Jemez 50K Training, Week 4: Spring Training in January

Spring is definitely in the air with daytime highs in the 60’s and 70’s all week long. It made for some great running conditions. Of course, I’m trying hard to ignore the fact that it’s barely February . . .

Since I began running seven years ago, many of the people I started out with have gone on to accomplish great things in their running. Many have qualified for and run Boston, many regularly place in or win local races, and many are now tearing up the trails and winning trail races. It’s just amazing — and so inspiring — to see how strong some of our running friends have become.

MON: Rest Day  –  Enjoyed a day of laundry, grocery shopping, rest, and taking my car in for maintenance (but didn’t enjoy the bill). It was 78 degrees today! Crazy.

TUE: Easy Run – 6 mi, Yoga 20:00 – Ran with Liz from the house over to the Katy Trail in the warmest conditions since the fall. Starting temp was 72 with 76% humidity and winds gusting up to 30 mph. It rained twice on us during the run, and the wind was a beast to battle. It’s hard to believe it’s not even February yet. Did a session of power yoga afterwards to counteract some lower back tightness I’ve been feeling the past few mornings when I’ve gotten out of bed. The older I get and the more I run, especially on trails, the more I find I have to work a little harder to keep my core and back strong.

Clouds, Dallas TX

The cold front coming in over Love Field.

WED: Hill Run 6 mi – Almost 30 degrees colder today than yesterday’s run and even windier. It was one blustery, gusty run on the hills this morning with Liz and the wind that was always a headwind no matter which direction we faced. We ran up all the “monster” hills in Lakewood (Loving, Sperry, Shook, West Shore) and the cold air triggered my asthma at mile 2. Had to run back to the car and use the inhaler, and it was hard finishing off those last two miles. For some reason, though, I’m a glutton for punishment. I really love running hills. Give me hills over speed work any day. I skipped yoga today because Nicole and I went to see a movie (Silver Linings Playbook) and got busy with other stuff.

THU: Tempo Run – 4 mi, Yoga 20:00 – Speed work is my least favorite workout of all, so when Liz suggested we do a tempo run this morning, after our monster hill run yesterday, I thought she was joking. She wasn’t. I wasn’t happy about it the first mile, and felt like puking at one point, but once we settled into our rhythm it wasn’t so bad. Somehow we pulled off an 8:48 average pace, which is pretty good for this old body. In the end, it made me feel a little less guilty for the Tex-Mex we had for lunch. Followed up the run with twenty minutes of power yoga for flexibility. Rodney Yee yoga DVDs rule!

FRI: Rest Day – Enjoyed a day of total laziness.

Dog

Shasta does yoga with me.

SAT: Long Run – 13 mi – I decided to skip a trail run this weekend since most of my trail running partners are down in Huntsville running Rocky Raccoon. I’m kicking myself for not going down to spectate. Here in Dallas it was a beautiful morning for a long run, with 48 degrees at the start and not a cloud in the sky. We started from a different location (Crossroads Diner) and ran down the White Rock Trail to the lake and back. Running on the White Rock Trail is a nice change, even though it’s all concrete, but there were times I expected to see an alligator raise its head from the bogs we passed along the way (supposedly they are occasionally found here).

Most of us in our running group watched the Rocky Raccoon live race results all day and night, following so many of our friends who were running the 50 mile and 100 mile trail races. We’re proud of everyone who ran, but we’re especially proud of Nicole Studer who finished first place female in her very first 100 mile race! She placed first female in her first 50 mile race in Palo Duro back in October, so to see her do so well in her first 100, just a few months after her first 50, was amazing. As someone in our group said: there’s no hiding now, Nicole! Not only is she an inspiration, she is also one of the most humble runners you will ever meet — a true class act.

SUN: Long Run13 mi – Met up with a small group of running friends for a great run around the lake. The weather was comparable to yesterday, which means it was perfect for running. The air smelled fresh and it felt like early spring. I was a little sad not to be on the trails on such a gorgeous run, but it was nice to sleep in a little and not have to drive to the trails. I feel so spoiled by having such a beautiful lake to run around so close to my house. Today I was filled with thoughts of Nicole and her amazing win, and of how well everyone ran this weekend.

Here’s to running our best, and to letting that guide us to becoming better people in the world.

Stats for WEEK 4: Run – 42 miles, Yoga – 40:00

 

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14 comments

  1. seetinarun

    Sounds like a great week of running. Boy do I hear you on the core strength! The more I run, the more I find I need to work on core or risk feeling like an elderly person when I get up in the morning. And I still don’t do enough (but I’m trying, which is more than I used to do). I pretty much always hate the first mile of any run, and then get into a groove and am fine.
    Sounds like a great and productive week! Congrats!

    • Mind Margins/Run Nature

      I’ve been kind of slacking on yoga lately and I can definitely tell. Now that I have an empty nest again, maybe I can get back on some kind of workout schedule. Goofing off was more fun, though!

  2. MikeW

    I like the comment on how people are doing that you started out with. It lets people know that starting and following a sport can be a social thing that changes their life in more ways than just fitness. Good post.

  3. iRuniBreathe

    Good to hear of your friend Nicole’s win(s). It reminds me of Scott Jurek’s book “Eat and Run” where he talks about how a winner of an endurance event must have such confidence in their ability but also such humility. Great combination.
    Core and back are so key. I also really notice when I have slacked off. It just feels like I am running on a rubber torso – much harder to manage in a straight line.

  4. mlchaplin

    Isn’t that how the wind always seems to blow on runs? I’m with you on the hill training. Getting to the top of a hill just feels like more of an accomplishment than speed work.

    • Mind Margins/Run Nature

      Sometimes there is a clear headwind and tailwind. For an out-and-back you at least know you only have to do battle for half the run, then there’s the reward of the tailwind. It’s those crazy all-over-the-place winds that are the worst! As for hills, yes, getting to the top is so sweet!

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