Sunday, March 26, 2017

Counting down the days til Blue Ridge!

...and I realized at some point during this week that while endurance training has been going spectacularly well, I've been completely failing at keeping my lungs in shape/strengthening my lungs.  Oops.  I now have less than 4 weeks to try and get my lungs ready for a strong finish at Blue Ridge.

I plan to use the pace function on my watch a lot in the next few weeks, to help myself build up speed without overdoing it.  And I am going to have to be really disciplined and stick to the paces I plan, unlike this Thursday when I went faster than my planned pace and then completely died.

This week: 

M :  TRX 45 minute class @ GVF
horseback ride 3 hours
Pub Run 3.1 / 9:11 / 0 ft

T : hill run 11/ 8:21 / 699 ft

W : hike 2.6 miles / 285 ft
horseback ride 75 minutes

R : group run 7 / 7:34 / 174 ft

F : bike w/Chuck 20.4 / 15.8 mph / 1316 ft

Sa : group run 17.7 / 9:20 / 2054 ft
shakeout jog/walk 1 / 13:47 / 43 ft

Su : 20 minutes yoga
shakeout 3.4 / 8:05 / 131 ft

total miles run 43.1

I did yoga several times throughout the week, for 10-20 minutes at a time.  It has definitely been helping, I have had little to no hip pain since I started doing it!  Now I guess I just have to embrace the fact that I need yoga in my life and learn to like it.  

It was nice to be back in Lewisburg this past week.  My friend Sue teaches TRX classes at the gym, so I made sure I got to go to one of them this time.  It was nice to have someone else make the workout for me, and to be back in a class environment, not to mention having all the space I needed!  My hallway is cramped and really limits the variety of exercises that I can do.  

On Tuesday, I was definitely sore, though it's hard to say if it was more from the TRX or from the extra-long trail ride.  I guess it was probably from both.  I was determined to run my long hill loop though, as I have meant to run it on all of my previous visits and never seemed to get around to it.  

A gray day, but warmer than I thought it was...I was way overdressed!


Wednesday I enjoyed a hike/photo adventure at Roaring Run, and then was happy to get to ride my horse again.  This winter seems to have taken its toll on her -- she has lost a lot of weight, but she is still in good spirits, happy to see me, and with plenty of energy for the ride, so I'm trying not to worry too much.  She is 30+ years old, she was going to start losing weight eventually...but for now I will hope that springtime will put the weight back on her!

Thursday I wanted to do some speed and push my lungs harder than I had been, so I decided I would do a mile warm up, 4 miles around 7:20 pace, and then a mile cool down.  I even decided that I could run on the Creeper Trail so that I could hold a pace without hills messing it up.  Unfortunately, I was not smart enough to stick to the plan.  Our warmup was good, right around 8:00 minutes.  But then we sped up, and my watch said we were going around 6:45.  It felt good, so I figured I may as well try to stick to it.  It might have worked if we hadn't been talking at all, but despite my asking that no one talk to me because I needed all my air for running, it never works...and I can't keep myself from answering when questions are asked!  I did ok for the first 2 miles, and decided to try for 5 hard miles instead of 4.  However, when we turned around after 2.5 hard, I was starting to feel it, and we were now on a slight incline going up, instead of down.  The trail looks flat, and I never want to believe that an incline so slight it looks flat can effect my pace so much...but it does.  I started struggling hard and really losing the pace.  It was getting so rough, I ended up jogging after 4 hard miles, and having a 2 mile cooldown instead of pushing for 5 hard.  I didn't see the point in continuing to push when I was falling so far off the pace.  My fast-mile splits ended up being 6:37, 6:45, 7:07, 7:26.  The GAP paces (pace adjusted for incline) were at least slightly more consistent at 6:55, 7:05, 7:08, 6:53.  Either way, I failed at sticking to my plan, and I failed at keeping a consistent pace.  But my lungs got a workout either way, so I guess it's all good.  

Thanks to Chuck, I actually dusted off my bike for the first time this year!  Earlier in the week, he suggested a Friday afternoon ride since it was supposed to be really warm out, and I agreed.  I was overdue for my first non-solo bike ride in Abingdon, and it was nice to go with someone who knows the local roads better than I do!  Plus I got some exercise without really hurting myself for Saturday's long run.  

Saturday's run was chosen by Ben.  Running from Damascus to Whitetop on the Creeper Trail has been on his bucket list, and I have been putting it off because I can't stand the Creeper, and because I didn't want to deal with all the extra time to run a vehicle up to the top.  Yesterday, he had it worked out so his dad would drive to the top and bike down, and we would run up, so we didn't have to do the car shuffle ourselves.  The run was 17.5 miles.  I had 16 on my schedule, and Mollie was looking for 20, so we all settled for Ben's plan.  Mollie and I started around 11:40, Ben and Corey started about 20 minutes later.  It was so warm out, I ended up ditching my shirt 1.5 miles in.  I knew that if I soaked my shirt with sweat I would freeze when I stopped to wait at the top once we were done.  Unfortunately, it was not a good day for Mollie, and we were getting slower and slower.  By mile 10 we were over 11 min/mile.  I didn't want to leave Mollie alone, but I needed to run faster than that, and she kept telling me to just go.  So at 10.5, I decided to push the last 7 miles, and sped up to 8:00 pace.  We were on a more or less invisible uphill incline for the entire run, but it did get a bit steeper as we got closer to the top, so my pace gradually got slower.  The guys caught up with me around mile 14.  They pulled ahead, then Corey dropped back, not having a great day either.  I ran with him for a bit before leaving him behind.  All 4 of us finished, though at different times.  The three of us who finished first waited a long time, and then I got worried and decided my legs would survive if I started running again to go find Mollie.  Thankfully, I only had to go 1/2 mile before I found her. 
I thought the run was hard...but the ride back to my car was the worst part!  I was in the back seat of Ben's pickup and the road was really curvy...I ended up feeling really carsick.  It got so bad I had to trade seats with Corey to sit in the front halfway.  It helped a bit, but by then I was feeling so sick it didn't wear off til sometime after I got home, even though my drive from where I had parked was mostly straight.  

I used this run as a trial for my marathon 
with the compression socks, a storage belt, and a smaller camelbak. 
I don't love feeling like I'm carrying a fanny pack, but the pouch is pretty small, and thankfully it stayed in place nicely, no bouncing or riding up.  It fit my phone and ID.  I will probably use it for car key, inhaler, and ID during my marathon.  I was worried about the compression socks because they aren't as cushioned in the foot as my normal running socks.  I like the cushioning because my orthotics are hard plastic and the cushioning is more comfortable.  They worked out pretty well though.  And I still have plenty of time to decide if I want thicker socks and compression sleeves, or just the tall compression socks.  I think I'll be fine with either.  The camelbak was perfect, it didn't chafe even on my bare skin, and held the perfect amount of water.  I drank almost all of my 50 oz during the run, with 4 scoops of Tailwind Endurance Fuel.  I didn't need to eat anything; the fuel is supposed to be all you need, and it worked for me.  


Today I did about 20 minutes of yoga to stretch out and warm up my legs, then went for a nice easy shakeout jog.  It was sunny, but there were also some dark rain clouds, and I ended up getting pretty wet with passing showers twice during my short run.  

Looking forward : 
I have 10 mile runs planned for the next 2 Saturdays, but nothing longer than that.  I have made pace goals for each of my runs over the next 4 weeks, that I hope will help me prepare for Blue Ridge.  I made conservative goals, hoping that I will stick to them for the first 2/3 or 3/4 of each run, and only speed up for the last part if I am able to.  No speeding up early!  

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