Thursday, February 6, 2014

Ready for spring

If I were asked to rank the seasons in order of preference, winter would never come out on top.  I love the fall, and the spring is great too.  Winter and summer are just too extreme for me.  I do enjoy the relatively unscheduled nature of my summers, with being on break from school and most of the kids' activities also on hiatus.  However, from a running perspective, I have to say that winter would top summer any day for me.  I really do hate running in high temps/humidity.  

Taken after my 5K PR last July... happy but HOT.

That all being said, I am completely over winter.  We've gone from a polar vortex in early January with wind chills as cold as -40 degrees, to another less intense cold spell (the wind chills were only around -20, but the actual temps were around -10), to Mother Nature dumping 8+ inches of snow on Central Ohio.  All in a one-month period.  I am grateful for Jen, my awesome running partner who doesn't mind running in snow/cold, and for the treadmill at the gym when the conditions simply don't allow for me to get on the road.  Not sure how I managed to rack up 124 miles in January, but I'm pretty darn proud of that, given what I was running through!  I am well on my way to my goal of 1000 miles this year.  In fact, if things stay on track, I could go 1400 for 2014.  Not saying that's my goal... yet :)

Our coldest run together yet--it was -8 degrees out this day, and there was no snow falling... that was FROST on our masks!

Training is going well for my next race, which is a beast of a 15-miler out in Granville in 10 days.  I ran my half out there in November on a relatively flat trail.  This race is the complete opposite... full of hills, both big and small.  It's a 7.5 mile loop that I will run twice.  My new running pal, Jen, persuaded me to give this race a try.  I got the elevation map in an e-mail the other day, and I have to admit, I got scared!  
The elevation is in green underneath the actual map... zoom in to get a better idea of what I'm in for!

Holy hills!  However, I have been running hill repeats at 4:30 AM on Wednesday mornings with anywhere from 1-5 other women for the past two months.  We run a mile, do a few hill repeats, run a few more miles, and do a few more hill repeats before running a mile to end it.  For me, it's not the hills so much as it is getting through the rest of the day when I'm waking up before 4 AM.  I've gotten accustomed to it, though, and love my early morning posse of running friends.  

Other than running the hills on Wednesdays, I've been incorporating two faster workouts on Mondays and Fridays (one intervals, one tempo or progressive run), and of course one long run per week on Sundays.  My Monday and Friday runs are solo, and Jen and I do the Sunday runs together.  For the past two weeks I've been lucky enough to fit in a "bonus" fifth run (short and easy) on Saturday morning with Jen as well, which is really just icing on the cake.  I absolutely love running with her; we have amazing conversations and the miles literally do fly by.  

I've also added in some core/strength training twice a week (30-40 minutes each time).  Nothing big... planks, squats, leg lifts, and random core and arm videos that I find on YouTube.  But I really do feel this is helping with my core strength.  I can feel it in my stomach/abs when I am running.  So, in sum, I really do feel like training is going well, and I am excited for Sunday the 16th!  I've never ran a 15 mile race before, so this will be a PR in time as well as in distance for me.  My race plan: take the first 7.5 miles out at a relatively easy pace, and then do what I can on the 2nd loop!  I hope to negative-split it like I usually do on my races.  I'd be lying if I said I didn't have a time goal.  Sub-2:20 (which is a 9:20/mile pace) would rock, given the hilly course and the winter weather conditions.  I'm fine with adjusting that mid-race, though, depending on how I am feeling.  I will update after the race! :)


  1. You're going to rock this race. I should know. I chase your speedy ass up that hill every week. ;)