Going Long

It looks like—when I shifted to weekly fitness summaries—I completely lost momentum. At least I’m only a day late. Circumstances kept me from getting in much mileage during the week, so I decided to load up over the weekend. Here we go:

Monday, 1/27:

SRD [Scheduled Rest Day] here today. Between the kid finally going back to school after 5+ weeks, more fun transition at work, and my wife needing to stay late at work to prep for a major presentation tomorrow, there was just no way that I was going to be able to get a run in. It would be so much easier if I were a morning person, but I’m not. And the way sound carries in this house, I can’t run on the treadmill after folks go to sleep. Tomorrow, I’m hoping to get in some treadmill time. I’m not going out in that cold for a shorter run.

So today I went to add my March race to RunKeeper. When I finally got it set up (after some intervention by RunKeeper support), I saw the elevation profile for the race. There’s a nice 1000-foot 2.3% hill in the last half-mile that is going to be quite unwelcome. I hope I can leave enough in the tank to attack that.

Tuesday, 1/28:

After work, I headed to the local Fleet Feet store for a Winter Education Series presentation on Preventing Five Common Running Injuries. Interesting info, but not enough new to make it feel like it was worth the 90 minutes. Too much promotion for the presenter’s training business. Between the fact that things were a bit hectic when I walked into the house and a renewed twinge in my left soleus, I decided to take a URD. Being a slug again. Definitely need to work out tomorrow night, though. Wind chill should be above 0, even late into the evening, so I should even be able to run outside.

Wednesday, 1/29:

I had to get out and run today. My inner voice was telling me to take another URD [Unscheduled Rest Day] because I was so tired, but I knew that I was approaching the inflection point of inertia keeping me off of the road rather than on it. I psyched myself up, had a quick bit of fueling, and headed out. My original plan was 2-3 miles, depending on how I felt. The first mile was a little tough, but then I got it into gear. I probably could have gone over 3 miles, but as I approached the 2-mile mark I noticed that my toes were going numb. I decided to cut it short and not do another lap around the neighborhood. I ended up with about 2.25 miles. I actually managed a great sprint at the end. Unfortunately, due to a mishap with my iPhone and my tech gloves, RunKeeper totally lost its place and the pace for that last quarter-mile will never be known. My best guess is I probably pulled it out at maybe an 8-9 minute pace, which is a great sign for my training moving forward. If all goes well, I’m going to try to get some XT in tomorrow.

Thursday, 1/30:

I actually got to the gym today for my first XT in over a week. Did a half-hour of lower-body strength work, which felt good. I considered staying and doing another half-hour of upper body work, but decided that I wanted to give my shoulder another few days before doing that. Hoping to get in some miles tomorrow. We’ll see how that goes. Life has been very unpredictable lately.

Saturday, 2/1:

URD yesterday for a priority check. Long day at work, wife and son wanted to go out to dinner, so no run.

Today was the start of my first back-to-back long runs (for me). This morning my run went pretty much as planned–an easy 4 miles with a fast finish (again, for me). I actually did 4.28, holding down a 13-14 minute pace the whole way (but with negative splits [each mile faster than the previous one]), then finished with the last tenth of a mile in about a 10:00 pace.

Tomorrow, I’m running Race #5 in the HMRRC Winter Series Races, my first outing with the Hudson Mohawk Road Runners Club. Race #5 is actually three races, at 4, 10, and 20 miles. It was kind of a late decision to run it, but it’s free for members so I’m treating it like a group training run. If my legs feel all right, I’ll probably push my pace a bit and see if I can get in close to a 12:30 pace or so.

Sunday, 2/2 (Super Bowl Sunday):

Today was the second half of my first back-to-back long run weekend. After yesterday’s 4.28, I was looking forward to the 4-miler with the Hudson Mohawk Road Runners Club. When I got there, I (along with many others) was surprised to find that it was actually 4.34 miles, an officially measured 7K course. OK, then. Let’s do it! (I think that the 10-miler and 20-miler were actually level miles and not adapted from KM measurements.) The race took place on the walkways and roadways of the local state university, as well as the perimeter roads of the adjacent state government office campus.

The start had the 4-mile and 20-mile runners starting at the same spot, with the 10-milers starting a little further back. The 10-mile race was part of the Grand Prix series, so all of the competitive runners were there. We all had to stay to the right for the first loop of the course to allow the faster 10-mile runners to pass on the left. After we did a loop around the field and tennis courts, we passed the start and headed up toward the edge of school campus near the office campus. By the time that I hit the office campus perimeter road, there weren’t many people still near me. Then the longer-distance runners started lapping me. I kind of had mixed feelings about that. I had company, but they were all leaving me in the dust. What made it harder was that my phone’s GPS was completely haywire, telling me that I had gone about 2-4 times further than I had actually gone. If I could’ve shut the audio cues down without also shutting down my music, I would’ve done it.

As I got around the far side of the office campus and started heading back, I was starting to fade a bit. I continued my fueling experiment and grabbed my vanilla Clif Shot. It took a couple of minutes to kick in, but it kept me going through the end, and I was even able to sprint down the final hill and more or less keep pace with one of the first 10-mile finishers. Gun (air horn) time was 55:06, for a 12:42 pace. Considering that I ran 4.28 yesterday, I will certainly take that. It’s even faster than my 5K race PR pace.

Final weekend total, 8.62 miles. Total time, 1:52:41. Net weekend pace, 13:04. I will definitely take that. Now to get set to watch the game and eat many of the things.

And in response to a later post about Sunday:

I think the weirdest thing was coming down the home stretch and just barely holding off Josh Merlis of Albany Running Exchange and AREEP, even though he ran more than twice as far as I did. I heard him closing behind me and just wanted to get across the line first. He finished third in the 10-miler. I’m still waiting for them to post the results of the 7K.

The closing sprint is making question my last short walk break to catch my breath before the finish. Still, it was a great race and I’m happy with my performance. (Especially since it was a third of a mile longer than I expected it to be!)

On another note, I’ll have a dedicated post to kick off this year’s March of Dimes fundraising campaign, but here’s the link if you want to get a head start on other donors. In addition to the usual walk, I’m also going to dedicate my May races to fundraising. It’s going to be a busy month to celebrate my turning 50!

  • May 3 — runDisney Expedition Everest Challenge 5K (obstacle course + scavenger hunt)
  • May 11 — Fleet Feet Sports 10K Classic (my 10K goal race!)
  • May 15 — CDPHP Workforce Team Challenge (3.5 miles — I’ve only walked it before)
  • May 18 — SPAC Rock + Run 10K (this one is still tentative, but it really looks like a cool race)

Think fit thoughts, everyone!

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