Nothing came easy this week, either mentally or physically. Between the general fatigue of training, a big effort at the Bradbury Blizzard, my schedule, some sinus issues, life in general and even the weather—everything seemed to be conspiring against me. However, it was still a solid week of training. I didn't quite get the mileage I was hoping for, but that was me erring on the side of recovery post-Blizzard. When I laid out my training plan, I knew that this would the last of three hard weeks before my taper, so I didn't expect it to be easy.
Onto the numbers...
2/27, Sunday: 7 total, Bradbury Blizzard
2/28, Monday: 4.75 - 42:14, Mt. Ararat H.S. + Patriot Commons x2. Forced myself to get out in the wet snow and wind. There was already a good coating of icy snow on the roads, which actually made perfect screw shoe conditions. That was the only thing that was perfect. I just kept my head down and got the miles in. Not a great way to go through a recovery run, but my legs actually felt pretty decent.
3/1, Tuesday: 3.75 total, 3k snowshoe "race." Final week of Nordic Meisters, and I was just going through the motions. With a whole boatload of new snow under a crusty layer, the unbroken trail wasn't particularly appealing for an easy effort. Instead of my usual Aqueduct Loop warm up, I ran the course, then ran the course again for the timed effort. It was much more mental output than I wanted, so I bailed on any kind of cool down.
3/2, Wednesday: Off
3/4, Thursday: 7 - 1:03:49, Topsham Snowmobile Trails - Dump Loop. Very windy. Could have done without that. Add in the fact that the trails hadn't seen much snowmobile traffic after some new snow and rain, and it was more effort than I was hoping for. My sinuses were bugging me, so that just added to my grumpiness. Legs felt good, though. That's the most important thing.
3/5, Friday: 22 - 2:54:21, Highland Road + Simpson's Point. Awesome run. Based on how I'd felt the rest of the week, I was pretty nervous as to how this run would go, and with this being the final long run before Gator Trail, I really wanted to have a good one. It certainly didn't hurt to have sunny skies and not much wind. My hope was to run 8:10-8:15/mile, and I easily and comfortably went under that with a 7:55 average. I was very tempted to push this run to a full marathon because I could have easily PRed. But, that wasn't the goal for the day, so I stuck to the plan. Wiser to leave something in the tank, and a good confidence builder.
3/6, Saturday: 5 - 45:32, Highland Green (Out & Back). Very easy recovery run, but more snow, rain and wind. I was a bit sore and tired, but that was what I expected.
I had hoped to get to 55 miles for the week, but with my mental state the first couple days, it wasn't in the cards. My effort at the Bradbury Blizzard, frankly, took more out of me mentally than I had anticipated. However, I know that the mental aspect is a critical portion of the training—very good lessons learned from that race. Even without the number I'd wanted, it's still a good week, and I've come out of it feeling good, which is far more important than being a slave to the numbers. It's very tempting to "use" my current fitness right now, for example PR in the marathon during a training run, but I have to be smart and stay focused. Three weeks to go until Gator Trail.