Friday, February 4, 2011

1 month till 50 miles!!!!!!! Night Running is on the "life resume"!

Does this remind you of a few weeks ago?  I really enjoyed our small taste of snow and how much fun it was to run in it so I decided to add another picture to the blog!    Anyway, it is only 4 weeks or 28 days or 672 hours or 40320 minutes or 2419200 seconds till my race, but who is counting?   Just a quick update, the 3 weeks before my last recovery week I ran 580, 620 and 600 minutes per week, working up to a 280 minute long run (2x over Kennesaw mountain plus the whole 17mile loop - ouch).  Last week I actually took 3 full days off (that's right, no exercise at all for 3 days) "only" ran 300 minutes total for the week, and it was very much needed.  

I ended the week with a really cool and new experience, night running!  Now, I have done a lot of running early AM with a headlamp but it is getting progressively lighter when I run and it is usually only about 60 minutes in semi-darkness.  This past weekend the race director put together a group run (such a nice guy, he set this up, free of charge for anyone who wanted to test the course - 13 of us with no social life showed up on Saturday night!  We met at a outdoor shop (cool place: The Outside World ) at 6:30pm on a Saturday and caravaned over to the race site (Dawsonville national forest) for a 7pm start.  I was actually nervous as well as excited to be doing something new, with new people.  As I do most of my training solo, I had to let go of control (good for me) and realize I would be training somewhere I did not know, with people I did not know, at their running pace and at night - jump into the deep end as they say!  Anyway, we all had maps but I knew I would get hopelessly lost if I tried to go it on my own so I vowed to run as fast or slow as I needed to to stay with a group that knew where they were going.  It really was a blast, running at night takes away all the cues you use for pacing and exertion (and time elapsed) and the time went by too fast!  At one point I suggested, ok told, my group to stop and turn off our headlamps and the stars were amazing!  Before I knew it we were back and had run 13 miles, I was not tired at all and felt like I could run all night (a good thing given that I will, God willing, run 37 miles longer on 3/5/11).  Met some very cool people, hung out afterwards around a bonfire and waited for the other runners who ran the full 20 mile loop (my coach wanted me to only do 150 minutes for my long run this week so I held myself back).  Driving home I felt wonderful and very confident about this race.  Except for some serious mud sections, this course is much easier than what I train on VERY much easier than other race courses I have done.

4 weeks to go and they look like this for long runs:

300 minutes this week (already did it during the week as my weekend is booked, about 30 miles, felt very strong)
Double long runs next week (210 and then 180 minutes on back to back days)
Then the dreaded "taper" for 2 weeks (tapering for trail races is much shorter than road races as the training beats you up a lot less).   My absolute least favorite part of the training plan......I am going to try to train so hard the next 2 weeks that I can embrace and enjoy it.

As always, I am in a place of complete appreciation and gratitude that I can even attempt this journey.   The lessons have been amazing and I am really looking forward to 12 hours or so of joy on 3/5/2011!

Blessings to you all,