January was a strange month.
If I were to compare it to a train ride, it would be a near-derailed experience in regards to running mojo and attitude. The temps were sub-artic, the wind was spiteful, and I spent a lot of time with dear Old 'Milly. Thankfully, the final few days allowed for a total 180-turn-around.
Read on....here's what went down, and my graded assessment:
January Challenges/Goals --> B
Every month, I set some challenges for myself. Basically, I have learned that I do better with short-term challenges rather than long-term goals. It's really a win-win, because it gives me a chance to do some aggressive things, but since I'm only doing them short-term, they don't (usually) feel too overwhelming.
True Off-Season Focus --> A
Every winter, I allow myself an off-season. Granted, I'm not a professional athlete with a specific "season" for my sport, but I don't believe it's wise being in "training mode" year-round. I do believe in year-round fitness, just not constant non-stop speed work or high-mileage weeks. Seriously, our (running) bodies need a break!
My off-season included non-running days (at least 3/week), cross-training, and strength-training. To meet my daily goal of 30-minutes of cardio, I did a lot of walking, most of which had to happen on the treadmill, and I also did some stair-climbing.
Continued Route 66 Recovery (Physically AND Mentally) --> A
No doubt, Route 66 left me feeling pretty defeated and beat-up. The unexpected hip/groin issue really did a number on me, both during the race and for several weeks following the finish line. Thankfully, all my disappointments morphed into accomplishments, and I was able to come full circle (so to speak) with my experience, and can look back on that race with more smiles than grimaces.
First race of 2017 --> A
I ran my first race of 2017, the Chamburrr Scurry, this past weekend. It was a small 5K in a nearby town.
Let me set the scene...temps in the low 20's with plenty of wind (giving us a feels-like temp of 11-degrees). There was ample sunshine, though, so it didn't feel as cold as it could have been.
My friend, Barb, and I ran most of the race together. The first mile (approximately) is a loop around the community college campus. Next, we head out on the cross country path for an approximate mile of an out-and-back segment on the frozen (uneven) ground that had a few inches of fresh snow. After returning from the trail, we do another loop around the campus, ending back where we'd started.
Since we were running loops (and an out-and-back segment), we didn't have a constant headwind to battle (thankfully!). The two partial loops into the wind (and the return trip from the turn-around on the trail), though, were tough. It was especially challenging on the trail because of the snow, and the relentless wind made it difficult to stay vertical. Also, I could feel the sock on my right foot inching its way down, and by the time we were on the trail (in the snow, none the less), it was halfway off my foot. Nice.
My finish time was 26:58. Not a PR, but definitely my fastest 5K in awhile. Given the fact that it was with major wind, cold temps, and tough terrain, I'm calling it a win. I'm also pleased with the fact that this happened after a month of very moderate running, 50ish miles (a lot of which happened on the treadmill...which I hesitate to consider that "real" running LOL).
How did your January play out? Cold weather? Mileage - high, average, or low?
I'm linking this with Marcia and Patty and Erika for Tuesdays on the Run
and with Deb for the Wednesday Word (consequently, this month's word is derail)
and with Susie and Debbie and Rachel and Lora for the Running Coaches' Corner.