Monday, November 28, 2011

Birthday present!

I finally jumped on the bandwagon and got a pair of Vibrams! They were on super sale at the Midwest Mountaineering Outdoor Expo down in the Cities so even if they don't work out for running, they'll be worth it for other things. I've been on one run with them so far - I'm being super careful since I want my knee to be happy with them but I've walked around them a bunch, too. So far I love them! They aren't so good with slippery surfaces, though, like hardened, slick snow or frost covered rocks and, I would imagine, mud. There is a new version of the KSOs out that have a sort of tread on the bottom, so those are probably better for slippery, but they weren't on sale so I went with the original KSOs. They are super comfortable on my feet, though, and it's very neat to feel what you're running on. My feet seem to stay much warmer in them, too, since they move around so much more than in shoes. I also suddenly understand my friend Marcus and his quick, short gait going down hills . . . I was, of course, in between sizes leading to almost 45 minutes of trying to figure out which pair to get. I went for the larger size since they were instantly comfortable, with the thought that socks would then fit in them, as well. I'll keep you updated with how they go.

So the big dilemma in my life right now is how I'm torn between the Fargo marathon and my spring ultras. Every time I run trails, that's what I love to be on and what I feel like I enjoy most. However, I have made plans to run Fargo with a friend of mine (hi, Kelly!) and we're going for a 3:30 and hope to go to Boston together. Running with Kelly is super exciting and I still want to get back to Boston and show it what's what or at least not have a miserable race there. Fargo looks like a fun marathon - it's run through Fargo, has lots of music, and it sounds as though there's lots of local support. Kyle will come with and camp and I'm friends with Kelly's husband who is awesome about getting multiple places in a race.

I'm pretty sure I'll be disappointed if I don't go for a fast marathon while I still am in my 'peak years' - like how I say that as though I'm sooooo old? I don't even turn 30 until next year :) I have this one fast marathon from a couple years ago and that's it. I need to do it again - I feel as though I haven't even gotten close since then, though, now that I think about it, I have run within 6 minutes of my PR since then. The only problem is that running a good road marathon requires, get this, road training! How silly. Winter coming will help that, at least, with snow forcing me onto roads more often. There's also the part where I have to get my road head back and I worry that I don't have enough time to do that, though I have 24 weeks come Saturday. So I know some of my indecision/hesitation is coming from fear - and if that's the main part then my only answer is to buckle down and do Fargo.

The other part is that running Fargo means not running the Chippewa 50K hard (if at all) and not running the Spring 50K at all as it's the same day as Fargo. However, again, it's not as though this is my last year to run races. I don't have to do the same races every year. Plus, I'm thinking that some road running/getting my road head back should help with my speed (or lack thereof) in ultras. And running two road marathons (I signed up for Grandma's with the cheap prices since we already reserved campsites in Two Harbors but right now I am not planning on going at it hard, especially if success comes in Fargo) in the beginning of the year could prevent me from running too many ultras in that first half and burning out/injuring myself for the second half of my year.

I plan on keeping long trail runs in my schedule and doing two long runs on the weekend, one road and one trail, as I'm heading back to Voyageur for sure. The trail run long will be secondary and shorter until after Fargo but it'll still be there. So I'm sort of following two different training plans at once and trying to merge them.

Also? I'm excited for track workouts!

So, thanks for listening to me talk things out. That seemed to have helped me quite a bit. Time to go register for Fargo. The next decision is whether running Chippewa at all is a good decision.


  1. I understand your reasoning, in fact it almost persuaded me! ;-)

  2. Welcome to the Vibram club! I was fine with my smooth KSOs until I wiped out at McNaughton... then I bought the ones with tread. :)