The last time I visited Vegas, I found it impossible to run outside because of the constant stopping for traffic and the fact that you have to go up and down staircases to stay along the strip. This time, my coach told me about a track that was about 1.5 miles off of the strip. It was the UNLV track and he said that it was open to the public.
|UNLV Track in Las Vegas|
The conference itself also offered an "Urban Fun Run" to benefit STEM for Her. This was an (approximate) 5K along the strip, complete with multiple staircases and overpasses! It was quite thrilling to run in at environment with all the lights. But as I said earlier, it's not ideal for continuous running so once that was over, my co-worker and I headed out for the track.
I had no trouble adjusting back to east coast time when I returned. I slept over 9 hours on Friday evening and felt fresh for my long run on Saturday. And then I napped for almost an additional 2 hours. I logged 54.6 miles that week, which I was happy with given I was recovering from Houston and on work travel. I also came home $200 richer from the Roulette table! Lucky 14 hit twice!
In the Washington DC area, there are two sets of rankings I pay attention to: the RunWashington rankings and the =PR= Trophy Series rankings.
RunWashington (formerly called Washington Running Report) is a quarterly magazine and website. They don't do subscriptions by mail anymore, but they used to. I remember back in 2006-2009 getting that magazine in the mail and reading through the rankings. All of the runners were so much faster than me and I never thought I'd make the list.
To qualify for the rankings, you need to run at least six local races (they have a list of the USATF certified ones), with at least 3 being in the first half of the year and 3 in the second half. I ran a total of 13 races and was ranked as the 11th female. In my age group, I was ranked 7th.
To celebrate, RunWashington hosted a party in DC on a Thursday night a few weeks ago. Greg and I went with our friends Hannah and Alex. Hannah was ranked as the 6th overall female! The party was held at a bar in DC and it was fun to see people dressed in normal clothes. As fun as the party was, the highlight may have been the ice cream place Hannah found for us afterwards. The place had some crazy unique flavors like goat cheese and sweet potato, and it was delicious.
|Hannah, me and Lisa|
I didn't run as many races in this series as I had the previous year, so I was surprised that I won first place in my age group. My award was a long-sleeved zip tee with the =PR= logo on it. These awards were presented at a party at the =PR= headquarters last Saturday night. Greg and I once again went with Hannah and Alex, and also our friend Lisa. This party was centered around an awards ceremony with people's names being called, whereas the RunWashington party was more of a social gathering.
Before I start logging 65+ mile weeks for Boston training, my coach decided it would be best to prepare my legs with lots and lots of hills. All of these hill workouts build leg strength so I can handle the upcoming high volume, and are also great preparation for the race itself. I'm not a huge fan of hill work, but I do think it's beneficial for the reasons above.
|Monday's Hill workout|
- 10 x 1-minute hill repeats at 5K effort, with the jog back down recovery
- 5 x 3-minute hill repeats at 10K effort, with the jog back down recovery
- 8 x 90-seconds hill repeats at 5K effort, with the jog back down recovery
- 3 x 10 minutes of continuous hills: 75 seconds uphill at 10K effort, and running back down the hill at a slightly faster pace nonstop
The last of these workouts was by far the hardest. 10 minutes of hills at 10K effort without stopping for a recovery is tough. Once I got to the top of the hill, I would want to recover, but instead, I had to turn around and immediately run down at an even faster pace. For each 10-minute segment, I ended up running up the hill 4 times.
For 3 of these workouts I used a hill that was about 0.25 mile, with an elevation gain of about 50 feet. For the workout that required a 3-minute hill, I used a different hill which was actually steeper at certain points.
The mileage has slowly begun to creep up with 61 miles this week, including a long run of 17 miles. I really hope the weather cooperates in February and I am able to continue training without interruption!