The Black Cat 10 Miler--WIN!

The winter has been a pain in the ass for those of us trying to get in our running mileage.  I've been treadmill bound for almost two months and I'm getting antsy about it.  Granted, I've been getting through some good shows such as Shameless Season 3 and even the Thundercats Season 1 remake (they really should make season 2--I was impressed with the reboot), but it's been hard to deal with the whether. 

 I have made considerable progress since last year and can comfortable run in weather in the 30s and tolerate weather in the upper 20s if it is a race.  However, the cold is only one part of the equation.  The other issue is snow, of which we've had a lot and much of it still lingers which makes running on sidewalks quite problematic.  Is it April yet?  

Anyways, this preamble is mostly to say that despite these conditions, my running is going pretty good.  I had my first race this past weekend and I am happy with the results.  Technically, it should have been my second run, but the weather for the first run included a potential heavy snow-storm and I wasn't going to deal with that. 

Thus, my first run of this season was the same as my first run from last season, The Black Cat 10 Miler (I was originally going to do the 20, but more on that below).  The run went quite well.  I maintained just over a 10 minute mile pace for the first 6 miles.  My time at the 6 mile mark was 1:01.  The next three miles I was able to complete by 1:29, which means I did about a 9:20 mile.  However, the finally mile was the victory:  I did it in just over 8 minutes.  I came in at 1:37:16.  That's 2 minutes less from last year, but also, I felt I ran the race better overall.
Black Cat 10 Mile - Medal and Number 2014

It felt like a victory because my Doubt Demon was awfully strong with me that morning as I rolled out of bed and saw that the temperature outside was in the teens.  I had not run in this kind of cold and was anxious about my ability to endure, particular because I wear the Vibrams.  

So what contributed to this success?  I did something in January and early February that with some encouragement, I realized was a really good idea.  I found myself an endurance coach.  I have set an ambitious amount of running goals for this year and while last year, I did well in building up to the marathon, I did it mostly in the dark, figuring out stuff through trial and error.  That's not a bad method per se but I feel I lucked out in not injuring myself.  So I decided to go with Dave Sek, at Breakthrough Performance Coaching.  A significant reason for going with Dave is because I have known him for most of my life but also because I have been following his adventures in the last few years and saw the level of skill and training that he was bringing.  I figured if I was going to improve, he's probably a solid bet to get me there.  In meeting with him and figuring out realistic goals for the next year, we set forward with training schedule (that updates regularly as I move towards different races). 

Overall, the training has been going great.  I managed about 70 miles in January but have moved up the mileage in February (a month with 3 less days) to 93 miles.  I anticipate March will also be high in numbers, which is good because my next race is 20 miles, so I'll need to be ready for that beast.  For some reason, I think I will be.  

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