You may have noticed that the “9 Weeks to the Barkley Fall Classic: Week 4” post went missing. There’s two honest reasons for that:
- My training week kind of sucked.
- When I sat down to write about it, I couldn’t remember what I did, and felt completely uninspired. Real words from an unapologetic blogger. But I am sorry to leave you hanging (if anyone actually was…)
So here we are, finishing up week 5 of training, with 8 weeks left to go until the Barkley Fall Classic. I remembered to take notes this week.
Monday: The Kid Quarter Mile Repeats
My youngest has really taken to his “mountain bike” (it’s really just a regular ol’ huffy that he rides on the trails), and in particular, loves this one quarter mile section known as “knee deep”. The section is exactly one quarter of a mile long from the point where we start to the point we finish, and it twists and turns through a crazy maze of berms and bridges until it finishes just inches from where it started.
As a mom, I love this section because it’s pretty wide open, I can almost always hear approaching mountain bikers (the grown adult, much faster ones) so I can warn my kids to keep their eyes open and watch out.
On this particular day, I decided to race Kain on the quarter mile loop in the opposite direction (bikes and foot traffic go in opposite direction on this trail anyway). I typically don’t have a plan for Monday night trail runs with the kids, as their feelings towards trail running in general go from hot to cold depending on the day. But on this particular day, I was able to knock out 5 quarter mile hard runs, averaging around 7:00 -7:30/mile for most of them. Imagine my surprise when my oldest son easily kept up with me for a few of them…barefoot.
Tuesday: Butts, Barbells, and Burpees
Tuesday I felt like switching up my plyometrics class to add a little “B” theme. We did a lot of upper body work and glute work, and far less burpees than the name would lead you to believe. The class was grateful. I was too, because I often “forget” to incorporate the hip strengthening exercises I assign to all of my clients on a weekly basis.
Wednesday: Rucking Stairs
Wednesday morning I taught a 60 minute spin class.
That afternoon, my trusty rucksack (the one I bought years ago just hours before my first GORUCK), 25 lbs worth of bricks and water, and I hit the local high school stadium to climb some stairs. When I ruck with weight, I avoid running at all costs. I like my joint, and want to keep them happy. That said, climbing 50 step flights of stairs with 25 extra pounds on your back is no feat, especially in this humidity. I continuously climbed and descended for a grand total of 40 flights, or 2,000 steps. I won’t lie, the last 3 were cutting it close, as the sky quickly started to darken and lighting strikes were in the not too far distance. We made it to the car just as the heavy rain drops started falling.
Thursday: A little bit of chest
Between clients, I squeezed in a short chest workout. It wasn’t very long, but it was heavy enough that my arms were shaking as I was trying to take notes on my next clients tracking sheet. My upper body workouts have gone to sh*t during my Barkley Fall Classic training. Even those of us who are literally workout for a living struggle “fitting it all in”. The reality is, you have to pick your focus and let the guilt of not being able to do everything go. In my case, I still manage to lift weights for my upper body at least twice a week, which from a health stand point, is great. I need to learn to be OK with that, even if the awesome lats I built over the winter are slowly fading away.
Friday: A treadmill 30K
Incase you haven’t read the story already, click HERE. In short, 18.4 miles on a treadmill. 3 hours of feeling like a hamster on a wheel. Good times.
I started the morning off with a 90 minute spin class that I’m now teaching on non-race Saturday mornings. It was a brutal one. I hate using the microphone in spin class, so I yell instead. And yelling, plus spinning (I can’t “fake” it, I try to push just as hard as I ask my class to push” redlines me every time.
Early afternoon Geoff and I made the trek up to Carolina Beach state park and put in about 4 easy miles in the mid day sun and heat. You can read more about that adventure in my last post.
Later that afternoon, we played a rowdy and competitive game of kickball with friends. A few short sprints were made, but I have an awful habit of kicking the ball high in the air, only for the outfielders to perpetually catch it.
Sunday: I sat around. Err, uh, I mean “planned recovery”.
It was great.
THOUGHTS ON THIS WEEK:
I take solace knowing that I am training, there will be no “I didn’t train for this” statements made at the starting line of BFC, at least not out of my mouth. I’m moving my body with purpose, 5-6 days a week. I’m putting in long runs. Yet still…it doesn’t feel like it’s enough. My weekly mileage isn’t as high as I would like it to be.
I do have a plan to follow (it is, after all, what I do for a living), and truth be told, I probably could be a little better with time management, and MAKE the time to put in more miles. Like so many others, I struggle with balancing the rigors of life and the rigors of training. With everything going on in my world right now – the kids on summer vacation, visiting my family in New England as much as possible while dad gets ready to start chemo, taking on a heavier workload both at the gym and with running clients (both very welcome, but time consuming none the less), I find it hard to see past one week at a time, never mind put 100% of my focus on a race in mid September.
Alas, I don’t want a DNF. I don’t want a marathon finish. I want that damn Croix de Barque. So I better get my proverbial shit together. With my base and fitness level, it won’t be unheard of to pull this out of my ass in the next 8 weeks, but we are in crunch time.
We’re headed back to Vermont on Thursday, and I’ll be running the Vermont Trail Ragnar with some friends and clients, as well as visiting family and hopefully summiting Monadnock again. Going to try to get as much vertical gain in as possible while I’m there. 7 more weeks…