Monday, April 13, 2015

Reloading

After the adrenaline of every big race (Marathons and Ultramarathons in particular) fades there is always a slight let down.  Part of it has to due to the intense focus and time commitment to get through the training and the race itself and the fact that immediately following the race you are left with more time.

I work well when I have something to focus on (and obsess over).  For me, finding the next thing is imperative to keep me going strong and focused on everything I do from running, to work, to my family.  

Mount Mitchell was my 9th ultra marathon and 13th race of marathon or longer, so this was not my first rodeo.  What I have found works best for me is 2-3 weeks of 20ish miles / week and then jumping back up to 40-50 miles a week.  It is not so much what the plan is as the fact that I have a plan.  

This time around I delayed a little bit as I got a cold just before I was ready to jump back up to 40. After a quick recovery and some considerable snow melt I was able to get a 16 miler and still salvage a 34 mile week.  

3/23 - 3/29 and The Boston Course Run
The following week my goal was to jump to 50.  It was also the week of the big Boston marathon training run where a bunch of the clubs and charity teams bus / car pool their runners out to Hopkinton for a 20+ mile course run.  The previous year for this run, Keith and I ran from my house to Newton, caught a ride to Hopkinton, and then ran all the way back to my house for a total of 28.3 miles.  

This year my goal was to "just" do the 22 miles, but now that I have established a reputation as someone that is generally up for anything, I ended up agreeing to do a little more (Thanks Nichole). So jump ahead to the following Saturday morning and Keith, Nichole, and I are putting in 4 miles at 6:50 in the morning before meeting up with the club.  

Once we got to Hopkinton we formed a nice group of 7 of us all capable of running something in the vicinity of a 3 hour marathon.  We started off at a nice 7:45 pace and after 4-5 miles dropped it down to about 7:30.  By mile ten a few of the group were starting to get antsy and the pace dropped to about 7:15.  By the time we hit the Newton hills we were bouncing around between 6:45 and 7.

Knowing that I was not in fact training for the Boston Marathon and had run a mountain ultra just 4 weeks earlier, I decided at mile 23 it was time to back off a bit.  I still made it to the top of heartbreak before returning to my sisters school which capped the day at 26.26 miles.  Nothing like a full marathon to get you back into the swing of it.  

3/30 - 4/5 - Back Up to 60
Although a little sore from the previous week, I started the week off strong putting in 10 miles on Monday.  I spent a good portion of this week with foam rollers and my trigger point device working out knots that had formed in my calves during the previous Saturday's jaunt.

On Wednesday I was able to form a small group (Jen, Keith, and Dana) to go zig zag through the Arlington hills (Which included my favorite, School St).  Saturday, I met up with Nichole for 17 miles which included the nastiest head wind I have seen since the Manchester City Marathon last November.

I finished the week out with 12 miles on Sunday which included traversing the Park Ave Hill from both the Belmont and Arlington sides.

4/6 - 4/12 - Track and Bunker Hill
I backed off a "little" bit for this week after having just put in 2 good weeks.  After an easy 2 on Monday, I put in 12 on Tuesday which included running to / from track and a few miles in the mid to high 5:40s.

After another easy 2 on Wednesday I got in some Common Ave repeats with Keith on Thursday.

Saturday I met up with Deb, Nichole, Dan, Ed, Jen, and Keith for a foot tour of Boston which included a Bunker Hill Monument climb, the North End, and a run through Harvard yard.

I ended the week with 5 miles over on my favorite trail between McLean Hospital and the Western Greenway (A place I had not run on without snowshoes since Martin Luther King Day).  Feeling really solid at this point, I pronounced "Reload Complete"

Charity Update
To celebrate our trip to North Carolina we donated February's milage to the Western North Carolina Nature Center.  Neil had a blast while there and in particular really loved the Otters.

For March we donated to Newton Wellesley Hospital as part of our friend Dave's Boston Marathon campaign.  Newton Wellesley is also the hospital that baby number 2 will be born at this summer.

Whats Next
On March 20th, I was notified that I got into the Mount Washington Road Race.  This is a race that I have wanted to do for a few years, but have had some trouble getting in through their lottery process.  I think is was quite fitting that I got in, in a year that started off running up one of the few mountains in the east that stands taller then Mount Washington.

Neil and his Coyote
Next up is the Groton 10k on 4/26 where I plan to obliterate my PR.  Following this is the Merrimack River Trail Run (ATR 3) on 5/9, MOM's run on 5/10, and Pineland Farms 50K on 5/24.

Going to be a busy few months.

- Scot

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