Sunday, January 31, 2010

"Today, no Spartan dies!"

For the uninitiated, the title of this week's post comes from the semi-cult hit film "300", and therein lies the tie-in with this running blog, as I have logged my first-ever 300+-mile month (305, to be exact).  I did not set out to establish such a landmark, but it has been instead a natural outgrowth of a more ambitious running regimen than I've ever previously undertaken.

Last week (#4 of the Boston 2010 buildup) ended up like this:
  • Monday - 5M easy/recovery
  • Tuesday - 10+M, with 8x2 mins hill repeats
  • Wednesday - AM: 5M easy; PM: 5M easy
  • Thursday - 8+M progression run
  • Friday -10M total, with 2 x 2M at HMP and an extra 0.5M tacked onto the second set at 10K-5K pace
  • Saturday - 8.25M, easy
  • Sunday - 21+M with a couple of moderately hard miles (Miles 18 & 19) thrown in
Week's total = 72.5

I felt better overall this week than I did early last week, and it's a thrill to have two 20+-milers "in the bank" within the first four weeks of  the training cycle.  The weather improved for a spell, before another blast of cold air moved through.  As a result, I did Friday's "quality" session indoors, mixing it up on the indoor track and treadmill.  It made it realistic to hit the goal paces that way.  Given the bitter cold on Friday morning, I'd have never had a successful workout outdoors.  So, while I'd always prefer to run outside, I'll let pragmatism rule when it comes to the key workouts of this training cycle.

Next week is a planned cutback week, with two travel days on the schedule and a lot of family commitments in Florida (where we're traveling for a big family event).  I'd like to get somewhere in the high 50's, but anything around 50-55 would be perfectly acceptable, and may even be extremely beneficial.  We'll be staying right near the beach, and the idea that I will be running in a singlet or even shirtless is very appealing.  I'm sure the heat will slow me down, but I will likely just throw in a few tempo miles on one run and call it good.

I still have no concrete goals for Boston, and - frankly - it's very liberating.  Unlike any of my prior marathons, I'm not chasing a time, I'm letting the training cycle lead me to it.  I know perfectly well that if I stay healthy, I'll toe the line in Boston in the best shape of my life.  What time that translates into . . . well, we'll all just have to wait and see, won't we?

Have a great week of running, everyone. -ESG/Ron

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