Friday, October 31, 2014

October Scorecard

October was a busy month.  I ran eight marathons, including five in five days.  Before reviewing my race results, it’s worth noting that it was also a busy month for training.  I ran 310.4 miles.  That’s the most miles I’ve ever run in one month, eclipsing my September total of 293 miles.

For almost three months, I’ve been racing every weekend, so I’m usually focused on my next race.  My training, however, has been more forward-looking.  At the end of the year, I’m doing a 48-hour race.  To be ready, I need to ramp up my mileage.  I’ve never been a high-mileage runner, so I’m raising the bar each month, while being careful not to ramp up too quickly.  I’ve learned the hard way that the surest way to an injury is to increase mileage rapidly.

As for October races, my results were mixed.

On October 5, I ran the Twin Cities Marathon, finishing in 3:26:06.  My goals were to break 3:30 and run well on Summit Avenue.  I succeeded on both counts.

From October 11 through October 16, I ran the five races of the Appalachian Series.  My goal was to finish each race within four hours.  I ran the first race, in Bluefield, WV, in 3:51:57 on a course that was much hillier than I expected.  The second race, in Bluefield, VA, featured the same hills with the addition of strong winds.  I finished in 3:57:15, but it took an all-out effort.  The course for day three, in Morganton, NC, was much easier, allowing me to bounce back with a time of 3:54:22.  The fourth race, in Seneca, SC, was held in torrential rain.  Fighting my way through running water and deep puddles, I finished in 3:56:20, but it took a heroic effort.  The last race was a cross-country course in Unicoi State Park in Georgia.  I found running on grass to be tiring, but I was also suffering from running so hard the day before.  I dragged myself through it in a disappointing 4:52:20.

Just four days later, I ran the Mankato Marathon.  My goal was 3:30, but I was pushing my luck.  Fatigue caught up to me, and I finished in 3:39:05.

Finally, I ran the Dublin Marathon on October 27.  With eight days to recharge, I was able to run well, in spite of jet lag.  I finished in 3:26:23.

Even though I only broke 3:30 twice, I was happy with my times in six of the eight races.  The biggest disappointment was the last race of the Appalachian Series, where I had to work to break five hours.

Another goal for October was to lose weight.  I started the month weighing 121 pounds.  My goal is to get down to 118.  Just before flying to Dublin, I weighed in at 118.4.  When I returned, I weighed 121.2.  That’s a temporary setback, attributable to putting my diet on hold for six days of international travel.  This morning, I weighed in at 120.2.  For the month as a whole, I only lost one pound, but I’ve made changes in my eating habits that I’m confident will keep me moving in the right direction.

October was a busy month.  November will be even busier.

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