Sunday, February 25, 2007

Excellent 44-mile week

The winter ice storm struck the Chicago area yesterday evening, but not before I put in my 17-miler as planned with the group at the Morton Aboretum. I was glad to see that there were several of us that agreed to do three of the 4.7 mile loops together. That left only a short solo add-on for me to get to 17. This was my longest run since Marathon training last fall. Overall average pace: 7:49.

Like last week's 15-miler, I was tired after this run (we're supposed to be, right?). Unfortunately, my HR monitor strap was no where to be found yesterday and so I had to go without it, but I am certain that I am improving my fitness level.

Training at the Aboretum is night and day compared to the Prairie Path, where we will train again for Chicago later this year. Prairie Path is dead flat. Aboretum has several up and down rolling hills throughout the two loops, which unfortunately provide limited shield from the whipping Chicago winds. Boy, did my legs feel it at the end yesterday. Another issue may have been that a couple of my fellow runners were pushing pace on me at miles 8 and 9 (7:20 and 7:12 respectively). I wasn't ready for that kind of speed through the hills.

A couple of the women in our CARA group were commenting that the hills we are training on now are even more difficult than what the Boston course offers. I guess that is good if it is true.

In summary, I set a goal this week of 44 miles and I nailed it spot on. I'm very proud of my discipline and commitment, since it's a bit tricky to get 9-milers in during the week.

Below is a snapshot of my YTD mileage (in grey) as well as my planned mileage leading up to Boston on April 16th (in yellow). [note: click to enlarge] I didn't indicate what the workouts will look like, but I plan to work in some speed work at least a few times on upcoming on Tuesdays.

I am signed up for two races in consecutive weeks in March. One is a half mary and the second is an 8k. These will help me with some speed and to measure progress towards Boston. Targeted marathon pace for Boston at this point: 7:40/mile or about 3:21. I'll save my sub-3:10 for later this year in Chicago.

In May, we booked a wonderful vacation to Aruba, then it will be back to Chicago in the second half of may to start training for Chicago.


Mark said...

let me know if you have any questions on the "Boston Hills"

btw, looks like your training is progressing along since the ITB issue, and that tough mid-west winter

Firefly's Running said...

Nice run, Ryan.

yumke said...

"I'm very proud of my discipline"... and i'm very impressed too :)

Neese said...

Aaaaaruba!! what an awesome post marathon vacation!