Sunday, June 3, 2012

Summer Training 2012 Begins

On June 1st I "officially" kicked off my training for the McKenzie River Trail Run 50K in September and the Twin Cities Marathon in October. I did that by lagging abed so long that I only had time for 6.2 miles before work...oh well. It was within my prescribed 6-8 miles, anyway.

May ended with the Portland Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon on May 20 (1:59:18, race and trip recap to come--maybe), and a long Memorial Day weekend trip to Kona, Hawaii. I really hope to write a post about Kona as I have a lot to share about the books I read, places we ate, and running in Kona!

But back to June. I have sketched out a plan for the summer that includes long back to back runs on the weekend, quite a few trail runs, and a moderate amount of speed work. I am hoping that I can balance the necessary slowness of looong distance and trail running with enough speed to maintain decent times in my half marathons and eventually, Twin Cities. I am not aiming for any half marathon PRs or a marathon time faster than 4:10-15. Hopefully those modest goals are not overly ambitious.

My plan calls for me to run five days most weeks. That is an increase from my current practice, which has been four days and occasionally five. I have a back-up plan that would allow for four days, if my body resists too much. In addition to two weekend long runs, I will alternate tempo runs and speed work once a week. The other two days will be one easy run and one easy with some marathon pace (9:30ish) miles. I have a few half marathons which will hopefully be around 9-minute pace, and shorter races for bonus speed work.

I want to practice trail running for MRTR. I'm not really comfortable with going out on the trails alone, so I've signed up for (or plan to sign up for) several trail "races." That will provide extra support and the safety of a large(ish) group. Of course I often seem to find myself on my own for trail runs, but at least there are people out there somewhere!

The first one was the Xterra Lord Hill Half Marathon yesterday. Lord Hill is in Monroe, not too far from home, so it's a good destination for me. (I'm signed up for a 20-mile there in a month...gulp). It is very hilly, and the trails are a mix of single track moderately technical, and wider bridle paths or trails.

I intended this solely as a training run...I don't see myself ever racing a trail run! I feel like I met my goal of running easy and averaging about 12-minute miles. I ran (joggged) up almost all the hills (there were a few where my jogging steps weren't much faster than hiking, I admit). I ended up running a good part of the race "with" another woman who was faster than me on the flatter portions, but walked up the hills, where I would overtake her. The last half mile or so was on a gravel road, downhill, and I finally put on my racing legs and barreled downhill to the finish (passing her on the way). My finish time was about 2:41, which is slightly over 12 minutes/mile (guess I shouldn't have made that bathroom stop at the aid station).

I never felt like I was working too hard during the run, which was my intent. But I am a little sore today! My quads in particular, but there is a bit of overall achiness as well. I didn't run today because if I stick with my plan for the upcoming week (includes running on Monday and Tuesday), I would have too many consecutive days.

I used some of my free time this morning to register for the Scotiabank Vancouver (BC) Half Marathon. That's the day after Seattle R 'n' R, so we'll leave Seattle on Saturday and head up to Vancouver. Believe it or not, I don't think I've ever done two half marathons in two day...not official ones, anyway!

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