Thursday, February 29, 2024

Quiet February, Busy March, Races in April!

The end of December through January was a busy time for me and running. I had the Clinton Lake Winter Solstice Run (30 miler, but I DNF'd at 20 miles) plus the January Riddle Run 28-miler (I DNF'd at 20 miles). At least I am consistent in my DNFs. No injuries, no illness, just terrible winter weather and two poor races. February was a rest month. No specific training, no racing, just getting out the door, running, and throwing in a few strides. Now that March is almost here (thanks Leap Day!), I have plans for real training as I prepare for 3 races in April. Here are those races and my plans:

April 20: Allerton Trail Half-Marathon. Did this last race year and the second part of the course surprised me! It had newer sections that were not worn down--very uneven and rough trail. Those wore me down and I did not have the discipline to run within myself. This year I'll be ready. Or at least "more ready" than last year. Plan on several 10-13 mile trail runs. Plus weekly speed work (cycling through hill repeats, track intervals, and tempo runs). If we get the traditional rains in March and April, the course will probably be muddy and wet--but I'll be stronger than last year. And faster. And more patient. Ran 1:58 last year, maybe 1:55 this year?

April 27: Illinois Half-Marathon. Was not planning on this race, but what the hell! I could use a good test of my stamina. Hopefully the trail HM will not beat me up too much the week before and I'll be ready for a fast road effort. I know this course well and it's a local race. Very low stress. The only pressure is ME wanting to race FAST. That's on me. Since it is a fairly flat road course, I'm hoping for a 1:45-1:50 finish. Whatever I run at the Allerton trail HM, I think I can knock 10 minutes off here. Weather will be a big factor. It could be hot and humid, or cool and dry. Hopefully not windy. 

May 4: Kirby Derby 5K. Why not have three races on three consecutive weekends? If the two half marathons don't kill me, maybe the 5K will. Only doing this race since it is part of the local "Triple Crown" (Allerton trail race in April, Kirby Derby in May, Allerton trail race in October). Who can pass up an extra prize for doing all three? After the road HM and this 5K, I should know where my speed and endurance are at--and how my training went in March and April. Plenty of time to adjust training plans and get ready for summer races (for now, Last Man Standing in July and Mahomet 5K in August). Think I can run a 22:00 5K on roads. Unless the two half-marathons wore me down, injured me, or made me not care. We shall see.

Enjoy Leap Day! 

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