As with every year since I started running, I have goals for this year. My first goal is to simply increase my weekly mileage on a consistent basis – that is already proving tough, but becoming a running coach has definitely helped focus my mind on what I need to do and for the first time I am setting myself a weekly schedule (my old approach of getting out when I felt like it, and when I could, far too frequently left me short of the miles I should have been doing). Having a plan makes me accountable, although only to myself so it isn’t perfect. I can definitely see why people would hire a coach.

This plan is all quite recent and this year has thrown some obstacles in my way (including the weather) so I wasn’t expecting to see any improvements (in fact if I compare to last year, my February mileage was down on last year, which I thought was pretty low anyway – however, March is definitely up). I have also been focused on runs at a conversational pace, or sometimes up to tempo, so, when I was at the start line of Miles for Music on Sunday I had no real expectations.

Of course, I didn’t stick with my race plan (start off slow and pick it up if I could) and I knew I was going too fast, but still couldn’t bring myself to dial in the pace. It really didn’t help that there was a huge head wind (although admittedly a back wind too obviously) and it was cold. I did start to slow and my legs felt weak after about 9 miles. As I progressed to about 11 miles my form was poor – I no longer had the strength in my legs and my feet were hitting the ground with a mid-foot strike rather than my usual forefoot strike. I focused on trying to regain my form and a friend who was watching the race told me afterwards that my stride was clearly shorter in the final stages, and I could feel the calf muscles starting to cramp. This year I feel I should have been more prepared for the distance, so I am guessing that the speed is what made the difference to how my body responded.

Must have been early in the race - thanks Elaine for the great photos

Must have been early in the race – thanks Elaine for the great photos

Looking focused - thanks Elaine for the great photo

Looking focused and confident – thanks Elaine for the great photo

While I am definitely hoping to be faster later in the year, this race was a promising start (despite the demoralizing fact that I was only 16th in my age group!) – this has been my first race of the year every year since I joined RVRR and this was my fastest time – almost a minute faster than last year.

After the 20k, there is also a 5k and a 1 mile event. My 7 year old daughter wanted to do the 5k, so I joined her for that – glad that it was slow because my legs couldn’t take much more. Having said that she did a great job coming in with a clock time of 38:12.

Full results for the races can be found by clicking here.

This entry was posted in barefoot running, fitness, minimal running, minimalist running, New Jersey, NJ, Race Report, running, Training. Bookmark the permalink.

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