More building. More mileage. More variation. Another very good week. The legs are getting used to the change, and some days I feel tired and others quite strong. I think that means I'm doing it correctly. This actually ended up as my second biggest week of the year in terms of mileage.
Onto the numbers...
7/11, Sunday: 7 total, Bradbury Scuffle.
7/12, Monday: 5 - 45:26, Homeplace Loop. A touch tired, but overall, pretty good. Better than I would have expected, especially considering how hot it was during this run.
7/13, Tuesday: 7 total, White Mountain Milers Inov-8 Summer Series, 5k - 21:44; 2 mile warm up / 2 mile cool down. Plan for the "race" was to take it out easier than last week, work the uphill middle mile and see how I felt on the downhill. That's pretty much how it played out. Felt very easy in the first mile and chatted with Paul Kirsch for a good chunk of it. We were both shocked to hear a 6:40 split at the mile. It sure felt a lot easier than that. As we hit the uphill, I deferred to Paul's Mountain Goat status (having completed all 6 USATF Mountain Races this season), and true to form he dusted me on the uphill. He claimed I'd catch him on the downhill, but I didn't really have the fire, nor the legs. I hit the two-mile split in around 14:00, and decided to just relax and cruise into the finish from there. Pleased with the time and the effort. May take a real shot at this course next week. Not that a fast 5k is a particularly critical portion of my training, but they sure are fun.
7/14, Wednesday: 6.75 - 1:05:48, 11x Mt. Ararat. More gettin' dizzy on Mt. A. I'm actually finding this run somewhat enjoyable. I'm probably ill. Ended up with 1,146 feet of vert. Good stuff. Legs were a bit tired, it was disgustingly humid and the deer flies were very aggressive. But, I viewed all this as good for training the mental part of my game. If I can circle Mt. Ararat eleven times in those conditions, it should bode well when I run/race in good conditions. Again, I'm probably ill.
7/15, Thursday: 0. Much needed rest day.
7/16, Friday: 10.75 - 1:52:41, Bradbury Mountain State Park (One lap of the Breaker course followed by a lap of the Scuffle course). Kevin Tilton was down in my neighborhood for work, so I offered to give him a tour of The Brad. He'd been looking to run there for a while, and I'd been itching to show off the goods. He's in a "restish" point in his training, so we enjoyed an easy spin around one lap of the Breaker course before he had to head out. It was a comfortable 50 minutes for the 4.5+ miles, and I know he dug it. Hopefully, I can guilt/berate/cajole him into racing in August. (Hint, hint, Kevin.) From there, I was on my own to battle the deer flies. We barely saw any on the mountain side, but once I crossed the road it was insane. The heat was rising and the sun started coming out...so were the bugs. (Cue dramatic music.) In the six miles around the Scuffle course, I killed at least 30 of them and missed countless others. On three separate occasions, I slapped my back and killed two with one swong. I crossed path with a pair of mountain bikers at one point, and their shock at the swarm around me was telling. By the time I hit the last mile of the Scuffle course, I was at my wits end and practically hitting race pace. I seriously considered bailing at the Link trail, but I hung in there to finish the whole course. That's that illness. Plus, the deer flies were so bad, I barely noticed the humidity. I was drenched, and thankful for the thin cloud cover and the shaded trails. All that being said, I felt very good on this run. Once Kevin left and I headed out on my own, I had a bit of a down spot, but pushed right through. My energy was good the entire way, and in many ways, felt strongest near the end. Good, solid long run.
7/17, Saturday: 5 - 46:53, Homeplace Loop. Another warm, humid morning. Legs were a bit weary, but it was exactly what I expected. Just took it easy.
Second 40+ mile week of the year, and none of it on the roads. Forty is a milestone number for me, and one I rarely hit. My hope is that I can put in two more 40+ mile efforts in the next two weeks, followed by a mini-taper for the Breaker. I'm also going to up the length of the long runs. More importantly, as I've mentioned before, the variety of the runs is great: Race, Easy, Tempo-ish, Hills, Off, Long, Easy. That's much better than my previous weeks, which were 80% easy runs essentially. Of course, with the increased quantity and quality, I've had a few aches and pains: tight hip flexor one day, tight hamstring on another, but not a concern as they've gone as quickly as they've come. Again, I'm pretty happy with the week.
Neil Finn is the best pop/rock singer/songwriter ever. Doesn't get the credit he deserves.