David R. Whitney

April 30k Challenge


I’m going to run an additional kilometer per day of April: 1k on April 1, all the way up to 30k on April 30.

Conclusion (tl;dr):

I didn’t think this completely through before starting this challenge. I knew I could work up to a 30km (18.6 mi) run, but I wouldn’t have been able to run 30km the day after running 29km the day after running 28km, etc. I realized this around April 12, and adjusted my strategy. The longer distances would be interspersed with bike rides. Even then, it was much harder than I expected.

DateDistance TimeAvg PaceElev Gain
April 1 1.05 km0.65 mi4:477:22 /mi38 ft
April 22.09 km1.30 mi10:177:55 /mi57 ft
April 33.19 km1.98 mi16:438:27 /mi133 ft
April 44.01 km2.49 mi18:477:33 /mi152 ft
April 55.04 km3.13 mi23:057:22 /mi210 ft
April 66.15 km3.82 mi31:328:15 /mi226 ft
April 77.08 km4.40 mi37:388:33 /mi248 ft
April 88.85 km5.50 mi44:078:01 /mi348 ft
April 99.41 km5.85 mi47:198:05 /mi343 ft
April 1010.30 km6.40 mi53:128:19 /mi347 ft
April 1111.27 km7.00 mi57:548:16 /mi343 ft
April 1212.15 km7.55 mi1:04:348:33 /mi316 ft
April 1313.34 km8.29 mi1:07:048:05 /mi311 ft
April 1414.18 km8.81 mi1:12:498:16 /mi309 ft
April 1515.05 km9.35 mi1:18:508:26 /mi359 ft
April 16 | Ride16.75 km10.41 mi52:4411.8 mph376 ft
April 17 | Ride17.24 km10.71 mi53:1212.1 mph636 ft
April 1818.25 km11.34 mi1:32:598:12 /mi463 ft
April 19 | Ride19.14 km11.89 mi1:25:598.3 mph118 ft
April 20 | Ride20.70 km12.86 mi56:3613.6 mph411 ft
April 2121.76 km13.52 mi1:54:418:29 /mi356 ft
April 22 | Ride22.08 km13.72 mi1:08:2612.0 mph571 ft
April 23 | Ride23.16 km14.39 mi1:10:1812.3 mph524 ft
April 24 | Ride24.53 km15.24 mi1:14:2812.3 mph747 ft
April 2525.23 km15.68 mi2:17:208:46 /mi956 ft
April 26 | Ride26.55 km16.50 mi1:22:3212.0 mph580 ft
April 27 | Ride28.42 km17.66 mi1:26:0012.3 mph359 ft
April 28 | Ride28.52 km17.72 mi1:26:2512.3 mph954 ft
April 29 | Ride29.02 km18.03 mi1:31:4711.8 mph853 ft
April 3030.80 km19.14 mi2:45:088:38 /mi785 ft

April 1

In the two weeks leading up to this, I ran 13 of the last 14 days. Most of then were 3 miles or more. Last week I ran 23.5 mile cumulatively. This first week of the challenge will be easy. Running today felt like barely a workout. 1 kilometer / .6 miles: I have not run so short a distance in years, not even with Stella.

April 2

This is a little bit better. Still, 1.25 miles is barely a workout. Does it even count as cardio if I only worked out for 10 minutes?

April 3

Two miles. This is now the threshold for what I would in the past consider a “short run”. I only ever did two miles on rest days when I wanted to keep up a streak.

April 4

Beautiful weather today. It’s nice to run in the sun. Almost up to a 5k.

April 5

Finally up to a 5k. This is my baseline workout, and the distance I have most often run the past five years. I couldn’t help but run a 5k at a fast pace.

April 6

The weather was a little cool in the shade. My right knee felt a little stiff. For the first time this week, I am feeling the effects of my workouts.

April 7

I took it a lot slower today to make up for Sunday’s fast pace. My left hip was a little sore before the run but felt fine during it.

April 8

62 degrees outside, but felt a lot hotter in the sun for this midday run. Hips and knees felt fine. Pace turned out to be faster than it felt. Good run. Missed a turn and ended up running longer than I intended. Stopped short so as not to hit 9 kilometers a day early.

