Spring is here,
But it is clear,
It’s still too soon,
To run shirtless I fear!
- A spring running poem by Derrick Spafford (ok, I never said I was a good poet!).
From a guy who loves winter running and races, it feels a little strange to be admitting enjoying this recent stretch of warmer weather. The feeling though of shedding the winter layers is a wonderful thing. I’m really looking forward to those warm days in the summer when I can hit the trails with nothing more than a pair of shoes and shorts…shoes optional at times too.
Even though there’s been a sense of lightness as we transition the seasons, I’ve found that it’s taken me longer than expected to recover from the Yukon Arctic Ultra. This sort of surprised me as I felt that since the last portion of my race was so slow, that the less pounding on my body would have allowed me to recover that much more quickly. This wasn’t the case though and the long slow slog ended up leaving me pretty beat up. February was a busy month with organizing snowshoe races too, and I didn’t really start to feel like I was getting back to normal with good energy until mid-late March. I’ve had a few niggling injuries during this time that I’ve worked through, but began to feel structurally strong once April rolled around.
Fitness-wise, I always tend to come out of the winter feeling relatively slow anyhow after having focused on strength oriented workouts that include a lot of sled dragging. Things are starting to turn around a little now though. I’ve started getting some decent longer runs and quality workouts in this month, so I feel like I’m in shape to start getting into shape.
As for races, we had considered running Bear Mountain 50 miler in New York, but with it coming up in the first week of May, neither Sara or I feel ready to run it. There are many runners out there who like to use races as focused training towards their goals, but personally I’d rather spend the time training and doing what’s necessary to put me in a place where I’m comfortable and know that I’m ready for a good race. I guess for me it comes back to I’d prefer to ‘train to race’ not ‘race to train’.
So, race plans are being bumped back for the season with the goal of hitting one or two 50 km or shorter distances over the next month. I’d then like to race a 50+ mile race early in the summer and then a 100 km or 100 miler a little later in the summer too. I’m just not sure what the fall will entail yet however as the plans are right now that I will be joining Impossible to Possible for a fall expedition…which I’m also very excited about.
Good luck to everyone in your spring races.
See you on the trails!