Thursday, January 5, 2012

Hagg Lake looks like a "probably" right now. I have a mandatory seminar class on Fridays this semester (NSF requires an ethics course for anyone receiving funding). The idea of an ethics course for researchers-in-training receiving federal funds is absolutely a good idea, holding the course on a Friday? Not so much! I can miss two classes total, and both are locked in - a trip to LA for a very important family event in early February, and Badger Mountain starts of a Friday. That means flying into Portland late, which is not such a big deal since the race starts at 8AM the next day.

I felt really fresh and empowered after the NF50 mile in San Francisco. It was the best I've felt after a hard race - very little soreness and the IT-band held up well. I was back home in Seattle for Christmas break and used my two weeks of vacation from grad school to focus on strengthening my IT-band and ramping up my mileage in preparation for February and March. I'm now sitting comfortably at 60 miles per week, again, with my long runs back up to 20 miles.

Running in Seattle is so drastically different than Colorado! For one, the sea-level effect is quite pronounced - recovering after uphills is much faster, and I especially noticed that my road-running pace was up to 1 mile per hour faster. The lack of rocks and the flowing layout of the trails makes it much easier to open up and sustain a fast pace, as well. I credit the steep hills and nasty trail surfaces in Colorado as building my confidence and trail-running skills, especially when it comes to the downhills.

I really need to work on running more lightly, keeping my forward lean to maintain a clean midfoot-strike (even when the trail gets dicey), and maintaining a fast cadence. I see that my New Balance MT110's are in the mail. These are going to be a fantastic upgrade from the MT101's - a much lower, nearly-zero heel-to-toe drop, lower stack height (still with the rock plate), and a wider, roomier toe box - and will hopefully help me improve my form. The MT101's were the most minimal shoes with a rock plate, but they still felt like tanks relative to the original Minimus and I feel like my form has suffered a bit as a result.

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