Remember when you were younger and you’d head back to school in the fall, one of the first things your teacher would make you do is write a “what I did on my summer vacation” essay? That’s how these posts always feel. Only the adult runner version.
When asked, a resounding number of people told me they actually enjoyed reading my Barkley training recaps. It still boggles my mind that people like to read about what other people do. Yet, as I type those words, I realize I too enjoy seeing how other people train. It’s kind of the basis of blogging, isn’t it? 21st century voyeurism at it’s finest (in a non creepy way, of course.) So I’m going to start writing these training recaps again. I’ll do my best to weave the monotony of my day into entertaining stories, while giving you a little insight into how I train.
(Spoiler alert: it’s not always what I should be doing…but it’s unapologetically me and my reality.)
After Swamp Fox, Geoff and I had a long talk about what the hell I was doing . The truth is, after we had to evacuate for the hurricane, everything in my training went to shit. I spent two weeks tapering, then I missed Barkley, then I spent time trying to get my life back together after so many days away from work and home. So I decided to run Table Rock instead, which meant I had to taper some more. Then my sister got married and I traveled, celebrated, and traveled again. I came back on a Monday, and had a race Friday, so I was immediately back (still?) in taper. Then Dad died. More travel, and a few weeks of not really caring about my training, understandably.
Then Swamp Fox rolled around, and I just had a bad day. I don’t necessarily attribute it to a lack of training (my stomach was wonky from about 14 miles in, which is not like me at all). Regardless, I still brought home a DNF, and it still led my husband to sit me down and have “the talk”. Well, at lest “the talk” ultra running couples have…the “you need to refocus and reel your training back in” talk. He was right of course, and I didn’t argue.
So it surprised the hell out of me when he immediately suggested we aim for a really big goal in February. It wasn’t exactly the response I expected from someone who had just told me to take a step back.
Yet, I was excited by the idea, and it fit right into my Georgia Death Race training plans. So we sat down and wrote out a few months worth of a training plan, and here we are.
MONDAY: Most of my training for Barkley was done during summer vacation…in other words, I didn’t have “kids in school” time constraints. But now it’s November, it’s dark early, and every other week I have my kiddos (if you’re new here: I share 50/50 custody of my boys with their dad). So training has to get a little more creative. As such, Geoff and I ran 10 miles on the treadmill on Monday.
Most of the time I don’t hate the treadmill. I rarely call them “dreadmills” anymore. They are simply a tool used for training, and they are what you make of them. You can make them miserable, or you can make them enjoyable. I choose the latter. Except that on this particular day, my body didn’t want to agree. Friends, I S-T-R-U-G-G-L-E-D with the motivation to get that run done. If it wasn’t for my husband by my side doing the exact same workout, I probably would have bailed. Hey, we all have our bad days.
But I got it done. I also put in an hour long back and bicep workout.
Tuesdays are my “long” day at the gym. I’m typically there for about 6 hours with clients and teaching classes. So I squeeze my workouts in when I can, around all of that.
- 45 minutes on the treadmill, 3.0 speed & 15% incline
- Lower body strength training (approximately 45 minutes)
- Plyometrics class. Think: squat jumps, burpees, lateral shuffles, all of that fun stuff. It’s a small class so in addition to teaching, I can usually actually DO the workouts with the class. It’s a quad burner, for sure.
First up was a 60 minute spin class. I LOVE teaching spin, and it’s made a huge impact on my running. I followed that up with a chest, shoulders, and triceps strength training workout. Those of you who know me or have followed for a while know that I 100% believe strength training is non negotiable for runners. It really NEEDS to be a part of your training program. (Plus, I really love to lift)
That night I headed to the track with a handful of friends. It was freaking cold, which worked in my favor, as it pushed me to run faster! 400 m repeats, alternating between hard and easy efforts. These ultra-legs need a once weekly reminder that they used to be fast (ish).
The glorious, coveted rest day. I did nothing.
19 miles. Long, slow, flat dirt road miles with the husband. Truth be told, it was supposed to be 20. But when our turnaround point ended up being cut short by half a mile (as in: an unexpected dead end in the middle of a forest we don’t know our way around) we promised each other we’d run the extra distance when we got back to the finish…buuuuuut we didn’t. I’m alright with that.
10.5 miles of rolling single track at the Hairy Bison 15K (yeah, the course ran a little long).
I hit my desired mileage (well, minus that one mile on Friday) and felt GOOD. Nothing is sore (three cheers for Runner’s High Herbals Super Herb + muscle rub…it isn’t a substitute for proper training, but damn it works well) and I don’t feel fatigued mentally or physically.
I also got in three strength training workouts, which is the bare minimum number I like in a week, but it’s still acceptable.
Earlier this month I set a number of goals, and one of them was to go to yoga at least 8 times this month. I’ve gone exactly zero times, making this about 8 months since I’ve been. I really got into yoga back in January, and come March had even invested in my own really nice mat and blocks. And then I stopped going. One day I’ll get back…maybe. Probably. Eventually.
So there you have it. This week (as you read this) is a cutback week, then we’re back to a build again, that includes Last Chance 50K on December 1st, not an A race but something fun to do instead of running 30 miles on my home trails.
What are you currently training for?
Do you enjoy reading training recaps?