Who's April's Fool?

Going into April, I said the goal for the month was to do a good job with both my races and come out of it healthy. Mission mostly accomplished.

The triathlon was an awesome experience, even if I wasn’t an awesome swimmer or bicyclist. My overall time was what I’d hoped for and it was a cool deal all the way around. As important, I also handled the diabetes very well for the event.

My 5k showed continued improvement of my VDOT, too, and while I hate a lot about racing 5k’s – kind of like amateur hour, in some ways – it’s a great way to see where you are fitness-wise and I had a blast.

And, though I pulled a little something in the arch of my foot, I’m running slower this week and think it’ll heal up. So, like I said, mission mostly accomplished.

May will be a month of training and no racing. I’ve got other things going 3 of the 4 weekends and the one free weekend will be at the end of a tough week of work. Add to that the fact that I think I should go easy on the hard stuff after a quick April and there you go.

The next two weeks, I’m shooting for good mileage, but stressing slow mileage, to try and recover my muscles while continuing to build my aerobic base. While I’m pleased with where I am, I faded enough in the third mile of last weekend’s 5k to tell me I can still get strong improvement from many slow miles. Also, my schedule over the next two weeks won’t be cross-training friendly, so running it is.

I’ll follow those two weeks with what I hope will be a good strong week – three-four runs with 2 days of cross training. I think the cross training is good for me, and this week will be the most intense of the month.

The week that follows is a vacation week. I’ll try to get a handful of maintenance runs in, but if I don’t, I don’t. The three prior weeks will give me what I need in order to hold my base.

The first weekend of June will be the Lancaster Red Rose Run, where my goal is to break 34 minutes. I haven’t run the Red Rose since ’88, when I did it in 33 and change, mostly as a hard training run. So a good Red Rose this year will mean that I’m getting into the realm of who I was way back when. Also, a 33:40 in the Red Rose translates to a VDOT of 48:61, which translates to a marathon of 3:15 – what I need to qualify for Boston, which is cool, since July is when my marathon training begins in earnest.

Mid-June, I’m going to do Smith’s Challenge – a cool 10k trail run. Throw the times out the window – this one is all about age-group place, and I’m kind of considering it to be my last “fun” race before my training begins to revolve around the marathon.

For marathon training itself, I’m still studying which plan I like best, but am increasingly interested in the FIRST program. My body really responded well to cross-training over the winter – it didn’t make me a better cyclist, but it did make me a better runner. Also, the FIRST program’s runs are more intense than other programs and that fits with my world. While I’m making myself go slow for the next two weeks, quite frankly, that annoys me.

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