Onto the numbers:
7/18, Monday: Off
7/19, Tuesday: (Cathance: 7.1, 1:08:15) Strangely, no deer flies to be found. Not strange, my legs were ready to roll after the down week.
7/20, Wednesday: (Mt. Ararat: 5.2, 41:41) A hill workout with 8 trips over Mt. A. Despite the heat, I felt great and really went after it. Legs had no trouble with that idea. Me likey.
7/21, Thursday: (Heath Plus: 4.2, 37:35) Even though I really wanted to run more, I knew that this was the first week of a big block, and I didn't want to overcook things. Keeping it short and mellow was definitely the right call. Also, I had a pain on the inside of my right shin just above my ankle all week. It bothered me on Wednesday, but dissipated today.
7/22, Friday: Off, except for some ankle work, foam rolling and core stuff.
7/23, Saturday (Bradbury: 19.2, 3:44:52) Some Bowdoin Cross Country legends were in town for the track reunion, so we met at The Brad for a little tour. My plan was for 4 hours, regardless of distance: mission accomplished. We all started together on a Big Brad tour, but on the way back I knew that the pace was too hot for my plans, so I dropped off the back. Some were running shorter and others are just faster and fitter than I am, but I had to put the ego away and do my own thing. By the time I turned off the Boundary Trail onto Lunchbreak Hill, I knew that I was most likely on my own for the rest of the day. I was at peace with that, since I just wanted to focus on what I needed to do. That cam into play later after I bumped into Clark. We ran together for a few miles, but he's a beast and I told him that I wouldn't be offended if he wanted to shoot off. I was happy to have the company, but I didn't want to hold him up. Eventually, he did trot away, leaving me like I was standing still. But, again, I was totally fine with it. I had to focus on not overheating. I did a great job of keeping cool by keeping the pace in check, drinking plenty, and using an ice bandana. I actually altered my route late in the run to get back to the car to refill my ice. All of that added up to the best long run that I've ever done in the heat. I think that my asthma may have something to do with all my poor results in the heat, but I'm definitely managing it better with practice and patience. All in all, this was a really solid day.
7/24, Sunday: (Cathance: 5.5, 53:15) I was very curious as to how my legs would feel today, and I was thrilled that beyond a little fatigue, I felt great. Really encouraging. Also, encouraging--my shin pain was totally gone. It was never a factor on Saturday, so it should be behind me.
All of that above adds up to my second longest mileage week of the year. (The first being 41.5.) It was also a big boost in elevation. There's still more work to do, but this was a great week overall.
Let's continue, shall we?
7/25, Monday: Off
7/26, Tuesday: (Cathance: 7.1, 1:09:32) Hotter than
7/27, Wednesday: (Highland Green: 7.3, 58:20) Second try at "The Nate Dawg": 10-minute warm up, 2 x :30 hard / :90 easy with 4-minutes between sets. 12-minute cool down. Felt like garbage for the first 5 minutes, but them felt solid. Tough going in the last couple "on" stretches, which I think is the point. My hope is that workout is going to not only build speed, but also help me improve at "switching gears," which I think is critical in trail running.
7/28, Thursday: (Highland A: 5.4, 45:26) An uneventful loop, but I did notch my 100th summit of Mt. Ararat for the year. That's significant because I didn't log that number in 2015 until December 27th. I'm definitely upping the ante on the #vert this year.
7/29, Friday: Off, except for driving to Presque Isle and tackling Meatloaf Mountain.
|Meatloaf this good is serious business.|
7/31, Sunday: Off. D and I had planned to run at the Nordic Heritage Center, but we were thrashed. A stop at the Bangor City Forest for a walk around the Orono Bog was more than enough.
Honestly, a small part of me is bummed to not get over 40 again this week. But, really, that's an arbitrary number. The intensity of Saturday more than made up for it.
So where are we? I'm in the toughest point of my training right now as I'm both building the miles and intensity while trying to battle the heat of summer. I figure that if I can survive these next few weeks, I'll be in a good place. Will I be able to run 50 miles in November? Honestly, I'm still not certain. But, doubt is a powerful motivator.