Thursday, August 10, 2017

My 16th Howl at the Moon Ultra?

The annual Kennekuk Road Runner "Howl at the Moon" 8-Hour ultra is this Saturday. It's the event's 25th anniversary! If I run, it'll be my 16th Howl at the Moon race. Until last night, it looked like I'd be in Chicago for the weekend. Now that trip is delayed. I am free to run Howl! It's my favorite race of all time and I'm almost trained. The last few weeks have been half-marathon focused training, rather than ultra, but I think I'm still ready. This could be the year I turn it around (the last 2 races have been my worst ever).

Here are my lifetime statistics for the Howl race (15 finishes):

Total miles: 603.95
Average miles: 40.26
Best miles: 47.06 (2006, 2008)
Worst miles: 23.03 (2016)
Best placing: 12th (208 finishers, 2005)
Worst placing: 245th (298 finishers, 2016)

I'm already past 600 lifetime Howl miles. Now it's a march toward 700 miles and eventually 1,000 miles! If the weather forecast is correct (high of 80F, sunny, but dry), I can crush 40+ miles this weekend. Doubt I'll approach my best ever mileage (47 miles), but it will be MUCH better than last year's dismal 23 miles when I dropped out after 4 hours. Sad. Time to get a finish I'm proud of at Howl. Good luck to all the Howlers this Saturday.  

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Almost Ran a 5K

This morning I almost ran a local 5K race. Almost. I have decided to skip my regular Howl at the Moon 8-hour ultra (next weekend) which freed me up to run a race this weekend. The last 2 weeks have been half-marathon focused training which included some speed work. I think the 5K would have gone well. And it was pretty nice weather for early August in central Illinois. But, I did a bunch of yard work yesterday and was really sore last night and this morning (and still sore this afternoon). Plus, these short races are expensive! Who pays $35 to run a 5K?

Anyway, I stuck to my training plan and did the scheduled 8 mile "long" run instead of the 5K race. I love half-marathon training! A "long run" is 8 miles. Even after warming up, I was rather sore for the whole run. Tomorrow is a recovery day so I may sleep in and do no running...or a very short and easy 2-3 miles. I really can get used to this half-marathon training stuff. Two races on my schedule: October 7 Indy Half-Marathon at Fort Ben and the November 4 Indy Monumental Half-Marathon. Hope to PR in both races.

For now, I just continue my training program (post on that soon), and enjoy Chicago Veggie Fest next weekend (instead of the Howl at the Moon race). Family and fun beats an ultra this year. I may be back to Howl next year. Or I may simply focus on 5K to half-marathon races and veggie fests!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

July Failure (& Success)

I have failed my "month of miles" challenge for July. Planned on 200 miles for the month, but with one day left, I only have 176 miles. I'm not running 24 miles tomorrow! This week was only 34 miles, but they were a good 34 miles. I intentionally cut back and started doing quality over quantity. In fact, I started a new training regime targeting a half-marathon in early October!

Count:6 Activities
Distance:34.03 mi
Max Distance:10.12 mi
Avg Distance:5.67 mi
Median Distance:4.87 mi
Time:5:01:03 h:m:s
Avg Speed:6.8 mph (8:49)
Avg HR:134 bpm
Calories:4,170 C
Elevation Gain:1,333 ft

This past week saw fewer miles, but a faster pace. I did 400m track repeats and a tempo run. Plus, my long run of 10 miles was done on trails at 9:00 pace. Not too shabby. Still, I failed at my overall monthly mileage goal. Sometimes you must fail to succeed. I still had my highest mileage month this year (by far) and one of the highest I've ever had. I'm a low mileage guy. My typical week is 25-30 miles. Breaking 30 miles/week is good for me. And I'm excited to try a new training plan for my next half-marathon. More on that plan soon. I still have one more day of running to finish off the month of July. It'll be an easy 2-5 miles--because that's what my new training plan dictates.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Third Week of July

My third week of July was a slight "drop-back" week. Not as many miles, but still solid. Unfortunately, it puts me behind on my month of miles goal of hitting 200 miles in July. With one week left this month, I might be able to step it up a notch and reach 200 miles by July 31. Here are stats from last week:

Count:5 Activities
Distance:31.24 mi
Max Distance:7.51 mi
Avg Distance:6.25 mi
Median Distance:7.01 mi
Time:4:46:11 h:m:s
Avg Speed:6.5 mph (9:14)
Avg HR:130 bpm
Calories:3,054 C
Elevation Gain:1,064 ft

Only 5 runs and 31 miles, but at a faster pace. I'm thinking about skipping Howl at the Moon 8-hour ultra on August 12 and instead focus on half-marathon training. I may do a 5K race on August 5. Have two half-marathons planned--one in early October, then another in early November. Would love to PR in one of them (faster than 1:32)!