Sunday, March 1, 2009

Weekly Wrap - End of February and a short-term Goal.

Tempus Fugit.
For those of us that never had to take Latin at any point in our scholastic careers, the phrase can be translated to mean "Time flees", or "Time Flies". I came across this phrase studying the Italian poet Virgil back in college, and Virgil uses the phrase in one of his poems to lament the nature of time being irreplacable and we should consider those things that consume the hours and minutes of our lives and decide if we should be doing something more worthwhile.

Don't worry, I am not going to launch into a diatribe about the hours spent training, in fact, if pushed, I'd be more apt to say that the time I spend out on the roads and the trails is worthwhile for numerous reasons.
Instead, I think of this phrase as I sit here and write. The calendar across the room pronounces this is the first day of March. For me, this is opening day for the trail running season. The first races of the season are still multiple weeks away, but this week should be when the training should be arriving in a place where one can gather a little bit of an idea of what the competitive could look like.
Obviously, this is not a hard and fast rule. I have trail running friends that are training for Miwok at the beginning of May, so they are knee deep in their training. Other friends have already competed this year, and have been doing so throughout the winter. While the USATF 50k Championships are today, and some famous names from the trail and ultra scene have descended upon Camusett Park in New York to do battle for the 50k crown.

But for an average joe like me, March 1st seems like the place where the preparation for this spring and summer should begin. This is especially true when I have spend the greater share of the last 4 months trying to come back to some basic fitness after getting hurt in October. Here are some of the basics for this week, using Monday-Sunday:
Monday - 0
Tuesday - 3.2 @ 27:07 (8:26 pace)
Wednesday - 0
Thursday - 0
Friday - 2.6 @ 21:00 (7:57 pace)
Saturday - 2.6 @ 20:45 (7:56 pace)
Sunday - 7.3 @ 65:00 (8:41 pace)
Total - 15.7 miles
The week had a little bit of everything. Today I ran an hour on the roads, which were covered in about an inch and a half of snow, with the sleeve on my IT Band. My muscles are sore, but the knee seems to be okay for now. We will see how it feels when I wake up tomorrow. One great note is that 8:41 pace is great considering I added a three minute walk break at 45 minutes during the run. Friday and Saturday were my first couple of training runs with the new shoes and the IT Band compression sleeve the Physical Therapist provided. The combonation of both seem to be helping, but weeks of consistent training and increased mileage will be the true test.
This has certainly been an interesting week weather wise. I was elated to get out Friday in the increasing daylight and the temp hovering in the middle 50's. First time I got to don the shorts and a T-shirt in months. Then today I ran in wind, snow, and 25 degree temps - back to the cold weather gear. Tonight and tomorrow we are looking at foot and a half of snow, so the Kahtoolas will be needed if I venture out on the trails next week.

Finally, it appears that the Merrimack River Trail 10 miler will be happening the second weekend of April. That gives me about six weeks to achieve the fitness to toe the line for my first trail adventure of the year. I'd ideally like to have a 2 hour long trail run or two under my belt by the Merrimack Race, but considering my current fitness and slowly building mileage, Merrimack is a safe goal. Pineland ultimately might not be in the cards this year. At least not the 50k, maybe the 25k.
So the objectives:
- Lose 5-10 pounds before Merrimack.
- Increase mileage/time on feet, monitoring ITB situation.
- Perhaps add one day with a few faster repeats.
- Run Merrimack in 1:30.

Until next time!
Happy Snow Covered Trails!

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