This week combines some of the lowest temperatures I’ve ever run in and the my highest weekly and monthly mileage ever. January marathon training in New England. Not for the faint of heart.
Monday, 12/25, Post-Presents Crew – 5 miles easy (9:37 pace)
With everything closed for Christmas, my usual cross-training options weren’t available. That’s ok – I really wanted to run today anyway. My incredibly indulgent family just smiled when I skipped out after presents for five chilly miles through the newly-fallen snow. Gorgeous.
Tuesday, 12/26, Vacation Crew (i.e., run whenever the hell you want to) – 7 miles, speed intervals
I had 2 miles warm up, 5×800, 2 miles cool down. The track is under snow, but I’ve been doing speed work on the path near the track. Teacher Runner and Blue Turtle joined me for this outing because they are crazy and who doesn’t run 800s just for fun the day after Christmas? But actually, it was really fun blasting up and down the path. Aiming for around 4:00, I ran 3:55, 3:48, 3:57, 3:51, 3:57. The odd intervals are ever so slightly uphill, which ends up mattering, apparently. I was very happy with how this went!
Wednesday, 12/27, Lunch Time Crew – 4 easy miles (9:47 pace), plus strength training
The usual Wednesday run from the gym. Except much, much colder. The creek is frozen now so I didn’t see any ducks. Tough Guy Trainer kind of rolls his eyes at me when I finish a run at this temperature, but whatever. I’m staying off the treadmill as long as I can.
Thursday, 12/28, Vacation Crew – 7 easy miles, (9:26 pace)
Teacher Runner joined me for 7 miles at 6 degrees, wind chill of -7. It’s possible we are insane. In a week filled with very cold running, this was the coldest. The Incredible Mervus gave me top-notch cycling gloves for my birthday and I’ve started to wear them while running. They are amazing. My other coping mechanism? I downloaded the WTForecast weather app and I’m sending profanity-laced screen shots to my coach, who de-camps to Florida for the winter. Smart man.
Friday, 12/29, Afternoon Crew – 10 miles, tempo run
I usually do tempo runs on Thursday, but yesterday’s weather was so brutal that I moved this to today, which was marginally better. “Better” meant 17 degrees with wind chill of 5. Which is still pretty horrifyingly cold, but it was definitely better than Thursday. 2 mile warm up, 7 miles at half marathon effort, 1 mile cool down. One of the most challenging things about these longer runs is I can’t easily get to fuel or water with my amazing cycling gloves on. My nutritionist has me fueling with the hippie sandwiches so I pretty much have to stop entirely to eat them. Whatever. It can not possibly stay this cold forever. I had been worried about this run and I was incredibly glad to have it over with.
Saturday, 12/30, Morning Crew – swim, then strength training
I had considered moving my long run to today, mainly because of weather issues, but I wasn’t super keen on that idea. Coach Mick pointed out that I had already run 11 consecutive days (surely a first for me!) and when I woke up to a text from JJ asking to swim, I decided that was fate. We had a great swim and then I lifted at the YMCA. Nothing outside today, whew.
Sunday, 12/31, Afternoon Crew – 18 miles, last 6 at marathon pace
Trying to combine marathon training and church attendance has been one of the challenges this fall. After close to a decade of being sporadic church-goers, I decided a year ago to try to commit to going more frequently and Rose and I joined our congregation officially last spring. I do not understand how spirituality and running are linked exactly – or at all – but I know that for me, they are. My regular gang runs Sunday mornings and they are willing to start early because I am not the only one trying to fit in church. But 18 miles would mean really early and really dark and really cold. So I scheduled this run for after church and then Rashi was able to join me for the first 7 miles. I sort of don’t want to ‘fess up about how cold it was in case my parents read this. Damn cold. But we got the first 7 done together and then I did 5 more and then the last 6, which came out surprisingly close to goal marathon pace. So all in all a success and I got Starbucks and then hot soup for New Year’s Eve. Plus, this run put me at over 50 miles for the week and over 200 for the month – two milestones I’ve never reached before! Ending the year on a high note!
Total: 51 miles (201 for the month of December!)