Peak week training

The passing of graduation for both colleges in my town always makes me happy. Not only do we become a smaller population, but Ithaca summer truly begins. It feels like our town.

This past weekend was a doozie but in the best possible way. I didn’t know it, but I hit my peak training volume in addition to working 6 of the busiest days of the year for us at work. This is wonderful, because it provided additional training stimulus for my legs. When I ended this segment after my long run on Monday (Memorial Day), my coach informed me that I had run 96 miles in the past 8 days. I had also worked each of those days. I am not saying this to brag, but to remind myself that I can do it.

I can train higher mileage, and work, and not injure myself. Not only that, I can keep myself fueled and happy.

The past two days have been rest/mobility days and I woke up today itching to run again. Tomorrow shall be fun!

However, before I look too far ahead, remembering what I did last week will remind me to still take it easy even if I feel like I should run or find some use for my extra time/energy.

Last week I had two workouts, one 8×800 meters alone and one 5 mile tempo with my speedster friend Bailey. Both were challenging, yet I didn’t feel like I gassed myself. Meaning I paced appropriately, not that I skimped on effort.

I had two medium long runs, one of 13 miles and one of 11.7 miles, each at about 8:10 pace, effort based easy runs. I had one 6 mile run mid week that was at about 10 minute miles. Very good use of my easy miles, and I didn’t get lost.

On Sunday I met up with my buddy Rich and we trekked around for 19 miles on the Cayuga Trails 50 course (a race we will both be doing in July). It was muddy, rainy and humbling, but I got through it. Having him with me to show the way and talk to was crucial for this run. I don’t mind running through calf deep mud or pouring rain when I’m with someone. Heck, it was fun!

On Monday I did 18ish miles on the Black Diamond Trail, which is easy to go for your legs, but always challenges me mentally. It’s out and back and kind of boring, yet my legs needed to learn that fatigue. I ended it at GreenStar for breakfast tired, but happy.

Each of these days last week I also worked 8 hours on my feet. Some days (like Sunday and Monday) the last thing I wanted to do was keep going, but someone’s gotta fill the van with gas am I right? I also know my coach builds my training on the assumption that I’ll be on my feet all day.

It works for us. It will get me ready for ultras.

All in all, I am proud of the week. It went well and I think I am handling that training without burn out or injury. I was itching to get out there today, so I went on a hike to see how my legs were feeling. They needed some warm-up, but soon they felt normal. I believe I will be running tomorrow, which excites me. I miss Bailey and the ass kicking she gives me 🙂

Running the CT course reminded me how much more I need to train on that type of terrain. I am not confident on technical downhills, especially when they are wet and muddy. However, I know I can do them, it just takes time and practice. I also need to address my show selection. Rich thinks I need faster shoes for my ability. The ones I have are great for gripping and going all day, but I could use something faster for races. I will be trying new ones out soon.

Honestly, I didn’t do too much else last week besides train and work. It was a good week, but not one I can do often. I simply would rather spend my time in other ways, and I know it’s not sustainable for my body.

Things I need to practice would be run nutrition. I was thankful Rich was there because when he ate, I ate and when he drank, I drank. Not exactly a good strategy since he will be miles ahead of me in our races. I simply still go with the mindset that I will eat after, which DOES NOT WORK in runs over 2 hours. I am usually good about it during races, but long runs I just suck. For the next one, my strategy will be every half hour, take a chomp. I think I can manage that.

Breakfast: yogurt, oatmeal and trail mix bowl, apple and coffee

Running: Rest, I hiked and did some core

Volunteering and injuries

I want to talk about something today that crossed my mind when thinking about past injuries. I’ve signed up for races I’ve been unable to do because I was burned out or injured to the point of not wanting to run.

That sucks. If you’ve been there, you know. As a person who hold running closely, not being able to run for any length of time is challenging both mentally and physically. I thank the Lord I am not dealing with that right now, especially as the weather gets nicer.

When I have been injured, logically I have been told and think to myself “oh, instead of running the race, I can just volunteer instead.” As if that is somehow a replacement to feeling and being fit to race.

Don’t get me wrong, volunteering is really fun and totally necessary for our sport, however it is not a substitute for running the race, especially if it was something I had been training for. To be honest, volunteering at said race puts me in a worse spiral emotionally than I had already been in, because it reminds me of what I lost, what I don’t have, and how much better other people are than I.

Sure, I could work really hard to be positive, but in my raw emotional state, it ain’t happening and faking it as a volunteer at the race makes things worse.

This is why I do not volunteer at races I had signed up to run. My good friend and teammate summed it up quite nicely this morning for me when I asked if she was still traveling to Europe even when she is unable to run. She said “No. I do not want to spend the extra money when I am not racing. Not to mention the depression it will put me into.”

Jesus that’s so real. She still does what she can and volunteers with other events and organizations, like I do when I’m injured. However I support her and also do not want to volunteer to help at events we should be and trained to be racing. It’s actually a hindrance to our emotional recovery, and subsequently our physical recovery.

Breakfast: PB&J on sourdough

Running: 60 minutes

Bouncy houses and happy birthday Mama Bear!

This time of year always seems to fly by for me. I was just looking at my race calendar and my next one is only a month away! I feel like we just got back from Texas and I felt like I had such a long time till my next event. I’m getting ready though, so I don’t feel like I don’t have enough time to train.

Last weekend I went up to my sister’s house for her boyfriend’s son Lucas’ 6th birthday party. It was really fun! They rented a bouncy house in the shape of a bulldozer. It’s been years since I’d been in one of those, and Lucas requested we each take turns being the gorilla who comes after them inside the house. I don’t think he expected me to pick him up and throw him against the side of it, but that’s what happened. He also tried to get me to show my feet to all his friends. Apparently my feet are a running joke in their house. Oh what my life has become.

