This year's series kicked off last weekend with the Welcome 2 Winter race in Oconomowoc. After taking about a month off from running and not re-introducing speedwork into my training yet, I knew I had to set realistic goals for the race. I decided to aim for a sub-23 minute time and top 10 age group finish, which would at least earn me a few points toward the series.
I'm happy to say that I achieved both goals! Here's how the race shook out:
Average Pace: 7:23
Overall Place: 113/577
Age Group Place: 9/64
At the start of the race, I lined up next to a girl in my age group who I recognized from last year's series. She is one I beat in every race, except the last one when I got a side stitch. I figured she would run about the same pace as me so I would have someone to stick next to during the race.
She ended up running a bit ahead of me shortly after the race started but I kept her within my sights and passed her within two miles. I was definitely feeling the pace at this point but used my new mantra from Olympian Amy Hastings "I breathe in strength. I breathe out weakness." to get me through the remaining distance. My finishing kick was pretty pathetic as I barely had anything left at the end of the race!
It wasn't a PR, but I feel good about this race. I know I raced the best I could and it gives me an honest assessment of where my fitness is right now. I know by increasing my weekly mileage and adding speedwork back into training, I'll be able to get faster throughout the rest of the series and (fingers crossed) get my 21:XX goal time.
This week's training falls in the 30-35 mile range with one speedwork session:
Monday: 6 miles easy pace (including 6 short pick-ups) + 45 minutes strength training
Tuesday: 8 miles speedwork (including 8x400m)
Wednesday: Yoga class
Thursday: 10 miles easy pace
Friday: 4 miles easy pace
Saturday: 4 miles easy pace
Sunday: Rest Day
Well, that's about it on the running front. On a more random note, I found out on Monday that I won my friend Alysha's Pasta Shoppe Giveaway through her blog, She's On the Run. Quite an exciting way to start the week! I'm sure the extra carbs will come in handy as I start adding more miles and quality workouts to my training so many thanks to Alysha!
To wrap things up: What's the most exciting thing you've ever won through a giveaway or contest? Also, what's the latest and greatest regarding your winter training?
Wishing you all the best Wednesday :)