Week 12: March 23-29
Monday: 20 miles in 3 hours
Tuesday: AM 7.54 miles in 58 minutes – wu, stretch, drills, strides 8X800, cd, PM 4 miles in 45 minutes
Thursday: 6.12 miles in 52 minutes
Friday: 6 miles in 45 minutes – fartlek 6 X 90 sec progression, 90 sec easy, 2 X 20 sec FAST
Saturday: AM: 4 miles easy in 36 minutes, PM 20.5 miles in 3 hours 16 minutes
Total Mileage: 68.2
Monday was half last weeks long run and half kicking off this week with some good mileage. Part of my focus with my own training and also with my athletes is to be flexible! So, when Nicole and I decided to go up to New Hampshire for a weekend of hiking, instead of being rigid and attempting to get my long run in before or after an 8 mile hike up a 4,000 footer, I adjusted and got the mileage in on Monday. Tuesday, I got in a great workout at the MIT track with some 800 repeats! Good warmup, drills, stretching and strides prior to hitting the track. Started at 2:51, 2:52, 2:51, 2:49 then pushed the pace a bit, 2:46, 2:43, 2:43 and 2:30. I took 90 seconds between each rep with the exception being before the last rep I took closer to 2 minutes so that I could really go for a good time. One of these days I will train for a fast 800 and see if I can get that elusive sub 2:00! Tuesday afternoon Nicole and I got a nice 45 min run walk in. After almost 32 miles on Monday/Tuesday I decided to take Wednesday completely off to allow my body to recover and then got a nice shakeout run in on Thursday. Friday, I did a fartlek workout that the Heartbreakers had prescribed for Thursday as part of their “preseason training”. I am not following the preseason plan as I still have aspirations of getting to race in July and I also am in need of more volume to help get me there. That being said, I really liked the look of this workout so I included it in my week on Friday. The workout was 6 X 90 seconds of progression: 30 @ Marathon, 30 @ Half, 30 @ 5k with 90 seconds rest between each and I did two 20 second fast strides after the six 90 second intervals. I liked this workout, really got the legs turning over and totaled 6 miles on the day which was what I was looking for.
Saturday was planned as an easy day, I ran over to the Harvard track in the morning to cheer on Chris Knighton in his 10k time trial for the Grand Prix Series. We warmed up together and I gave him his splits as he went around the track 25 times and dropped a very solid time! Admittedly, I have never volunteered at a race and have only spectated/cheered at a handful of races. The vast majority of the races I attend I participate in. So, to be able to support a friend chase a goal was very rewarding for me, something I will have to make sure I do more consistently. A light cool down and a jog home gave me 4 miles, which should have been the end of my day. Then I checked the weather… I was planning on doing a 50k long run at the Blue Hills on Sunday and with 100% chance of rain the entire day, I decided to head down there on Saturday afternoon instead. Chris had recommended the yellow triangle and white triangle loops as good ones to do that would be around 10 miles, so three laps would get me where I needed to be. First off, while I am sure the trails were much worse on Sunday in the rain, the parking lot and nearby roads were absolutely jammed. It was a nice day and with so many people quarantined, everyone wanted to get out for a hike in the woods. Luckily, once I found a parking spot and got out on the trails I really did not cross paths with that many people and when I did I just went as far to the other side of the trail as I could. The route that Chris had recommended was perfect and I will definitely be going back for more, it was very runnable with not much technical running and some very fun descents that I did my best Killian Jornet impression down.
My left ankle has been an issue before, it plagued me a bit in my first 50k and I wore a brace for the North Face NY 50 mile race back in May of 2018, but recently it has not bothered me. With so much of my running on roads and flat surfaces I imagine that my ankles, feet and all the tendons/ligaments and what not in the area get very used to the same motion and the same foot strike. I rolled my ankle 2-3 times in the first 5-10 miles of this run, though not badly. I stopped at my car/aid station after about 15 miles to refuel with a PB and J and refill my handheld bottle and began walking back to the trail. Soon after I started to notice a feeling of weakness and unsteadiness in my ankle. It felt as though my ankle was going to roll on every footfall. I managed to block it out but this feeling started to turn into pain that would come and go every few strides. I would be in pain for 5-6 strides and then I would be totally fine for a quarter mile, then I would have to walk because the pain would come back worse than before. It became clear that I was not going to be able to run another 10+ miles and that the best thing to do was to head back to the car and call it a day. I ran when I could, walked when the pain got bad and even ran backwards on some of the flat/straight sections which seemed to help. My disappointment for not finishing my 50k training run soon turned to the realization that I was making the mature decision. A younger me, may have suffered through the rest of the run and paid for it with needing to take several days off. Now, the wise voice in my head told me to protect my training and limit the damage. I spent Sunday icing the ankle 15-20 minutes every hour or so and elevating it as much as I could. Being able to return to running after one day completely off was in no small part due to my decision to abandon the last 10 miles of my long run. The cumulative work I put in will prepare me for a 50 mile day (coming soon), one run does not make or break a training block.