Tuesday, December 2, 2014

November Scorecard

If October was a busy month, November was a crazy month.  I did nine races that were marathon or farther.  That’s the most marathons I’ve ever run in one month.  That came after eight marathons in October.  I was hitting my goals consistently until the last three.  Then things came apart.

On November 1, I ran the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon.  I was running with a friend who had a goal of breaking 3:30.  We finished in 3:29:09.

On the weekend of November 8-9, I did a double.  My Saturday race was the Soldier Marathon.  My only goal was to break 3:30.  I got aggressive in the late miles.  I finished in 3:23:44, placing second in my age group.  My Sunday race was the Peachtree City 50K.  I didn’t have a time goal, but I wanted to place in my age group.  I finished in 5:25:41.  That’s not particularly speedy for a 50K, but I won my age group.

On November 16, I led the 3:30 pace group in the Rock N Roll Las Vegas Marathon.  My mission was to run a fairly consistent pace and finish between 3:29 and 3:30.  I was never too far off the target pace and finished in 3:29:12.

On November 23, I ran the Philadelphia Marathon.  This was my best opportunity of the month to run a fast time, since I was only doing one race that weekend, and I wasn’t pacing anyone.  I finished in 3:21:46, my third fastest time this year.

Finally, over the four-day Thanksgiving weekend, I ran the four races that make up the Seattle Quadzilla.  I wanted to keep my times under four hours all four days.  I succeeded on Thursday, finishing the Wattle Waddle in 3:43:47.  After that, I struggled with various combinations of cold, wet and windy conditions for the next three days.  In those three races, I had to settle for finishing any way I could.  On Friday, I ran the Wishbone Run in 4:20:29.  On Saturday, I finished the Ghost of Seattle Marathon in 4:23:17.  I wrapped up the quadzilla by running the Seattle Marathon in 4:17:21.

I beat my goals in six of the nine races.  I missed my goals in the last three.  After struggling with hypothermia in the Wishbone Run, I never fully recovered, either physically or psychologically.

In those three races, I rarely even looked at my watch.  That’s unusual for me.  When I know I’m going to miss a goal, I usually have a back-up goal.  Even if I don’t have any well-defined time goals, I try to shave off a minute or two.  I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with having a goal of simply finishing, but it’s out of character for me.  I tend to be obsessed with numbers.

November was also a big month for training.  Including the races, I ran a total of 357.25 miles.  That shattered my PR of 310.4 miles, which I set in October.  I’ve been steadily ramping my mileage, but I’ve been trying not to increase it by more than 10 percent from one month to the next.  This was an increase of 15 percent.  Ordinarily, I would be alarmed by that big of a jump, but it’s worth noting that November had five weekends.  I ran marathons on the first and last days of the month, which skews things a little.

My race schedule is winding down now.  The next two weekends will have one race each.  I won’t do any races the following two weekends.  My last race of the year will be the Across the Years 48 Hour run, which starts on December 30.  As that races gets closer, I’ll also wind down my training.  I’m going to give myself some rest going into that one.

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