I haven't posted in a while because life's been pretty busy. A busy man's an honest man, I once heard.
Well, the cold and snow continue to be major factors. I've talked with many lifelong Clevelanders who say this is among the snowiest winters they can ever remember. At this moment, as I write, freezing temperatures threaten the deep south, especially Florida, there's more than a foot of snow in my yard, and Kentucky has been attacked by ice. I seem to remember someone saying the globe was warming. Hmmmm.....
I continue my core and upper-body strengthening exercises. I've gotten some great exercises from the February issue of Runner's World, in which Olympic sprinting great Lolo Jones is featured doing various core exercises involving her abs, lower back, glutes, hamstrings, hips, etc. As I continue these exercises, with careful emphasis on strengthening my hamstrings to prevent reinjury, I can't help but notice a difference in my running. I just feel more stable.
The week of 1/19-1/25 served as my final "rest" week. I ran 60.81 miles, braving some nasty elements. On Wednesday morning when I started my run at 5:30 a.m., it was 5 degrees outside. Yikes!
That reminds me: My treadmill should be fixed by now but unfortunately the wrong roller was ordered and so now I have a few more days until it's back up and running. Right now I'm running fast outside when the weather cooperates--an opportunistic runner.
The week of 1/26-2/1 started kind of slow and was supposed to be my final rest week, but I got the itch to get started on my high-mileage training early. The week went like this:
AM: 8.5 miles on country roads. Feeling great, I ran miles 7, 8 and 8.5 at sub-7:00 pace and finished strong.
AM: 8 miles in the Chagrin Valley. It was very snowy and the roads were horrible. An epic blizzard was hitting. Despite trying, I wouldn't even be able to get to work that day.
AM: 8 miles in the Chagrin Valley. Once again, I combated very snowy roads, along with fierce wind.
AM: 9 miles down in the Chagrin Valley along River Road. For the second or third day in a row my right hip really hurt--likely a case of bursitis. I've fought occasional hip bursitis for the past three years and this feels like it. The roads were very snowy and slowed me down quite a lot.
AM: 16 miles in South Chagrin Reservation with the Southeast Running Club
The temperature was a cool 10 degrees. With the trails still blanketed by over a foot of snow, Tom A., Tim C., John K. and I ran along River Road down to the Polo Field and back. They left as soon as we returned, so I headed out solo--iPod in hand (actually attached to my pants)--and ran a very snowy all-purpose trail up to Solon Road and back. With exception of some hip pain now and then, I felt great. I'd decided prior to this run that I wanted to go north of 70 miles for the week.
AM: 17 miles in Solon with the Southeast Running Club
The weather was fantastic. Although the thermometer read 30 degrees, it felt like 50, and we had plenty of sunshine to boot. I didn't have a lot of time to work with as Anne had a baby shower to attend, so I got to Solon early, running 5 miles solo, and then completed the final 12 miles with the group. I felt great until about mile 15, but still managed to hold together. The pace for the entire 17 miles was 7:24.
PM: 4.15 miles on country roads near home--easy pace.
Total miles for day: 21.15
Total miles for week: 70.75
Total miles for month (January): 271.79
Total miles for year: 292.94
My goal for this week is to go north of 75 miles, gradually increasing my weekly mileage with an eye toward 100-mile weeks by late March, and try to get in some quality running. As I write this post, I'm fighting an awful cold or maybe even the flu and my temperature is over 100. Getting 75+ miles in this week might be difficult, but I'll give it the old college try.