50K Training, Week 3

This was a tough week. My body woke up from its coma of denial that I’m really training for a 50K trail run. This week it struggled to adapt to the increased mileage, core and strength workouts, and the high temperatures. I didn’t eat as well as I should have before my weekend long runs, and I didn’t get enough sleep. I learned the hard way this week how important rest and good nutrition are in training.

I made three trail purchases: Brooks Pure Grit trail shoes, a Nathan Intensity Hydration pack, and a pair of Tifosi sunglasses.

MON: Rest – Started the day by stepping on the scale, like I do every Monday. Shocked to see I was two pounds heavier than last Monday! I’m seriously hoping this is an aberration. No soreness from yesterday’s trail run, but the ankles and Achilles felt like they had been through a good workout. Felt antsy all day, like I should be working out, and I had to keep reminding myself that rest days are just as important as running days, that I won’t get stronger unless I rest.

TUE: Run – 4 mi/incl speedwork + core/strength workout, yoga – 40:00 – Tough workout this week. Slept poorly, woke up tired, and tendons around the ankles felt tweaked from Sunday’s trail run. I just wasn’t at my best. I felt off. I know this is merely the result of my body (and mind) adjusting to the increased workouts. Yoga: Forward Bends and Twists.

WED: Run – 6 mi easy, yoga – 45:00 – My body doth protesteth. Very sore and achy in the morning, so I did a longer yoga sequence focusing on back bends and stretching the legs. Felt much better afterwards. Evening run with the group was tough. It wasn’t as humid as it’s been, but it was 95 degrees. Legs felt good on the hills, but I’m still simply physically tired.

Tifosi Alpe Sunglasses

THU: Run – 4 mi/hills, core/strength workout, yoga – 20:00 – Getting up after last night’s 6 miler was no fun. Gutted it out for a hilly, humid 4 mile run with Bill and Lauren. Felt really tired. Came home and did core and strength, then relaxing Forward Bends yoga.

FRI: Core/strength workout, yoga – 20:00 – Running rest day. Boy, did I need it! Hip Openers yoga in the afternoon.

SAT: Run – 8 mi – Sunnyvale – Worst run ever. A fail of epic proportions. Hot, humid, and hilly. Didn’t eat dinner. Started out too fast. Didn’t get enough sleep. Had to walk the second half, especially up the hills. Miserable. I even felt chilly during the run, so I suspect a small dose of heat exhaustion. I’m going to have to start earlier than 7:00am. It’s just too hot. Today was a good lesson on what not to do on a semi-long run. Jumping into Kevin’s pool afterwards, though: heaven!

Brooks Pure Grit Trail Shoes

SUN : Trail Run – 7.23 mi – Big Cedar – I’m dubbing the trails today “The Tetons of Cedar Hill.” It really was that challenging. Some of the hills today were hard to walk up, not to mention run up, because they were so steep. This was one of the toughest workouts I’ve ever had. This made last week’s trail run look like a walk in the park. Fell once, at mile 1, and almost tripped over roots twice–both times going steeply downhill, which would not have been pretty. I was cursing the uphills most of the way. There was one one flat, magical mile or so where the trail was soft and smooth, with no rocks or roots. I could have run on that section all day.

After Saturday’s horrible run, I was not Pamela Positive. However, once I was done and sitting in the shade with an ice cold water, I felt great. Time to do a lot more strength training and get my quads and calves in better shape. New trail shoes were so much cushier on the rocks than the Nike Free’s, and I liked the water pack much more than fuel belts or hand held bottles. Since I was holding my new sunglasses when I fell, one lens is already scratched up. <sigh>

STATS for WEEK 3: run – 29.2 miles, yoga – 2:05:00, 2 core/strength workoutsNathan Intensity Hydration System


  1. runwritelivelife

    Oh man, I’m exhausted just reading about your week! Awesome job keeping up with it, though.

    A question, if you don’t mind–how heavy/uncomfortable does the hydration pack get? I tried a hydration belt for the first time during my long run (stupid mistake) and had to cut short the 9 miles to a mere two miles. The bounce of the bottles was AWFUL! Plus they leaked and soaked my shorts! I’d love to get a decent alternative to my handheld which I’m tired of holding. A backpack seems cumbersome, but I’d love to know how it turns out….it seems the choice will be the least of all “evils”.

    PS: Perhaps a couple of extra rest days might help your routine? We never want to hear that when we’re training BUT…….

    • Mind Margins/Run Nature

      I thought I would hate the hydration pack, but I didn’t. I really didn’t think much about it during the run, once I figured out I needed to cinch it tighter around my chest. There was very little bouncing. The sound of the water sloshing was pretty loud at first, but I got used to it. The weight didn’t bother me at all, either. It was very comfortable to wear. Would I recommend it for anything other than really long trail runs? Probably not. I have a friend who wears one religiously for all her runs, though, and she loves it. I simply don’t need that much water in the city.

      Even though I really don’t like the fuel belts, I will probably still wear one for longer street runs. I have the Nathan two bottle type, and the bottles don’t bounce at all. The reason I don’t like wearing it is because I hate anything tight around my waist. If I try to wear it lower down on my hips, like most women do, it just bounces back up to my waist and flops around until I give in and wear it up high (and look dorky).

      Tomorrow is my rest day and I’m definitely not going to do anything other than some easy yoga. If I’m still tired on Tuesday I’ll skip the track workout (which I’m considering dropping anyway). I honestly think at this point it’s mostly my body adapting, that I’m not getting enough sleep, and that I always struggle like this with the heat. And sometimes, you just have a tough week . . .

  2. runwritelivelife

    Thanks for the feedback! Can I ask which Nathan belt you use? I used the Trail Mix and that was a total fail for me. More importantly, HOW did you get the bottles to not bounce at all?

    Glad you’re thinking about resting more. Some extra sleep will help, I’m sure!

    • Mind Margins/Run Nature

      I think I have the Nathan Speedbelt, but it looks very similar to the Trail Mix. Do you wear yours down low on your hips? Mine doesn’t bounce when I wear it higher around my waist. The 4 bottle belt does bounce a little more than the 2 bottle one, probably because of all the weight, so I rarely wear anything but the 2 bottle one. There’s usually enough water on the course that I can handle only 2 bottles. You might want to try the hydration pack and see if that’s better for you. Hope that helps!

  3. iRuniBreathe

    I think the fuel belts have to sit properly, and getting a good ‘fit’ on your body can be tricky. I used to get horrible chaffing from full water bottles bouncing and sloshing along as I ran. Now I twist the straps of the fuel belt and it shortens the straps and keeps everything much more snug. I think you need to find your own little tricks to make these things work; over any long distance you will need water!

    Sounds like things are getting tiring, which is all part of the process. Hydration, nutrition, sleep and rest. You know the routine. Awareness of your body will keep you going. Good job!

    • Mind Margins/Run Nature

      This is not my first rodeo, as they say, and tiredness is to be expected. The training is a little more intense and ramped up in mileage, and I need to remember that. I swore I would never run another October marathon because of having to train through our horrible summer heat, and here I am . . . It’s my own fault!

      • rchackman

        I know what you mean. I haven’t sworn off summer training BUT i do respect it now more than I used to. I definitely adjust my pace depending on the temperature. The hotter it is, the slower my pace.

      • Mind Margins/Run Nature

        Yeah, we ran last night at 7pm and it was close to 100 degrees. The humidity was low, though, which makes a huge difference, and the trail was shady. I kept the pace much slower than usual and it really helped.

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