Saturday, July 26, 2008

I'm Howling

If you hear some howling coming from a bit west of Champaign, IL, that's just me training for the Howl at the Moon 8-Hour run happening on August 9. The picture to the right is me "running" it last year (photo from Tom Marriage)--I'm going fairly slow after about 40 miles. It's only a couple weeks away and I'm starting to feel fit. Not super-fit, just better than a few weeks ago. I know there isn't time to get in any more real training, but I'm feeling recovered from the 7-day race and finally getting into a good rhythm of daily running. I haven't done any long runs since the 303 miles at the 7 day stage race in June. Hope those daily extra long runs count for something! The weather has been odd this year so maybe we'll have cool and dry weather for Howl. I really want 50 miles in 8 hours. I don't see that happening unless we have reasonable temps on race day.

This race is special to me since it was my very first ultra back in 2000 (I ran 37+ miles). I've never gotten less than 40+ miles in subsequent races. One thing that keeps me training for the race is tracking my total and average miles at Howl over the years (TC up in Michigan got me started on this--I may catch him one of these years!). Here is where I stand after the 2007 event (7 total races):

Low: 37.81 (2000)
High: 47.06 (2006)
Total Miles: 304.14
Average Miles: 43.45

Goal for 2008: 50 miles! I need to AT LEAST get above my average of 43.45 miles. I'm pretty pleased with an average of almost 44 miles each time. Anyone that breaks 40 miles is doing well at this event. As much as I love this race, if I can reach my darn goal of 50 miles, I think I'll try a different summer race in 2009...maybe the Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon (you gotta do both!). I've had my eye on Pikes Peak for some time, but it is always around the same time as Howl. I'm not tough enough to do Howl one weekend and then Pikes Peak the next!


Anonymous said...

Hey, if you can do over 300 at the 7-day, I think you're tough enough to do Howl and Pikes b2b!

See you at Howl,

Connie :)

Chris Ⓥ said...

If they were both run at sea level, then maybe. I don't get in much altitude training here in central Illinois. And the trip up Mt Whitney almost killed me last summer after Badwater.

Anonymous said...


I know what you mean about altitude. After Bill's race in 2006, Randy Dietz and I began ascending Whitney before dawn the morning after Bill's finish.

Even though I had hiking and climbing experience in the Cascades for several years while living in WA state, I succumbed to altitude sickness (AS) just past the first few switchbacks; Randy went on to tag the summit (turns out he ignored a headache, the beginning of AS, but was able to tag the summit and descend safely, despite being thrown by lightning at the summit).

Last year before my BW Solo, I went to Colorado Springs, CO to get some altitude training. It's funny...mountaineers with a lot of training can succumb to AS, while flatlanders like you and me can go out there and not have any problems (my friend Paul Stofko finished Leadville his first try and had no problem with altitude, and he'd never trained at altitude beforehand). I think the biggest factor is genetics, followed by the factors we CAN control.

Happy trails,

Connie :)