My biggest week of the year. I'm tired. My hope was to feel good enough after the Pisgah Mountain 50k to train right on through this week and next. Managed to pull that off for this week, so we'll see how the next seven days go. I've been consuming an alarming amount of food this week. I like that.
Onto the numbers...
9/18, Sunday: Pisgah Mountain 50k - 4:50:19, 16/102. RESULTS. Once again, a pretty shocking and great day for me. Comparing the results to last year, a lot of other folks took off big minutes, too, which is cool to see. My middle toe is also cool to see:
9/19, Monday: 9 - 1:28:11, Cathance River Trails. With the Lookout Mountain 50 on my calendar, I was really hoping I feel not feel too trashed. I headed onto the Cathance trails to attempt to put in some real ultra training. Nine miles was best case scenario if I felt OK with shorter options possible if it wasn't meant to be. Luckily, I felt tired, but not that bad. The first couple miles were pretty rough, especially my quads, but I got into a good groove by the middle. By the end, I could tell I was a bit dehydrated from the 50k, but no complaints. Well, my quads weren't too thrilled with the proceedings.
9/20, Tuesday: Off. What? That's 40 miles in two days!
9/21, Wednesday: 5 - 39:58, Highland Green. Comfortable spin around the neighborhood, and I felt pretty good. Still noticeable fatigue in my quads and calves, but nothing to cause any concern.
9/22, Thursday: 7 - 1:04:31, Dump Loop. Explored a new to me trail that is sadly only 2.25 miles from my house. That just shows how little trail running I've been able to do this summer. In any event, that addition nicely connected the dots on this mellow, but groovy, trail loop. I'd also like to make this loop part of a much larger loop through Topsham. Stay tuned... Legs felt much better today, but I still kept the pace nice and easy. No need to push it. It had rained overnight, so I was good and muddy and very soggy when I finished. Great run.
9/23, Friday: 15 - 1:52:24, Foreside Road + Patriot Commons w/ 12 at MP, 7:19 avg. This run was a test on a couple levels. First, I really wanted to make up for last week's MP run that ended poorly. Second, I wanted to see how my legs would respond on this run in the middle of such a big week. And, third, it was the first real run in my new shoes. Happy to report, the run was a success on all fronts. I was a little smarter with the pacing today, so that certainly helped me stay within myself. Although, after my initial 3-mile warmup, I felt pretty out of it for miles 4-6. I felt like I was pressing and couldn't get into any kind of rhythm. I'd brought a "just-in-case" gel with me, so I popped it at 45-minutes, and it seemed to turn things around. I fell into a really nice groove in the middle miles and didn't feel like I was working at all until about mile 12. I was definitely aware of the fatigue in my legs, but, overall, I felt better than I would have expected, even though it was insanely heavy and humid for mid-September. I was completely saturated by the end. Finally, the shoes felt great. I just hope I have time to get in a few more quality runs in them before the MDI Marathon.
9/24, Saturday: 5 - 42:11, Highland Green. Easy shuffle first thing in the morning. My legs felt very heavy, but that's exactly what I expected. At a couple points, I caught myself dropping the pace to a more normal rate for this loop but held myself in check. I really just wanted to flush yesterday's junk out of the legs and close the week out on a high note. Strangely disciplined on my part.
Yup. 70+. Me. After I got in the 9 on Monday, I thought I'd try to get to 70 for the week, figuring it was perfect a month out from MDI and a good base for Lookout Mountain. I'm a little tired, and I've been eating a ton, but that seems about right. The mileage will drop each of the next 3 weeks leading up to MDI, and I'm going to try to build in some speed. Looking at this week, I'm obviously feeling confident about my strength, but anything under 7:00 pace feels like a full-on sprint. Honestly, though, I think it's pretty hilarious that I ran a 70-mile week and am talking about speedwork for a marathon as if it's a 10k. Clearly, I've made the mental shift into ultra-mode. My five hour run at Pisgah was, yes, hard, but it didn't feel long. I never had a "I can't believe I'm still out here" moment. So, a road marathon should feel downright brief by comparison. I hope. As long as my legs can handle the pavement, it should go OK.