I would like to be a little faster for my Spring goals though as I always seem to try to put in a personal strong performance in the 40-60 mile range a few times. I'm sure that more speed will come as I get used to the bigger miles in the next few weeks though.
Hmm... I had half heartily thought of getting into the Zane Grey 50 Mile Run in April but that race is full now so I guess that is out. I thought it would be a good race to enter because of it's similar elevation changes to Leadville, it's a new trail to me, it's close to Flagstaff and it is a race with aid stations and all that stuff. I figured that it might be a good idea to get used to a race environment with aid stations and lots of people so that I could get my mind wrapped around what that is like (I haven't done any organized racing since I was a kid and most definitely not anything long distance like this). I don't see myself trying to get into any other races before Leadville in August so I guess I'll just have to pick peoples brains and just see how it goes...
R2R2R is still on the table as every week that I get in better shape I get more psyched to maybe give it a push this April some time. Honestly, there are two things that would keep me from doing it. 1)If I don't think I have a chance at a PR on it. 2)If I find other long runs to do instead. I don't really want to get suckered into running R2R2R every spring at the cost of checking new stuff out...no matter how bad ass that run is!
As a consolation to not doing the Zane Grey, I might run the Zane Grey 50 Mile course the day after the race unsupported as I would think that much of the race day markers will still be around. With the help of the markers, I can follow some of the notoriously faint sections of the Highline Trail (which the race course follows in it's entirety) through the burn area near it's east end. I could probably do the run some other time but this would be a "too good to pass up" option to get a faster time by not getting off trail as much.
I am still considering running the Zion Traverse again this spring in late April or early May. This is a tricky one as it is not as close to my house and you need to shuttle a car. I would need to shuttle a car for the Zane Grey too, but it is only an hour and a half from my house making it way easier to plan. So...we will have to see about Zion. I do love that run though, so I could see doing it again this Spring if everything worked out for it.
Well, it looks like R2R2R, Highline Trail (Zane Grey 50 mile course) or Zion Traverse are pushing to the top of my list so far... I do see that some other big runs in the Grand Canyon involving the Tonto Trail may happen once or twice too.
Man, I better start planning some of these or they won't happen! In a couple weeks, it'll be prime time for these runs and I don't want to miss out before the heat comes. I already heard that someone ran R2R2R this month and the conditions weren't that bad. They used Microspikes up at the top of the N. Kaibab Trail but that was the only sketchy section for them.
Sunday: 27.8 miles (New Hance, Tonto, Grandview Loop in Grand Canyon car to car)
Monday: 0 miles
Tuesday: 4.5 miles (Observatory Mesa in 4 inches of fresh powder. Awesome!) + 1 mile to work
Wednesday: 11 miles (from house, Urban Trail and most of Rocky Ridge and back in 1:40) + 6 miles work and errands
Thursday: 0 miles
Friday: 21 miles (from house, Urban Trail to Elden Lookout Road to top of Elden and back in 3:40. Felt great and didn't push it to hard. Just ran.)
So far this week, that's 71.3 miles with about 7,800 feet of elevation gain on some great trails. Great week of running for me!