Thursday, February 04, 2016

January Recap

I've long given up on doing weekly mileage recaps, as many bloggers seem to do - I feel like every training cycle I do one weekly post, forget about it, and promptly cease blogging until my next race report. Monthly recaps seem much more doable. So January, overall, was quite a good month. Despite some hiccups that prevented me from quite reaching my planned mileage, I actually ran over 200 miles in January for the first time EVER - including 4 previous Boston training cycles! Clearly, my intention to run more miles per day, as well as inspiration from friends who are running way more than me, is doing the trick. January by the numbers...

Total mileage: 206

Races: 2 (half marathon and 3K indoor track)

Long runs: 16, 17, 18 (half marathon + warmup/cooldown), 17 (track race + warmup/long cooldown), 18

Average weekly mileage: 45 (week of the awkward butt injury brought this average down from ~47)

Strength workouts: More than I did in December!

Post 18-miler on the last day of January...IN T-SHIRTS!

In non-running related news, I also read a TON in January. Books read for the month:

-Blindsight (Peter Watts): a quite creepy sci fi book that is a first contact story, but it's also set in a future Earth setting where humans basically augment themselves in whatever way they desire (cognitively, physically, etc) and much of everyone's time is spent in virtual space. It's weird, took me a bit to warm up to it, but overall I liked it. 4 stars.

-Two Hours: The Quest to Run the Impossible Marathon (Ed Caesar): YES, everyone who is a runner or who is vaguely interested in running should definitely read this book. You can tell the author is a journalist, because the book is written in a very approachable way and seamlessly weaves in and out between its "main" storyline about Geoffery Mutai and various bits of marathon history, including the rise of the marathon's popularity, doping, early marathon champions, and more. I loved it. 5 stars.

-The Cuckoo's Calling (Robert Gailbraith aka JK Rowling): A detective story that was nothing particularly mind blowing, but a fun read with some good twists. 4 stars.

-After Dark (Haruki Murakami): After reading 1Q84 last year and loving it, I've been curious to read more Murakami. This was far less bizarre than the other books I've read by him, which made it a little less interesting. I still think he has a great way of describing really ordinary things in a really lovely way. 3.5 stars.

-Salvage The Bones (Jesmyn Ward): This book has been sitting on my shelf for ages, and thanks to my "challenge" this year that involves reading books in a variety of categories, I picked it up to use as my National Book Award winner. Honestly, I liked it more than I expected to. It was pretty depressing and sort of horrible in many ways, but the writing was really lovely. My benchmark for "books about people in horrible situations that still manage to be absolutely compelling and gorgeous" is A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, and this wasn't quite to that level, but I still enjoyed it, in it's own way. 4 stars

I'm currently reading The Boys in the Boat, and I can already tell it's going to be a 5 star book. Who would have thought reading about a crew race that took place 80 years ago in a book could actually give me an adrenaline rush?

As far as running goes, February has started obnoxiously as I came down with a cold on Monday that pretty much knocked me out of commission by Wednesday, resulting in an unplanned day off. The past 2 weeks just have not been stellar for me! This was supposed to be the week I finally hit 50 miles, and at this point that pretty much rides on my motivation to do a 4 mile cooldown or warmup on Sunday..we shall see haha. Happily, I seem to be bouncing back and am hoping for a solid "down week" long run with some faster stuff built into it tomorrow...of course, the one week I have to do my long run on a Friday we're having a snowstorm. It's been 50 all week which is totally bizarre for February, so I actually find this somewhat amusing. I'm also racing again on Sunday! Another short race, the Super Sunday 5 Mile. I did this race last year and I remember being pleasantly surprised at how fast I was able to run without feeling like death. Sadly, I think running a time I'm going to be happy with isn't going to come so easily this year. That's the problem with training harder and hopefully getting faster - you've actually got to back it up in races! Maybe the fact that it won't be 7 degrees and I won't have to wear 2 pairs of tights will help this year, hah. We shall see!

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