Some of you may have read my last post detailing my triumphant return to running high mileage this winter. A few of those may be wondering how that’s working for me. In a nutshell: good!
I took five days off from running after the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon. Even though I didn’t race it (I was the 3:05 pace group leader), my legs had felt achy and sore all season, and were not happy with me after the marathon. The time off helped, and when I resumed running on November 8th, I felt mostly refreshed and ready to resume training.
I had planned to run 50-60 miles for the first few weeks, but I was feeling so good just jogging and not worrying about workouts or paces that I ran closer to 70 miles the first two weeks. From there, I jumped straight to 80 and have been running 75-85 miles per week since then. Just like I had hoped, this has done wonders for me. My easy run pace has dropped back down to 7:00 pace, and I sometimes find myself cruising along at 6:30 pace or faster feeling effortless. I have been doing one workout a week; either a fartlek or tempo intervals, and doing strides at least once a week as well.
Despite only running 12 miles the week after the marathon, I still managed to log my highest November mileage ever, at 254.6 miles, and blew my previous December record out of the water by running 346.2 miles last month. This gave me a total of 3,085.4 miles for the entire year, my third highest year and my most consistent.
|Month||2014||2013||2012||2011||2010||2009||2008||2007||2006||2005||Total||Avg Mthly||Avg MPW|
|2014||2013||2012||2011||2010||2009||2008||2007||2006||2005||Total||Avg Mthly||Avg MPW|
During this time, I have run two races, both cross country 10Ks. The first was the championship race for the Pete Glavin Upstate New York Cross Country Series, held at Mendon Ponds. It came during my second week week back. I have a tendency to have an atrocious first race back after some time off, but I knew a lot of it was mental, and I refused to let that happen this time. I knew I was in decent shape, and honestly didn’t feel like I lost much fitness at all since the marathon. So when the gun went off, I fell into place right behind Josh Perks, Derrick Jones, Mike Nier, and Al Evans. Throughout the fall, I typically finished right behind Josh, and just ahead of the rest. The pace felt easy, and I even though about passing them a couple of times, but knew that would be stupid. So, I paced off them, and tried to throw in some surges to catch Nier and Evans off guard a few times. Things were going really well, until we hit around 3 miles. Suddenly, my legs wouldn’t respond, and I felt like I was running in quicksand. Despite not even being out of breath, I couldn’t run any faster. The curse of the first awful race returned, and I wound up finishing over a minute behind them, unable to even kick at the end.
|10 pounds of crap in a 5 pound bag|
Several weeks later, I was offered a chance to redeem myself at the USATF Cross Country Club Championships in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. I took the opposite approach here, and deliberately started slow so I could crank down the pace in the later portions. Around two kilometers in, Dave Bradshaw passed me, and I stuck with him. We ran the next six kilometers together, and I felt like I was jogging. Finally, around 8k, going up a long, slow hill, I pulled away from him, and even passed fellow Roadkill Racer Mike Insler. At the top of the hill, I knew there was a long gradual downhill to the finish, and I opened up the throttle and started kicking from a kilometer out. I wish I knew how many people I passed in that last kilometer, because I was probably running faster than my track 5k pace and was passing lots of people who had gone out too fast. I crossed the finish line in 35:08, my second fastest 10K ever, and not too far behind what Josh and Derrick ran earlier in the Master’s race. Redemption was mine!
|Biding my time|
|Turning on the (still slow) afterburners|
For now, I have no plans to race until February, where Ashlie and I will take on the Austin Marathon as a long run, and the final Freezeroo race, which is a 10K in Ontario. My hope is that this winter will continue to be rather mild, so I can rack up the miles, and keep the mileage on the higher side through the spring.