‘Tis the season to be running…

I’ve managed to get a few good rides in this past couple of weeks, as our beautiful November continues, including a ride into town in the midst of our first real taste of winter yesterday, but the writing is in the snow, so to speak, and tomorrow’s ride with Jeni, Eddie W and Michelle H (a new AW helper, and ex XTERRA athlete) could be it for the trails.

With that, our thoughts (and our legs!) turn to running, and it seems to be the “flavor of the week” for many FARTS… What a week as far as FART mileage!

Kelley has been running 6 miles per day–every day–for almost a month now, and is really committed to it. Well done, Durbo!

Andy is working toward his first 50k distance, and is up to over 15 miles in training.

Jeni just emailed, and did a great 8 miles today in her workout, too!

Keith M (who Dave got started back into fitness!, I’m happy to say!) is up to over 14 miles himself (!), and is looking like he’ll be up for a race in the spring, too!

Peggy just completed an amazing 100 mile race in Arizona a couple of weeks, ago!! Way to go, Peggy! I have attached the url for the story of her race, so check out the account of what it feels like to run 100 in one day! Now THIS is a real run, for all of us “pretenders…”


Continuing the trend, Sheena is running a marathon in California with her Dad next weekend! Way to go, girls! I’m so impressed!

Trying to help keep the male end up, Dave is trying to keep up with Andy, and Peggy emailed to tell me that she knows I’ve got a “50 miler in me.” I’m not sure about that, but after talking with Thomas this week, and hearing all of the great stuff everyone is doing, I’m working on getting into some sort of shape, just in case a sudden marathon/50k/Primal Quest comes up, and someone needs a runner…

I’ve been roughly paralleling Andy’s training as he works toward his 50K, and though I did a pretty quick Loop last Saturday, I’ve been doing more long slow “base” training, including a 1/2 marathon a week or so ago.

I set out today to match Andy and do a 25k… 15.5 miles, and it was another perfect day: overcast, no wind, no precip, mid 30s. So, with new tunes on the Ipod, two water bottles and a GU pack, off I went, hoping to average 9:30/mile, which seems to be an okay “run-long-way” pace.

The difficulty was that the route I chose was pretty robust, especially on the way back home, as I hit the half way mark right around Bayview.

I was feeling pretty good–really good, actually–at the 8.5 mile mark, and decided to add a little extra bit to the run by going through Farragut before heading home.

At the 13 mile mark, I was still feeling okay, though the right hip flexor started twinging, and the hardest part of the run was still to come. I ran through it, and it faded a bit, and I was thankful that the ankles were holding up well. So far, so good.

So far, I was able to maintain my goal pace as I started on the “uphill” leg toward home, and then, I had a revelation about 3 miles later… there’s a BIG difference between 13.1 miles, and 18 miles. There’s even a big difference between 16 miles and 18 miles, especially when the last two miles are uphill.

Going up the biggest hill, with two miles to go, the quads began to lose their “smooth, effortless rythym” (few would call my “original” running style “smooth and effortless,” but I can dream of being Kenyan, can’t I?). Yup. The few seconds I had gained on my pace evaporated, and, for the first time, I was huffing and puffing. Until then, I had managed to keep my heart rate under 132, even up the the other hills, but it was up to 150 all of a sudden.

Finishing the last big hill, I still had 1.35 miles to go, and for sure the legs were feeling it. I was able to finish okay, but was glad when the 18 mile “finish line” arrived.

This was the farthest I’d run in one go in a fair while, and though I was feeling it, I was able to maintain the 9:30 pace, finishing in just over 2:50.

Last week I was confidant that after my half, I could have completed an entire 26.2, but let me tell you that the legs have a mind of their own, and they’ll let you know it–suddenly–at somewhere between 16 and 20 miles. At that point, it doesn’t mean a hill of beans how easy the first 13, 15, 16 or even 18 was… the second “half” of the race starts there, and will take all you’ve got from there to the finish.

It’s a funny thing, as I’m playing with pace and distance: I can easily run faster, as I did the 13.2 last week in under 9:00. I could probably manage 8:30, but I’m unsure for how long. If I was going to run 50 miles or more, I’d probably run slower (somewhere around 12:00 min/mile, maybe) My last marathon was in exactly 8:00, and my fastest was 6:40, but I was WAY younger for both. (I don’t FEEL like I’m going slower… the effort feels the same, but I just don’t go as far in the same amount of time!)

The one good thing is that I’m only moderately sore, though I presume things will tighten up a bit later. I hope it wears off quick, as we have a big ride planned for tomorrow morning!

Now, just a note to keep things in perspective:

~ Dean Karnazes– “Karno” –the Ultramarathon man, has run over 300 miles in a single go, and has completed 50 marathons in 50 days in 50 different states… (he’s currently running the ‘Last Desert’ race in Antarctica, and is planning on coming to Adventure Week for the Deepwater 50 miler!)

~ Hailie Gerbresellasie holds the World Record of 2:03.59, which equals a pace of 4:43.8/mile!! (He’s currently NOT planning on AW, though I might email him and see if he wants to visit North Idaho)

The feats of the supermen aside, I am so proud of all of us for the great work and the great mileage! Congrats to Peggy, and good luck to Sheena! Keep it up, everyone… I can’t wait for our next group “training run” during the Christmas-New Year’s week!

I wish you all good training, and keep running!



Filed under races, training

2 responses to “‘Tis the season to be running…

  1. I ran to Tim Horton’s today.


  2. Hey. Dave discovered “tags” and “categories”.

    Right on.

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