Friday, April 25, 2014

Mixed about April

Although I enjoy the longer days and warmer temperatures of April, as a runner it is usually my worst month. That’s one reason why haven’t even given the Boston Marathon a second thought since 1984, the last and only year I had planned to go. Ended up injured over the winter and since it's never been on my calendar. Yes, winter, that’s the thing. For most of the years since 1984 I’ve either skied or been injured. Only 1999 and 2000, early masters years when I was a spry 41-42, was I in any kind of decent shape in April.

This year is no exception. I’m making the transition but it isn’t pretty. Every year I promise myself to be in top shape for the Chena River Run, depth-wise usually the most competitive race of the year here. Never happens. Coming off ski season I always gain a few pounds while transitioning to running. My weight’s usually stable but not in April, so by the end of the month I’m 2-5 lb heavier that at any time of the year.

My legs feel almost lifeless and brittle. So it’s just a matter of doing a build up and becoming consistent. I’ll do some pick ups and tempo runs here and there but there is no zip. In this phase I feel susceptible to injury and so must wait. Just put in the miles, start picking up the pace a couple times a week. Paying dues.

Fortunately, I’ll feel better in May, when the weather gets really great. The only downside to that, locally at least after CRR there are not any decent races to focus on. Murphy Dome Roam is actually pretty nice but at an odd distance with a huge hill climb it's more of a training-social event. That’s why I’m planning on travel to Anchorage later in the month with the aim of a sub 1:20 half marathon.

About Boston, what a great one this year with Meb Keflezighi taking a surprise win. All the focus was on Shalane Flanagan and Ryan Hall, and the near 39 yr old Meb wasn’t even favored to be a top 5 or 10 finisher. Local runners did really well. Rick Lader ran 2:36 and Erica Burr 3:11 to lead the way.


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