April 9

Very wet run, but not raining. Pace felt easy, no soreness. A little repetitive from yesterday. I need to vary my routes more.

April 10

Strong headwinds today, and very cold. Legs felt tired. Ran a 10k today. Technically I’m a third of the way there.

April 11

More of the same.

April 12

My legs felt sore when I woke up today. This is starting to get hard. They loosened up around the third mile. I’m contemplating a new strategy. I’ll make it to 15k running, then switch to biking between multiples of 5k: bike 16k-19k, run 20k, bike 21k-24k, run 25k, bike 26k-29k, and finish with a 30k run.

April 13

So hot. Had to wait until the overnight and morning storms had passed, and it was 70 degrees this afternoon So tired. At 8:05/mi, it was a faster pace than yesterday by almost 30 seconds per mile.

April 14

I have this deep soreness and ache in my legs that does not go away. Must hold on for at least one more run…

April 15

This is the last run before I take a break. Biking for 16km and 17 km. I’ll run again at 18km. 15 straight days of running for a cumulative 76.52 miles in April. In the last week I have run 53.25 miles, which is more than I have ever run in a single week, even at peak marathon training.

April 16 | Ride

Today was the first bike ride. It felt so good to take a break. I need some better routes for biking though, without just doing out-and-backs on the trail. This road 16km route had too many stoplights.

April 17 | Ride

My legs felt a lot better today. The route was better today: roads were less busy and had fewer stoplights. There were a lot more hills though. I’ll feel a lot better running tomorrow after having taken these two days off from running.

April 18

It felt good to run again. Those two days off made all the difference. Nice moderate pace, lots of energy in my legs. It was very windy, though.

April 19 | Ride

Bike ride with Brooke and Stella for the first 10.5k, then on my own for the last 8.5k. Not as much of a workout, but still 19k! Doubled back on the Cross County Trail a few times to make the distance work.

April 20 | Ride

Out-and-back route west on the W&OD Trail. Fast pace. Perfect temperature and weather for this ride.

April 21: Half Marathon

Just a little bit past 21km to make it a half marathon. Nice early morning run, easy pace.

April 22 | Ride

Don’t bike try to bike in Northside Park. There are stream crossings, exposed roots, and fallen trees. Other than that, the ride was fine!

April 23 | Ride

Nice out-and-back on the W&OD. I wish it didn’t take me 3.5 miles to get to the trail. They’re building a bridge at the Rt 29 crossing in Falls Church. That will be nice once it’s complete.

April 24 | Ride

Wet and muddy outside, but a good ride. Crossing Rt 50 and Rt 29 near Jermantown Rd took forever.

April 25

This was a really tough run. Lots of hills. I think the biking is finally taking more of a toll on my legs than I was aware of. The trails around Lake Royal and Long Branch Stream Valley Park were really muddy.

April 26 | Ride

Light drizzle throughout this ride, but it is one of my favorite routes: the Arlington Loop. It’s all paved trails: the Custis Trail, the Mount Vernon Trail, the Four Mile Run Trail, the W&OD Trail, and the Bluemont Junction Trail.

April 27 | Ride

I accidentally over-calculated this route and biked 28 km. Oops. Nice ride though, great weather. Some parts were a bit muddy. There was something wrong with my back break; it’s really worn down and was not functioning well.

After the ride, I fixed my back break. I will need to order new brake pads, but I put I swapped the front pads with the back and this will work well now. Also tightened up the cables.

April 28 | Ride

This was the hilliest route I’ve biked. Some of those hills in Oakton on Hunter Station Rd were extremely steep. Now there’s something wrong with my back inner tube. Tire pressure was low before I rode, and I had to re-inflate mid-ride.

After the ride, I replaced the back inner tube. All these miles on this bike are adding up. I haven’t had to do this much maintenance in years.

April 29 | Ride

The final ride of this April 30k challenge. A nice route, but a little too gravelly in Round Tree Park. The roads around Lake Barcroft were very hilly, and I did not realize that everything that all the trails and beaches that border the lake itself were private and restricted to residents.

April 30

I finished! I woke up early to avoid the thunderstorms predicted for today and finished just when it started really raining. Weather was quite pleasant. I stopped halfway at my brother’s house as a pit stop. Now I’m going to rest for a day… or a week.