50K Training, Week 15: The Return of Fall and Sharing the Trail with Poisonous Snakes

Oh, how I love my easy weeks! And I love how 37.5 miles of running is now an “easy” week for me. The most amazing thing about this week, other than the fantastic trail run I had on Sunday at Cedar Ridge Preserve, is the fact that I was able to run again only two days after running 26.4 trail miles. Another great thing about this week: cooler temps. I know we’ll still have some random days in the 90’s, but it looks like fall is slowly making its way into the Metroplex.

Cedar Ridge Preserve, Cedar Hill, TX

View from the trail, Cedar Ridge Preserve

MON: Rest Day – Ouch. Lots of soreness, aches, and general fatigue after yesterday’s tough 26 mile trail run. My calves are a little sore, but I think most of the aches are from the fall and hitting my chin on the rock. Hitting my head on a run is always my worst fear, and with good reason. Hopefully I won’t be too sore to slog through 4 slow miles tomorrow morning. I love easy weeks.

TUE: Run – 4 mi, Strength (upper body) – Despite the soreness, met Bill for a 4 mile run on the Katy Trail. Of course I kept the pace very slow, despite the fact that my messed-up Garmin said we ran 5 miles (not 4) and kept a 6:50 average pace (in my dreams). I’ve certainly never run two days after a marathon, and 4 miles at that, so I’m somewhat impressed with just getting up and running this morning. After another tough finish on the long run, I’ll take any sign of improvement I can get.

Cedar Ridge Preserve, Cedar Hill, TX

WED: Run – 10 mi, Yoga (power: stamina)  – Met Hari and Liz at 5:30am for a jaunt around the lake. It was nice and cool (I could really get used to these morning temps) though terribly buggy. Hari nearly lost his breakfast after swallowing a few bugs, and I had several stuck to my face when I got home. Liz had to turn around early to get back home and take her daughter to school, and Hari and I saw a strange, hissing raccoon that had to have been sick or rabid. I’m pretty amazed that my legs feel as good as they do so soon after running 26 miles. My Garmin is still messed up and won’t download my workouts onto the computer so I can check my splits, but I did notice the last few miles Hari and I kept between a 9:05 and 9:15 pace–which is not bad three days after running my longest distance ever.

THU: Run – 5 mi (hills), Strength (upper body) – Met Liz at 5:45am for a muggy, buggy hill run. Temp was 78 degrees with humidity close to 80%. Had a tough time getting up, but I was glad to get it done. I’m feeling very bored with my weights workout, but did it anyway, then did five minutes of yoga and realized I just wasn’t into it and stopped. It seems counterproductive to do yoga (or anything, for that matter) if  you’d really rather be doing something else. Cool front and rain on the way!

FRI: Rest Day

SAT: Run 10 mi – Great, easy run with the group. It was cool but humid, and the overcast skies were a bonus. My legs felt good, and it’s so nice to run on Saturday knowing the next day I only have 8 miles to run on the trail. Even though the trail runs are my favorites, it’s still nice to have an easy trail run week. Had to rush home afterwards and skip breakfast with the group because my son and his girlfriend were arriving for a short visit.

Cedar Ridge Preserve, Cedar Hill, TX

Just seeing the sign at the entrance to the trails was enough to put Hari on edge for the entire run

SUN: Trail Run – 8 mi – Had an amazing, rainy, magical trail run on my new favorite trail. Hari, Susan, and I ran at Cedar Ridge Preserve in Cedar Hill, just south of Dallas, on some very well maintained, sometimes challenging trails. It really was a beautiful place to run. No bikes are allowed on the trails, and it was great not having to worry about fast bikes around every corner. The only thing we did have to worry about, apparently, was poisonous snakes. Happily, we saw none. A light, refreshing rain fell the entire run, and it made the trails seem somehow quiet and peaceful. Of course, the rain meant the trails turned somewhat muddy, and it was my first time to run with a heavy accumulation of mud on the bottom of my shoes. There were quite a few very steep hills, with wooden logs as steps, so it was great training. As usual, Susan took the hills like a mountain goat and kept a brisk pace, followed by Hari. I loved our run this morning, and can’t wait to go back later in the fall when the leaves change colors. I’m always amazed when I run in Cedar Hill. It feels like being in the Texas Hill Country.

Susan and Hari

The Dynamic Duo, Susan and Hari

STATS for WEEK 15: Run – 37.5 miles, 1 strength/core workout, Yoga – 40:00

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7 comments

  1. figgystardust

    Can I ask a dumb question? What training plan are you following for your training (if you are following one). I really want to do a 50K and haven’t found a plan that really resonates with me…

      • AndrewGills

        Oh how funny. I didn’t recognise the URL you posted. I just posted response and it seems I was using the same program as you are. Total classic. I didn’t even know you were using the Ultraladies schedule but I recognised your training as being quite similar to the training on the schedule I was following. Small world. Must be a good program … I’m going to use it again next year when I’m ready to train for 50km. The only problem for me is that it’s in miles so I need to convert it into kilometres (I am not used to miles – being in Australia and all)

      • Mind Margins/Run Nature

        I was surprised to discover that there really aren’t that many training plans online for a 50K. The Ultraladies plan has been great, and I think we’ll use their 50 Mile plan as well. It’s very similar, with the main differences being higher mileage (of course) and two hard weeks followed by an easy week, rather than one hard/one easy week. It truly IS a small world now!

  2. AndrewGills

    I love the photo of Hari with the snake sign. Classic 🙂 🙂 That trail in the second picture down looks exactly like the trails I run in my dreams. Just beautiful 🙂

    • Mind Margins/Run Nature

      Of course the photo was a set-up, but it beautifully shows exactly how Hari feels. He’s jumped many times out of the way for a snake that turned out to be a stick. I have no idea what he will do the day we actually see a real snake on the trail.

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