My original plan was to nail a 21-miler this weekend. I just didn't have it in me for whatever reason. But ultimately I think what I did over the weekend was of far greater benefit (and more personally fulfilling), especially Sunday's 3+ hour run on the Barr Trail, getting up to over 11,000 feet. Ever feel called to the trails? That's how I felt, and it's why I headed to Manitou Springs on Sunday morning before dawn. Twenty-one miles on the road wasn't going to happen when my soul needed the trails and a good climb on America's mountain.
The Eisenhower Marathon is very important to me, just as the Leadville Trail 100 is also crucial. I believe a runner can peak only twice and maybe three times a year, and for that reason I'm properly tapering for the Eisenhower Marathon and really making it a goal race. My goal is a time under 2:55 and my stretch goal is a 2:49. For me, the fact that Eisenhower is a goal race means a two-week taper, along with a one-week recovery after the event. I'll need to hit the trails hard after Eisenhower to ensure I'm ready for the Jemez 50-mile on May 21, but right now I'm only thinking about what I need to do in Abilene on 4/9...and praying for good weather. At 6'2", I'm a rather large runner and so wind really affects me. I once ran a 2:59 at a very windy marathon (Cleveland, 2009) and it wasn't pleasant--not that any marathon is pleasant.
Here's how the week shook out:
Monday, 3/21 - EASY
AM: 4.25 miles/34:32 on the treadmill at home. Easy pace.
Tuesday, 3/22 - INTERVALS
AM: 9.7 miles/1:10:35 on the HOA treadmill, maxing out the unit's speed. 3x1 mile at 6:00 each, plus 2x800 at 3:00 each. Still not 100% from the virus I came down with over the weekend, but was strong enough for a quality interval session.
Wednesday, 3/23 - EASY
AM: 6 miles/45:58around the neighborhood. I had an early morning meeting so this was all the time I had available.
Thursday, 3/24 - TEMPO RUN
AM: 10.3 miles (8 miles at tempo pace)/1:11:13 on the HOA treadmill. Winds 30+ mph, so elected to run indoors. Tempo splits were very solid: 6:40, 6:34, 6:33, 6:24, 6:24, 6:22, 6:18, 6:17 and 6:26.
PM: 3 miles/23:56 on the treadmill.
Total miles for the day: 13.3
Friday, 3/25 - EASY
AM: 10 miles/1:10:34 on the Tomahawk loop. Stomach not feeling well this AM--very crampy. Could have been from the stress of yesterday's wildfires in Franktown, which got a little too close to comfort. Not an enjoyable run at all.
Saturday, 3/26 - LONG RUN
AM: 17.25 miles/2:11:01 in the Parker hills. Felt decent but not super, so I cut this run short of the planned 21 miles. Didn't finish as strongly as I'd like. I think I'm ready for the taper.... Foot also ached a little, likely from Thursday's temp run.
Sunday, 3/27 - LONG TRAIL RUN
AM: 15.15 miles/3:05:51 on the Barr Trail at Pikes Peak. Ran up to 11,200 feet and turned around because I was running short on time. Felt decent but I definitely need to work on my climbing endurance. Tweaked my right ankle on the descent--was moving pretty fast and turned the ankle. Could have been worse. Cloudy and misty but once over the low-lying clouds had some decent views of the peak.
Totals for the week:
- 74.8 miles running
- 10 hours, 33 minutes
- 8 total runs
- Stretching, yoga exercises, core strengthening and push-ups.
My goal for this week is to continue hitting my quality but to reduce volume. So I'll be shooting for about 50-55 miles, along with my usual mile repeats and a tempo run of about 4-5 miles. The longest I'll run is 12-14 miles on Saturday and then on Sunday not go over 10 miles.
I'm not too worried about my right ankle sprain on the Barr Trail on Sunday. I was flying down the trail and somehow turned my ankle. It could have been a hell of a lot worse. Still, I have got to do something about my right ankle because I keep re-spraining it. Perhaps I'm going to need to wear a brace whenever I hit the trails. It seems almost a given that if I'm going hard down a trail I'm going to turn it.
One final note: I'm currently reading an advanced copy of Marshall Ulrich's new book, Running on Empty. I'll have a review out shortly. Now that I'm about 120 pages into the book, I feel confident saying it's an excellent book! Whereas Dean Karnazes' new book is pretty light-hearted (though very good!), Marshall's book really delves into the ultrarunner's soul and deals with heavy issues. Marshall, who is a living legend and ultrarunner of insane toughness, bares his soul and shows you who he really is as a runner and man, making his book a great contribution to runners and non-runners alike.
Challenge Yourself. Go Long. Push Your Limits. Discover Your Inner Champion.