11 miles - A slow, easy jog around the State Park. Ran the perimeter to coax more mileage out of myself. Ski trails, deer paths, dunes, roads, beach, boardwalk. It was quite a serene experience, quietly running without a soul around for an hour and a half. The fall color has peaked, and the trails demand a little more attention to keep from stepping on roots now that they're completely covered. Pace was ridiculously easy, but I was just watching my watch, insisting on hitting 10 miles. This keeps me on my feet for a while and encourages me to take difficult routes up hills and slogging up the backsides of dunes. Since mountains aren't in my immediate future, I think I'll start working more dune climbs into my training...once I start actually training.
|The "Block House"|
|OK, so Michigan isn't that awful. It's hilly over here.|
|Running on the beach helps me to run with power once in a while instead of grace.|
|Running up dunes is exhausting.|
|Channel walkway, North side|
8 miles - Couldn't get into a comfortable pace. My legs started hurting almost as soon as they felt warmed up, so I just turned around and headed home. Garmin read an 8min/mile pace average, but the actual running pace was all over. Oh well, motivation was waning anyway. I wish I didn't find roads so boring.
6 miles - 43 degrees, rain, and wind. It took some mental work to get out to the park today. Slow, easy run, but powered up the hills and dunes. One downside to rain gear is that it turns wet, leaf covered hills into a slip n' slide. It was a good test for my Columbia Peak 2 Peak Jacket. It actually is waterproof! Review to come. I've decided to shoot for 50 miles or so this week. Not aggressive, but steady progress.
9 miles - Flattest. Run. Ever. A mostly gravel road loop from my house. Ran in the rain and wind, but it was still pretty enjoyable. Kept a pretty even pace at about 7:20 once I warmed up. It was really enjoyable to finish a run and want to keep going. Rather than continuing on and finding myself wishing I was done, I headed in and kept the legs fresh.
4 miles - Caught a few hobbyjoggin' miles as the sun went down. Somehow spent a whole day doing nothing and crammed a run in before dinner. At least I did something...right? One benefit was that My knee had a twinge of pain mid run. Why is this good? It supports my theory that being sedentary, not active, is to blame for my knee pain(and muscle imbalance that seems to have caused it). Maybe it ought to be called "sitter's knee" rather than "runner's knee."
22 miles - Met up with Dr. C. for some frosty miles at Pigeon Creek. 2 loops in the trails, 1 loop on the big, flat country block, and another loop on the trail. The GPS clocked us at a 7:45 pace. JC hasn't run that fast and I haven't run that far in a while, so we were both pleased. No knee pain at the end of the run, but a bit in the middle miles. Having a partner for a long run is, most times, a huge blessing for me. In this area, multiple loops are essential to doing a long trail run. When I plan on doing one solo, the temptation is too great to "stop by the car a minute," which can often result in checking my phone, then feeling my legs get tight and calling it a day. This run was different, and I was glad to have stuck it out for a change.
6 miles - Met up with Evan at the Dirty Herd Fall Classic. We both decided to warm up, run the 2 mile, and cool down. We are both experiencing a bit of a "lapse in shredability," so we used the 2 mile as a way to jump start what I hope is a reintroduction to speedwork. The course at Robinette's is a somewhat technical mountain bike loop. What did I learn?
I'm incredibly out of shape.
Though Evan and I were first and second place, I ran a pedestrian time at best and felt winded. I think the pace worked out to a 7:15. What kind of bum runs 30 seconds faster than long run pace and feels terrible? This marks the first time that I've noticed such a stark decline in fitness. I'll blame some of it on the long run the previous day.
I returned from Pikes Peak weighing 140lbs. I now weigh 160lbs. I'm a bit ashamed that I'm surprised. Maintaining "calories in" while drastically scaling back on "calories out" doesn't usually bode well.
A total of 66 miles this week. Wasn't overly strenuous and didn't hurt anything, so steady as she goes.