The Flatirons rock formations from the Chautauqua meadows trail – part of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks, my primary training ground
Another Monday, another week of training in the bank:
Training Days: 3 (To Date: 27)
Rest Days: 4 (To Date: 22)
Weight: 155.5 (Net Gain/Loss: -4.5)
Running Days: 3 (To Date: 20)
Running Miles Logged: 35.3 (To Date: 168.5)
Average Run: 11.75 (Short = 6.7, Long = 17)
Week 7 was one of continued progress, and some lessons learned. After starting off the week with an 11.6 mile run, I took a rest day and then planned a 9-10 mile “easy” run with only moderate elevation gain. Typically, I’ve been running early in the morning, in order to avoid the heat of day. However, because of my work schedule, my planned 9-10 mile run took place in the afternoon, when the temperature had climbed to 91 degrees. My body has never performed well in extreme heat, and that day was no different. I red-lined almost immediately, feeling like I was going to blow a gasket, and running on the edge of heat exhaustion. I scaled back my pace, trying to keep my body temperature and my heart rate in check, but it was no use. And so I pulled the plug, turning for home early and finishing my run after 6.7 miles. I can only keep my fingers crossed for cool temperatures on race day. If temps climb too high, I’m going to have to seriously alter my race plan and adjust expectations accordingly.
On the other hand, I ended the week on a great note: with my longest run to date. It was a 17-mile run that climbed probably 2,000 vertical feet or so, maybe a little more. When I walked in the door a little more than 3 hours after I started, I was psyched. My pace had been 11 minute miles. On more level ground, on roads, and/or over shorter distances, I usually run more like 7 minute miles. But 11 minute miles under these circumstances was great. Remember: 10 minute miles will have me contend to win the race. 12 minute miles are my personal target to finish in 10 hours or less. 15 minute miles are the time of last year’s slowest finisher. If I can maintain an 11 minute per mile pace over the course of 50 miles, as opposed to the 17 miles I ran on Saturday morning, I’ll be a very happy camper. (Kelli was quick to keep my optimism in check and offer a dose of reality: “You ran 35 miles this week. Keep in mind, you’re planning to run 50 miles in 10 hours!” Very true…)
I’m excited, too, because so far, my training has been progressing according to plan. In May, when I began training, I was simply rebuilding my foundation of fitness after the winter. (Check.) During June, my plan was to continue building, having my long run of each week move through the teens. (Check.) Now, as I’m on the eve of July, I plan for my long run each week to build through the 20s. Then, for August, I’ll move into the 30s. By September, it’ll be time to maintain the fitness I’ll have attained, and then to taper in advance of the race so I’ll have fresh legs.
Finally, a huge, sincere “thank you” to Reeb V., Bob and Linda T. (Kelli’s parents), Wendy K, and Georgann B. (my mom) for your generous donations to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. With your help, I’ve now raised a total of $255, which brings me 5% of the way toward my goal of raising $5,010 for celiac awareness. If you haven’t donated yet, please consider helping me support the NFCA!