No long run last week, but it was a good week of training. Probably a good thing to step back a notch after my trail marathon training run last week, and hopefully this week I'll be able to step it up again and get another marathon distance run in. I'm feeling pretty good about how my training for the Stone Cat 50 miler is going. Here's what the week looked like:
Not a lot of time tonight, so I just did the "regular" part of the run without the barefoot afterward. No watch so I don't know what the time or distance was, probably about 5.6 miles at somewhere around a 9 minute pace. I was definitely feeling a little tired from the previous weekend's efforts, no problems luckily, just feeling the effects of the miles. It's started to get dark noticeably earlier now, it won't be long before we need to start bringing headlamps to the TNR.
Thursday + Friday
Thursday morning I got up before work to run the 5.6 mile Mountain Loop (road) from home. I was feeling bit sluggish, mostly due to the fact that it was early and running uphill for the first 3 miles. The downhill side of the run felt better but not terribly fast, still in "recovery" mode.
Friday was the same loop, different story. I didn't get out the door until about 7pm and it was pretty much dark, I was also getting hungry for dinner so I decided to go hard and get back home as soon as I could. Finally - not that it had been that long - I was feeling fully recovered from last weekend's runs and was ready to run fast. I didn't start out too fast but I did really push it on the uphill miles of the run and then let loose on the down. Unfortunately since it was dark and I was running on a fairly busy rural road without a paved shoulder I found myself stepping off into the dirt shoulder every time a car came at me and blinded me with their lights. This made it hard to run consistently fast when I couldn't see my footing, but I still managed a pace that I was very happy with.
distance: 5.65 miles
gear: Saucony Grid Sinister
distance: 5.65 miles
gear: Brooks Cascadia
I thought briefly about running the Pathfinders 5k at Pineland on Saturday, but realized that wouldn't do much for my 50 miler training so I decided to get there early, get in about 12 miles and then watch the race. It turned out to be (probably) the coldest morning so far this early fall and there was a frost on all the grassy fields. Very pretty.
I had hoped someone else would show early to join me for the run but perhaps it was too early (or cold) for anyone else. I started with the Oak Hill trails for 4.5 miles and then ran the first part of The Race course minus the overgrown fields and got in another 8.5 miles. I wasn't pushing the pace too much, but probably a little faster than my usual Pineland pace. Although this was also a little shorter than my usual Pineland distance so that's probably to be expected.
I got back to the Visitors Center just in time to see the start of the race and jogged around a little bit to see runners a few places along the course and then at the finish. After seeing this small group of runners working hard and getting very out of breath I decided I'd rather do a 50k here any day than a 5k. In a 50k you get to run slowly and walk up the hills. In a 5k you have to run fast the whole time.
gear: Inov-8 Roclite 295
Sunday morning Emma and I met up with our Trail Monster neighbors, Jeff and James, for a local trail run (with a little road at the beginning and end). It was a little cold and there was a steady rain but it was so nice to be running with Emma again that I really didn't mind.
I thought this was a fairly hilly route, but James assured me that it's not. Either way we were taking it at a pretty easy pace which I was happy with. I had to remind myself that this was as "easy" week and that next week I'd step it back up with another long run.
This 11+ mile loop has a great mix of terrain, and once again I wished I had brought my camera, although the rain wouldn't have allowed for very good photos.
gear: Inov-8 Roclite 295
As I look ahead to this upcoming weekend I'd like to get another marathon distance training run in and it just so happens that there is a marathon happening in Portland this weekend. Unfortunately it's a road race. It's still very tempting to sign up, I just can't decide if it's the best thing for my training or not. I'm a little concerned that a road marathon would take too much out of me and that it would take too long to recover from. It's been 5 years since I last ran a road marathon (this same one) and even though I had a pretty good race I decided after that race that I didn't ever want to do a marathon again. Hmmm.
The other thing I need to consider is that the following weekend is the Mountain Epic race at Sunday River. "Only" 12 miles but it's going to be one hell of an effort. Then the weekend after that is the MTC 50k in Brunswick, another road race! What's happening to me? Is this road running really going to help me at Stone Cat? I do think that getting in long runs at a faster than trail race pace could help me achieve that 50 mile PR I'm looking for. The question is could I do just as well with all trail training and with less abuse on my body? I haven't comitted to either of these road races yet, but there is a good chance I'll do one or both of them.