Texas Hill Country
Plano, Texas, United States
Nov 26, 2019
As previously announced, plans are to run an ultramarathon this spring. In particular, the Tinajas 100k in Colorado Bend State Park.
I haven't taken running seriously since I lived in California, four years ago. I'm still in shape generally speaking, but nowhere near the runner I used to be. It'll be a while before I can expect to hold a 4:00/km pace for any significant distance.
Since 100 km is farther than I've ever run before, it'll take some time to build to that from a starting point of "I can still run OK, kinda, but not too far or fast." Training began the day after I arrived in Plano from the Western States bike tour. The first week, I ran three days, and biked the rest. The second week, four, until I was running six days a week and biking on the day off.
Of course, I picked the hottest time of year to start training. At sunrise, the temperature is already 25 C (~80 F), and climbing. And when you're not in your best shape, Texas summers are devastatingly hot. On most training runs, it hasn't been a matter of lacking leg strength of being unable to catch my breath. It's simply a matter of overheating.
Worse, school is about to start. The only way I could continue running in the morning is by waking up at 4:30, warming up, stretching, running, cooling down, stretching, showering, eating breakfast, riding to school, and changing clothes, all before tutorials start at 7:40 AM. And that's with no hiccups. And I'd have to run in the dark, which I prefer to avoid.
Instead, I'll be running just before sunset, when it's still about 30 C (~88 F) outside. Wonderful.
While I haven't gotten faster, running each day has gotten a little easier. From running only three times a week for a total of 27 km, I'm up to six runs a week for a total of 78.3 km. And somehow, it seems more effortless than it did less than a month ago. I've also lost 2 kg (~4.4 pounds) already, with another 3 kg to go if I want to get down to a competitive race weight.
About a month from now, temperatures will start cooling off, and only then will I be likely to get significantly faster. But for now, it's good enough to start building a base.