This morning's run marked the official start of winter running for the Serious Case of the Runs household. The mercury would only reach 27 degrees before we stepped out the door. And, as Rob C. would say, the "real feel/sissy temp" was a weak 22 degrees. This was definitely going to be a long tights sort of run. Ah well, it was going to happen sooner or later :)
That said, I do love cold weather running! As long as there's no ice I am a happy camper. Less sweating, faster turnover, fresher legs, happy lungs. It's all good.
Oh yea, I've been running :) Recovery post-JJ100 has been a whole new experience for me this time around. It's been really good! We took a full week off right after the race, then started back nice and easy the following Monday, and have taken just one day off since. I am pleasantly surprised (as is Geof) with how well recovery has gone. Legs feel fresh, and certainly not as if they ran over 100 miles less than three weeks ago. The body has bounced back like a friggin' champ. Not to mention my melon. Usually, post-100, I am mentally wiped and really looking forward to the time off from running. Not so this time! Geof and I were both ready to get back at it a mere three days later, so holding back for a week was harder than we expected. But we were good little athletes and didn't run a step that week, not even across the street. Though, I may have broken into a run if a block of manchego cheese had been waiting for me on the other side ;)
I have a new goal now. One last little thing to squeeze in before the new year :) This year has been so good to me, and I managed to achieve every single one of my goals set back in March. So I figure, I'm so close now, I may as well just go for it. I am going to place a little bit of blame on Jennifer Leslie for encouraging me ;)
I'm shooting to hit 2000 running miles by the close of December 31, 2011. Before this year, my highest yearly mileage was 1,314 miles. I'm now knocking on 1,900 miles. I can easily lay out 100+ miles in the next 4.5 weeks :) Jennifer and I plotted it out casually at the last New Leaf Ultra Runs club run two weeks ago (where Geof and I cheered everyone else on, and stuck to the sidelines). She is just as close as I am and has also never hit this high of mileage. So we're both aiming to hit or break 2000. Yeah teamwork! Yeah good bad influences! ;-)
Yesterday we managed to sleep in a little bit and were unable to get in our morning run, so I decided a night run was going to be in order. Two thousand miles don't run themselves. However, Mother Nature was P-O'd yesterday and was whipping waves over the path and onto lawns and such, in addition to blowing winds in excess of 50 mph. So, I decided it would be prudent to stay inside, especially since it was dark already and Geof had a work function to attend...and I tend to get thrown around like a rag doll in winds that strong. To the treadmills! I haven't run on the treadmill since maybe February when it was really icy outside. It went very well though. I was ready to pull the plug at 3 miles out of sheer boredom, but then I found some fun mind games to play and keep mentally occupied through 6 miles. I played with the incline (our building got new treadmills I think because now they go up to 15% incline, hellz yeah!), and did some interval work. That was fun! I almost forgot what it was like to sweat, but this run reminded me I can sweat like a dude when on the treadmill ;)
Oh, I almost forgot! Speaking of bad influences...Brian Gaines... April 21st we'll be running the Zane Grey Highline Trail 50 Mile in Pine, Arizona. It's going to be a birthday run for Brian, and Geof and I are along for the celebration and masochism. Kelly and Caleb will bear witness to the insanity. I mean really, what are we thinking? Geof and I hmm'd and haw'd about it for awhile, but Brian reminded us it was going to sell out so we made a snap decision and signed up. COMPLETELY outside our comfort zone, and for that very reason I am very excited about it! I figure, you need to do at least one big thing per year that really terrifies you. Zane Grey sorta terrifies this flatland, nontechnical Midwesterner. And the snakes give Geof the heebie jeebies. So that'll be interesting! The average finish time is 13.5 hours. The Hardrock Honey, Diana Finkel, ran it in 11.5 hours this year, holy EFF! She lives and trains in the mountains. The winner does it in about 8.5-9 hours. This could be a nice LONG day of speed hiking for us. And totally awesome :)
We're still working on our schedule for next year, and I'm mulling over new goals. I'm finding that setting reasonable but worthy goals and making them public makes a big difference. I highly recommend it! More on that later.