Happy Friday! Hope you all have had a great week!
This first full week of March has been a great one! It’s felt like spring over here in Boston, a huge contrast to last winter where we had about five feet of snow still blanketing our city at this time. I will take it!
Five highlights from this week:
1.I signed up for my next race, which is tomorrow morning! It’s called the Black Cat 10 and 20 mile road race and is located in Salem, MA, about 20 minutes north of Boston. The race is held during the Boston marathon training cycle for those training for that race, but is for all levels of runners. Mark and I are signed up for the 20 mile race, although I am going to run about 15 because I am still recovering from Phoenix. My sister is running the 10 miler as well. It will be so great to run together again! I ran this race a few years ago and felt that it was very well supported and had great scenery. There is no better way to run 10-20 miles than with others! Race recap to come.
2. I paid a visit to my local running store, Marathon Sports (located right at the Boston Marathon Finish line!), to get appropriately fitted for new shoes. Turns out, my previous Brooks shoes (Adrenaline’s) were not the right fit and I could feel this during my marathon in Phoenix. I have more of a neutral foot, less over-pronation, and therefore was recommended Brooks Defyance model. So far I LOVE the new shoes! Lesson learned: you may be fit for a certain type of shoe, but you can always get a “second opinion” if those don’t fit perfectly. It’s always fine to try a few different fits and brands!
3. I signed up for my first ultra marathon! Running an ultra has always been on my bucket list, but I hadn’t anticipated signing up for one this year. After some encouragement from my ultra-marathoner friend, as well as some inner motivation, I bit the bullet and signed up for the North Face Endurance Challenge 50 miler located in Ontario, Canada. The race is held in mid-July, and a group of us will be heading out to run/spectate/support. My ultra friend has run two North Face sponsored ultras and has good experience with these races, as they’re very well supported and managed. With a terrain that isn’t very technical, this is a great race for first-time ultra marathoners. Signing up for my first ultra marathon is both frightening and exciting! I can’t wait to test the limits and see what I am capable of. At the same time, following the race, I am going to take some serious time off from running. Maybe I’ll delve into some other interests or try out some new sports. Or maybe I’ll just get back into my favorite outlet, running! :)
4. As I mentioned above, the springlike temperatures in my city have been AMAZING for running and spending time outside! The city has been flooded with people, as if they are coming out of their winter hibernation for the first time. It’s always a magical time to be in Boston when the temperatures rise after a long and cold winter. Normally this occurs around marathon Monday (mid-April), but spring has decided to settle in a month early and I am pretty happy about it. Warmer weather also has me excited for the next hiking season in the northern mountains!
Hiking the white mountains last fall:
Beautiful sunset in Boston this week:
5. Speaking of marathon Monday, Boston training has been somewhat on-schedule this week. I was able to get in three workouts, one with hill sprints, and added in some extra rest in there as well. As I mentioned above, I am still recovering from Phoenix, and think I need another few days to fully recover from soreness. I’m going to run tomorrow’s race at a very easy pace, and might drop down the mileage depending on how I feel. Many elites and other runners take off two full weeks post-marathons for recovery, but I have to juggle recovery and the fact that my next race is only 6 weeks away! Hard to believe. Regardless of how the next weeks of training go, I know that my ultimate prize is running Boston, and I couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunity. Ps- I got my marathon jacket ahead of time (love the colors this year!), and promptly put it away in my closet until marathon Monday :)
What was the highlight of YOUR week? Has spring come to your neck of the woods yet? Any runs in shorts and tanks? I cannot wait for those days!
Any fun weekend plans? Races or training runs? Besides the Black Cat road race, I am heading home to celebrate my Dad’s birthday followed by a friend’s birthday. Then it’s a relaxing Sunday ahead for me!
Ultra-marathoners: What race did you run? What training plan did you follow? And lastly, what is one piece of advice you’d highly recommend to a first-time ultra marathoner?