I haven’t updated the blog much lately, but I’ve been working hard. Aside from running the Auto Show Shuffle 5K in January, I’ve been in pure training mode all winter. During the winter, I turn to two outdoor running spots – Stony Creek Metropark and Oakland University. Stony’s six-mile path gets cleared and salted throughout the winter, and OU does a great job clearing the sidewalks. Another nice thing about OU is the fact that it is so well-lit, so I can get away with running there during the dark evenings in the dead of winter.
Although I get outside for most of my weekend long runs and the occasional weekday run during the winter, I turn into a treadmill warrior for the most part. I think the treadmill time has been very beneficial. My hips bugged me pretty regularly all fall, but they’ve been a non-issue this winter. Surviving the treadmill has also made me mentally tough. If I can keep myself going through 11 miles on the treadmill (which I did on an especially ugly mid-January day), I can do anything, right? Having so much control over my pace has also allowed me to get in some really solid speedwork and cutdown tempo runs.
My goals throughout the winter were to maintain enough running fitness to jump into half marathon training at any time and to build a base for triathlon season. Since February, I’ve been good about swimming at least a mile once a week. I could stand to get into the pool more often though. I’ve been good about building my cycling base – an area that was a bit lacking last year. I peaked with a 30-mile ride one time before an Olympic tri last year, but I’ve tried to get in a long ride of 30-35 miles nearly every week since late January. The additional time on the bike has introduced me to the joys of chafing, as well as feeling awfully squirmy after I’ve downed two bottles of water! I’m also getting some use out of our DVD collection.
I have a list of potential triathlons to sign up for, but haven’t decided on any yet. I feel like I’ll be more prepared for the Olympic distance this year. I’m still not sure I’m interested in pursuing the 70.3 distance…yet. 56 miles on the bike is pretty daunting when I’ve peaked at 35 miles. Running is still my main love, so if I start to enjoy the bike more, maybe then I’ll think about it.
I HAVE officially signed up for a couple of running races though. After debating between a lot of great spring races, Matt and I finally chose the Glass City Half Marathon in Toledo at the end of April. It’s flat and fast, goes through a metropark and along a bike trail, and finishes in the University of Toledo Stadium.
Training has been going well, so I’ll see if I can beat my PR of 1:40:46. Maybe even go sub-1:40? I’ve been loosely following Higdon’s Advanced plan. Rather than running six days per week, I’ve been running five so I can get on the bike too. My typical week of training has looked like this:
- Monday – Bike 10-15 miles, run 3 easy.
- Tuesday – Run 7 miles total, speedwork day. Workouts like 6×800 at 5K pace, 4×1600 at 10K pace, etc.
- Wednesday – Rest or bike.
- Thursday – Run 6-7 miles total, typically a cutdown tempo on the treadmill. Start slow, increase the pace each quarter mile until I get to 10K pace, then slow down each quarter mile.
- Friday – Bike 25-35 miles.
- Saturday – Swim 1 mile, run on the treadmill. Either easy or a half marathon pace run. Warm up a mile, then run up to 5 miles at pace.
- Sunday – Long run. I’ve run 13 miles a couple times and should peak around 14-15.
We also made an even bigger decision recently – we’re ready to try a second marathon. Matt’s first was the Bayshore Marathon in Traverse City in 2012, and my first was Grand Rapids in 2013. We had seriously talked about running the Disney Marathon at the beginning of 2016. With thoughts of trying the Goofy Challenge (a half on Saturday followed by a full on Sunday), I thought maybe it would be wise to get a little more marathon experience before attempting something crazy like that. Pretty quickly, we decided on the Twin Cities Marathon.
It’s one that Matt has been interested in, and I’m definitely on board. Matt has family in Minnesota, and we’ve really enjoyed our trips to Minneapolis. It’s billed as “the most beautiful urban marathon in America.” I’ll probably start training in June, so there’s still some time before it will really sink in. I’m excited to give the marathon a second attempt!
In the meantime, Glass City is a month away so that’s the main goal right now. Then, hopefully some 5Ks and onto triathlon season!
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