Such was this week. I did decide that next week would be a a break, since I did have 3 weeks of at least having done three pretty solid long runs, if not big mileage weeks. It would also give me 3 good weeks of training before the Syllamore 50K plus a week taper. However, nature decided that I needed a week off and so delivered Little Rock's once a winter snow. We got about 5 inches here in West LR, which for most people is nothing much, but for a Southern city, makes all the grocery stores look like the Do Lon Bridge scene from "Apocalypse Now". So I knew the Ouachita Trail would be snowed over most of the week if I could even get out there. And with all the rocks and switchbacks, it would be a recipe for injury. The plan, then, became just get out and get in some shorter runs, maybe a few at pace, to keep the fitness up. And then really plan on pushing it the next 4 weeks to be ready for the race. We'll see how that works.
So here's the math:
Sunday: 2.1 miles around the neighborhood (9:36) 10:26/9:41. Snowed all day. This was supposed to be a rest day, but I couldn't help myself. About 9:30 at night I dug out the old Gore-Tex Montrails and took a short one around the block. Certainly got some strange looks, but felt great to be out. There's nothing like running in snow and ice to make you concentrate on foot placement and balance.
Monday: 6 miles around the neighborhood (55:29) 9:49/9:32/9:30/8:48/8:54/8:42. Still lots of snow on the ground, so the footing was crap. Again, really helped to concentrate on forefoot striking to keep upright, but couldn't run hard on the downhills like I like. Still, a good run, even if I had to dodge idiot kids on 4-wheelers. Really felt like an actual dedicated runner to be out in the cold and snow.
Tuesday: Rest day.
Wednesday: 3.0 miles of hills on the dreadmill. (43:00) Weather cleared out enough that I could get out, but cold as Hell. So went to the gym, and practiced hills on the treadmills. Which I hate. Put the hill workout on max and mostly concentrated on power-hiking the big inclines at less than 16:00 pace and running the lower ones. After about 40 minutes I just plain got bored, and my shins were starting to get tight, so I went home.
Thursday: 13 miles in 2:02:07 On Chenal Trail (1.3 mile laps - 12:02/12:17/11:57/12:16/12:05/12:28/12:20/12:40/12:02/11:55) Normally would be my long run day, but my slack weeks usually cut that one down. The trail was open, but mostly still snow and ice covered, which again made me concentrate on footing. Felt good, but really concentrated on throttling it down, like I would on a real long run. Splits were all over the place, but a good easy run.
Friday: 7.8 miles in 1:10:26. On Chenal Trail (11:55/12:12/11:44/12:13/11:38/10:42) Another easy run, since the trail had a lot of ice. Happy that I had good negative splits. I really need to concentrate on going out slow as I get closer to race day.
Saturday AM: 2 miles in 14:30.74 ( 7:33/6:57) Only had a few minutes in the morning on a busy day, so grabbed what time I had pushed it a little. About a half mile into it, just decided to burn it as much as I could. The splits will tell you why I run distance, not 5Ks
Saturday PM: 4 miles in 38:02 Got in a nice little night-time run. No music, no cadence, just one to enjoy. And enjoy I did. Really dialed it back, and glad I did. Just wanted to listen to my breaths, concentrate on form, and screw time. One of those times when I just go out to run because it's what I like to do. Came home and slept like a baby.
Next week's goals. I'd like to get up over 60 miles, but since Monday's a holiday I'm not sure what I'll have time for then. At least want to get north of 23 miles on my long run, and only take one day off (Sunday). The real issue will be fueling. I'm not known for eating enough, so I've got to make the effort to get enough food in my gullet. The last thing is to see if I can run at least 20 miles in the MT101s to test out running the 50K in them. I'd really like to go with the lighter shoes, but not sure if my feet are ready for the lesser support. I've got 4 weeks to push it hard to try and have a good result at Syllamore.
Weekly total: 37.9 miles, 9947 feet gained
Month total: 96.4 miles, ,25,510 feet gained
Yearly total: 96.4 miles, ,25,510 feet gained
Days to next race: 34 to Syllamore 50K