My highest mileage week ever, with a 23 mile trail run on Sunday–which was also my longest training run ever. Daunting. Thankfully, the midweek temps were unseasonably cool for August, and reminded us what a difference cooler weather makes in our speed and overall enjoyment of running. Ended the week with the return of hot, humid weather.
MON: Running rest day – I must have done something right last week because my left calf, which was sore all week, feels 95% better today–even after an easy 3 mile run last night. Of course I’m very tempted to get out and run a few miles, knowing last week’s mileage was a little low, but I won’t. I will trust the training plan. And as my friend Hari said, don’t look back, it’s in the past. I’m thrilled that it turned out to be nothing serious. Did 20:00 of yoga (standing poses), and am actually looking forward (???) to tomorrow’s core/strength workout with the group. Sick, I know.
TUE: Run – 4 mi, core/strength,Yoga (standing poses) – 20:00 – Got up at the ungodly hour of 4:30 to meet Mike F for a 4 mile run before our core/strength workout. The temp was in the mid 70’s and it even drizzled slightly during the workout. My leg felt 100% better and I was surprised to see we had run about 30 seconds faster than I’ve been running–and it felt comfortable. Came home and did an upper body workout with weights, some squats, and yoga. It’s good to be back on track with my training.
WED: Run – 10 mi, Yoga (twists) – 20:00 – GREAT run this morning. The temperature was 67 degrees, which is the coolest morning we’ve had since spring. There was a little fog at the lake, the wind was still, and the stars were out when we started. It’s runs like this that make me appreciate the gift of running–especially with good friends.
White Rock Lake
THU: Run – 4 mi – A little warmer than yesterday’s early morning run, but still very pleasant. Ran with Mike and Hari, and kept up a faster pace than I wanted/expected–which is good. Looking forward to a day off tomorrow in preparation for the weekend long runs.
FRI: Running rest day – Yoga (back bends) – 20:00 – Noticed my back was stiff yesterday while cleaning the bathroom (yuck) so I decided to focus on back bends in yoga in the evening. Warm temperatures are back, as is the humidity.
SAT: Run – 10 mi, Yoga (forward bends) – 20:00 – Ran with the group on a very warm, very humid morning. The weather is certainly back to normal for this time of year. The run itself was uneventful, just a regular 10 mile run. I worked on keeping the pace slower than two weeks ago to try and save my legs for tomorrow’s extra long run. Did some forward bends yoga afterwards to stretch out the legs.
SUN: Run – 23 mi – My longest trail run ever–and my longest training run ever. Kept the run slow and easy, walking a lot of the uphills and taking breaks for food and water refills. It was incredibly warm (77 deg at 6am) and humid (87%), but we were lucky to have overcast skies most of the day. It even sprinkled the last two miles of the run. Ran two 8.25 mile loops to Rockledge Park and back, then did the loop to the MADD shelter and back–which was actually one mile shorter than we expected. Hari and I were both more than satisfied with running 23 miles instead of the planned 24, and called it a day, bone tired and happy the running week was done. Even better, I didn’t fall once!
Almost half way done
STATS for WEEK 12: Run – 51.2 miles, 1 strength/core workout, Yoga – 1 :20:00
Yesterday a small group of us headed out to Rockledge at Grapevine for our first trail run. Hari, Heather, Melissa, and I are training for a 50K in Palo Duro Canyon; the others came along to try something new. We ran 6 miles. It was great fun, and definitely a great workout. Here are some thoughts about the run:
1. There’s no way you can run the same speed on the trail as you can on the road. This particular trail is full of roots, stumps, and rocks and you have to pay close attention or you’ll stumble and fall. Even if you do pay close attention you may still trip. It happened to Bill who tripped on a rock and took a spectacular spill at mile 1.7, and me who tripped over a root and fell to my knees at mile 1.85.
2. The course has a lot of ups and downs. You can’t expect to run them all. Some are so steep you have to walk.
3. Don’t expect to talk much running this trail. It was one of the quietest group runs we’ve ever had. Having to focus so intently on watching where you stepped was, to me, like active meditation. My focus on being present on the trail was razor-sharp.
4. Running the trail meant having to use different muscles. I felt like I was using my quads more because of the hills, but also my Achilles and ankles got a good workout. You also need good balance and flexibility to navigate dodging roots, rocks, and stumps. Yoga’s great, but plyometric exercises are certainly in my future.
5. It was much cooler than a regular run at that time of day (after 7:00am) because it was almost completely shaded by the trees. I was surprised at how dense the forest was along the edge of the lake. At times, it was like running through a tunnel.
6. My Nike Free’s handled the trail okay, but I have to think trail running shoes would be better. I really felt some of the rocks through the thin soles.
7. The miles flew by. Maybe it was because of feeling so enclosed in the woods, or having to watch the trail so intensely and thereby not being aware of passing time, but the miles seemed shorter on the trail.
8. It was fun. Even though I was concentrating so hard on not falling, and paying attention to every footfall, I felt like a kid playing in the woods. It gave me a great sense of being alive.
9. It was exhausting. We only ran 6 miles but we were all bushed by the end. I felt like I had run at least 10 miles. It was definitely harder work that running on the road.
10. Despite the challenging course, and using different muscles, I have no soreness today. I guess it’s true that running on trails is easier on your legs.
Here’s a short video we took before and after the run:
The White Rock Running Co-op invaded Grapevine, TX this past Saturday to run the Bold in the Cold 5K, 15K, and half marathon races. The weather couldn’t have been better and everyone had a great time. Watch the video to see how the WRRC represented itself at the race. Be sure to watch all the way to the end. You don’t want to miss Heather’s last words!