I’m going to try something new for 2023 and write a monthly re-cap, 23 and Me. Lot’s of bloggers do it, some do a weekly re-cap. But I don’t think I’m that interesting!
I feel that between COVID-19 and loosing both of my parents over the past five years, I’ve been in a bit of a writing slump. A bit of a funk overall in life I’d say.
You have to come to terms with a lot when your parents are gone and when you reach mid life. There’s no getting around it. You just have to work your way through it.
This October, it will be three years since my mother died. And I’ll be 59 in September. So I’ve had plenty of time to think about life and mortality. Not sure I’ve come to terms with all of that, but I feel like I’m in a different place now. In many ways, a better place.
2023 is getting off to a good start and I feel a new optimism.
I got a bib for the 2023 Boston Marathon and my training has been going well.
If you follow this blog you’ve probably noticed my weekly Sunday Long Run or SLR posts each week.
We just finished week five with a 12.5 mile run with a lot of hills. I wasn’t sure how it was going to go because I went into the run with a plan and some expectations.
I’m still getting physical therapy, so ambition and goals can be dangerous.
Fortunately, this week’s run was awesome!
In addition to perfect running weather, my body felt up to the challenge.
I ran all of the hills with intention. On the long slow hills I slowed down a bit and shortened my stride. On the steep hills I increased my cadence, shortened my stride and pushed as hard as I could.
Running hills this way is a lot of work, but nothing hurt and I did pretty well.
I also ran some strides the last mile or so of the run, when my legs were most fatigued.
I wasn’t sure how they were going to go, but the went great! I didn’t run very long strides, but I did them. Since they are new to me, I didn’t really want to push it too much and risk a new injury.
Everything I tried on this run worked and I felt in control for the entire run. I felt a boost of confidence that made me feel good all week long.
23 and Me for January
I was pretty confident that I would get a Boston Marathon bib through my running club. We award bibs based on a point system where you get points for volunteering.
I started 2022 knowing I may be healthy enough to apply for a bib, so I volunteered as much as I could. More than I ever have.
So, knowing I could get a bib if I worked at volunteering and knowing that I could run if I followed my doctor’s advice and staid smart, I started ramping up my training in August.
Through the spring and most of the summer, I had to cut way back on running. I did mostly 2-3 miles runs in the neighborhood. And sometimes it was painful.
I did manage to run a few 5K or 10K races through July. I even walked the entire BAA 10K on June 26th. I’ve never missed this race but I knew that I couldn’t run it.
In August I started my plan. I only ran 31.26 miles, but that was more running miles than any previous month in 2022.
I started running with the club each week, but only 3-4 miles, and often in some pain. I ran two 5Ks and had a good time doing it.
In September I ran 50.62 miles and ran one each of a 5K, 10K and 8 miler. I didn’t put up any crazy times, but it felt good to be out there doing it again.
In October I ran 57 miles and started running four or more miles on Tuesday nights with the club. I ran one 5K and my left knee bothered me most of the way.
In November I ran 57 miles again and in December I almost hit 63 miles. My goal at Tuesday club runs was to run the 10K route and most weeks I did.
On December 18th I ran the Somerville Jingle bell run at an 8:12 pace. Nothing really hurt and I had a good time doing it. At this point I felt like I was on my way back.
January 2023 Running
On January 1st I ran the Hang Over Classic 10K at an 8:59 pace. Not my best 10K but I was able to run the race that I wanted to.
My cardio was not where I wanted it to be, but my legs could run hard enough to max out the cardio that I had.
On January 8th I ran our 2nd Sunday Long Run of 12.53 miles at a 10:33 pace. It was a lot of work and painful at times. But the pace was about where I wanted to be.
The next week I took it easy and only ran 4.25 on Tuesday night and some very short runs around the neighborhood.
On January 14th the Saturday Long Run stepped back to 10.81 and I ran a 10.02 pace. With the shorter distance, this was about the pace I wanted to run.
The next week we ran 14.6 miles and I managed a pace of 10.11 on another hilly route. I felt pretty good on that run and the pace was on target.
The last Sunday Long Run of January was 12.54 on another hilly route, but I knew this was the week that I wanted to start pushing a little harder.
I wrote about this run at the top of this post, so I wont repeat myself here.
Over the five long runs this month, I have noticed improvements in my pace and ability to run hills.
I’ve never integrated a cross training or strength training plan into my marathon training plan.
With the results that I have seen so far, I think this is working for me.
Tomorrow we run 16 miles in some pretty cold weather. I’ll let you know how the firs long run of February goes, our Sunday Long Run Six.
Run well my Friends,