Halfway to Laurel Highlands

Somehow I cannot believe that I'm already (almost) halfway done with training for the Laurel Highlands 70.5 Miler! The first 11 weeks of this year just flew by and I am so excited to be running in spring-like temperatures. I thought this cold winter would never ever end.

But luckily we got some snow while snowboarding in Park City, Utah a couple weeks ago! This trip was fantastic. Maybe I'll do a full post about it, but here's some pics in the meantime:

me hiking park city
Hiking up to Murdock's Peak counts as ultra training, right?
me park city
At the top of Murdock Peak, in 2 feet of fresh powder! After we rode down they closed the peak down due to avalanche threat...
park city
View from 9,600 feet, worth the climb

Anyway, more about training. Since I'm just about halfway to race day, I wanted to assess how I feel and where I stand. If you asked me this question last Monday I would have felt awful and unprepared due to a lousy few previous weeks of training in February and March. My ankle pain cleared up after a week of rest, but snowboarding trips also got in the way of running.

But then, everything changed this past week as I managed to get in my first 50 mile week. Something about hitting 50 miles per week makes me feel like I can do anything and tackle any race. That is laughably low for some ultrarunners but for a lower mileage runner like me it is a HUGE deal to hit that at the halfway point.

Milestones for the first half of training: 

Best weekly mileage: Week 11 - 50.4 miles

Longest long run:  Week 9 - 20 miles  (on the treadmill!)

Longest back to back: Week 9 - 20 miles + 10 miles

Favorite long run: Week 11 - 17 miles/ 4 hours of slogging through thick, sticky mud

Most fun run: Chilly Cheeks trail race with the Run 215 bus

The amazing thing to me right now is how great I feel. Normally a 50 mile week would knock me out for awhile but my legs feel strong and I'm excited for the weeks to come.

What's Next 

I'm signed up for a trail marathon on March 29th, the Naked Bavarian! No, it is not a nude run. This race is put on by the folks who run Dirty German (my first ultra) and 1/2 Sauer 1/2 Kraut 13.1 which I ran last summer for fun, so I know this is bound to be a great long training run, and will be an excellent chance to get some quality mileage on the trails.

After Naked Bavarian, I'm running the Hot Chocolate 5k in Philly on 4/4 just for fun. Then Hyner 50k is April 18th! I can't believe that race is only a month away. I've still got plenty of work to do between now and then.

I'm also looking forward to breaking the 60 mile per week barrier in the next three months. I think that increasing my mileage even more will help build my race day confidence and focus.

Okay, that's all for now. Happy running!

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