TITLE: The First Monday in April AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: April 02, 2007 6:09 PM DESC: ----- BODY: ... is the traditional start of my training for the Sturgis Falls Half Marathon, which is the last Sunday in June. The tradition is only four years old, and it also marks the longer-term start of my marathon training for fall. Last year, I was in such good shape coming out of winter that training for the June half didn't seem all that big a deal. This year, I'm coming off a January and February of little or no mileage, and a March in which I've slowly been building my mileage back up. So preparing for the half matters. I had worked my way up to a 30-mile week before last week, but with a Sunday long run of only 7 or 7.5 miles. Last week, I continued a regular week of mileage and then took a big step forward: a 20K (12.4-mile) long run. A student is training for the St. Louis Marathon, but had done most of his work on city streets. I offered to take him out on our trail system for a more scenic long run and decided to go the full run with him. The result was good for me. I needed a nap on Sunday afternoon, but my legs were nothing but a little stiff this morning. I ran an easy three miles to loosen them up, and all is well. I think I am ready to train now, though I expect to be slower than last year for at least a few more weeks. With the coming of spring, I am ready for miles outdoors, however slow they may be. Looking farther ahead, I think that this year I will run the Marine Corps Marathon. This will be my latest marathon (October 28, 2007) and will follow on the heels of OOPSLA in Montreal. That will be a challenge to my taper... -----