Monday, January 26, 2015

Monster Month

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.

month That's 4 solid weeks, with 4 busy weekends!

So, let me tell you about last week.

I 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.

Friday 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.


However 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 running.


Like 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 20.
It's 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 taper.

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