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The Loop

Decision Made, Plans Laid



Welp, my spring marathon plans are officially settled. Sugarloaf. It's in Maine. Close to nowhere, unless you live in Maine and like to ski.

In October, when we were in New Hampshire, there were a couple of folks running that Saturday who were traveling to Maine the next day to run in Portland, Maine. I've never been one for back to back marathons, but I will admit I was tempted at the time. If our schedules/life/finances had allowed, I might have done it. Maybe I will someday. Also, that would have saved me a crazy trip to the middle of nowhere this spring. Not that I'm opposed to crazy trips anywhere.

image.png.b19cc6053c7220b352dcf697e1086a8a.pngSo, Mrs. Dave and I will drive out late Friday after work, stop somewhere in Canada for the night and then get to the scenic Carrabassett Valley Saturday afternoon. That's the plan.

I picked Sugarloaf for it's schedule mainly, the weekend fitting in after I take T-Rex out to school in April and the week after we have a visit to Dallas for granddaughter #s' baptism. The first week of April was really the only option, but it was going to be a struggle for me to be ready by then. Someday I'll run another marathon with less than a full training cycle, but not this year.

Actually I've been tracking two different plans over the past 4 weeks, one with a race the first week of April and another in mid-May. Plan A was pretty ugly, although I was getting reasonably close on the weekly mileage. And I was on track to have at least one 16 miler and a couple of 14s. That would have been so-so.

The new plan, pushing out the May 17, puts me right on schedule for a full training schedule, including 3 16s as well as 3 60 mile weeks. And even with the slow start (thanks to Sammy the Hammy) in January, I've been at full mileage for the last 5 weeks, so it's all good.

Sugarloaf has a very different elevation profile compared to New Hampshire, or any of my previous marathons, as it happens. Mostly flat for 5 miles, then 5 miles of climbing followed by 16 miles of downhill. Should be interesting, and hopefully fast. I like fast.image.thumb.png.99b8e80e9135bf6b86a2f331b58d7723.png

So, over the last week, I've felt good enough to try mixing in the full set of speed work.

Thursday - That was a dreadmill run. 7 miles watching the news.

Friday - 28o and very windy. 20 mph sustained winds with 40 mph gusts. Fortunately, it was a west wind and I ran a north-south out and back, so I just leaned to the right on the way out and to the left on the way back.

Saturday - 33o and sunny. Not much sun in SEM during the winter so this was a treat. T-Rex dissected the fetal pig for her anatomy class, went to Costco and then I watched the Olympic Trials. I assume everyone was as annoyed as I was when NBC interrupted coverage for the announcement of the Afghanistan treaty and coronavirus task force. That definitely could have waited another hour, especially considering the priorities of anyone watching the trials. Tell me I'm wrong. Then I went out for 10 miles at almost GMP because the Olympic Trials.

Monday - 52o, cloudy. Wait - 52o? You read that correctly. Shorts weather on March 2. Wahoo. Tried to do better pacing than last week, where I crapped out at four miles. This was better in all respects. Felt better. More even pacing. The last two of the 5 tempo miles were tough, but I pushed through well enough. 7:59, 7:53, 7:56, 8:05, 8:00. Good.

Tuesday - 48o and overcast. 6 miles of recovery.

Wednesday - 46o and overcast. 9 miles with 8 x 800 repeats, averaging 7:40 pace, 7:29-7:50. The last one wasn't so great but I didn't want to push any harder. Hardest workout in a while.

Thursday - 48o and sunny. 8 miles of recovery. BTW, this whole week has been run in shorts and one LS shirt. Glorious spring!

This morning in the community facebook group, someone mentioned a guy running on a certain street and a large raccoon. I was on that street running in the direction she said, but I didn't see any raccoon. Based on some of the comments, it must have been another runner, because the animal in question was a couple of miles farther east than where I was. I never saw one anyway. Apparently it's mating season.

"Only" 6 miles today and 14 tomorrow. 

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I bet it feels good to have a race on the schedule! 

I was furious when the trials got interrupted.

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My family spends time in Rangeley, ME, just south of Eustis, every summer. Lots of memories have been made in that part of the state, so I'm envious of you. Good places to eat in Rangeley and Oquossoc, if you have time to sightsee.

Good luck with the training.

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