Sunday, March 27, 2011

Training Week Twelve Recap (90 days to go!)

I was reading an article in this month's Runner's World magazine, one of those car crashes you can't help but finish because it's so awful. In fact, I still haven't finished it. But I found the inspiration I needed, right there while sitting where we all too often find what moves us: "Ultramarathoners? 'Impressive athletes, sure,' I sniff, 'but isn't there something, how shall I say it, unbalanced about them?'" My proud response is "yes." Yes, there is something unbalanced with us. We see the finish line way off in the distance when others would merely give up. We see the value in an easy recovery run the day after trudging through the woods for 5 hours. We treasure the conversation with the old guy/young dude/random stranger re-filling handhelds from a thermos while snow falls all around us on a day most others wouldn't bother to leave the house. But that was just my weekend. I'm perfectly balanced, in a totally unbalanced way, thank you very much, Mr. Friedman.

Monday: 8.15 miles.

Tuesday: 8.19 miles. But if ever there were two consecutive days less alike, these were it. Monday was nice and easy. Tuesday was a 12x400m workout. The last time I ran 400s was in high school. That was 13 years ago. I'm proud to report that all but my second interval were in 1:14 or 1:15, with the second one wimping out in 1:17. I'll take it. But it hurt, I won't lie.

Wednesday: 6.15 miles. Someday soon, I'll look back on this workout and remember how easy my coach AJW was on me this night.

Thursday: 10.20 miles. Not this night, though....I'm thankful Beth didn't hold a late night at work and a longer easy run against me, what with this being her 6th 25th birthday and all. :)

Friday: 8.21 miles. I woke up on Friday morning around 5:30 a.m., while it was still dark. I looked out the window to a bright spectacle. Turns out it was the street lights reflecting off the snow. Yes, snow. It was March 25th in suburban St. Louis, and we somehow had a few inches of snow overnight. I laid back down. And then I did the math...and I realized I needed to knock this sucker out. And that's how I ended up running 1:07:45 in snow, sleet, and cold. Did I mention that it had been 70 plus degrees during my runs on Monday and Tuesday? I didn't think so. Only in St. Louis do we get to experience all four seasons in ONE WEEK!

Saturday: 28.51 miles. Practically my entire ultrarunning club was running at Greenrock Trail, so I naturally decided to go somewhere else to avoid the crowds. No offense to them, but I was not in the mood to be social for whatever reason. I had three great loops on the approximately 8 mile Lewis Trail and one on the Clark Trail in St. Charles County. Unfortunately, it started snowing on my second loop. It was a few snowflakes at first, in that "oh, cute" sense. On my third loop, it started hurting my eyes as the large flakes flew into my hat-less head, stinging as they blurred my vision. Those flakes were collecting fast, and I ran the final loop through 3 to 4 inches of snow. Here's how I found my car over 28 miles later. Now, keep in mind that I drove 15 miles to this trail. It took 22 minutes. It took me over 3 hours to get home...all because of 4 inches of snow! I hated the winters I had in Minnesota for 18 years and South Bend for 7 years, but life itself did not shut down at the first sight of a snowflake! Unreal. And sorry, Mom, for teaching you a few new cursewords during our phone conversation while I was parked (literally) on the road home.

Sunday: 10.65 miles. I am the worst recovery runner ever. I hate running on Sundays. Give me sleep, or give me work, but don't make me run. I was relieved, therefore, to be invited by my friend Brandon to run 8 miles at Queeny Park, a half-paved, half-trail hilly course about 8 miles from my 8:30 a.m. Brandon is a few weeks from his first Boston, and we had a great 8 miles together. I tied in another 2 1/2 or so miles on my own, and the result was my second highest mileage week ever.

Well, until next week. I just used my abacus to figure out that I'm due to run 97 miles. 97 miles? 97 miles. That's only 15 miles farther than I've ever run in a week. Good thing I'll be drunk on Thursday afternoon at Opening Day. (Go Cards! Go Twins!)

Week 12 Total: 80.06 miles (second highest yet).

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