To start with, last week was a complete throw away for training.  After Monday’s 5.5 miler (which went well), I just had nothing for speedwork Tuesday, took Wednesday off from cross training and never found enough to get back out.  I’ll have the occasional week like this, and have even scheduled an off-week in the past as part of a training schedule, but it still frustrates me.

Up to last week I had a fantastic start to this training schedule.  A really solid four weeks that, as I look at, I might have pushed a little hard for the opening 20% of a marathon training schedule.  Here’s a look:

Week 1: 19 miles
Week 2: 21.2 miles
Week 3: 25 miles (with my best speedwork session to date)
Week 4: 26.1 miles (on just 4 runs, with a 2:01:45 half-marathon long run)
Week 5: 5.5 miles

I still have to remind myself that I’m moving forward.  Slow progress is progress and when February closes I’ll have logged more miles through 2 months than either of the last two years.  I’ve had the best speedwork sessions I’ve ever run in the opening month of training, plus I’ve lost the weight I’ve gained following last year’s foot injury (I’m actually a couple pounds under the weight I raced in Fargo).  I’m making progress, and if I get good conditions at the Marathon-to-Marathon, I feel like I’ve got a shot at taking down the 4:13:53 that stands as my personal best.  We’ll see.

Four weeks away!
A reminder that the Powder Blue 5k is four weeks away.  So it’s a great time to start getting out and running the streets in prep for an early season race.  A reminder, you can walk, run, hop, crawl, or barrel roll…just get out and active to start the spring.  Have young kids?  Push ’em in the stroller for a 3.1 mile walk.  Been training hard for an April or May race?  Nothing better than a prep race.  Haven’t got out yet this spring?  Consider this a kick in the ass to get moving.  I’m looking forward to race reports…race weekend in March 22-24.


Races, Races, Races

My once/week posts have turned into once/month.  Seriously, how am I getting worse at this?

The Powder Blue 5k is Back!
Anyway, big news.  My spring virtual race officially has a date.  The 2nd Annual Powder Blue 5k will take place the weekend of March 22-24, with the home race going out at 9am on Saturday, March 23.  A quick reminder of what the virtual race entails…

Pick a day, either Friday, Saturday, or Sunday on the weekend of March 22-24.  You may run, walk, hop, crawl or barrel roll, however you cover the distance is up to you.  Go for at least 5 kilometers (3.1 miles), and take as many people with you as possible.  The idea is to get out and active.  Once completed send me a pic and a little info on your race (did you see something unusual? set a PR? share your time if you like).  At the end of the weekend I compile all the reports into one post which blows me away every time on how many participate.  This is my fourth virtual race, each one bigger than the last.  And since I’m a powder blue addict (the only color I’ll wear on race day), I’m partial to powder blue pics.  So get ready, race weekend is 6 weeks away!  (Here‘s a link to last fall’s GYRG virtual race, and here for last year’s Powder Blue 5k)

Looking for a repeat performance.
In addition to the Powder Blue, I’ve got two other races on the schedule that I’m training my butt off for.  April 21st is the 2nd Annual Fort Dodge Half-Marathon and I just got an e-mail from Race Director Amber with this year’s improvements.  An event that impressed me last year in it’s first attempt (race report here), Amber really committed to improving this race for the better in 2013.  They’ve added chip timing to rectify a timing issue from last year, upgraded in the shirt department with tech shirts that look really nice, added Powerade to all aid stations and improved the start location this year.  Commitment to improving the race experience is what draws me to this event and I highly recommend Fort Dodge for an early season half-marathon.  I’m hoping to take a crack at the 1:56:08 PR I set here last year and can’t wait for race day.  Fort Dodge, here I come!  (Anyone else near me that is interested in this race, LET ME KNOW.  I’d love to bring a few racers with me this year.)

A big improvement over last year.  Can't wait for it.

A big improvement over last year. Can’t wait for it.

Back to the site of #1.
Last year I used Fort Dodge as a stepping stone to my marathon PR 4:13:53 in Fargo on May 19.  I’m hoping for a similar boost this year as I return to the site of marathon #1, The Marathon-to-Marathon starting in Storm Lake on June 8.  While I’m super proud of finishing marathon #1 on this course, I’m equal parts embarrassed at the performance that day.  I’m out to prove I can have a good run on this course and can’t wait to take the line for my first marathon in (on race day) over a year!  Add the foot-injury comeback and I’ve got more want for this one than any previous race.  I’m not sure I’ll be in good enough shape to take a run at a PR (I need good conditions as well), but I’m damn sure going to try.  M-to-M, you’re getting all I’ve got.

Home update
In home news my wife got struck by the flu bug this weekend, but has been recovering well.  I’m sure she’ll be up and active again in no time.  She’s never been one to be too patient, so recovery seems to come fast to her.  We also got our new refrigerator last week and patched the hole in the wall behind the old cupboard.  How’s it look?

All I could do was laugh when I saw this.

All I could do was laugh when I saw this.

Look better?

Look better?

Valentine’s day, who’s lovin’ it?
And finally, if you’re looking for that special something for your valentine this week…there’s beautiful table-side service, candlelight, and flowers.  Where you ask?

You've got to be kidding me.

You’ve got to be kidding me.