1/3 of the way through my Boston training plan! I can't believe it there are just 12 weeks to go! The first six weeks of the plan I'm following are endurance building, and has hardly any speed. Aside from some strides thrown in the second half of weekday run, and the occasional 30 minute tempo, most of the miles are easy. This is to get my body used to the high mileage before stressing it with intense workouts so I can AVOID INJURY! Brilliant concept, eh? So far so good.
I am also making a valiant effort to keep the strength training going at least 2 times a week if not three. I am going to do my best to make it to the Boston starting line in tip top shape, and with no pulled muscles or fractured bones.
Mileage build up has been: 54, 57, 59, 61, 65, and 69. Next week is a "recovery week" -- ONLY 59 miles. ONLY!
For the most part I've enjoyed my runs, and have been glad to find some great ladies in the area to do morning runs with. Running really is my social life -- since I choose to put so much effort into endurance sports, that needs to be my social outlet as well. It's nice to arrive home at 6:45 a.m. with my workout finished as well as some great girl gabbing.
This polar vortex things has got to go, however. Seriously. I know I don't live in Canada or Michigan or whatever, where they've had windchills of something insane like -65 and real air temperatures of -30. Not even close, and I don't want to think about it. And yeah, I grew up in Indiana but don't give me that "You're from the midwest" bull. I've always hated winter. I can handle running in 30 degrees, but once temperatures dip into the single digits, I can honestly say it's miserable.
Never before have I gone on a run where afterwards my thought was "I wish I hadn't done that." Until Friday. My regular Friday running buddy had 18 miles in her schedule, and I had 8. Our usual running route was covered in ice so we decided to instead run on Pickett St, a 1.6 mile stretch of road with well plowed sidewalks and good lighting. I had done 11 miles there the day before in the sunny mid morning. I figured it would be a little cooler so I bundled up with two pairs of wool socks, two pairs of running pants, two long sleeved tech shirts, a windbreaker, winter cycling gloves, a face mask, and a winter hat. We began our run, and realized that the plowed part of the sidewalk was too narrow for us to run two abreast, so this made speaking to each other difficult. A half mile in my lips were frozen despite my face mask, so I guess that didn't really matter. At two miles I had to go to the bathroom and I realized I couldn't feel my nose or my wrist, which was slightly exposed, so I ran into the Cross fit studio owned by another lady in our running club. Seriously, had we only gone two miles? It had to be more than two miles. Ugh. Outside again, another loop which seemed to take at least an hour (although apparently only about 30 minutes) and I again couldn't feel my hands. I ran inside Einsteins Bagels to warm up a little bit. I made sure every square inch of flesh was covered up, and then continued outside for my final loop. It was still dark out, the traffic was picking up and cars were blinding me with their head lights (I swear everyone had their brights on), and unfortunately there is a filling station for Semis on the streets so we were constantly getting passed by massive noisy trucks with stinky exhaust fumes. The sun was rising by the time we got to the end of this loop, and my GPS was at 7 miles. I still had one to go, but when my running companion told me she was done with her run (this being someone I swear can find beauty on ANY run.... except apparently this one) we both declared it the worst run ever and headed to our cars instead. 7.15 miles. Not 8. That's okay. I can live with that. I couldn't feel my fingers at all, so unlocking the car became an unexpected challenge. Once I managed to turn on the ignition, I realized my numb hands couldn't maneuver the steering wheel, so I had to sit there with my hands on the heating grates until I could safely drive home. After I was thawed out I checked the CURRENT temperature. It was 6 degrees at 8 a.m. with a ReelFeel of -10. So who knows what it was at 5:45 a.m. when we started. I don't know how these people in Chicago train through winter because that seriously had me dreaming lovingly of the treadmill.
Today was a little warmer -- ReelFeel of 1 degree, actual temperature of 20. I ran my first 14 miles with one of the runners in the group I'm assistant coaching, but after she left I had a really hard time finding any motivation, especially since as a coach in the program I can't use headphones. There were still people out on the course, so I kept running until they all finished (at this point I was up to 19 miles) and then called it quits and got in the car. After I'd thawed out a bit, I forced myself to head out the door and run the last two miles on my icy, frozen neighborhood streets. 21. Done.
Ready. For. Spring. And we're not even a month into winter....