Monday, March 2, 2009

The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

This week had its moments when I thought things were looking up for the weather and just when I thought it was safe to go back outside again . . . it changed. However, I will say that despite a couple of down days, for the most part my training moved forward. I have always been a member of the low-mileage training group, so any weekly mileage (when I am training for an ultra) that is above 40 miles is a big week for me. I did put a conscious effort into following what I eat (and drink) and have been making some better choices, which I think helped my energy level. I also received a couple of new pairs of sneakers in the mail that I had ordered and that always gets my energy going. Plus Joe and I were able to hit another of our favorite running routes that we have to put off during the snow season. We also ran the course for a new race that we will be having here on August 16 (Mountain Madness Runs 14K & 30K). We ran the 14K course, which still had a big section under snow & ice, but the sun was out and we had a great run. The 30K course still has a large area under snow, but hopefully here in a couple of weeks we will be able to get out on it.

I’m still waiting for the Vermont 100 to post their entrant’s list online so I can see who will be there. The IT100 entrant list is up with eight runners so far in the 100 mile and seven runners in the 50 mile. It’s fun to see who will be there suffering with you. I have found that is the thing I enjoy most about running ultras; they are like big family reunions and parties. The camaraderie is like nothing I have ever experienced.

So here is what I accomplished this week. Some plans had to be changed due to the weather and my lack of desire to get out into it. And despite some insomnia I was able to get in some decent back-to-back longish runs.

MON 2/23: 0 miles. It was extremely windy outside with a bitter 19 degrees. So instead of running I biked hard for 60 minutes (realizing that even biking on a trainer at a higher level requires continuous fuelling!), lifted weights, & threw in some abdominal crunches.

TUES 2/24: 7 miles. I ran one of Joe’s & my favorite hilly courses. Despite being colder outside at 17 degrees, the sun was out & there was less wind. Off to work after.

WED 2/25: 7 miles. Same run as yesterday but I had Joe with me for company today, which made the miles much more enjoyable. Off to work after.

THURS 2/26: 8.75 miles. Joe & I ran one of our new race courses for this year. Temps were high 40s & the sun was out. I was really kicking myself for wearing tights & not carrying a water bottle by the time we hit the last 1.5 miles that climbs FOREVER! Off to work after.

FRI 2/27: 0 miles. Temps still in the high 30s/low 40s, but it was POURING rain! Took a rest-day and caught-up on errands & house cleaning & then snuck-in 20-30 minutes of weight lifting & crunches in the evening.

SAT 2/28: 17.65 miles. Ran with Lorrie (& Joe for 3.1 miles). Extremely windy day, 17 degrees, some sun. It was pretty brutal, but we survived – thanks largely to Joe meeting us about half-way through with drinks and dry shirts for me to change into. The final 3 miles were into a strong, cold headwind with the last 1.5 miles a steep climb into the bitter cold headwind. Hot coffee when we got done never tasted so good.

SUN 3/1: 11.25 miles. My plan was to run from home to Cornell (17 miles) where Joe would be at the track meet. However, when I woke up it was 4.9 degree, dark, & a sub-zero wind chill! I just couldn’t take it. So I volunteered at the track meet registration & then headed-out for a run. It was still pretty cold & windy, but Ithaca weather is nothing like Irish Hill weather! Not even close.

TOTAL WEEKLY MILES: 51.65!! I was very happy with this but am really itching to get out on the trails.

So it was good all around. Six Nations Rugby was great this week with an awesomely good game between Wales & France on Friday night (BIG disappointment, though. Wales lost to France. And I really don’t like the French team!). Then on Saturday it was the match of the week . . . Ireland vs. England. My man, Ronan O’Gara, had a pretty disastrous game but Brian O’Driscoll made-up for it was an amazing drop-goal and scored a try, despite two decent slams to the head. Despite a very last-minute converted try by England, Ireland took the victory by a slim 1 point!

The work schedule for next week is looking a little hairy but on those weeks where I have to work the weekend time management becomes a real challenge. We’ll see what happens. Until then, STAY WARM!!!!!!!!!!! Less than 2 weeks until the St. Pat's 4-miler & less than 3 weeks until HAT Run 50K! WOO HOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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