This weekend I signed up for the Philadelphia Marathon; a marathon I have been wanting to do for a long time. I almost signed up for Umstead but didn’t get in; a 100 mile race in April in North Carolina.
This week I start a new training block getting ready for a few marathons. The training plan has me biking twice a week which I’m excited for since it’s the best time of year to bike.
My next race is September 22 – Kismet. I’m excited to run/hike it since it’s billed as being very difficult and I haven’t spent much time over by Conway since I moved back to New Hampshire. I’ve never hiked Moat or Cathedral Ledge.
Week 4 was pretty good until it wasn’t. Ha. That is fun to write. Kind of. Not really.
Every day this week was great until the fiasco that was Sunday. The week started with a Tuesday-Wednesday-Friday run schedule. It should have been Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday and then maybe Saturday would’ve been a little different; but should’ve, could’ves will kill you.
Saturday was the Pemi Loop with a wake up call at 2:30am. At the Lincoln Woods trailhead at 4:30 to meet Bob, Mark and Jen. We are all running Leadville 100 in a few weeks. We started with headlamps on the Osseo Trail and then about 45 minute in could turn them off.
Up over Flume, Liberty, Haystack, Lincoln, Lafayette, Garfield, South Twin, Bond and Bondcliff.
The best part was the Franconia Ridge and the Bonds. Beautiful, above treeline hiking and running.
The hardest part was the doom and gloom of the Garfield Ridge and the .8 mile climb up South Twin.
It was a hot day and I did a lot of things wrong: not enough water, no electrolytes, not enough food – all contributing to the fiasco that was Sunday.
I woke up with low energy and super low heart rate, which scared me. I really wanted to rally and have a great day with a run in the morning to start. But nope. Couldn’t do it. At 5:00 pm I finally got out of bed and got in a swim with Winnie and ate a good meal. Today, Monday, still sore but energy seems to be restored.
I’m not sure I could do the Pemi Loop solo. It was so fun to talk and laugh with people. There were about 10 runners we encountered that were doing the clockwise Pemi Loop. It’s pretty popular. I think now, two days later, I might do this again. Maybe in the fall.
Now it’s time for Week 3 and to have a good almost-taper week.
Total Vertical – 7,200 is the highest number to date since training started on January 21. I got in more hiking this week including an attempt at Whiteface in the White Mountains. While the snow is gone on the trails in Concord there is still plenty of snow and ice an hour north of me.
Resting Heart Rate – average heart rate is getting higher, to a better number. 47 is just too low even for a fit athlete. As I look at my watch just now Average Resting bumped up to 55. This means no dizziness and just feeling better all around. I’m not sure why it plummets like it does, and I actually think it may have something to do with humidity but I will continue to monitor.
Weight Training – I’m back in the weight room and I love the new routine. I started on a machine that will hopefully help me do a real pull up.
Hiking in the Whites – hiked in the Whites with Alex, his pup and Winnie. I love being in the White Mountains and we hiked into the Sandwich Range Wilderness. (Should’ve snapped a photo of the sign.) I always love being in a wilderness.
Injury Free – I’m injury free!
I didn’t hit the big mileage that I planned for this weekend. Saturday was a bust after running 11 miles on the Concord trails including Carter Hill (the photo above), falling and injuring my left pinky that doesn’t bend from being broken in 2014. I was nervous about the swelling and getting worse so I headed home. At 14 miles I called it. Once I was home I didn’t go out on another loop. Motivation was low on Saturday from the pain and cold temps. I need to work on this dedication/motivation issues when I need to finish training plan miles. Sunday started with a 4am wake up call and drive to the trailhead to meet Alex. The hike was awesome – not too steep at first and a bit of a monorail most the way. The mileage was supposed to be around 8 but we turned around at the first icy ledge that seemed like certain death for curious dogs. But the bad part is that I really thought I’d come home and run 13 miles and I didn’t. Hiking was the highlight of my week!
I had a head cold all week. On the weekdays when I knew I had to do mileage (a pro in the middle of the con statement), I did the miles but felt awful most of the time.
Today, Monday, April 29 it’s time to regroup and commit to miles, weights, stairs, hiking and night runs. My cold is over and I’m injury free. Time to get strong and get ready for the next 30 miler milestone on May 11.
One of the things that long back-to-back weekend runs does, is it tests your gear. After running for a few hours I become a bit delusional and I can’t even unzip pockets quickly much less adjust bottles on my hydration vest. A few gear-related issues that have been bothering and frustrating me the last few weeks while running need to be fixed as I’m out on the trails longer.
This morning I bought a few things online to remove my frustrations and make me more happy while running.
Wireless headphones – long overdue.
A GPS watch with a heart rate monitor on my wrist
A new running vest that is waterproof and wind resistant
My headphones have been driving me crazy with the wires. With wind and hydration flasks moving and shifting they hit my headphones a certain way and they move position in my ear. They typically don’t fall off but it’s annoying. I did a few searches and while I really wanted the Apple AirPods I decided to go with running-specific wireless headphones and opt for Jaybird X4 Wireless Headphones. I’ll let you know how I like them.
My heart rate monitor with my Suunto Ambit 3 has been driving me crazy lately. For two months I’ve been wearing it with no problems but the last two weeks the chest monitor is either too tight and restricting my breathing, or too loose and falling down. I need to try something new. I don’t feel too bad about buying a new GPS running watch since I’ve used the Ambit 3 since my bike crash in 2014 when my Garmin was destroyed.
I opt to go back to Garmin and bought the Garmin Forerunner 35. I like how it monitors health-related options like resting heart rate, which is still too low for me right now. I might just wear it all the time like a regular watch.
And, since I bought the Garmin with REI dividends and a special member sale, I added a vest for spring running that has been on my wish list for a long time.
I’m excited for a complete day off today. I will also be paying special attention to one of my favorite Instagram accounts I follow: Rest Day Brags
This is the last week of training before the real training starts for the 25 week training plan for Leadville. Not to say that I haven’t been pushing it; I have. Saturday’s 16 mile course was hilly with 1,123 elevation gain and a post-run recovery hike with the dog. I was sore before bed and woke up Sunday morning groggy; but not sore.
Sunday morning I couldn’t imagine running 10 miles. But after a lot of coffee and a breakfast of eggs and toast, I headed out. I completed the 10 miles and actually felt pretty good during most of it. I hiked and ran in a wintery mix, snow and rain. My heart rate has normalized on tough hills and I don’t feel like the hills are killing me anymore.
I’ve been reading so many website and blogs about gear, training and nutrition. Saturday night I ordered an Osprey hydration pack for long, mountain runs.
I’ve been watching Ryan Clayton videos: I like that he doesn’t post videos that have him explaining something while he runs. Okay, maybe he does once in a while. Ha. I like his athletic background and video style; I can learn a lot from his YouTube channel.
I also read Heather’s blog/website, Relentless Forward Commotion. I find her tips and exercise ideas really helpful as I build miles and try to get stronger.
I’m trying a new gel. I notice that some backpacker/hikers use Muir products so I thought I would give it a try. I’m typically a Hammer devotee because it works for me, but I will give it a try.
PS: I also love my Injinji socks. I wore these on my Saturday run and seriously, I didn’t even think about my feet the entire time. That has got to be a good thing.