5 x 50

Below you will find what was supposed to be my goals for 2011.  Due to a foot injury two of the five events will go uncontested.  The Osbaldy and the Cle Elum Ridge 50k’s are out.  The others are still a go so I guess it’s now a 3×50.

So what happen to the foot?  That’s a good question.  After a 2 hour visit to Real Rehab to look at my ankle and evaluate my running technique no diffident injury or cause was found.  What we did find out is that I’m a heel striker, but that’s not surprise and not completely bad since I do most of my running off road.  The other thing which wasn’t completely new news to me, was my hips are very tight and inflexible.  My hip flexers and  quads are very strong from years of cycling and as a result I’m not using my 14 year like boys ass, which has the power of a 13 year Olympic girl gymnast as much as I should.  The results is my hips don’t rotate as much as they should.

I was given a number of stretches to do, was told to work on more of a mid foot strike when running, and to start running slowly, 10 minutes on, 1 off.  If the foot acts up I was told to come back in so the pain was more acute and they could do more test.

So as you’ll read below my goal of getting away from the bike didn’t really work and I’m back on it.  I will continue to run to be ready for Mt. Adams and any other hikes but I’ll do my best to find my love for the bike and enjoy it once again.  I’ll also start doing the Howe Street Stairs again.

2011 is the Year of the 5 x 50

What is the 5 x 50 you ask? Well, its a term I coined for what I want to achieve this year. I made the conscious decision to finally not live my life around my bicycle as I have been doing for the last 20+ years.  Every year I constantly fight with myself over how much time I want/need to put into cycling.  Ever June I know I want to race cyclocross in the fall but even though I know I should be thinking about cross and making decisions geared to it, I want to do other things.  Im not only talking about training but also financial decisions too.  Those of you from the NW know there is little time in the summer to enjoy the “good weather”.  It’s hard to justify spending it cycling ever year.

Many times people say not to take it so seriously and to just race for fun.  Play all summer then race in the fall, they tell me.  What I always fail to make them understand is its not fun to race and do poorly.  Im too competitive.  I know if I want to do well at my level of racing I must train hard and give it my all.  Only then is it fun for me.  Going out and being pack fodder is not how I want to spend my time.

On the other hand I have trouble mixing sports.  I usually get into grooves where I do only one thing.  My mentality is to always try and be great at what I do.  The idea of doing a lot of things and being average at them doesnt satisfy the competitor in me.  Because of this I have always fallen back to cycling.

So to address my competitive side I have decided to set my own challenges where Im the only one I have to compete with.   I have wanted to try new sports and have new adventures. As the early part of the year has progressed 5 different activities caught my eye.  I decided to set myself lofty goals in each of them as a way of challenging myself in a new way.  Those 5 different activities make up the 5 in 5 x 50. The 50 represents a unit of distance, in this case 50 miles or kilometers.

The first adventure is the Osbaldy 50k skate skiing race at Cabin Creek on March 20th. Before last week my longest skate of the year was 21k, now its 34.5. This will probably be in the top three in toughness and the hurt factor. Totally doable but Im going to suffer!

The second adventure will be the Test of Metal mountain bike race in Squamish, BC on June 18th. Its actually 67K but whos counting. The race has been around a long time and has become a classic. I have never ridden in BC except at Whistler so I decided to do this race to experience the wilds of BC. The trails are supposed to be some of the nicest around so Im looking forward to it.

The third, coming just 7 days after the first one is the Cle Elum Ridge 50K trail race on June 25th. I will be starting my training on Feb. 28th. I have never been a runner but being such a big hiker, trail running has come naturally to me. Last year I did a 14.2 mile race in Oregon, which was my first and only race, so Im making a big jump to 31 miles but I know I can do it. If I can hike 37.1 miles in a day with a 25 pound pack on I can run 31. (This one could be in jeopardy since I might have missed the registration window and my foot seems to be injured).

Adventure number four is a 50k hike around Mt. Adams, in one day. Last year my good friend Mike and I hiked around Mt. St. Helens in one day, so were continuing the tradition by doing it again. This one will be around 57k with the out and back we have to do. Ive hiked a good portion of this on my 2007 PCT thru-hike and Im looking forward to see the area again. One day, 57k (35 miles)!  I cant wait.

Mt. Adams

The final adventure is a proposed 50 mile paddle around Camino Island. A friend who lives on the island has wanted to do this for a while and invited Mike and I to join him. Its going to be the toughest to plan with tides, currents, and weather to deal with. All will have to be in our favor for as long as possible to make it happen. I was almost tempted to call it the 4 x 50 and leave out this one but it wouldnt be an adventure if I thought it was going to be easy.



Get out there!

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