In March of 2012, I was running shirtless through the Arboretum in Madison, blasting mile repeats on the snowless UW track and transitioning to my new running home in the Fox Cities. Between a job search that lasted from December through mid-March to a new gig in Neenah that left me desperately trying to evade my smoke-infused $300 a month sad apartment, I was running A LOT.
Fast forward one year. A nagging 10-month hip injury appears to be slowly fading away. My weekly mileage has gone from 80 to the 60’s, but it’s what time permits. My miles are now mostly logged through the hilly, traffic-y subdivisions of Green Bay’s west side. Workouts? Not as consistent as last year, but I’m trying to get them in. Last weekend’s St. Pat’s Day 17k, run in 10 degree temperatures through the streets of Kimberly and the much loathed CE Trail, was my first chance this season to see just where my fitness was (or wasn’t). As my first race in four months, I wasn’t expecting much.
Despite 4 inches of snow falling early Saturday morning, race organizers did an admirable
job of clearing the course. Both 5k and 17k runners took off at the gun, and I ran it easy, just hoping to clock marathon-pace splits for a solid workout and to not blow up. A few of the 5k guys surged ahead through the subdivisions.
At the 5k mark, as two runners finished their 3.1 mile race ahead of me, I followed the lead biker and forged ahead to cover the next 12k. Unfortunately, as we broke off from the 5k finish, there was some sort of mix-up and the biker didn’t know where to go. And yes, this has happened like 3 times in the last year or so. Not wanting to stop, and having a vague idea of where the course should go, I just turned, yelled, “I think it’s this way!” and started running toward the CE trail. I realized after, this probably resulted in me cutting the course by a smidgeon (my Garmin read 10.4 and it should have been 10.5), but at the time, I thought it was the right way. Regardless, the race outcome wasn’t affected.
I clicked off almost identical splits over the flat, occasionally windy next 10 miles. The sun was out, the running was easy, and I finished with a great workout for first place. My goal races this spring are the Door County Half Marathon in May and the Oshkosh Half two weeks prior. With a few more long tempos like this, hopefully the season won’t be mediocre as I’d imagined it would be during the cold, injury-addled days of winter.
St. Pat’s Day 17k: (1 mile warmup): 1:01:09 (5:53 avg on my watch for 10.4 miles)…Splits range from 5:50-5:59.
Last Month of Workouts: (Weekly mileage ranged from mid 50’s to 7o+…averaging 63 maybe)
- 8.5 miles w/ 10 x short (30 sec.) hill repeats in Appleton
- 16 miles long run w/ 3×2 miles at half marathon pace (5:40ish is fine) – proposed this weekend
- Race workout 17k at marathon pace (5:53 avg for 10.5)
- 5-3-2-1 x 3 w/ 3 min. jog Fartlek in Chicago (5 minutes at marathon pace/3 at half pace/2 10k pace/5k pace) Times were a little slow, but it was a good workout.
- 1 min/2 min Fartlek (1 min fast, 1 min. job, 2 min. fast, 1 min. off, 1 fast, 2 min. fast..etc..) 15 minutes of hard running
- 8 miles w/ 4 at tempo (avg. about 5:55 on hilly route)
- 11 miles w/ 12x 1 min. fast/1 min. off
- Treadmill: 6 mile progressive tempo (start at 6/mile down to 5:25)
- Treadmill: 56 minutes. 15 min. warmup at 7:04, increase .1 mph per minute for 20 minutes (ends at like 5:25/pace), then go back down .1 mph per minute back to 7:04/pace…kind of tough/weird. Less boring that normal mill running.