Sunday, March 7, 2010

Post-hibernation news

Spring is on the way, and I can't wait!

To start this entry, a brief recap since my last post of several weeks ago:
  • I had my hernia surgery three days after my marathon. Faith Ann drove me home from the hospital after the surgery, and promptly got the van stuck in the newly fallen snow in the driveway. Of course, I couldn't lift any snow just two hours after my surgery, so I limped into the house while she spent a couple of hours digging herself out. It was kind of funny (for me at least). In total, I took 19 days off without a minute of running. My recovery went as well as could be expected, and I feel fine now.

  • I ran three miles on the treadmill February 6th, and my body didn't feel too bad

  • I watched a fine Super Bowl game, while losing a little money playing some friendly games of poker

  • Ran four miles twice in the next three days

  • Suffered through a terrible cold, which prevented me from running for another week

  • Finally, I got back into a regular running routine, and had lots of fun watching many hours of Olympic coverage. The gold medal hockey game was great of course, but for some reason this year I was strangely interested in bobsledding (bobsleighing??). I especially liked how the sleighers (sledders? riders? drivers?) would get each other so psyched up in the seconds before the race, slapping each other, gritting their teeth ... then would stand frozen for two or three seconds before taking off like a shot down the track. Canada's first gold medal, won by Alexandre Bilodeau, was also especially sweet, given that he beat a smug ex-Canadian and spam generator.
So, to summarize from a running perspective, for the one month period from January 18th to February 17th, I ran three times for a total of eleven miles. However, I do seem to be on the road to improvement, and I have a few spring races lined up. I am following a half-marathon training plan from this book by Brad Hudson. My "goal race" as a result of this training plan isn't actually a half-marathon, it's one of the legs of the Cabot Trail Relay, which I'll be attending again this year with much of the same group from last year. We could still use 3-4 additional runners for the team, and it would be great if some veteran runners that I have reached out to (you know who you are!) decide to join us.

My weekly mileage until mid-June will be around 35-38 miles. Once I start a marathon training plan in June, that will pick up. While my mileage is lower than through most of 2009, the effort and speed sessions have increased. I don't expect to set any speed records this spring, but between my training plan and the races, my fitness level should be ok by the time the marathon training starts.

Here are those races that I have planned for the spring:

  • Lincoln 5k, April 11th: This race is just outside Fredericton. When I ran this last year, I came extremely close to throwing up as I finished. Good times.

  • Grand-Digue 15k, April 24th: I promise to set a new personal best time in this race. Of course, I've never raced a 15k either. Organized by New Brunswick running fiend Sylvio Bourque, I'm looking forward to this.

  • Fredericton Marathon (half-marathon), May 9th: Perhaps someday I'll run my "hometown" marathon, but for now I'm sticking with the half.

  • Cabot Trail Relay, May 29th/30th: It looks like I'm running leg four of the relay, up Cape Smokey! Looking forward to it!

  • River Valley Rave Run (June 5th) or Cobscook Bay 10k: I'm not certain if I'll run either of these races, but my guess is that I'll run one or the other. I ran the Cobscook Bay 10k last year, meeting the great Andrew for the first time! I think it would be fun to head to Pembroke Maine and run it again, but I'm not sure if it's scheduled for that weekend. If not, I may run the River Valley Rave Run in Grand Bay, just a short drive from home.

  • St. Andrews Father's Day Road Race, June 20th: Mike's race! I missed it last year, but I'll make sure to get there this year.
If I do those races, I think that will allow me to be listed in the "Run for the Cycle" for Run New Brunswick, for runners who complete races of 5k/8k/10k/half-marathon/marathon for the year.

Then the fun of marathon training starts! It looks like there are already about 500 people signed up for the Mount Desert Island marathon, on it's way to being sold out.

My next update will have a nice picture or two in it - get ready for it!