Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Winter Running is here - 64 mile week heading into Dec

There are about 10.5 weeks until I will run the Austin Marathon.

Last week, my plan was to run 69 miles during the holiday break. In the end, I landed on a total of 64. This is quite respectable given the holiday/family time and well over 1,000 spent miles in the car. However, I need to keep progressing toward that 70 mark, which will happen the week of Christmas.

I went into last week downright sore – largely due to a late-night hockey game last Sunday. Adding to the challenge was a 1,000 mile roundtrip visit to Pittsburgh for the Thanksgiving break.

As previously mentioned, last Monday’s LT workout was great. I am finding, however, the LT workouts really test my ability to recover for the next day's run. This was the case again this past week.

By Tuesday, I realized I was going to need to make some adjustments. I cut my planned 14-miler down to a 7-mile recovery. I was really pressed for time also since we needed to start our drive, so it seemed to make sense to cut it back. We then drove through the night to the South of Pittsburgh from the Chicago ‘burbs – arriving at 4AM Wed morn.

By Wednesday, my legs were so sore I was having a hard time putting on pants without help from my arms to guide my legs into place. I think the hockey game stressed some muscles that I wasn’t used to using in a while – not to mention the bruised hip I suffered during the game. I decided my body needed a break, so I took Wednesday off as a whole.

By Thursday AM, I felt very rested. I proceeded to bang out runs of 14, 8 and 21 on Thursday, Friday and Saturday respectively. I think 43 miles in a three-day period is a personal record. All miles were at pretty steady paces in the range of 7:35-7:45 average. My long run was very strong at an average of 7:32 per mile with the final mile at 6:43.

It’s worth noting that the Peters Township, PA trail near my in-laws has a steady incline for several miles in the northern direction. All three of these runs had long stretches of out-and-back, so there was a lot of incline/decline work.

After making the long drive back on Sunday all day, I hopped on the treadmill for a final recovery 4-miler to cap off the week. This got me to 64 miles for the week.

Luckily, I had a 1-day cushion since I had planned all along to move my schedule back a day and start on Tuesdays with long runs on Sundays. So I took yesterday off. Since the mid-week longer runs are usually on Wednesdays and Fridays, this change will help with my daddy duties since Jen is off these days.

This week, I am targeting the Pfitz mileage of 66 miles. That’s a lot of miles any week – but especially when contending with the Chicago winter that has finally arrived.

I started today with a recovery double of 6 and 4. Tomorrow morn, I plan to venture outside into the winter conditions for a dark, cold 14-miler. Friday will be a test with 6 miles of LT during a 11-miler. Recoveries of 5 and 6 miles are planned for Thu and Sat - then I will cap off the week on Sunday with another 20-miler.


Darrell said...

You are doing a great job of getting the mileage in.

jen said...

Glad the soreness faded away, way to pull out some serious miles in three days! Good luck with the upcoming runs.