50K Training, Week 14: Longest Run Ever!

After returning home from one of the hottest camping trips I’ve ever been on, it was tough to stay motivated and upbeat in the continuing heat. I usually get through the summer by never expecting September to be any cooler than August, but this year I allowed myself to have false hope after a few teasers of cooler temps in late August. My misery was my own fault. My friend Nick reminded me not to waste these last few days of hot weather on “the wrong attitude.” Pamela Positive got told. Thankfully, the temperature finally came down just in time for our weekend long runs.

MON: Hike – 3.5 mi – Went for a hike at sunrise with Kurt in Palo Duro Canyon. Hiked the Rojo Grande Trail and part of the Juniper Trail (which I think we will be running on in October in the 50K race). Heard coyotes calling in the field as we walked along a creek bed, and enjoyed the canyon for one last morning. Sad to be leaving, but not sad to leave the extreme heat.
See you again on Oct. 20, Palo Duro!

Palo Duro Canyon

TUE: Running rest day – No excuses, I was simply too tired from the trip and sick of the heat to get out of bed and run the scheduled 4 miles on the plan. I told myself I would run at the gym (didn’t), at least do strength (didn’t) or yoga (didn’t), or run in the early evening (didn’t). Mostly, I’m ticked that it’s still in the 100’s in September. Blah.

WED: Run – 12 mi, Strength (arms), Yoga (twists)  – Great run this morning at 5am with Hari and Susan. Kept up a good pace, and the temp wasn’t all that unpleasant. I’m resolving to make up my missing 4 miles from yesterday, and get back on track with yoga and weights.

THU: Run – 8 mi (hills), Yoga (back bends)  – I decided to punish myself for not running on Tuesday morning by joining Susan for her hill run. I’ve always been envious of Susan’s level of fitness, and now I know her secret weapon. Those hills kicked my butt. It was a great workout. Rounded it off with some yoga.

FRI: Running rest day, Yoga (forward bends and hip openers) – Woke up feeling somewhat stiff and a little sore from Susan’s killer hill run yesterday. Did some yoga to help loosen up the muscles for this weekend’s long runs. Thankfully a cold front is supposed to roll in tonight and bring cooler temps, so I couldn’t be happier about starting Sunday’s 26 miler in 64 degree weather.

SAT: Run 10 mi – What a difference 10 degrees can make! Everyone today on our group run couldn’t stop talking about how much better it felt to run this morning compared to our usual Saturday morning runs. It rained very lightly before the run, which brought the humidity up a bit, but it still made a huge difference. I loved telling Michael last night that I was “only” running 10 miles today. I felt strong during the run, and it felt easy. Yay!

SUN: Trail Run – 26 mi – Longest training run ever, and longest distance run ever. 26.4 miles in the books, and it was tough. We were lucky to have the coolest temps all training season (around 60 degrees), and it made a huge difference. We ran at Isle du Bois, which is in Ray Roberts State Park, and perhaps it wasn’t the most optimal trail for a 26 mile training run. The trails were very rocky and hilly, and after Susan fell twice in a ten minute span of time within the first 10 miles, we questioned whether we would really be able to run a full 26 miles on all the rocks and hills.

We ran 16 miles before a break at the car for more water and food, and knew we would be able to finish off the last 10 miles. I felt good, though fatigued, but after a few times of almost rolling both ankles on loose rocks, and then falling hard on my chin on a big rock at mile 21.5 (and crying in front of my friends!), the last five miles were both mentally and physically tough. We did it, though, and somehow we made the 57 mile drive home afterwards, too. I was asleep by 8:30 on the couch, achy and sore from the fall, and oh so glad it was done.

Susan and Hari at Isle du Bois, Ray Roberts State Park, TX

Susan and Hari

Trail fall at Isle du Bois

Ouch!

STATS for WEEK 14: Run – 56.7 miles, 1 strength/core workout, Yoga – 80:00

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8 comments

  1. iRuniBreathe

    Ouch! Congrats on an amazing and challenging long run! It sure DOES feel great to be done, doesn’t it?
    I’m such a firm believer in hills as the secret weapon for speed, strength and stamina. And good job on those ‘extra’ 4 miles you snuck in as well this week. I’m sure you earned that early bedtime.
    Keep it up! 🙂

    • Mind Margins/Run Nature

      Thanks so much for your support. I would much rather run hills than do speedwork at the track. With hills, you gain both strength and speed. The early bedtime wasn’t a choice–I just couldn’t keep my eyes open!

      • iRuniBreathe

        We are into speedwork now. Blech. I’m much happier on hills. But maybe this is part of the mental challenge of things that I so avoid. Now that we’re into longer distances and I’m doing okay maybe the mental challenge of speedwork won’t be *as* much of an issue.

      • Mind Margins/Run Nature

        I would actually like to incorporate some speedwork into my next training cycle. I know it’s good for me, and it will definitely make me faster. I used to do Yasso’s years ago and it made a difference. You’re going to be so ready for your race.

  2. AndrewGills

    Your training reports are really inspirational to me. I’m currently struggling a bit to increase my mileage without getting injured. I have really good weeks and then my leg gets upset with me. But reading the joy you have in your training inspires me to keep at it 🙂

    • Mind Margins/Run Nature

      Well, I’m happy you see it that way, Andrew, because sometimes I feel like all I’m doing is complaining about how hard it is! Having recurring pain is no fun, and I know how you’ve been struggling with shin splints. I’ve learned to take an extra rest day when I need to and not worry so much about the training plan. If I keep going it usually turns into an injury. It’s a fine balance, knowing when to push forward and when to scale it back.

  3. kardarc

    Nice job Angela. I’m slightly jealous of the “epic-ness” of your training…maybe next year for me. I’ve got my eyes set on something else for this autumn/winter 🙂

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