Week 11 of 20, can you believe it? I can’t! I’m halfway through training for an ultramarathon. Dudes! That’s intense and rad! Maybe you’re not as surprised as I am because I haven’t talked about my training much. Let me fill you in on what’s been going down.
Training has gong well. I’m still really excited about Gnaw Bone, and that excitement has been fueling my runs as well as medjool dates, salads, and coffee have. These last few weeks have been trying weeks, though, and here’s why: the weather decided to be all the kinds of awful it could be all at once. Two or three weeks ago I ran 16 amazing miles on the trails of Hoosier National Forest, and I was elated. The weather was spring-like, the trails were solid and aggressive, and I rose to their challenge. I demolished nearly 2,000 feet of elevation gain, which is more than I typically get by far.
Then it snowed and snowed, melted, iced, rained, just plain awfuled. That horrendous weather put me inside on the treadmill for a week. I didn’t really care for it. The snow took more than a week to melt away, which is unusual for the area. I ran outside in the cold and rain, but I loved it – I was outside! Then the rain turned to ice and then to snow…a few feet of it.
I finished off February having run 135.47 miles. This is by far the most I’ve run in a month – my previous record was around 87 miles.
My most recent run took me along the crescent of the Ohio River upon which my fair city was founded. I ran 21 miles from my house far out into the country and straight back home. I planned to go a certain way where I knew there were some great hills I could run on – but this was ultimately not going to happen because train was parked on the tracks, and I couldn’t get across.
A second train was parked on the next intersection as well, so I just kept on running out into the river bottoms where there is nary a hill to be found. My pace was excellent, though. The last 10 miles were significantly faster than the first 11, which helps to make up for the lack of hills. I managed an overall 10:52 pace, which I think is the fastest I’ve run that distance.
I ran my first race of the year on Valentine’s Day. It was a 5k, but I got there early and ran four miles before the race started. This did affect my racing speed, but I was still able to pull out an 8:32 pace, so I felt pretty good about that.
My second race is a trail half marathon this weekend at Angel Mounds. I’ve run a ton of 5ks, a 10k, and a 15k on this course, so I’m really familiar with it. But this time will be a little different. The trails are going to be mush. It gets worse because the half marathon runners go on the 5k course four times. There will also be 5k and 10k runners out there. The trails will be churned up pretty good. I may be swallowed by the trails – we’ll see!
So yeah, running has been great. I’m looking forward to fair weather and more daylight – but I have gotten some quality miles in over the last few weeks despite the inclementicy (made up a word). Once the weather is a little nicer, I’ll take my gym routine out to the yard, which is one of my favorite things. Yay bare feet in the grass!