I am now just about a month away from the Whidbey Island Half Marathon (!!). On Saturday, I ran a St. Paddy’s themed 8K. I was really proud of myself for running the entire 5 miles at a 9:40 min/mile pace (I’ve been sticking right around 10 min/mile for my mid-to-long runs). Per tradition, I ran in both my green wig and tutu. I do not usually dress up for races, but when I do, I go all out. It was so nice to run with friends. One is relatively new to running, and another is coming back after a year of recovering from injury. What enormous feats to celebrate!
Yesterday, which ended up being a record-breaking day of rain (which means really, really wet and soggy in the Pacific Northwest), was also a pretty epic long run. I broke into the double digits and ran 10 miles! It was my first 10 mile run of 2015. Aside from the fact that my socks got wet pretty early on (there were puddles… everywhere), I did get far enough on the trail to hit some deep woods and gnarly switchbacks. The result of the hills and slippery trails (which I tackled cautiously to avoid injury) was that my average mile time was a bit slower. However, I was really satisfied with the distance and enduring the elements. I came home, got in warm dry clothes, and basically lounged around the whole rest of the day. I did manage to bake some homemade bread… got to keep up those carbohydrates, right?
I am going to do a short recovery run this evening, and then I am mostly cross-training for the week, with the exception of my mid-length run on Wednesday. This weekend, I will not be able to squeeze in a very long run, so I hope to do a hilly or speedier shorter run instead. Then, the following weekends I will be back at the longer runs until I start tapering, shortly after Easter.
I joined a silly social media challenge to run 100 miles in the month of March. I have not given it much thought, except for to try and run a little bit each day that I can between long runs. I consulted the history on my Garmin last night and calculated that I have already completed 32/100 miles for the month. Yay! A third of the way there… and a third of the way through the month.
Will I log 100 miles this month? I am not sure. I would be happy with any amount exceeding 50 (my previous mileage goal the last time I set one). I am sure there have been months that I’ve logged 100 miles before… I probably just wasn’t paying attention. Still, it is fun to be a bit competitive with myself and aim for the triple digits.
Running in Daylight Savings Time continues to reward me. Last night, I was able to enjoy 5 miles after work… all in the daylight! There is something so wonderful about running the surrounding neighborhoods under the pink light of early spring. The landscape changes every day. Like autumn, spring is a time of visceral transformation. We are reminded by the external natural world of our own changes inside the mind and body.
Runners, rejoice! We are about to gain an hour of daylight in the evenings! Just two more nights of darkness to go…
Western Washington is in bloom. The winter has been unusually mild and dry. I know this is not the best indication of the health of our climate, but I will be honest and tell you that the sunny weekends are making my long runs pretty easy to enjoy.
The view from Sunday’s trail run
Last weekend, I enjoyed two back-to-back trail runs. Then, on Wednesday evening, I finally got to try out my new Hoka One One Cliftons. After managing my injury-prone right IT band (which, thankfully has not acted up in about two years) and ongoing tenderness in my sciatic nerve (a strange holdover from pregnancy), I thought it might be an added benefit to explore some maximalist shoes. So far, my impression is that the shoes are much lighter than my regular Brooks or Mizunos. The extra cushioning absorbs quite a bit of shock. After the first run, I had soreness in muscles I don’t usually trigger while running (perhaps a positive sign!). Meanwhile, my joints were pretty dang rested. I look forward to running in the Cliftons more as I finish up these next weeks of training.
I look forward to another long run with good weather tomorrow morning. It is getting to the point in my training where I start needing a little entertainment to get me through the runs. Perhaps I’ll finally start listening to Serial…