Tag Archives: milestones

Thirty MPW & Fall Half Marathons

I ran a 31 mile week last week. No caveats, no asterisk, no tricks, no gimmicks. I ran 6 miles Tuesday & Wednesday, 7 Friday and 12 on Sunday. (I have always trained with ‘European’ weeks, because it makes more sense to me.) Man, I feel good. I feel like I never expected to when I started running. I feel capable, and somewhat athletic. I came here to brag about my 31 mile week because I am so proud of it that I’m like to burst, or at least to find a way to awkwardly work it into conversations with coworkers.

Lest we think this a fluke, for the past 5 weeks, I haven’t had a single week under 20 miles. After the Solstice Run 10k and the Let Freedom Run 5k, I dropped off on “speedwork summer” and have been focusing on running for fitness and keeping a training volume which would support some half marathons this fall. I’m so proud to have a reasonable weekly mileage, and staying “up to date” on my mileage has given me real motivation to get out there 4-5 days each week.

That goal of two more half marathons this fall has now crystallized into two registrations for races: The Brooksie Way Half Marathon in Rochester, MI and the Stomp the Grapes Half Marathon in Hartville, OH.

The selection process was totally nerd driven; I found a listing of half marathons, arranged them in excel, then posted columns with date, size, driving time and goodies. I eliminated the handful of really tiny half marathons in Mid-Michigan (several less than 100 finishers!) but I wish that intrepid race organizer the best of luck, and may run those events in the future. Check out Michigan Half Series for info. (This is a reminder to future me, plus info for anyone else looking for half marathons in Michigan!)

I also had to cut out many Michigan Half marathons that were 8+ hour drives away. Man, this state is big! After that I started looking for two races seperated by about a month, and originally thought about signing up for the Air Force Marathon in Dayton. Unfortunately, registration for that was full. So the field eventually narrowed to the Brooksie and StompTheGrapes, at least in part because A, Brooksie is local, and B, StompTheGrapes is giving out a race-embroidered fleece cap, which is awesome.

Brooksie is the larger of the two events, and probably the more challenging. Part of the Brooksie course is on some light trails, and reviews and the website indicate that the course is “challenging” which is race director code for “hilly”. So I’m planning to run that one as a prep race for pushing for a new PR in the StompTheGrapes, which looks flat and cold, which will combine into a great condition for me to race in.

Which brings me to the time to train again. I get to lay out a training plan that centers around a October 2nd progress half marathon, and a November 5th PR attempt. I know I’m capable of the distance; I just did 12 yesterday! So now I have to figure out how to construct a plan to meet a new PR goal. Many of the plans I find online are geared toward the first-time runner, or geared to the longtime runner. I need to figure out what the training plan is for the 2nd & 3rd race is.

I have some ideas; I’ll probably keep a nice long run on Sunday, and I’d really like to hunt down a spot for hill repeats here in MI. Aside from hills and long runs, I’m going to keep up with two 5 ish mile steady state no frills runs a week. That leaves one run that I can use for a speed enhancing effort, perhaps?

I better decide quick. Only 48 days to the Brooksie.

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Double Digits in the Second City

The frustrating thing about knowing most of the people that read my blog is knowing that I can’t say “I BET NONE OF YOU RAN 10 MILES THIS WEEKEND”. In fact, I know that a lot of you probably did.

But, this isn’t about you. This is about me. And I RAN 10 MILES THIS WEEKEND!

That’s right, 10 statute miles. If you were searching for the closest me on a website, you’d have to select the second radio button, because I was more than 10 miles away. If you wanted to track my mileage, your odometer needs a 10’s digit, or the ability to remember a 10’s digit, or you need to be counting in base 12 or base 16, in which case you have a screwed up odomoter. Plus my blog is hard enough to read without saying things like “I ran #0A miles”.

It was glorious! It was amazing! It was life changing! It was at least 11.11% better than running 9 miles! This is so momentous, it needs some kind of marker, like a stone, that marks how far, how many miles, I’ve come.

Milestone

BUT WHAT COULD WE CALL IT.

Actually, while there’s a little bit of mental celebration, 10 miles feels pretty much like 9 miles before it. My traditional warmup and cooldown were skipped, making this feel a little easier, and there was a little extra walking done while searching for water, crossing busy streets and otherwise navigating city running. On top of that, part of the purpose behind training so hard, so steady, and so sensibly, is so that my next steps feel like evolutions, rather than big breakthroughs.

The run itself was great; I ran with Swem (See Village of Trainers) through the streets of Chicago, through the Loop, past Lower Wacker (no car chases going on, sadly) and out along a beautiful running/biking path that the city has along Lakeshore drive. Being among so many people, seeing so many runners and cyclists was inspiring, compared to running in the suburbs, where I run past cars and children pretty much exclusively. I saw girls in the traditional serious runner outfit, guys bigger than me struggling along in gym shorts and t-shirts, obligatory-inline-skating-backwards guy and what looked like an out of place long distance cycle relay team (dressed to the 9’s in their serious business cyling gear.) We turned around out at the 2.5 mile mark along the lake shore, and took a different route back into the city, which let me see more of this amazing town, including running along crowded Michigan Ave beneath signs like “Tiffany” and “Giorgio Armani” and momentarily outpacing a Dodge Viper who was stuck in city traffic.

I ran 10 miles, something I can honestly say I didn’t think was possible last year at this time. This coming weekend I’ll do it again, and then it’s on to the next milestone.

32 days to the Pittsburgh Half-Marathon.