Repetition. In some ways, it’s the cornerstone of training. Day after day, we follow a routine. We go out, as we did the day or week before, and do the same thing (or something pretty similar) in order to achieve a goal. By that measure, Week 6 felt very much like Week 3. In both cases, I had a good week of training, capped by a long weekend during which I backed off from training and indulged in the gastronomic side of life. But before I go into details, the numbers:
Training Days: 2 (To Date: 24)
Rest Days: 5 (To Date: 18)
Weight: 156 (Net Gain/Loss: -4)
Running Days: 2 (To Date: 17)
Running Miles Logged: 22.3 (To Date: 133.2)
Average Run: 11.1 (Short = 11.1, Long = 11.2)
As you may have already noticed, I trained for only two days last week. This was by intention. I’ve been training hard for 6 consecutive weeks, and the last 2 weeks especially have been defined by long mileage (typically, 10-15 miles per run) and heavy elevation gain (3,000-4,000 vertical feet). It was time to take an extended rest, let my legs rebound, and come back to Week 7 feeling fresh and rejuvenated. It’s easy to give in to a tendency to train too much; to do one extra run, and then another, and another. But if you do that for too long, you’re body can’t sustain the output. You basically end up breaking down your body more than it recovers from each training session. Instead of growing stronger, a kind of chronic fatigue sets in in your muscles. I know, because I’ve done this before. Not this time.
A wedding in New Jersey, coupled with celebrating Father’s Day on Sunday with family from NJ and NY, gave me the perfect reason to take 4 consecutive days off from training, hence last week’s low numbers. And of course, a wedding and Father’s Day meant one thing…eating. I indulged in lobster, filet mignon (twice), wine, GF beer, and a long list of other foods and snacks I won’t admit to here. Suffice it to say that my progress in the body weight department slipped backwards just a bit. I went into the weekend weighing 153, seven pounds under my starting weight, and two pounds under the previous week. I came out of the weekend weighing 156, 3 pounds heavier. It was like a re-run of Memorial Day Weekend. But that was okay. We have to allow ourselves such indulgences from time to time. And I’m still on track to hit all my goals en route to the Virgil Crest Ultra race.
As I wrote about last week, I’m using the race as a fundraiser for the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. Please help me support this great organization. So far, I’ve raised $55, which gets me a little over 1% of the way toward my goal of raising $5,010 ($100 per mile). A huge thank you goes out to Susan T, DeAnna O, and Erin E for your generous donations! Won’t you please join them?
Finally, there’s news on the race front. The race organizers of the Virgil Crest Ultra just unveiled a revised race course that differs from years past. The route now includes more technical singletrack trails, and notably, an additional 1,000 vertical feet of elevation gain, making the grand total for the race a staggering 10,000 vertical feet of climbing. 9,000 was bad enough, but five digits of climbing seems truly insane. In the words of the race organizers, the hills will be “relentless.” Wonderful. Also, because the course is different, last year’s times aren’t quite as useful for the purpose of benchmarking and predicting this year’s performance. We’ll see how it goes!