Another blank span where running should have occurred. Oops. Life is a funny thing. After the New Years double, I hit the track workout on Wednesday, took off Thursday, and ran to work Friday. In hindsight that last run was a mistake. I'd spent the entire week in the Pure Cadence and my body is only used to doing one race in them at a time. At 4mm it is a departure from the other 12mm offset shoes that my body is used to. I paid quite the price on Friday and Saturday. The run to work on Friday dragged on as I quickly became overcome with calf pain. I knew it was the shoes but there was nothing I could do so I ran/walked the rest of the way to the store. Come Saturday morning I eased out of bed, hoping for relief. I felt mildly sore as I headed out but it wasn't until the long run group took off that I realized it was a no-go. 12 miles was the goal, 4 miles was the end result. Valuable lesson learned but another long run in the toilet.

Due to factors somewhat beyond my control (funerals suck) I ran a grand total of three miles last week. *high fives all around* One run to work. That's it. And the 14 miles that was supposed to happen that Saturday? I bumped it to Monday morning and was going to have pleasant company but the weather and E's nagging ankle killed that one. Tuesday? Nada. Today? 7. No, really. Despite the rain, E and her friend J and I met at E's house and hit the streets. E graciously kept the pace slow and steady which allowed me to hang on for the entire run. It wasn't pretty, but it was done. I'd like to run to work at least once this week but logistics for that are not working out. C'est la vie. I just might have to put on my big girl panties and run before work instead.

However, in the midst of all the hoopla I had a nice surprise. My friend and Ragnar captain, C, and I have been meaning to get together for some time now. His lovely fiance needed new running shoes from the store and C said he had something for me. I hadn't the slightest idea what that could be but I quickly found out on Sunday afternoon. BOOM.

Yeah, that just happened. As a team we knew we had performed really well but I didn't expect any official acknowledgment from Ragnar. In case you can't read the print, it says that my team (heretofore including me) is officially badass. We took second place in the submasters division and for that effort received the lovely certificate and a special commemorative relay baton. Pretty neat, right? I was content with the bitchin' medal, but this is good too. Rumors of a 2013 team abound and once I know something, so will you.

Shamrock is a mere 9 weeks way and I am too embarrassed to tell you what my longest run has been. I am really feeling the pressure and it is all self-imposed. Despite training with a group I have just not pulled my own weight and that will become very evident on race day. No PR for this chicky. It sucks but it is my fault and I have 9 weeks to suck it up and come up with a plan B for race day. In the short term that plan involves attempting the 16-18 mile long run scheduled for Saturday morning. There are no foreseeable obstacles to physically getting to the run, just the usual surprise of not knowing what the run will be like until it actually starts. I plan on finding that precious balance between stupid and stubborn in terms of getting every mile done.

I've added a few more races to the 2013 docket, each either a tune-up for a bigger race or a quick recovery run. Up first is Run Your Heart Out 5k in Reston on February 10th. I don't know what my long run mileage will be the day before, but if my legs will permit it I plan to use this as a tempo run. The next race is the Reston 10 Miler on March 3rd. I should be in taper-town by then and hope to run the race as such. Once those two guys are under my belt, I tackle Shamrock. And before the bib comes off, training for the 50k begins. Right now the only race I'm considering between Shamrock in March and the 50k in June is part of the Backyard Burn series. May 5 in Fairfax Station, 5 miles on Fountainhead. My 50k training plan has me doing 26 miles the day before and calls for an hour long medium effort run on what happens to be race day. I think 5 miles on a trail fits the bill.

As you can see, I don't plan on loading up on races for the sake of racing. Each one I've picked out is serving a purpose for a larger goal. As long as I can keep my ego in check and run according to plan, I'll be golden. I don't have anything in April yet (probably going to pass on the Cherry Blossom bib exchange) and am open to suggestion. No, I don't want to race the GW Parkway, I've heard too many reports that have ended with the word "injured." The store has plenty up their sleeve (and I can race for free), but they are mostly 5ks and I'm not sure how that will fit in with the 50k timeline.

At any rate, that is the latest and greatest from me. Non-running life is a swirling top but I've found that is the way I like it. I start what I hope is a killer internship next week, so wish me luck! And yes, I'll be holding down two jobs and two grad classes at the same time while I pretend to train for this marathon. I know, I know. My mom already pointed out that I might be taking too much on. Moms are like that. But you don't know until you try, right? Fingers crossed!