I spent the night there and then went running at Green Lakes state park the next morning. It poured the whole time, but my new gear (Altra Lone Peak shoes and Nathan small pack) worked really well and kept my cell phone dry even without a baggie. I do think my head phone might have died today though…I can’t get them to charge 🙁

After a couple hours in the park, I knew I needed to get on the road to work at noon. The deal I made with my boss was that I could have regular weekends off if I worked graduation and when she’s on vacation. Not a bad trade so I took it. On the way home, I stopped at Strong Hearts for breakfast. It was their 10 year anniversary this weekend, so their daily muffin was a birthday cake themed muffin. It was quite good. I also satisfied a vegan craving for an egg-trick muffin with bacon. Delicious.

The beginning of the week has passed in good time. My mom turned 62 on Monday. I can’t believe how good she still looks. I’m happy to get those genes if you know what I mean. I also realized that she become an entrepreneur at age 58. Isn’t that INSANE?! Way to go Mama Bear!

I have been enjoying runs with my friend Bailey the past two weeks. It’s just fun to talk with someone for 13 miles sometimes. Yesterday I got in a strength session (still hoping for 2 per week) and today I did speed. 8×800 meters on the track all by myself. Sometimes it’s hard to do things like that alone. I’d always used the treadmill before, and last week I had Bailey. Today was a test. My coach says I passed.

The rest of the week is more of the same, but a good more of the same. I’m happy.

Breakfast: a bowl of granola and soy milk

Running: 10 miles

Waking up later is the best, and so are workout buddies

Waking up later is the best. I guess after waking up so early for so long, I forget how lovely it is to hear the birds when I open my eyes, to be able to see without a light, to see other people while I run.

I am adjusting to the closing shift this week, and my favorite part is waking up a few hours later. I am sleeping better, even though I think I am sleeping less. I used to try and get 9 hours, but the quality was…not that great. Now I get about 8, but I fall asleep pretty quick and stay asleep. This is a good thing.

My days look like this:

Run

Eat

Gym time

Agava stuff

CTB till close

Dinner

Bed

It is really relaxing actually. Sure, the shift is a bit harder because I am alone for the end and we get rushes, but I love my fellow closer and we get things done.

This morning I met my friend Bailey for a workout. 12×400 meters at the fastest pace I could sustain for them all without slowing down. We did them in about 80 seconds, which is a good starting point for this training cycle. This was my first workout on the track in over a year! I did all my workouts this winter on the treadmill.

I realized that I did have some reservations about meeting people for workouts, outside of the fact that I had to do them so early. The few women I knew to meet up with are FAST. And they were training for Boston, like peak fitness. I felt like I had a different fitness, and therefore my self esteem kept me from pursuing a workout buddy.

After Texas, I decided I was being a baby. I had been given the opportunity to wake up later and have training partners. Ladies who would make me faster. Who I could potentially enjoy workouts with. Who cares if they left me in the dust? That means I will always have someone to make me faster. And that is the goal.

Just show up. That’s all I have to do. I get left in the dust, it hurts, but having someone there, someone kind and who knows what you’re going through, it’s just a better workout. A better run. They make me better.

Running: 83 minutes

Breakfast: peaches and cream oatmeal with raspberries, trail mix and peanut butter

Back to the grind, how do you use Blue Cheese?!

A bit of a cold spell yesterday and this morning caused me to turn on my Mr. Buddy during breakfast. Oh well, back to 70s tomorrow and hopefully I can put it away underneath my bed for the summer.

This week has flown by! We got back from TX on Tuesday, I slept for a bit, did some laundry and then went to Treman State Park to scout out some trails for this next segment. It was a beautiful day and I treated myself to one of the new non-dairy Halo Top ice creams. I tried the candy bar flavor and TBH it’s not as good as the salted caramel. Good thing it was on sale. I also think that maybe I’m not an ice cream person. I enjoy it I guess, but I don’t crave it like most people, or even get super excited for it. I think I should feel that way (especially after a hot marathon) but I got it and was like meh, it’s fine but whatever. Maybe it just needed sprinkles.

The rest of the week I spent getting back into my groove with work and catching up on such things for Agava. We’ve got a whole new menu that I need to get online, and photos to take to promote it. The new stuff is pretty bomb if I don’t say so myself. Chef really did a great job.

Yesterday was my day off from CTB in which I work at the gym in the morning, and usually hit Agava for photos later that night. In between I took myself out for lunch at Greenstar. I got Spicy Garlic Tofu and Pad Thai. Both were tasty! I enjoy the different ways tofu can be incorporated into things and the versatility of it. Makes me wish I had a kitchen to cook it for myself.

I also got the new Daiya Blue Cheese dressing to try. It is very reminiscent of blue cheese, but besides buffalo sauce stuff, I have no idea what to use it for. Considering I don’t have buffalo tofu or hot sauce very often, I need some ideas or ways to use it. Help a sister out!

After that I went to my parent’s house to visit (haha they weren’t home) and pick up my mail. I had a bill from the gynecologist that I knew I needed to pay, but also came home to a lovely package from Emily containing peanut butter from Naturally Nutty. What a kind gift! I cannot wait to try it.

Then I went to Agava, caught up on work there and took photos. I ended the night with dinner and a crossword in my van. Oh, and I tried to get 10 hours of sleep. It was wonderful.

Breakfast: peaches and cream (yup, from the box) oatmeal with raspberries, nuts and almond butter

Running: 78 minutes