Last week was all about the non-running things that help me get strong and keep me healthy: swimming, strength training, core work, yoga, cycling, rolling, stretching, nutrition, acupuncture, cupping and sleep. It certainly seems like a lot of non-running things to do to just be able to run, but I find all these other things give me balance and help me feel better overall. My goal was to work out the “niggles” that were bothering me and both my hip flexor and ankle discomfort were all but gone before Sunday’s long run, but 14 miles of rollers at a slightly faster pace than anticipated brought both of them back a little. I hit about the same high 40’s mileage as the week before and got in some good speed work. This week’s goals are to nail my half marathon trail race on Saturday and really build endurance with a back-to-back long trail run on Sunday.
Way more exciting than training is the race announcement I have. Somehow, my 9th place finish at TRT and my 2nd place finish at North Face earned me the privilege of receiving guaranteed elite entry to the OCC 55k in France in August. The OCC is the illegitimate little step-sister of the UTMB, the 100 mile race that circumnavigates Mont Blanc and might be the most badass race in the world. The OCC is a point-point race that starts in Switzerland and ends in Chamonix, France with an elevation gain of 3,000 meters. For those of you who are not metrically inclined, that is a whopping 9,800 feet. Woof. Despite the rugged mountain trails, lots of climbing and altitude, that race passes through what is probably one of the most beautiful places in the world. I am lucky enough to have backpacked around Zermatt up to the Matterhorn and am so excited to see more of the landscape of the Alps.
This will be my first international race (the 2009 London Marathon doesn’t count since I was living there at the time). I am so excited to figure out the logistics and start some serious mountain training after Boston. Much like my approach to TRT in 2015, OCC will be an adventure and I can’t wait to run my 55k and then get to take in the atmosphere of the UTMB which starts the day after the OCC. Also, hopefully there will be a solid SFRC crew there to make it a real party!