Plugging Along

Not too much has been new with me on the running front. I’ve just been plugging along and logging miles when I can. This winter hasn’t been quite as nice as last winter (nice meaning warmer and less snowy), but it hasn’t been nearly bad as a Michigan winter can be, so I’ve been able to do almost all of my running outside. That’s a good thing because I have a really bad mental block on treadmills…bad enough that I’m happy to just get through two or three consecutive miles on a treadmill.

My training has been pretty inconsistent recently. I’ve been working long hours, and I have to run either before sunrise or after sunset. That’s no excuse to not get out there more often, but there have been a few times when I’ve just decided to get a little extra sleep before work or relax after getting home from work. Of course I usually kick myself later for choosing to not run. I’ve been running fairly regularly, just not as many days or miles as I would run during the non-busy work season (and when there are more daylight hours). My hamstring had been feeling pretty good the last several weeks, but over the last week or so I’ve noticed some pain and discomfort. It got pretty bad at times during my run yesterday, to the point where I thought it might cramp, but luckily it didn’t. My longish runs have felt like struggles recently, though my shorter runs have gone fairly well. My longish run paces haven’t been too horrible, but the runs have felt like they require much more effort than they should. I think part of it is a result of running fewer miles in general over the last several months, and part of it is mental. I think both issues will be resolved with more mileage and some solid, consistent training. Oh yeah, and some speed work.

A view from one of my recent runs.

A view from one of my recent runs. Cloudy and dreary, but scenic.

I haven’t raced since early December, and I’m not sure when I’ll run my next 5K or 10K. I do know where and when I’m planning to run my next longer race though…the Fifth Third River Bank Run in May. I might run a 5K and/or 10K between now and then, but any 5Ks or 10Ks will probably be last-minute decisions. I’ve heard great things about the River Bank Run, and I’m looking forward to running my first 25K as well as my first race in Grand Rapids. I’ve also heard that the course is challenging and has some hills, and I’m looking forward to running that course. We’re not running at Borgess or Bayshore this year, but we might run the Mackinaw Memorial Bridge Race this year. We ran it a couple years ago and had a lot of fun despite the cold and rainy conditions. The bridge is about five miles long and the race site says it’s about a five-degree incline for the first half of the race. The site also says the race is 5.6 miles long, but it was about a half mile shorter than that when we ran it. Regardless, it’s a very cool event and it’s pretty awesome to run on a scenic suspension bridge that’s only open to foot traffic a few times a year! Maybe the weather will be nicer this year so I can get a photo or two on the bridge.

A cool shirt I bought when I registered for the Fifth Third River Bank Run 25K.

The Mackinac Bridge (photo courtesy of Janet Reid Boltz –

I don’t know if I’ll be following a formal training plan for the River Bank Run, but chances are I won’t be doing anything formal because I haven’t really thought much about a training plan yet. Regardless of whether I train formally or informally, I need to step up my training pretty soon. I probably won’t be doing much speed or interval work, at least not until my work schedule eases up a bit in April, but I definitely need to get in more mileage which should help me work past my recent struggles on longish runs.

As always, thanks for reading, and please don’t forget that Faster Than a Turtle is on Facebook (“likes” are always much appreciated)!

I hope your running has been going well…

Have you decided on any late winter or spring races yet? If so, which ones and at what distances?

How far in advance do you set your race schedule, or do you tend to sign up at the last minute?

This entry was posted in General, Injuries, Racing, Running. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Plugging Along

  1. You guys should run the Rock CF half on 3/24. Great race. Also, I love that picture Janet takes. She needs to do more creative stuff. Excellent photo. She should share it on Pure Michigan Facebook page.

    • Matt says:

      We considered running the Rock CF half this year, but I’m just too behind in my training to be ready to race a half by then. We’ve heard great things about it and will definitely consider it next year.

      Thanks for the kinds words about Janet’s photo…I’ll pass them along to her!

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