I know, I know – I really keep neglecting to get these posts up every Monday. Lately, I’ve felt so crunched for time, and I haven’t been able to do any writing. Working at the running store a lot lately, plus my 50k training has left me with little time for anything else, but I’m just going with it. It kills me, because one of my goals this year was to write more and I’ve been neglecting it horribly, but I can only do so much. Hopefully I can get things back on track here soon.
BUT – in the world of training, things have been going pretty well! February 20-26 was a huge week for me!
Monday, February 20: Today was a rest day, thankfully! I was crunched for time writing an article for my alma mater, but when I submitted it they never acknowledged soooo, who knows if it will actually run. I also had a doctor appointment in the morning and it went pretty well. I’ve been feeling pretty good lately with our current treatment plan so we’re going to keep at it, and hopefully in a few months be able to wean off some of the herbal medicines.
The rest of my day was spent running around like a crazy person at work during our President’s Day Sale. So even though I didn’t have to run today, I still feel like I got in a workout.
Tuesday, February 21: Today I did a tempo workout! I decided to run along the Mt. Vernon Trail because I could be mostly uninterrupted by traffic lights and the such. I started out feeling really sluggish, and I started doubting I could actually do the workout. When it came to the uptempo portion, I focused on one mile at a time, and before you know it, it was over.
Running into Old Town was not my favorite because the sidewalks did get a little congested, but all in all, it was a good workout. I cooled down for four miles, rounding the day out at 9 miles total.
9 mile tempo workout on Mt. Vernon trail – 2 mile warm-up, 3 miles uptempo (7:26, 7:18, 7:00), 4 mile cool down. Total time: 1 hour, 10 minutes (7:48 min/mile average)
Wednesday, February 22: I woke up and my bad knee was super sore. I stretched for a little bit and put some anti-inflammatory cream on before I even thought about getting outside for a run. I wanted to go five miles, but once I got outside I only ended up going 4 miles, with the thought I could go 2 more in the evening with Dave.
Other than the knee pain, the run was really nice. It felt easy but I was still moving at a decent pace so I’m happy with it.
The two more miles in the evening never happened and I wore a compression sleeve around my knee for the rest of the day to try and help with the swelling I felt.
4 road miles, steady – 7:42 min/mile pace
Thursday, February 23: I woke up early this morning to get a little run in before work and I couldn’t believe the weather. I wore a long sleeve and shorts, but I should have just been wearing a short sleeve because it was so warm. I ended up taking off the long sleeve half way through and I couldn’t believe this is February.
I don’t really like the warmer weather because it’s unnatural, and makes me feel guilty our planet is such a mess. But, something about the weather made everyone so nice today, I couldn’t help but smile my entire run.
Also – I SAW A BEAVER. I don’t know why I am so excited about this but I am, and I only wish I had my camera with me this morning so I could further share my excitement.
Anyways…I felt restless all day at work and couldn’t wait to leave so I could get back outside. I decided to go for another run and as soon as I got home I changed and headed back out the door.
The run was good for the most part and I went about 7 miles. My knee is still hurting a bit so I tried to run slow and not push it, but there were so many other runners out, I got a little competitive. To cool down, I walked the remaining mile home and other than suddenly getting blasted with severe cramps, I’m so happy I got back outside.
AM Run – 3 road miles, 7:53 min/mile pace
PM Run – 7 road miles, 7:48 min/mile pace. 1 mile cool down walk
Friday, February 24: The day I was waiting for ALL WEEK! Today, I went hiking with my friend Megan in Shenandoah National Park. We drove out early in the morning to Old Rag, a 9 mile hike with really fun rock scrambles.
The hike was beautiful. Again, the weather is creepily warm, so we hiked the entire time in shorts and tanks, and I finally got to test out my Hoka One One hiking boots (they were awesome). Last time I did this hike with Dave, I got some NASTY heel blisters in some trail running shoes I used, but I was all good this time!
We crushed the hike. All in all, it took us about 3 1/2 hours to hike the 9.2 miles, rock scrambles and all. Some of the scrambles are pretty technical (=fun) and we really needed to lift ourselves up onto the boulders and use any rock surface as leverage with our body weight. It wasn’t until the final mile did I really start to feel how tired and sore I was, and by the time we made it back to DC, we both were exhausted.
For the rest of the day I just hung out on the couch with my legs up. It wasn’t until around 8:00 pm did I try to get my run in, and it was a STRUGGLE FEST. My knee was definitely feeling it. I ran on the treadmill so I could call it quits at any moment if needed, but I ended up going 3 miles. I do think the run helped shake out some of the lactic acid, but I can’t believe what a struggle it was to even get down to the gym.
Hiking Old Rag: 9.2 miles, 3:29:32
3 mile treadmill run – 8:10 min/mile pace
Saturday, February 25: I woke up SORE. More sore than I imagined I would be, and I started worrying immediately about being able to get my long run in. After breakfast and stretching for a bit I drove out to Great Falls Park with Dave to try and get 15 miles in before the storms were supposed to roll through the area.
With the first step I took, I knew I was in trouble. My calves were so tight, my shins aches, and my glutes felt FRIED. I kept running slow with Dave anyways, and after a few miles I warmed up, but it didn’t help much. Dave stopped after 3 miles with me and at that point I was already defeated. I ran 2 more miles out on the trail before giving in to my sore legs.
All in all, I hit 10 miles and I didn’t let myself get down over not completing my long run. I actually felt really proud of myself for getting out there and not giving up on the trail and all the hills.
The rest of the day included napping, eating, stretching and laying around. Solid recovery if you ask me.
10.1 miles at Great Falls Park: 9:14 min/mile pace
Sunday, February 26: I woke up nice and early again to make a second attempt at my long run. I decided to head to the canal because it would still be a soft surface, but nice and flat for my still sore legs.
Honestly – I didn’t feel any better getting out there on the canal. My legs were still incredibly sore from the hike, and I was SO BORED on the flat path. I thought about giving up after 3 miles when I stopped to use a bathroom, but I talked myself into trying to run a few more miles out before turning around. I’m glad I did.
As I got farther down the canal, I actually felt a little better. The weather today was the only “cold” day of the week, and it was so refreshing. It’s been awhile since I ran on the canal and I saw so many familiar faces! Other runners I work with, college teams out for long runs, and some old friends. By the time I finished the run (even though I was spent) I felt really happy I came out to the canal. It ended up being a refreshing change of pace.
ANDDDD – as much as it hurt toward the end, I got my 15 miles in! I walked for a little bit after the run to try and cool down, but then I had to rush off to work for another crazy-busy nonstop day.
15 miles on c&o canal: 8:06 min/mile pace
WEEKLY TOTAL: 51.2 MILES!!!!
NOTES ON THE WEEK: I am so happy I finally topped 50 miles. I can’t remember the last time I’ve been able to do this, and I felt incredibly accomplished. It’s been a long time and I’m excited for the endurance I’m finally building.
One thing I am NOT so excited about is my lack of cross training and strengthening. To be fair, my training plan doesn’t really call for much cross training, but I have always felt better when I incorporate cycling into my running plans and I haven’t really been doing that. I don’t want to overload myself either, but I think if I could just get on the bike 1-2 times a week it would be incredibly helpful.
Not doing my strengthening workouts is totally on me. I get so tired by the end of the day and I just run out of time with everything else I am trying to do. I really hope I can start doing these workouts consistently because I’m going to need them more than ever for my ultras.
SOMEONE MAKE ME DO MY STRENGTHENING.