Congratulations to Mike Wardian, who won yet another USA 50K Road National Championship title at the Caumsett 50K in New York with a blazing-fast time of 2:56:36. Mike won the USATF Ultrarunner of the Year Award for 2008 and is one of the sport's best. As an east coaster, he doesn't seem to get the respect that he deserves, especially from the mountain guys out West. It will be interesting to see what Wardian does at this year's Western States 100.
Congratulations also to fellow SERC members and friends on their outstanding performances at the 50K nationals--Mark Godale, 3:21 (4th overall), Marc Abramiuk (3:30), Steve Hawthorne (3:53) and Connie Gardner (3:58).
This was one of my strongest training weeks in a long time--definitely since my hamstring injury last September. Going into the week, I felt very discouraged because of my recent health problems as I'd fought off a number of viruses that kept me from logging high mileage. But this week I feel like I made a breakthrough, getting healthy again and achieving my goal of 85 miles (actually, I ran 86.85) with a very strong tempo run on Friday followed by an excellent 21-mile trail/road run on Saturday.
Here's how the week went:
AM: 5.3 miles easy on the treadmill
AM: 8.3 miles on my treadmill. I wasn't inclined to go out and fight the single-digit weather, so I ran indoors instead. My legs felt fresh and for the first time in weeks my lung capacity was back to normal.
PM: 6 miles during lunch. I ran up Fairmount and returned to the office via Shaker Park and MLK.
Total miles for day: 14.3
AM: 9.25 miles with sub-6:30 pick-ups. I headed to the track but couldn't do my intervals because the track was snow-covered. So I hit the streets and roads of the Chagrin River Valley, incorporating three one-mile pick-ups into my run.
PM: 4 miles easy on my treadmill
Total miles for day: 13.25
AM: 8.5 miles in the Chagrin River Valley. Too busy at work and home for a PM run.
AM: 10 miles with 5 at tempo pace. My plan over the next few months is to add a half-mile onto my tempo run every week, eventually hitting 10, 11 or 12 miles by the late spring. This week my goal was 5 miles at tempo pace and the run went very well despite high winds as a cold front blew in. Here are my splits: 1) 7:43 (warm-up), 2) 6:17, 3) 6:14, 4) 6:17, 5) 6:21, 6) 6:18, 7) 6:24, 8) 7:31 (cool-down from here on), 9) 7:11, 10) 7:19. Obviously this was a great run for me. No PM run to get my legs ready for the following day's long effort.
AM: 21 miles in 3 hours, 2 minutes in South Chagrin Reservation with Tim C., Ted F., and John K. (Southeast Running Club). Despite a temp of 14 degrees at the start and icy trails, this was an amazing run as I never really got tired. I could have kept going at least another hour. Maybe the two Endurolytes I took before the run made the difference. It is unusual for me to be able to run for over 3 hours and feel good with no calories coming in except for a little Gatorade here and there. I ran the last 5 miles solo, going down Chagrin River Road, and then climbing the hill toward the Chagrin Falls village before taking Bentleyville Road back down to South Chagrin Reservation. No PM run as I deserved some rest.
AM: 14.5 miles in Solon with the Southeast Running Club. Once again the temp at the start was cold--about 14 degrees with a nasty wind from the north. I averaged 7:30 pace.
Total miles for week: 86.85
Total miles for month: 276.35 (terrible!)
Total miles for year: 562.94
I'm traveling a few days this week, which will make a high-mileage effort pretty challenging. I'm going to try for 80 miles, including intervals, 5.5 miles at tempo pace, and hopefully a long run.
The following week (3/9-3/15), which will be one week before the Lt. JC Stone 50K, will be critical. I'm going to shoot for 90-95 miles with a run of 4 hours. If I hit 90 miles for the week of 3/9-3/15 and am feeling good, I will likely taper for a few days and go to Pittsburgh and try for a sub-4-hour time at the Lt. JC Stone 50K. If I'm not where I want to be, I'll probably run the Green Jewel 50K here in Cleveland as a trainer. It's a fun-run, but it's a point-to-point run and would allow me some valuable time on my feet.
I still plan to run the Forget the PR Mohican 50K in April as a training run and am as yet undecided as to how I run the Cleveland Marathon--as a training run for Mohican or all-balls-out. It depends on how I'm feeling and where I am in my conditioning. Marathons really kick my butt and I want to be ready for Mohican only a month later. I do not want to peak prematurely. I want to peak at Mohican. Contrary to what some of my running buddies might say, I believe a well-trained athlete peaks only twice and maybe three times a year.
Onward and upward!