Tapering is tough when you have a long term goal that is 12 weeks away, and want to be fit and ready for your B race. Tapering last week worked well for me this week; and I need to remember this.
My weekday runs were great; some trail, some road. I had a great race on Saturday (mountainous, trail) and recovery run of 7.5 miles on Sunday (flat, road). Sunday was a great ending to the training cycle in preparation for the my first 50 Miler in 2 weeks.
Here’s how the week played out:
I am particularly psyched about the elevation gain/vert 7,850.
Everything is going so well and I just don’t want to screw it up. So this means foam rolling, stretching, walking and just going with the flow. This week’s mantra – Just roll with it. I’m going to be better about figuring out that fine line of planning and going with the flow (see photo at the top). I have so much I want to accomplish. There is so much I want to do and see and feel. Life is good and I’m so happy – Imagine That.
Average Resting Heart Rate: 51
Total Vert: 7,200
Miles: 45.7 (includes hiking)
Let’s start with the Good this 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.
The TARC Spring Classic 50K on Saturday was painful and I battled negative thoughts during the first two loops.
Half way through the first loop I hit a rock or root and fell, hard, to the ground and into bushes landing on my right shoulder. I got up quickly and realized that I wasn’t injured but cut my left hand. Since it was raining I had all kinds of wet vegetation on me. I was more embarrassed than hurt. I started running and the only thing that hurt was my hand. Thank goodness. If I fell on the first loop when my mind was working well, I better pay attention on the future loops.
The race was so well organized. The food was good. I ate PB&J and grilled cheese on every loop. The water bottle fillers were awesome and helpful; very friendly. I loved that the aid station at every loop had my drop bag waiting for me. I ran pretty light and didn’t carry much water or my soft flasks because I knew every 10K I would have Tailwind and water. I didn’t use Perpetum until the 4th loop and it really help my energy level because during the third loop I realized that I might not make the cut-off and didn’t even know what the the cut-off was. My mind was so out of it that I couldn’t figure out how long each 10K loop took me. Was it an hour? 90 minutes? I couldn’t do the math. At the aid station before heading out on the 4th loop I found out that I had to start the 5th loop by 2:15. It was 12:15. Could I do one loop in 2 hours. My mind couldn’t figure it out so I headed out on the 4th loop to go as fast as I could.
While running the 4th loop I realized that I hate it when people have to wait for me; I hate inconveniencing people. If I barely meet the cut off, the race director and all his people would be waiting for me to finish and that makes me feel bad. I thought that if I was cutting it too close I just wouldn’t go out on the final loop. As I got closer to the end of the loop I realized each loop took about 90 minutes to finish.
I came into the aid station at 1:45 (phew!) and headed out on the last loop; everything hurt so much. Now I just wanted to finish as fast as I could so I didn’t keep race volunteers from leaving and get my 31 training miles in.
I don’t fully understand why I felt so weary most of the run. It wasn’t super hilly, the total elevation gain was just under 1,000. It could just be that I was still tired from a running 38 total miles last weekend.
As I ran this race I thought about all the things I need to do for the next 5 weeks before my 50 miler: more weights, more stairs and more time on my feet.
Gear Note: I wore the Lone Peak shoes and SmartWool socks. By the 2nd loop they were pretty soaked from the rain showers and I thought I would stop and change shoes but by the time I got back to the aid station an hour later, my feet seemed dry. Amazing. So I didn’t waste time changing shoes, I wore them the entire 31 miles.
The week of training was good. No knee pain and while the total mileage this week was less than last week, I’m okay with it knowing I pushed a little harder than I normally would on Saturday. Next weekend I’m going to try for more elevation gain and get the mileage back up where it should be. Weights, night running and stairs are all in my plan this week!
Average Resting Heart Rate: 51
Total Vert: 2,100
Miles: 51.3 (includes hiking)
This Week’s Plan
This is the second recovery week since I started training. What a strange week this has been.
As a recovery week, the mileage during this week was really low and I took a few more days off due to knee pain. I think I figured out what happened with my knee: the fall, over use, stress and putting on too many miles. I’m following a plan that has gradual mileage increases but it still wrecked my body. I think, too, that I stopped weight training and that didn’t help. I did everything right this week, well, maybe not everything right but I iced, rested, elevated and got my legs stronger. Since I had pain in the adductors weeks leading up to the knee injury, I think that part of the knee pain was coming from the weak adductors.
Now, I will get back to weight training and do my core exercises every day. I remember reading that the most important think about ultra running is arriving to the start healthy and injury free. The miles have been a struggle on my aging body and now I understand that I have to do everything I knew I had to do to stay healthy and injury free.
I will do yoga a few times a week and weight training. I will hike and run at night.
Next week is Week 19 – the biggest week yet.
I’m excited for the week and to be strong and healthy.
132 days to Leadville.
Average Weight: [I don’t want to talk about it]
Average Resting Heart Rate: 44
Total Vert: 2,273
Miles: 23.9 (includes hiking)