The mileage for the week seems a tad low with no true long run, but a deeper look will show some good quality. Only one road run, which was a tempo session, and the rest were in snowshoes or on trails. I'm definitely not hitting the speed goals of the Pfitz plan, but I'm modifying it to do what I enjoy and am certainly building strength. And, in many ways, it's those modifications that are informing my decision for my plans after the Gator Trail 50k. It's definitely dangerous to look too far beyond that race, so I'm trying to incorporate some workouts that will most closely reflect what I'll face that day, i.e. a lot of laps, to keep my focus.
Onto the numbers...
1/16, Sunday: 8.5 - 1:47:16, Bradbury Squall & White Out courses on snowshoes. Met a crew of Trail Monsters at Bradbury Mountain State Park to check out the courses for the Bradbury Mountain Snowshoe Series. Conditions were terrific with plenty of snow to good around. We broke trail on Krista's Trail and then lost the trail. We ended up running into a point, totally lost the trail, and turned around and ran back out the way we came. We decided to head back into Krista's Trail in the opposite direction eventually linking up (somehow) with the trail we made from the other direction. It wasn't how I planned it, but it made a great loop and it's always a blast to break trail on snowshoes...especially in good company. We finished the Bradbury Squall course, and then Ian and I headed out to run the Bradbury White Out course. It was a great run, and I felt strong throughout. That being said, I'd have enough when we finished the two courses, so a tour of the Bradbury Blizzard course will have to wait for another day. When I got home, I ate a quick lunch and headed out with D and the kiddo for a ski at Pineland Farms. It was our first time skiing with the kiddo in the backpack, and she loved it. Great day!
1/17, Monday: 5 - 50:13, Topsham Snowmbile Trails to Lovers' Lane. D had done this same run earlier in the day and reported fairly firm conditions. Well, since I out weigh her by almost 50 pounds, I found the conditions somewhat less firm. :) Wanted to keep this a very easy run, and that's reflected in the time. Felt good overall, though.
1/18, Tuesday: 15.25 - 2:39:00, Beautiful Loop. D was looking to get her long run in, and, hopefully, on trails. I opted to join her at Bradbury Mountain State Park to give her a tour of the Beautiful Loop, since she had never run it before. Flakes began falling as soon as we arrived at the park. Val joined us for the first 4.5 miles, which was great. This loop is awesome and really rugged with plenty of hills. Trail conditions were firmer than I expected, and we moved along well for the first few miles. We had a bit trouble finding the trail after the first crossing of Allen Rd., and the hills before Elmwood Rd. slowed D a bit. Plus, by the end of the run, there was at least an inch of new snow, slowing our progress. Pace is really irrelevant on this loop, though, because it just so much fun. I felt very strong throughout, and although not the mileage I'd like for my weekly long run, I consider it harder than 20-mile road run.
1/19, Wednesday: 11 - 1:22:08, Brunswick Bike Path, tempo run. Plan was for a 3-mile warm up, 6 miles at half marathon pace and a 2 mile cool down. Could have done without the wind, snow and snow/slush on the bike path. Not perfect conditions. Oh, and I don't know what my half marathon pace is right now, but I know what I'd like it to be, so I went with that. The hardest mile of the whole workout was the first, as I had trouble getting up to speed, and I consciously eased back a touch in the final two miles. In the end, I was only one-second off my per mile goal average for the 6 miles. Very pleased with this workout. Splits: 7:00/6:50/6:54/6:50/6:52/6:53. The only negative is that speedier runs on the road certainly tighten my hamstrings.
1/20, Thursday: Off
1/21, Friday: 5.25 - 1:04:06, Mt. Ararat snowshoe loop. Back to the same loop I ran last week, but it was a lot like starting over as two snowstorms had come and gone burying the loop once again. However, the top six inches were picture-perfect untracked powder. Just a ton of fun. Plus, I got to watch a gorgeous sunset. Unfortunately, as the sun set the temperature also dropped. The beautiful powder had stuck to me and especially my gloves. My hands iced up. Not so pleasant. Otherwise, an awesome run even if it is just a half-mile loop.
1/22, Saturday: 2.25 - 41:38, Krista's Trail, Bradbury Mountain State Park. With the first race in the Bradbury Mountain Snowshoe Series, the Bradbury Squall, coming up on Sunday, I wanted to get out and mark Krista's Trail, a .75-mile singletrack section that I assumed would be untracked. I was right. It was clear that it had snowed twice since the last people had been through there: that was the Trail Monsters on our Sunday run. I dropped the flags and shuffled along. It was slow going. Beautiful, but slow. With the loop completed, I reached the Tote Road and realized that I needed to head home so D could get to work. Daddy duty day! I'd hope to run the whole course, but I need to get that loop marked. Mission accomplished.
My hope was to be over 50, but it's not always in the cards. Part of it is perspective, I guess, as this would have been my second biggest mileage week of 2010. My hamstrings are still tight, but have been upgraded from "Damn, that hurts" to "Kinda tight." I know that running on the roads does seem to aggravate them, even at an easy pace—just another example of "roads suck." Overall, though, I'm feeling strong, and I feel like I'm building a solid base. It's not speedy, but I think it's speedy enough. I'm halfway through my eighteen-week training plan for the Gator Trail 50k, and I certainly haven't follow the plan letter for letter, but I never expected to. Up next: first snowshoe race of the season, the Bradbury Squall.