This is a big week for me.
Actually, it’s a big three weeks. First, I completed New Hampshire’s list of 4,000 foot mountains on Saturday. Mts Lincoln and Lafayette were number 47 and 48, all done while carrying a small child most of the way, and there will be a trip report on that later.
This hike was a day after I ran 9 miles in preparation for the Applefest Half Marathon in Hollis, NH, taking on the famous hills on Wheeler Road. But the biggest challenge was the next day, Sunday morning. I was scheduled to go out and run 20 miles.
Can I do that the day after a 9 mile hike that gained 3,200′ while carrying 60 lbs much of the way? Is that physically allowed?
I ran the 20 miles in just over 3 hours – a 9 minute mile pace. It’s actually not my best for a 20 miler. I did better during training runs for Boston and in the Eastern States 20-Miler in March (2:48 time/8:25 pace). But the day after a big hike (and all of the 4,000 footers are big), I’ll take it!
So what’s coming up? Originally, it was the Maine Marathon. That was it. I want to go for a time under four hours, and I think I can get there. My best half is 1:41:22, and I figure if I double that and add 25% to the second half, it will be 1:41:22 + 1:41:22 + 25:22 = 3:48:06. Given decent weather, there’s my goal time. This isn’t POA, btw, it’s based on my half & half splits in Boston (roughly 2:05 + 2:33 = 4:38), and that weather was BRUTAL.
But that was before my colleague at work decided to enter a half marathon, the aforementioned Applefest. That’s on October 6, and the course is known for its nearly two-mile-long hill section on Wheeler Road, coming between miles 9 and 11. In the first mile, it rises 200′, more than any hill in any race I’ve done yet. He signed me up, and it’s 6 days after the Maine. So there’s an interesting challenge.
But that’s not all, when I heard about the Salem Wicked Half Marathon on Sept 22, I knew I had to enter. It’s 8 days before the Maine Marathon, and I’ve already decided to go for a two-week taper, so it kinda sorta fits in with my plan. I figured “Why not?” The course is fun, with some hills, especially in the Marblehead section, and the weather looks to be perfect.
So, to recap:
- September 22 – Salem Wicked Half Marathon
- September 30 – Maine Marathon
- October 6 – Applefest Half Marathon
Sounds insane, doesn’t it? Well, I’ve trained, hiked, walked, carried, stretched, hydrated, weighed, carb-loaded, conditioned, timed, paced, calculated and generally wrapped myself around this notion that I can run these three races in three weeks. Two years ago this would have been out of the question. Now it’s just a question waiting to be answered.
Time to go answer it.