March 21: Lt. JC Stone 50K (Pittsburgh, first-ever road ultra)--going for a sub-4 hour time
April 19: Forget the PR, Mohican 50K--just a training run
May 17: Cleveland Marathon--questionable I run it...as a race or training run for the Mohican 100
June 20: Mohican Trail 100 Mile Run--The Main Event!
August 1: Burning River 100 Mile Endurance Run--If I'm still in one piece and functional after the Mohican 100...
As obvious from the above, I have decided that unless any bad circumstances should arise in the Hornsby house (as I write this I'm coming down with a cold and Noah and Anne are sick), I am going to Pittsburgh to run the Lt. JC Stone 50K on March 21. I hope to run the 50K in under 4 hours. Since this will be my first road ultra, I just don't know what to expect from 31 miles of pavement running and therefore don't want to get too ambitious with my goal time. I'm just going to go out there and do my best and hopefully the result will be better than 4 hours.
As far as how the training week went, it was more or less built around the fact that I'd be traveling all weekend and wouldn't have much time to run on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. On Friday afternoon, I left for Atlanta, Georgia, where my parents live, and then the next day we drove to Sumter, SC for a much-anticipated family extravaganza--my grandmother's 95th birthday. She's 95, still very mentally sharp and on only one prescription drug (for her arthritis). Unbelievable! Her birthday brought together aunts and uncles, cousins, longtime family friends and others who I hadn't seen in years. It was a nice occasion.
Anyway, with a goal of 80 miles, I knew I'd need to jam in as many miles as possible during the work week and try to squeeze in another 20 over the weekend between family functions. Fortunately, it all worked. Here's how the week went:
AM: 6 miles easy on my treadmill. I carried my 2 lbs. dumbells as I ran, holding them close to my body. I've found that this improves arm strength--critical to a successful 100-miler since your arms are up and swinging back and forth for a full day.
AM: 9 miles easy on the treadmill. The temperature was a crisp 5 degrees, so I chose to stay indoors.
PM: 6.8 miles during lunchtime at work. I ran down MLK and back. It was very cold--18 degrees with a fierce wind coming in from the lake. The out was brutal with the wind, but the back was a piece of cake with the gust at my back.
Total miles for day: 15.8
AM: 9 miles in the Chagrin River valley. Once again it was very cold--a gusty 10 degrees is hardly ideal for track intervals so I just headed down to the valley and held a 7:00 pace for the whole run with some pick-ups mixed in.
PM: 6.2 miles during lunchtime at work. I ran in and around Shaker Park.
Total miles for day: 15.2
AM: 9 miles in the Chagrin River valley
PM: 5 miles during lunchtime at work. I ran into Cleveland Heights and Little Italy.
Total miles for day: 14
AM: 10-mile tempo run (5.5 miles at tempo pace). This was another solid tempo run and the weather was great--50s and clear though a tad windy. My splits for the 5.5 miles at tempo pace were: 2) 6:24, 3) 6:12, 4) 6:12, 5) 6:22, 6) 6:16, and 6.5) 3:14. My legs were a little tired by the end due to two-a-days the previous few days. No run that night as I was traveling to Atlanta.
AM: 10 miles semi-easy in Roswell, Georgia, north of Atlanta, where my parents live. The temperature was in the 50s and the conditions totally clear. I ran (in shorts!) from my folks' home down to the Chattahoochee River, traipsing along the river for a few miles and then turning around. Riverside Road is a really nice flat stretch that would be perfect for an out-and-back tempo run. I didn't have much time to work with because we needed to be in the car by 8 a.m. to get to Sumter, South Carolina for my grandmother's birthday. No run that night because of family commitments.
AM: 12.26 miles in Sumter, SC, where the temperature was in the low 70s, the sun was out in full force and the sky was blue as could be. You can't find this kind of weather in Cleveland in March! I previously thought Sumter wasn't too scenic but was I ever wrong. Starting from the Hampton Inn, I ran through some beautiful neighborhoods--many with older homes and mature trees, etc. I saw buds in the trees and it seemed every other home had sprinklers running. This was a very enjoyable run and I wish I could have kept going but we had church at 11 and I had to get back to the hotel to get ready. I felt kind of nasty because of the previous day's runner-unfriendly, yet thoroughly delicious, diet (hamburger and fries for lunch, barbecue for dinner), but oh well, you have to go with the flow and enjoy good food and good company when you have it.
Total miles for week: 83.26
Total miles for month: 97.76
Total miles for year: 646.2 (about 100 miles below last year's tally at this time)
With no travel plans for the coming week, which will be my final hard week before the Lt. JC Stone 50K in Pittsburgh on March 21, my objectives are pretty clear-cut:
- 90-95 miles
- 3x1600s, each at 5:35-5:45 pace on Wednesday
- 4-mile tempo run on Friday (reducing length in view of the next day's activities)
- 3.5-4 hours of running (about 24-26 miles) on Saturday
- How ever many miles on Sunday to achieve my weekly goal
Onward and upward!