Sunday, February 28, 2010

February Recap

February 2010
Miles logged: 109 (up from 105 in January)
Longest Run: 15.25 miles
Race: Half at Hampton (13.1)

February was a great month. Adding speed work to the mix while training for the Half at Hampton has definitely improved my pace on distance runs. I ran my first official half-marathon in Hampton, and it was a PB for me for that distance, shaving around 10 minutes off my previous best!

The month ended with me heading out this morning for my longest distance since I ran the Kona marathon in 2001.

A few weeks ago, I decided to bite the bullet and sign up for Stu's 30k (map here - a very challenging course around Wachusett Reservoir. I've been told -

Lot's of road sand, absurd road cambers, up hill finish, run it twice and both times finished in a snow squall, good race.

Most of the blog posts related to Stu's contain phrases like "race from hell", and "course was insane". Despite this, I plan on heading out next weekend to challenge myself.

So today found me attempting to bridge the gap between the half marathon last weekend, and the 30K staring me in the face next weekend. The longest time I've recorded since last fall (when I really began running consistently again) was around 2:15. Today I decided to target 2:45. I used the Daily Mile route mapper to chart out a nice hilly course around 15.25 miles.

The first 8-9 miles I felt strong. I kept having to slow down as I naturally fell into a pace that I really don't think I could maintain over 15, let alone, 19 miles. The hills came and went, and I meandered my way about town while it arose from its slumber and got moving. I drifted through the fog and mist, passing churches and donut shops along the way. I laughed when I pictured myself running with a cup of coffee and a donut. Instead, I decided to settle for the some water and a couple of GU's I had packed snugly in my fuel belt.

Miles 9-10 took me on a stretch of road that I will run on next week during Stu's, across the reservoir and near the Old Stone Church in West Boylston. If it is a clear day next week, the views around the reservoir are going to be fantastic!

After about 2 hours into the run, I had some slight ankle pain on the left side. I had to slow to an almost walk for a few seconds as I adjusted to the sensation. After a few minutes, I had worked it out and was moving along again. Just in time for the final ascent. I came up into our neighborhood and did my customary loop that I've come to love during my pre-dawn jaunts, and ended in the driveway, tired, but not spent. I am confident about next weekend.

I ended up hitting my mark, at about 2:46. I averaged around 10:50, which is great. I really want to slow it down. I've been climbing mileage each of the last 5 weeks without a drop down week. After Stu's, I'm taking some time off from climbing. After all, I'm not even really training for a marathon right now!

Last month, when I ran the Freezer Five, I got one of their trademark "reicycled" shirts.

Next week, I intend to earn one of these shirts, for real.

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