Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Finding my Spring

I've decided not to run a spring marathon and it's due to the fact that I have been feeling fatigued. Back in January, I would sleep 7 hours at night and wake up in the morning feeling exhausted and not refreshed. I attribute this feeling to the 70+ weeks I was running in December and January without adding in extra sleep. Eventually all of this running on relatively little sleep caught up with me and my runs were flat, and my lungs and legs weren't responding as I would have liked. Non-stop, injury-free running has created a new nemesis: My own ability to run more and more without any painful checks and balances on my tendons/joints. Instead what checked my running was fatigue. I've found out that all of those Runner's World tips that stress getting enough sleep/rest that I've been ignoring, actually have some merit!

So, I've cut my mileage down to around 40 mpw and I've really slowed down my training runs. My weekly training pace has traditionally been around 7:45/mile. Since February 1st that pace is now 8:30/mile with the first couple of miles of most runs near 10:00/mile pace. The book "80/20 Running: Run Stronger and Race Faster By Training Slower" which I read last month advises running 80% of your runs super slow. This new plan seems to have helped me recover a bit and I am feeling a lot better/fresher, although not faster.

So, I won't be running a spring marathon, but I have signed up for two spring races so far:
1) Shamrock Shuffle 8k
2) The Ravenswood Run 5k

I am likely going to run the Indy Mini Half Marathon in May, although I haven't registered for it yet.

Ideally, I'd like to PR one of these races, but I am getting to the point where I would be happy with a "2nd best PR", since I don't have the "spring in my step" that I would need to run super super fast. However, I still have a month for the Shamrock and two months for the Ravenswood Run, so maybe I'll find my spring soon enough!

Ice formation along the Lakefront Trail on my 13 miler Sunday

Monday, February 9, 2015

Inaugural Mikkeller Beer Run

On Saturday, I met up with Xaarlin and Eric for the inaugural Mikkeller Beer Run. The 3.3 mile fun run started from the Northdown Cafe and Taproom on Lincoln Ave went north on Ravenswood all the way to Montrose and back. We had really warm temps (near 50ยบ) for an early February in Chicago. It was nice to catch up with Xaarlin and Eric while enjoying a free Mikkeller Beer and some sausage after the run was over.

Here is a picture of the group before the run:
MRC Runners (can you find Xaarlin, Eric and Me?) (src)
 Right after that we headed out. Eric snagged one of me and Xaarlin with his handy GoPro:
Xaarlin and Me on our beer run (src)
After the turnaround we headed back down Ravenswood to the bar:
The thirsty crew heading back to the bar...
Once at the taproom, we all got our free Mikkeller. Eric and I ordered some delicious Polish sausages and fries. Jeff H who claims he was the first runner back to the bar, sat down at our table and chatted with us for awhile. After an hour or two, I ran the two miles home with a full belly and felt fine. Anyway, did I mention that Xaarlin organized this whole thing and got a mega turnout of 37 people?! She did an awesome job. The next run is March 7th. Don't miss it!