
I am just finishing my undergrad at Johns Hopkins University, majoring in Biomedical Engineering with minors in music, applied math, and (regular) math and I'm currently applying to various PhD programs in Bioengineering and/or Biomedical Engineering. Between January and August, I'll be working full time as a lab technician, a good (but pretty low paying) job that won't require anything beyond a typical workweek, so compared to the hell of Hopkins BME undergrad, I'll have all the time in the world to train.
About me: I am an endurance runner having raced distances between marathon and 100 miles 17 times thus far. My relevant PRs are:
Marathon: 2:58:57 (Boston '08)
50 Miles: 8:42:25 (Stone Cat '08)
12 Hours: 65.73 miles (F.A.N.S. '07)
100 miles: 23:09:00 (Lean Horse '07)
My goals for 2009 include dropping my 100 mile time below 20 hours (this may or may not be feasible), dropping my 50 mile time below 8 hours, and dropping my marathon below 2:50:00.
I'm currently training via my own system that is quite similar to the Lydiard Method so that I will peak for extreme endurance in February for the Rocky Raccoon 100 mile endurance run and for marathoning in April for the Boston Marathon. This involves running as many miles as I am comfortable running between now and the end of January and then, after Rocky Raccoon, doing 3-4 weeks of speed, 3-4 weeks of hills and strength, and then overall tune-up for a few more weeks before Boston.
Other than Rocky and Boston, I have a few "tune-up races" between these 2: (B&A trail marathon and Seneca Creek Greenway Trail or whatever it's called 50K in back to back weekends in the first week of March, and American River 50 miler in early April, though I'm still tentative on AR50). After Boston, I will be pushing my endurance back to the maximum for a fun-filled summer. I'm planning on doing 3 races this summer, all 100-milers: Old Dominion in June, Vermont in July, and Cascade Crest Classic in August. I DNF'd OD at 81 miles last year, so I've got some vengeance to exact on that course after more proper training (I didn't quite have the time to really train properly for a 100 last summer).
My training has been absolutely excellent lately and I've recently run a gravel and rock trail marathon within 2 minutes of my PR set at Boston and a trail 50 miler in a big PR of 8:42:25, especially good considering that the race director admitted the race was measured in "Horton miles", ie it was probably a few miles long. I've been picking up my mileage quite a bit the last few weeks and have been hitting 20-25 mile training runs like nothing, easily running a 25 miler in 3 hours flat last week and still feeling fine for a decent length run the next day. So far this past week (weeks always starting on a Monday), I have run 11 miles, 15 miles, 15 miles, 25 miles (25 being today and being split into a 17 and an 8). I'm looking at doing a VERY easy 13 or 14 tomorrow morning with a short 3 or 4 mile jog in the evening, a decent 20 on Saturday, and a nice relaxing 12-ish on Sunday to top out the week around 115 miles or so. After a relatively mediocre first week of December due to my last semester of undergrad wrapping up (only running 57 miles), I'm still hoping to hit somewhere around a record 400 miles in December, which will be very tough considering the fact that I'll be spending the last 11 days of the month home in the frozen tundra of Minnesota. I've been training in terrible weather all this week though, so I guess I'm getting used to it.
My biggest relatively long term goal for my running at the moment is to become the youngest person to ever run the Badwater Ultramarathon, a 135-mile trek across Death Valley in July, considered the most difficult athletic endeavor in the world. The current record is 24, and if things go well with my 4 100s this year, I'm going to apply for a spot in 2010's run, where I will be a bit shy of 23. If I can break 20 hours in either Rocky or VT (the 2 easier 100s I'm doing this year) and finish all 4 100s, I think I'll have relatively decent odds of getting in, especially considering the fact that Old Dominion's heat rivals Badwater's, according to numerous runners who have finished both races.
Other than running Badwater, I'd like to also run the HURT 100, Western States 100, Arrowhead 135 (the frozen MN february version of Badwater, also put on by Adventure Corps), and Superior 100 at some point, in addition to some other less difficult races.
Please feel free to post any comments you might have about my training, racing schedule, etc. As you can see, I absolutely love to run and I love talking about running. I will try to keep my training updated as carefully as possible on here, but I log it on etraxc.com as well, so if I don't keep up for awhile, it won't be difficult to come back and post a fair amount of time worth of training at any given point in time.