Saturday, March 12, 2011

Greetings from Atlanta

I'm here at the Atlanta airport, on my way to Colorado, and I thought I'd take this opportunity to reflect on the past week's runs and what's to come. Yesterday's 22-miler was the culmination of 11 weeks' worth of intensive training. There are just 7 weeks to the Big Sur Marathon, with only one 20-miler planned between now and then.

For the next 7 weeks, while I'll be keeping the mileage up nearly as high as I have been, the focus will tilt slightly towards speed. I'm entered in a 10K, a half-marathon, and an 8K race. I've got several interval workouts on the docket, and I'll be continuing to do strides once or twice a week as well. As long as I can keep my injuries in check, I think I'm on track to do quite well at Big Sur. While the goal of a 3:30 marathon and a Boston Qualifier might be out of reach, I don't think I'll be far behind that pace.

With that in mind, I've registered for another marathon in June: the Steamboat marathon in Colorado. Steamboat is a very Boston-friendly course. It's downhill almost all the way. Unless it's unseasonably hot, I should be able to complete the course much faster than Big Sur. In a dream scenario, I'd qualify for Boston at Big Sur, then improve on my time at Steamboat to assure myself of a slot in Boston in 2012.

Week in review:

Number of runs: 6
Miles: 62.94
Elevation gain: 2,411 ft
Average elevation gain: 402 ft

The week included my fastest tempo run yet and my longest run yet, so needless to say, I'm very happy with my progress. In addition, my knee is beginning to feel much better. In previous weeks, especially after long runs or fast runs, I had quite a bit of difficulty walking up and down stairs. But even yesterday afternoon I had little trouble with my knee at all.

Of course, if you're concerned about your knees, it's probably not be a great idea to head to Colorado for a 4-day ski trip, but skiing has been a passion of mine since childhood, and this is my daughter's senior year in high school -- she's the only family member who also skis. Since I'm not sure when my next chance to go skiing will be, I'm going to take this one. I'll miss four days of running, but I'm going to take my Garmin on the slopes. It'll be interesting to see how many gravity-assisted miles I manage in four days!

Today's run was an easy 5-miler with Gabrielle, at least until she got bored with my slow pace and took off. You should have seen me yesterday, Gabrielle! Details are below.

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