50 Mile Training, Week 2: Jumping Back In, Feet First

I was worried about jumping back into training so quickly after the 50K, but after this week I feel like I gave myself just enough rest to let my quads fully recover from the stress of the trail race. These past two weeks have been a good balance of running, yoga, and rest, and I did two back-to-back long runs this weekend–on roads–that reminded me how much easier long trail runs are on the legs than long road runs.

MON: Yoga (40:00)- After yesterday’s trail run where my legs felt dead, I decided to concentrate on the hips and back for today’s yoga and stress the quads as little as possible.

TUE: Run – 4 mi, Yoga (20:00) – Ran with Liz this morning, and enjoyed starting at 8:00 rather than the usual 6:00am. I love morning temps in the upper 40’s. It was a good run, and my quads felt just a little tight, but not sore at all.

Had lunch with a friend of my daughter’s from middle school/high school who is running her first half marathon on Sunday. Hari and I are planning on running with her through the toughest part of the race, up through the hills. It’s invigorating to spend time with someone who’s new to running and is so excited about the progress she’s made. Her plan is to run the Dallas Marathon in 2013, which gives her a year to build a good, solid base. Her enthusiasm is infectious and makes me excited about my own next race. Did some power yoga in the evening.

DRC Half 2012

Kathleen, me, and Hari

WED: Run – 9.65 mi, Yoga (20:00)  – Awesome run this morning at 6:00am with Hari around White Rock Lake (with the hilly path and Bathhouse hill thrown in). Temperature was perfect (56 deg), kept a 9:12 pace (negative splits with the last three miles sub 9:00’s), and got to see an incredible sunrise.

There’s something about running in the predawn hours that I’ve grown to love. You would think this avowed night owl would hate getting up at 5:15am and running in the dark, and I can’t say that I always love it, especially in the hot, sticky summer, but I love the quiet peacefulness of moving along the edge of the lake as things start to awaken around me. It was a perfect start to my day today. Tried a new  yoga DVD at home afterwards (lower body) that was surprisingly challenging.

THU: Run – 5.23 mi – Had to run alone this morning in the neighborhood with Nevada. Tried to run as hilly of a route as I could. Amazing how 64 degrees now feels warm. Oh how quickly we soften up! Nevada had a major cat surge and two squirrel surges after that, and I remember why I hate running with her in the fall. Discovered I did something to my neck during yoga yesterday because it feels stiff and a little sore.

FRI: Yoga (40:00) – Running rest day, so I did some standing poses and hip openers. Michael massaged my neck yesterday, but my neck and shoulder have been killing me all day. This may be my first yoga injury!

SAT: Run – 17 mi, Yoga – 20:00 – Ran with the group and stayed with Liz for 17 easy miles. Grumpy at first that it was 68 degrees at the start, but then thought about how much cooler it is than our summer temps. Felt great on the 17 miler, all the way up to the finish, even though the route took us on the Santa Fe Trail. Time to make my peace with the SFT and acknowledge that it’s not as bad as it was two summers ago when I was less fit and the temps were in the 90’s every time we ran on it. I was worried about my sore neck being a problem during the run, but it actually felt much better today. Finished off the morning with some easy yoga.

SUN: Run – 16 mi – Rather than do our usual Sunday trail run, Hari and I paced my daughter’s friend, Kathleen, in her first half marathon. Hari wanted to run two warmup miles before the DRC Half, then we jumped in to run with Kathleen. She did great, especially on the hills, and finished strong despite a bum knee and some pain in her foot. It was great to see so many friends out on the course. After yesterday’s 17 miler, and today’s 16 miles on the road, my legs really feel the effects of hours of pounding on concrete and asphalt. I really missed my trail run this week!

DRC Half 2012

Running up the hill at Sperry

I really love how running unites us all. It reaches across races, sexes, economic levels, age differences, and ability levels. It’s been great mentoring Kathleen as she prepared for her very first half marathon, and to share the experience of the race with her. Who would have thought, when she was 16 and getting into trouble with my daughter, that she would grow up and ask for my help with her running?

STATS for WEEK 2: Run – 51.9 miles, Yoga – 2:20:00

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12 comments

  1. iRuniBreathe

    Would would have thought your intense trail running body would get sidelined by a yoga injury? Luckily it was just a twinge. Good job on the big miles per week, still. Those pavement miles seem to take so much out of you. I’m really glad for trail running season now.

    • Mind Margins/Run Nature

      I really missed my trail run this week. Doing two long back-to-back runs on pavement was hard on my legs. I didn’t fully realize what a difference trail running makes in the high mileage.

      • Mind Margins/Run Nature

        There seems to be point everyone reaches as to how much weekly mileage your body can take before you start to get injured. It’s hard to determine exactly what your limit is–without getting injured trying to find out–and I think trail running helps push that mileage up a little higher.

    • figgystardust

      Agreed! I can’t believe how much you are still running after the big race!! I had so much trouble motivating to do anything after I ran the San Diego marathon in June!! It’s so great you’ve gotten out again so quickly. And how fun to go pace a friend for a 1/2!

      • Mind Margins/Run Nature

        I probably would have taken a little more time off if I didn’t have such a short turn-around for the next race (I don’t usually schedule races so close together). Marathons really do take a lot out of me, too. Pacing someone in their first long race really is a lot of fun.

  2. beatucla

    Enjoyed reading your post. I just committed to training for the Leona Divide 50-miler in April. It’s always helpful to see others’ experiences. Thank you.

  3. mlchaplin

    I always imagined that trail running would be harder because you have to pick your feet up more (or pick yourself up more!), so more work for your quads. Thanks for the reminder that trails are actually easier on the legs. Now more excited than ever to find a good 50k race once I bang out my first marathon!

    • Mind Margins/Run Nature

      You’re actually right on both counts. Trail running is more strenuous, because of the challenging terrain, but your legs won’t get as beat up as pounding the came amount of time on asphalt. The two types of running are very different. When you first start trail running you will be sore in places you’re not usually sore from street running, but it will make you a much stronger runner. It’s an adjustment, but well worth the effort!

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