My First 70+ Mile Training Week! 2/17/2014-2/23/2014

Saturday, March 1, 2014

The week started off pretty slow and by Thursday I was worried about whether I would get in the volume I wanted for the week.  One thing I've been thinking about over the past month as my training has ramped up, is why am I running this 100 mile race in April?  What's my motivation?  I've done a great job in terms of putting in the miles and logging long runs but I'm not too sure about why I'm doing it?  Nonetheless, I hit 71 miles for the week, a new personal best and my first time logging weekly mileage in 70's!  The volume was noticeable this week and I struggled getting out the door for nearly every run aside from today's long run.  Anyways, this is how last week unfolded:

Monday: 7, 250' 1hr
The weekly Monday night Ultra VT group run was a good time as usual and involved a bunch of "RIGHT!"'s as we swept through downtown Blacksburg.  My legs didn't feel too bad during the run considering the effort at Holiday Lake 50k on Saturday and the strenuous running we did in the snow.  It was a solid start to the week before a bit of a mid-week break.  For some reason I was pretty drained on Monday but the group run got me out the door and helped hold me accountable.

Tuesday: 2.5, 20 min.
I used to have a rule that I wouldn't go out for a run that was less than 4 miles because it wasn't worth my time.  As I've run more over the past couple years, that number has slightly shifted with my average run distance toward the 7-8 mile range.  On Tuesday, I came home exhausted and with zero motivation to run but Michelle decided she wanted to get out for a run so we headed down to the Huckleberry Trail with Gillie for a casual run.  Unfortunately Michelle has been battling some knee issues, which flared up pretty early into our run and consequently cut it short.  Sometimes you have to take it a day at a time and let it happen.

Wednesday: Rest
The day got the better of me and I decided to take a day off for both mental and physical recovery.

Thursday:  12.3, 1300' 2hr
On Thursday, I got home pretty early from class and took Gillie out for a run before I headed out on my run for the day.  Gillie is usually good for 2-3 miles but after that she gets too tired and I worry about her getting hurt.  I read somewhere that when you run with a dog they should always be in front of you and when they're not it's time to call it a day.  Perhaps I'm already an overprotective parent?

After tiring out the pup, I headed out for a run for me and ran down the hill from our apartment toward the valley.  I cut across on a road called Happy Hollow, which is anything but happy and ran on almost an entirely new route!  It was pretty awesome!

After my run, Michelle and I made some amazing bacon, kale, caramelized-onion calzones making the dough from scratch in the KitchenAid mixer.  

Friday: 9.8, 680' 1.5hr
On Friday, I took Gillie out for another quick jog before heading out for my run where I ran into Pawel and Gef on their run and joined them for a mile or so.  Hence the abrupt turn around on Plantation Road on the map two activities below.

Saturday: 19.2, 4650' 3.75hr
Apple Orchard Mountain Summit - 4225'
My alarm went off at 4:15 on Saturday morning and I dragged myself out of bed to head over to campus so that I could grab a ride to Bedford for a training run on the Promise Land course.  Alex (pictured right below) will be running her first ultra at Promise Land, which I did last year, and sent out an email seeing if anyone would be interested in joining her for the training run Saturday morning organized Dr. Horton.  The three of us (Rachel is left in the photo below) made the drive up to Bedford Saturday morning and arrived at Promise Land Youth Camp just before 7.  We found Guy Love parked at the gate, who had camped the night before, and after changing into our running clothes headed up the 2.5 mile climb to aid station 1, where everyone else was beginning their runs for the day.  

The scheduled run allowed runners to see 12 miles of the course but by adding the starting climb we tacked on an additional 5 miles.  We also added a little side trip up to the peak of Apple Orchard Mountain and then hopped on AT to descend from the peak to the Sunset Field aid station on the course to make it 19 miles for the day.  The run was fairly slow because of the considerable amount of snow on the trails, which was kind of a slap in the face after Holiday Lake the previous Saturday.  The snow was just soft enough that your foot would break through right on toe-off so it was faster to walk some sections than it was to run.  After the run, we stopped off at Blue Ridge Bagels for the perfect post run lunch!  The bagels were delicious and the place had so much character!  I would HIGHLY recommend stopping there if you find yourself in Bedford.  Yum!  

Sunday: 20, 1100' 2:40
Despite the tough day on Saturday, I had committed to heading down to Draper to run on the New River Trail with Pawel and Gef on Sunday morning.  Unfortunately Pawel's foot was bothering him but Gef was still up for getting in a run and we made the short drive down 81 to Draper, VA a little after 9:30AM.  Pawel and Gef had planned to run 20 and although I really wanted to get in 20, I also didn't want to be a hinderance to them if I wasn't able to maintain their training pace of 8 min/miles.  I decided to give it a try and was surprised how my legs felt after such a long day just 24 hours prior.  We managed to tick off 12 miles before getting back to the car to refill our bottles and grab some food.  It took a lot of energy to get back out on the trail but we managed to complete all 20 miles in just under two hours and forty minutes or roughly a 7:50 pace!

I was super pumped to have finished this run because it required me to dig deep and push through when my legs were tired.  It was a pretty huge confidence boost to knock out 39 miles over the weekend and hit a new weekly high miles of 71 miles.  Unfortunately my stomach was pretty upset after and the Five Guys burger I had been thinking about, and got me through some of the tough parts of the run, didn't happen.  Sad panda.

Totals for the week:
Distance: 71
Elevation: 8000'
Duration: 11hr


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