So – another couple of weeks have gone by. My training has had its ups and downs, but I am starting to see my aerobic endurance improve my doing heart rate training. I have tried to do this a couple of times in the past, but then my foot injury would get worse and my training would basically come to a halt. Under the “Maffetone method” I need to keep my heart rate under 126 in order to aerobically train. I can now slog a couple of miles at a very slow run and walk indefinitely and stay under that rate. Even rode my ElliptiGo the other day working on HR training.
I did make the decision a week ago to train on my own for The EC 100 Race in October. I still plan to do it and I am excited to see so many running friends and running family while I am out there. The group training plan was not working for me, so I decided that it was time for me to move on. I am really getting excited to pull my team together. Of course, things may change along the way, but I now have a crew consisting of the following people:
- Crew chief – my sister, Marcia Nielsen. She has supported me at many a marathon and also was my crew chief at the Pony Express 50 Mile a few years back. She is familiar with my needs during an ultra and I will have the race vehicle along so she can rest in that during the race.
- Pacer #1 – Desi Klaar. I met Desi last December at the Jester World Record Run. She and I did several laps together and we have a similar pace, bonded really well and work well together.
- Pacer #2 – Kristen Steele. I met Kristen at Silverton last year and also when she came to Utah with a friend for the Bear 100. Now that she lives in California, I can have her and Desi both available. They are both training for the Javelina Jundred a couple of weeks later – so it feels comfortable to have two pacers to back each other up.
- Chief cheerleader – my daughter, Jennifer Merkley. Jenn has been my support and/or crew chief for many races. While I wish I could physically have her along, they will be stationed in Savannah, Georgia by then. So I will be relying on her to mentally cheer me on as well as brainstorm with my sister to keep me going.
The legs are holding up well. My foot is getting stronger every day. I am looking forward to a summer of running and training in order to prepare for the race.
Coming up this weekend – the Ogden Marathon. It is looking to be a damp and rainy race. Probably appropriate since Ogden was my first marathon ever in 2004 and the first 8-10 miles were full of rain, hail and snow. At least now I have wicking fabrics to help keep me dry.