Helllllloooooooooooo! Crazy to see on my training plan that I am now 7.5 weeks in, with 8.5 weeks left to go! Almost at that halfway point! Training is on schedule and I am feeling pretty good. I lamented before how it is frustrating sometimes as I notice myself slower on some workouts this year than I was last year, but I then remember that last year I was coming off some strong races in late fall/winter so I was better prepared to enter training. I have had some awesome training runs, though, and that makes me feel even more confident getting to this halfway point. The 16 miler I have on Saturday will be my first true test, in my opinion, as it has the mileage challenge and the mental challenge. I missed my first 16 miler two weeks ago because I was fighting this awful stomach bug, so I need to go out and just get the mileage in. Nothing fancy, no crazy pace accelerations…just run 16 miles in my long-run pace range (7:48-9:04 per mile).
I also have mentioned before that not having any races lately has made it hard at times to really push my limits. On February 27th, I will be doing my first event of 2016. The Hypothermic Half is an event held nationwide and put on by Running Room. I am doing this in conjunction with my 18 miler that day, so I am not going to race it, just simply use it as part of my training run that day. The ‘competitive’ events come in March and April, as I have the local Moonlight Run 10km on March 19th and the Trailbreaker Half Marathon in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on April 2nd. My dream goal at Moonlight would be to place in top 3 women overall. The race can be all over the place, due to the change in weather, time of year, and the wicked hill climb for the last 3/4 of a mile. Last year, while I ran faster than the year prior, I placed 5th overall in women. I ran a 43:47. In 2014, I placed 4th overall with my 47:27. This year, I expect to be somewhere in between those times, but have no real clue how I will finish. It really depends on who shows up on race day….and I don’t mean just what competitors….I mean what Andrea will show up?!?!?
For Trailbreaker, I am planning on pushing myself to the limits and run the best half marathon I possibly can. To beat my personal best, I would need to run faster than a 1:35:41. I did that time exactly one year ago in frigid temperatures. My most recent half marathon time was my less-than-pleasing Lethbridge Police Half, where I had stomach issues the last 4 miles and dropped position and time, finishing with a 1:40.13…well off what I was capable of. So really, I am aiming for anything under 1:40 at Trailbreaker, as coming off a week of ‘vacationing’ in Milwaukee is sometimes a bit much. And since I have been training for Boston, I know my legs are ready for this. And, the elevation is lower back home, so you never know! Lets just hope the humidity stays away!
Lastly….my foot. It’s not an injury, per say, but a nuisance. I know, KNOW it is getting more aggravated by the day as I keep pounding out the mileage. The new shoes and orthotics have helped tons, and I am so glad I got them. However, the only way for it not to hurt would for me to not run, walk, stand, be human. So, I am just going to keep ruining my foot and build that bone spur up more and more until I have a surgery date set. I have been putting prescription 10% Voltaren on it as of late, and this has helped numb the pain. I am set to see my podiatrist next week to talk about pain management, and then I will hopefully be booking an appointment with my family doctor (and sports medicine extraordinaire) to have him inject something into it????? I have been going to physiotherapy pretty regularly, and I am addicted to the TENS machine…those electric wave pulses (or whatever they are) on my foot feel SO GOOD. I really don’t know how my foot will hold up on races, as during runs I don’t really think about it. It is after I am done running and my shoe is off that the throbbing really kicks in. So the Hypothermic half, Moonlight Run and Trailbreaker will all be good indicators on how 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to Boston will physically feel come April 18th! I don’t really care if my foot feels like it is going to fall off during that race, because emotionally it will feel amazing!