I spent a LOT of time in my happy place this weekend. Woods, rocks, dirt, roots, puddles, mud, thickets, pines, hills, mountains, and fresh air! It’s been a great week of training. There were a few days I had to get creative to fit it all in. Here’s how it went down.
Monday: 5 miles of cycling
Tuesday: 4 trail miles with the dog
Wednesday: 6 faster hilly road miles (8:43, 8:54, 8:41, 8:31, 8:28, 7:55)
Thursday: 8.3 (6 trail miles with a buddy and the rest on the xc course) & 8.5 cycling miles, upper body & core
Saturday: 11 trail miles with friends in the morning, then 12 miles (mountain repeats 3 times to overlook and back, 3600 ft elevation gain for that run).
Sunday: 10 trail miles recovery (13:24 pace)
TOTAL: 51 miles. 45 on trails!
This Weekend’s Runs
Saturday morning I met 3 friends to run an out-and-back on Buck Ridge Trail. It worked out great because we are all doing a race, The Buck Ridge Burn, on that trail next weekend. Ribbons and arrows were already up! It was chilly and gloomy, but a perfect morning for a run. We had a lot of fun dodging puddles, and then gave up because wet shoes were inevitable. We made it all the way to Pine Grove, and ended up with 11 miles total. I’m so glad to have these people to share trail running with! And the best part is we work together, so I can always find someone in the halls to talk with about running. 🙂 Next weekend is going to be a blast!
When I got back, I had to immediately drive my son to school for an event. Then came home and ate 3 scrambled eggs with avocado and chipotle salsa, a banana with almond butter and honey, and some other stuff I don’t remember. I made a quick trip to the dollar store for some stuff we needed, got a few things done around the house, picked my son back up from his event, and then ate a sandwich and geared up for run #2 on Flat Rock Trail in Colonel Denning.
All my trail miles are hilly, that’s a given. But these mountain repeats are ridiculous. The plan was to get in 12 miles. With 11 miles already on my legs for the day, I wasn’t sure how the repeats would go. The closer I got to the top of the first climb, the more I realized I was killing it. It’s very rocky at the top, so I ran from large rock to large rock as fast as I could and eventually found myself standing on Flat Rock overlooking Newville, with a personal best time on my watch, 32:42 (best by a little over 2 minutes!) . That was an awesome feeling! I knew the other two repeats would not be as fast but I got through them pretty solid.
When I do these repeats I like to eat my fuel on the first steep climb of each ascent, which is 0.3 miles in. The best thing I tried this time was mini golden Oreos. They tasted SO good. I couldn’t eat them fast enough.
During the last downhill repeat I was on a steep descent when a decent sized runaway rock collided with my ankle so I allowed myself 20 seconds of cursing and then continued on. The rest of the way down was super steep and all I could think about was how trashed my legs were. In fact I’m pretty sure I was talking to myself out loud while running. It went something like this. “My legs are so trashed.” And, “Holy shit, my legs are freaking trashed.” 23 miles is the most mileage I’ve ever done in one day, and this is the hardest hill work I’ve ever done with the 11 miles already on my legs for the day.
This was the fourth time I’ve done repeats on this trail, but the first time that there were this many people around. The campground at the trailhead is now open, so I have to run right past people sitting around campfires and fishing and then turn around and run right back up the trail. I know people think I’m nuts and I really don’ t care. Besides, they are probably right! What does bother me is that the solitude of winter trail running is coming to an end. I’m glad to see a lot of people out enjoying the trails but kind of miss the quiet. People are so loud!
Today’s 10 mile run happened in the afternoon after giving my legs some time to move around earlier in the day (errands with the boys and hanging around outside with the animals). When I was ready, I drove to my usual trails and parked in a new spot to mix things up a little bit.
For this type of run (after a long hard workout the day before), I always mix in hiking until my running legs come back. It took a little longer this time (about halfway through) but I was feeling decent by the end. I imagine this is what mile 30 of the 50 will sort of feel like….but probably a lot worse! For a 10 mile run I was starving and ended up eating 3 snacks: mini Honey Stinger chocolate waffle, 4 peanut butter crackers, and some leftover Honey Stinger chews from yesterday. Lots of calories burned this weekend!
So, in a nutshell, I basically spent the week eating and running. It’s a vicious cycle.