I feel a bit like an animal waking from hibernation. All of a sudden, it’s not so dark and cold and I feel less like the kid in A Christmas Story every time I head out for a run. Nordic ski season also wrapped yesterday so I’m finally unburying from to-dos pushed aside for the Championship season and have more (any) time to train for my upcoming events.
Speaking of upcoming events, I’m supposed to race in DC in two and a half weeks and find myself, much like Kara Goucher, a little over my head. I’ve been running, but I would refer to it more as maintenance rather than training. I’ve done precious few workouts and fully expect the USA RockNRoll half to be a painful endeavor. I’m hoping for a reasonable result, as the Competitor Group was kind enough to invite Dan and myself down to compete for top honors, but I think I’ll be leaving course records and PRs to Dan, who has had a much better winter than I.
For the next 2.5 weeks, I’ll be focusing on just trying to get my legs used to turning over. The course in DC is actually very similar to Philly but the hills are a between 5 and 7 instead of 9 and 10. I am likely to assume a similar race strategy of easing into the race at tempo pace, then gearing down towards the end. I have no expectations of a PR and will instead be happy with a solid fitness test.
The good news is that although I haven’t been doing workouts and many of my runs have been supplanted with nordic skiing, I’m extremely strong coming out of the winter. My normally scrawny upper body is muscled out from poling work and my quads and hips are solid from skiing. This muscle may help me immensely when things start to hurt on the 16th.
Once we get through DC, it’s Phase 3 and a total VCM focus. My mileage should get to and stay at 70, targeted workouts begin and it will be time to focus entirely on an excellent performance at the end of May. Here’s hoping the return from hibernation goes well…