Yeah man, but it’s a dry heat. ~ Hudson
A crazy week weather-wise devolved at the start to treadmill sessions then closed out with a solid long, easy snow run in Boulder. Funny how things can turn around. My running mileage lagged a bit for the week but when you toss in a skate-skiing session on Friday and the fact that the mercury at the casa on Tuesday and Wednesday was scraping the high negative 20s, I don’t feel too bad about how the first week of February turned out.
Monday’s easy run reinforced for me the value of the shake-out run. My legs were a bit sore and definitely on the cranky side after Sunday’s long effort and the first quarter mile of my run Monday left me thinking, “What the hell are you doing?” I have been at this long enough to know that if you stick with it, sometimes the early grumpiness wears off and after about 1/4 of a mile, my legs shook out and I started to feel really great. Just took it easy and let it develop: 3.31 in 00:30.
Tuesday’s group run was canceled due to extremely cold temps so after completing some early morning emergency house repair (you don’t want to know), I jumped on the treadmill briefly to get in a few miles before having to head into work. Nothing to write home about: 3.6 in 00:30.
One item of note, it is amazing how good -6° feels after crawling around in the snow in -26° temps.
Wednesday devolved as well and the 1:15 easy run I had on the schedule turned into a quick one: 5 in 00:41.
By Friday the frigid weather had departed the area and I was in the mood for a skate ski. I have been hoping to add skating to my regular regimen but for the second year in a row, it just hasn’t come to pass. This was only my second outing for the year but I felt amazing and was able to cover a LOT more ground in a shorter amount of time and without resorting to stopping on long uphills to catch my breath. Just cruised around a bit at Eldora: 6.34 in 00:50. Later that evening I jumped back on the ‘mill to get in a quick surge run. Had 45 on the schedule with 6, 20-second surges but figured the morning’s effort counted for something so cut it short. 6 surges, 3 miles, 24 minutes.
Given the lack of duration for my runs this week, I decided to opt out of downhill skiing on Saturday and headed in to do a tempo run with the Gijima group. We started at the East Boulder Rec Center and made our way along the Bobolink trail to Marshall road where we started what was supposed to be an 8-mile tempo run. I wasn’t feeling super great but just worked on my form and tried to lay down splits in the 6:30 range. Somewhat successful. We made it back to the start after about 6 miles of tempo so a few of us tacked on another mile and called it good: 10.71 in 1:20.
And to round out the week, I did a long, solo run this morning in Boulder. We got quite a bit of snow overnight so side streets were a bit of a mess. I started out on the Boulder Creek path, ran west for 3.5 miles then headed back to the path that parallels Broadway to the south. Though many of the pathways had been plowed, they were still a bit on the slow side but I made good time heading south back to Marshall, over to Cherryvale then back to the Creek path. I finished up with a bit of a fade on Goose Creek and surface streets but got in a good run at a pretty low level of effort: 20.38 in 2:45.
All in all, I am happy with where I am sitting right now. I am a little nervous about being able to get in quality runs prior to Boston but today’s 20 was confidence-boosting for sure. 10 weeks to go before my first big race of the year. I am planning to complete the Winter Distance Series with another 10-mile race on the 19th then will test the waters with a half maraton on March 6th in Denver. Either of these races could be complicated by weather conditions but I am hoping they will be able to show me something about my level of fitness heading into Boston. Time will tell. Conditions pending, I’d like to do another sub- 1:05 (perhaps even push that a bit lower but definitely work on a stronger finish) at the 10-mile event and will be looking for a sub- 1:26 half. At least those are the numbers that I am considering.
As always, I’ll keep you posted.