Not a great week to start out the recording my mileage in this blog. I guess rest weeks aren't supposed to be full of breakthroughs, are they? 32 miles of running felt very strange. Admittedly, I would liked to have run more, even if I had designated this week a rest week. I was hoping to still get a run in every day(maybe even an easy combination of doubles). Last weeks long run adventure with Jason and Mark Robillard took a larger toll on me than I had expected(68 mile double crossing of the Kal-Haven trail). Considering that my previous long run was 64 miles at the Mind the Ducks 12 hour, I shouldn't be suprised that this run took a toll on my body. The 68 miler was done at a faster pace overall, was self-supported, and was run in temps that peaked in the mid 80's, and was not preceeded by any type of taper. My legs had lost their "spring" and I knew it was time for a rest week. I mostly focused on running easy and sharpening skills instead of fitness. I worked on trail running skills, focused on form, and tried to find that easy, "go all day" pace just out of curiosity.
I also practiced running in shoes. I never thought I'd have to struggle with running in a real running shoe again. I've decided(tentitavely) that to run as fast as I can over technical terrain, I'm going to need some degree of pretection for my feet that is a bit out of reach for my Vibram Fivefingers KSOs, and maybe even my KSO Treks. For this protection, I've turned to the New Balance MT100. Its a great shoe with minimalist features(low heel, no arch support, no pronation control), but has a bit of traction and a rockplate to protect from roots and rocks. As minimal as the shoe is, it is still by no means an approximation of barefoot running. I'm still undecided as to whether the NB100 will be used for my upcoming 50 miler, the North Country Trail 50. If the race is going to be an all-out effort to run fast, then I will use the shoe. If Im going to run a little less recklessly, I may opt for my Treks or possibly the Terra Plana EVO(review coming soon).
My academic and social life has also taken its toll on my running this week. My summer schedule consists of 1 class, but the amount of studying necessary to keep my head above water is more than I've experienced in my collegiate life. My yonger sister's wedding was this weekend, and it was great to give the running a break and reconnect with friends and family. It kept me from running, but I was more than willing to make the sacrifice for my family.
Okay, enough of my excuses. Heres the breakdown of my running mileage this week.
Monday: 4 miles(34min)
Tuesday: 5.5 miles(45min)
Wednesday: 6.5 miles(55min)
Thursday: off- homework and lack of motivation, but got 3 bike rides in
Friday: 9 miles(1:15)
Saturday 7 miles(1:00)
Total: 32 miles(4:32)
For the next week, Im hoping to run in the 100 mile range, with no real discernbile long run. Hopefully I'll get in a few two-a-days(each run of double digit mileage). And a run on friday or saturday in the 20-25mile range. If I'm right, abstaining from ultra-distance long runs will help keep me somewhat fresh so I can go over 100mile weeks 3 weeks in a row. The 68 mile long from last week should serve as my long run for the upcoming 50 mile race. I know I have the endurance base, and the speed base will be addressed in the 3 weeks prior to the race. The upcoming cycle will be focused on maintaining a "comfortably fast" pace, even when not feeling 100%. Im cautiously optimistic about the race, but I think I have the opportunity to run a strong race.
One last note: Im hoping that recording my mileage on this blog will help me focus more on the intrinisic motivators to run. Trail running, especially ultras, attracts me because the idea isn't to be the fastest in the trail, but to try to become part of the trail. The thrill of the run should be what I focus on, not minutes and seconds and other minutia. Im concerned about caring too much about competition not running for myself, but I need those running with me to help me bring out the best in myself.