Saturday, February 25, 2012

Approaching the Home Stretch!

Somehow the months have flown by, and Marathon Monday is just over seven weeks away. That means four more good weeks of training, then time to start tapering. The mileage over the next four weeks should be between 65 to 70 miles per week, and that's kicked off with the Hyannis Half Marathon tomorrow morning. My half marathon PR is 1:25, and I'd love to break that. However, I'm not sure that will happen with the time I took off to heal my left foot. I'll just see how I feel tomorrow and go from there. 

I've been nursing a slight tightness in my right hamstring that cropped up this week, so I didn't run yesterday or today. I did get in a 23 mile bike ride in 25+ mph wind today. It almost seemed like an obstacle course, dodging all of the branches that had come down from the high winds. Because of the higher winds and temperatures in the low 40s, there weren't that many bikers out, which was actually quite nice.

Yesterday, Katie and I returned from a fabulous trip to Utah. We flew into Las Vegas, then drove to St. George, which is in southwestern Utah. While there, we visited Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks, and we also had an awesome day of skiing at Brian Head. The scenery was spectacular, and puts our New England 'hills' to shame.

While in St. George, I ran along a series of bike trails near the Virgin River. On Monday, I got in my third 20 miler of my marathon training. The run went by quickly due to the amazing scenery and fresh mountain air. I was actually expecting the altitude to have somewhat of an effect on my training, but my pace and HR were the same as at home.

I'm happy to say that I'm over 2/3 of the way to my goal of raising $6000 for the Museum of Science! With about six more weeks of fundraising, I'm confident that I can reach my goal.

Here are a few pictures of our trip.


Bryce Canyon:

Saturday, February 11, 2012

9 Weeks to go till Marathon Day!!

With just over nine weeks until Marathon Monday, my anticipation of my first 'Boston' is building! I recently had a slight issue with my left foot and had to take ten days off from running, but I'm getting back on track. I initially feared a stress fracture, as the pain was pretty severe. I ended up getting three x-rays, but no fracture was seen. The diagnosis was either a slight connective tissue strain or shoe laces too tight, compressing a nerve on the top of my foot. Either way, my foot is feeling a lot better, and I ran 40 miles this week. The coming week is a rest week in my plan, and I hope to build back into the plan for the remaining eight weeks.

While not running, I supplemented my training with some cross-training, including some pool running. While quite monotonous, it will help me not loose fitness and maintain my running base. Heart rate when pool running is about 10% lower than regular running, but the perceived exertion is much higher. Therefore, it feels a lot harder for the amount of time put in. I did about 2 1/2 hours of pool running this past week, along with three hours of bike riding.

Two weeks ago my triathlon team put on an indoor time trial at Goodale's Bike Shop in Nashua, NH, and it was a great success. The event sold out, and each heat went off on time. We had a lot of great sponsors on board, and I had a fun time helping bring in sponsorship. Some of our sponsors included Shimano, Tifossi Optics, FuelBelt, Infinit Nutrition, H2O Audio, and Road ID. I ended up placing 3rd overall in the TT, just 30 seconds back of the overall winner. It was a a great day and a fun event to help put on.

Katie and I are heading to Utah for our school vacation week, which is just one week away. While there we hope to go hiking in the National Parks, and also get in some downhill skiing. At the end of our vacation week I'm scheduled to run in the Hyannis Half Marathon. My goal prior to my injury was to shoot for 1:23. I'm not sure that's realistic, but I'll see how things go over the next two weeks. I may just use the race as a chance to test out running at marathon pace with other runners around. It could also be good practice for taking in nutrition at race pace.

My fundraising is coming along nicely, and I'm more than halfway to my goal of $6000. I've had a number of people sponsor me for a mile. My parents have sponsored miles 19 and 20. My Uncle Todd and Aunt Janet have sponsored mile 21 (the downhill after Heartbreak Hill), and our friends, Dave and Jenn, are sponsoring the last 385 yards to the finish line on Boylston Street.  Many thanks to everyone who has contributed to The Museum of Science and my Boston Marathon!