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Race Weekend!

25 May 2018

I’ve been at my new job for three months now. I really like it. I’m happy, I’m productive, and I like my team. We’re doing great work and moving fast on a bunch of fronts. It’s an exciting opportunity and I’m thrilled to see everything coming together. My boss is already talking about a promotion and additional responsibility for me. But I want to keep my head in the now.

My ultramarathon training has been coming along nicely too. May was my second 100+ mile month, consecutive with April. I have four more running days in May, over which I expect to do about 30 miles. I’ll have averaged about 32 miles per week, though my elevation gain has dropped a bit from April. That’s fine. Plenty of time to get the vertical miles in.

I’ve been training on long slow grades to try to improve my ability to run up hills. In the past two weeks I’ve run the mile from the lake up to my house at least eight times. It’s a 240′ climb in a tiny bit less than a mile. That’s about a 5.5% grade. Steep enough to be a challenge, but shallow enough that it’s reasonable to run it, not hike it. I’ve been able to average about a 10:15 pace coming up the hill. That feels really good to me.

This weekend, BB and I will be in Coeur d’Alene to run the half-marathon. It’s a flat, scenic road race. I feel like if everything comes together and we feel good, there’s a good shot that we can set new personal records. We’re both in really good condition at the moment. BB set a HUGE PR at her last 10km race, a full minute and a half faster than my PR at that distance from two years ago.

Yesterday I ran a tempo 10km in 54:39. It was really hard work. But it was also 68 degrees and I was a bit dehydrated. I’m hoping the race, which is expected to start at 50 degrees – and for which I will manage my hydration better – will be an easier effort at roughly the same pace. If it isn’t, it isn’t. Coeur d’Alene is also up at 2500′ of altitude. I don’t know how that will affect a sea-level runner like me. Maybe a lot. Maybe not at all.

I’m hoping for a PR because I feel fit and strong. But everything has to go really well to get a PR. I have to manage my hydration in a way that lets me run strong but not have to stop to pee. I have to sleep well. I have to fuel right both the day before and the morning of. And BB has to have the same good fortunes, because we run together. And that’s more important.

But I can run almost 20 seconds per mile slower than yesterday, and still PR the race, if I can keep it up a little more than twice as long. I think I have a chance. Here’s to fine fortune and strong legs.

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