Back at it

Oh, hello.

Yeah, I know, I suck at this whole running blog thing. My lack of electricity plus the holidays and vacation have kept me off the blog but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been running.

Well, some of the time.

At the end of November, I visited one of Lesotho’s most mountainous regions and did a few runs out there. It was actually flatter than in my village, but the higher elevation did take a bit out of me. Still, the views were beautiful and I got caught in the romanticism of running in the mountains.

I happen to be there while the Lesotho High Altitudes Marathon was taking place and tried to sign up for the half the night before the race. Entries were still open but I would have to spend the night in a school and didn’t have any sleep gear with me. Plus, Basotho, when all piled together in one place, do not sleep. And half the race was uphill. I opted for a short run the morning before the race and then, with my friends, headed to the finish line to cheer on runners. The atmosphere definitely ignited some excitement for my own race.

Back in my own village, I had a few hard weeks of tough emotions. One of my good friends decided to leave home and I was desperately wishing to be with family and friends during the holiday. Add that on top of doubt on whether my work is at all useful and I was pretty down. So, I used the only medicine I know and ran 20 miles.

My first 20 miler was amazing. I took it very slow, constantly checking my speed to make sure I wasn’t going above my threshold, and felt great towards the end. Sure, everything hurt, but it was that good kind of hurt. I smiled for the last 3K and then made myself some delicious banana and chocolate pancakes as a reward.

In December, I recorded about 40 miles each week, except for the last one. After Christmas, I took a vacation to the beaches of South Africa. I fully intended to run while away but stepped on a piece of glass, injuring my heel, and then acquired a blistering sunburn. Both ailments kept me from running for five days. They were that bad.

I did run once, though, with my friend Lauren. I am not a big fan of running with other people but we are both running the ultra and needed the run. It turned out to be great. The weather was perfect and we both trotted along the ocean. I actually hope we can do more runs together before the race.

Today was my first run of 2013 (how pathetic) and the beginning of my 12-week ultra plan. It was fantastic. My foot hurt on and off, but nothing I can’t handle. I spent most of the time smiling and being so thankful to be back on my feet.

The next 12 weeks will be hard but I am really looking forward to it. Except for a few work meetings, I am not planning to leave my village very much and instead focus on running. School starts later this month (I am a teacher) so I can focus on running most of January. I also plan to amp up my yoga and strength training along with the distances.

Oh, yeah, and I plan to blog more. Really.

Your turn. Tell me what you have planned for this month. Are you base training? Have you picked out a spring race? I want to hear all about your goals and how you plan to achieve them.

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