In the Paddock

Racked up some decent mileage in March – fortunately relatively pain free – and got back on track for the 1,000-Mile Challenge presented by iRun Local.

How much back on track?

Exactly back on track.

After an easy 3 last Monday, a spin around the 5-Mile Trail at the Spa Park Tuesday and a somewhat aborted attempt at the first Saratoga Stryders Wednesday Night Workout of the season, the mileage ledger read 125.4 for the third month of 2021. That’s an average of more than 4 a day, which would not only cruise past the 1,000 threshold but help reach the more serious target of 100 miles per month.

All told that’s 247.2 miles for the year – January and February really were slow – so an average of 2.75 a day. Expand that out to the 365 days we’ll have in 2021 and it comes to 1,002.5.

Now you’re talking.

The thing about running though is sometimes what it gives it also takes.

The 125 miles in March took a toll, and especially after a stretch of 13 days in a row to reach a silly Strava Running Distance Challenge of 200 kilometers (more on those another day). Last Tuesday’s run on the 5-Mile Trail, combined with what I’ve diagnosed as an old pair of too-stiff trail running shoes, resulted in some left leg stiffness that’s led to a slower-than-expected start to April.

After two days off to start the month a scheduled 10-mile was cut short at 6.5 – thanks for friends Dave, Staci and Stacey for sticking out the slow pace last Saturday – followed by another day off Sunday. Back to the 5-Mile Trail for the first Stryders Monday Trail Run of the season – perhaps not the wisest move, but I went with the On Cloudflow road shoes and they worked to a T. Another flare-up Tuesday during a short run around the neighborhood – need to keep that Local Legend status for a nearby stretch (also a story for another day!) – and I dropped a line to Jamie at iRun Local.

“I’m overdue to stop by. I loved my old trail shoes at first but lately they feel stiff. Maybe looking for something a little more like my On road shoes. Any advice?”

Jamie suggested a couple pairs that included the Altra Lone Peak, the same brand I chatted with former Stryders President Frank Lombardo about during our run Monday. She asked about the Challenge, too, and said to stop in.

A new pair of road shoes are going to be needed soon, too, long runs of 10.3, 11.1 and 13.3 on a 200-pound (plus) frame certainly has to crush the cushion. Perhaps that’s wrong, but a second pair for the roads can’t hurt with the Half Marathon Unplugged in Burlington, Vt., looming Saturday and the Big Turtle 10-Mile Trail Race in Morehead, Ky., in the not-so-far-away distance April 24.

And I’m suddenly off track, six days into April and the projected total is back under 1,000 and at 991 and change. Leg pain be gone, there’s work to do.

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