I generally call the last big month of mileage before a marathon Monster Month. Usually it is 2-6 weeks before the race, so for my March 15th race it would be February.
But I am a little ahead of schedule, and January is getting to be pretty monstrous.
I am on track to hit 200 miles for January, which would be my biggest month since....1981. Check this out from Strava.
That's 4 solid weeks, with 4 busy weekends!
So, let me tell you about last week.
had a dinner date Wednesday, so I would be skipping track night, so
that meant I could push it a little harder on Tuesday and make it a
7-mile tempo. Hoka was back, so I borrowed some new Cliftons to "test".
By the way, my Cliftons are close to 500 miles and still feel good! I
did just buy my second pair, but will continue to use the old ones as
long as I can.
Felt good and pushed it - hoping to run
7:30's or better, but I guess I was still tired from the last weekend,
because I kind of petered out and had to drop it back a little in miles 6
and 7. Still, a nice little tempo.
It's funny how that pace somehow feels easier ten miles into a run then it does in miles 2 and 3.
Thursday I did 9 miles on my rolling hills course and averaged 8:20, which was fine. I was trying to relax.
was gym day, and Saturday I passed on the Mountain Goat run, and chose
to do a flatter 8 miles near home so I would be a little more rested for
Sunday's 20. However, a heat wave rolled in, and I was lazy and didn't
get out until 10:30AM, and it was warm! Like 70 and sunny. I felt OK,
and was making good time, but again I kind of bonked in the last few
miles and faded.
this whole run was on wood chips, and I wore my heavier trail shoes, so
the effort was probably 20 seconds faster than the splits show. Still,
it was not encouraging when I knew I had to do 20 the next day. I vowed
to get up and out earlier to avoid the heat.
And I did!
Out the door by 7:05. I went shirtless and it was pretty chilly for the
first six miles (50s) but then I hit the sun for the rest of the way and
was comfortable! Back in my Cliftons, I felt better, As usual, I did
the first 5 on the wood chips and gradually dropped the pace. Then it
was over the hill, down to the beach, and 14 miles of flat beach
clockwork, I slipped into sub-8 pace and held it. And the endurance I'm
building paid off, and I was able to maintain that pace all the way to
crazy. I don't really understand it. But averaging 7:46 for the last 14
miles seems easier than running that pace on Tempo Tuesday. I guess I
need that warmup period. I can't go out like Quadracool and run 7:45 in
mile 1 and keep going.
I had two GUs at miles 8 and 16,
and practiced eating them while moving at sub-8 pace. I did stop 7 times
for water along the way.
So I'm feeling pretty confident.
Although pretty sore too. My adductor is complaining, and the bottoms
of my feet hurt a lot for hours after. But generally I'm feeling good
with 7 weeks to go.
This week I am cutting back, and I
have a 10K to race Sunday, and next week I am off to Florida for a
Ragnar Relay. Then I'll have 3 more weeks to pile up miles before the