My approach to training for the NC24 was to build optimal endurance and leg turnover. All along the thinking has been to develop enough endurance to go for 24 hours and to take advantage of good leg turnover in achieving my goal mileage. That, plus a little strategy! So far, so good.
For the week, I ran 92.1 miles with an excellent hill repeat workout on Tuesday. I just sailed up Chagrin Boulevard each time, feeling great the whole way. On Thursday, I headed to the track, where I completed five one-mile repeats at 5:54, 5:49, 5:53, 5:55 and 5:58 with 400-meter recoveries. This was an awesome workout as I felt very strong and light on my feet. Saturday saw a 17.2-mile trail run in South Chagrin Reservation and on Sunday morning I ran 12 miles in Wheeling, WV, where we were visiting with family. I absolutely attacked the (huge and long) hill up to my old high school in Wheeling Park, recovering on the flatter stretches before going hard up the next hill. If you saw this hill, which is over two miles long with some steep climbs, you'd know what I mean when I say this was an aggressive workout. Later that day I ran again.
While I'd have liked to get in another 100-mile week, this was a good week overall despite travel cutting into my available time to run. In the face of a very busy September with lots of travel involved, I'm trying not to judge my training on what I'm doing each week from Monday to Sunday, but rather what I'm doing in the last seven days. Weeks are arbitrary--seven-day time periods seem to be a better judge of your output. So today is Wednesday and in the last seven days I've run about 97 miles. Not bad.***
If you've made a commitment to support my Run for Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital at the North Coast 24, thank you! If you haven't yet made a commitment, please consider making a contribution today. Your gift will go right to work for the patients and families of Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, which is a not-for-profit children's hospital in Cleveland that provides excellent care regardless of a family's ability to pay for services. Your donation will be tax-deductible and you'll get a tax receipt from the hospital. Please e-mail me and I'll tell you how to get your donation to me.
Although it's technically not part of the week of Sept. 7-13, I do want to quickly chime in about the Aurora Labor Day Classic 5K on Sept. 7. This was an excellent race for me, and it doesn't hurt that it's run around the very beautiful Sunny Lake in Aurora and features absolutely spectacular pancakes afterward. Going into the 5K, I knew it would be hard to better my 5K PR of 17:45, set at last year's Aurora Labor Day Classic 5K. But I nonetheless gave the race my all and set a new PR of 17:40, which is 5:41 pace and got me 4th overall behind Mark Godale (1st overall, 17:17) and Steve Godale (2nd overall, 17:20). I'm thrilled by my result, and I'm glad Anne and Noah could be there to cheer me on.
My goal this week is 90-100 miles with good efforts on the hills, at the track and in my tempo run. Then--and this is hard to believe--I begin my gradual taper for the North Coast 24.
Get busy livin' or get busy dyin'.