A slightly more than a week(ly) recap
I think I need to work on the titles of these posts, they’re just not witty enough for my liking. But let’s not get sidetracked here already!
I’m well aware that my “regular” weekly updates have been anything but. I would like to discuss how the past week and a halfish has gone though, because it’s gone pretty damn well. Last week was my first week over 70 miles in over 9 months. I can still remember that week, that whole period of time between the end of July and the beginning of September when I was running a lot of miles without much purpose or direction. I was concerned pretty much with big numbers and nothing else. It was short lived. This year I have a plan and some direction, some purpose to my training. And that plan called for 72 miles last week, and I executed it perfectly. A brief recap of last week:
I started off with a solid 9 miler at Patterson Park on Monday. It was an impulse decision because I wanted to get some hillwork in and the loop I run around the park is 2.25 miles and has two fairly gnarly uphill stretches. Tuesday was notable because it was the first time this year I did something that was a fairly regular occurrence last year — I ran much later than planned and on a stomach full of delicious barbecued food. My park engages in summer softball games with other state parks in the area and Tuesday we went to Sandy Point, down near Annapolis. We got our asses handed to us but afterward they grilled and fed us really well. I ate five or six hot dogs (they were Nathan’s, as a New Yorker I couldn’t resist!) and a sleeve of chewy Chips Ahoy chocolate chip cookies. When I got home at ~10pm I wasn’t really feeling like running. 9 miles later I was happy I did anyway. My midweek run got stretched to 12 miles last week, which is probably going to be the upper limit for it (I might add another mile but more than that and we’re approaching my definition for a long run territory). Thursday I wore my Brooks Launches for the first time in two weeks and allowed myself to push the second half of my 9 miler a little harder than usual, in the heat, and was surprised and pleased with the pace/effort relationship. Friday I snuck in a quick 6 miler before working the late shift at the park (which consisted of grilling about 110 steaks and making a bonfire, then drinking on the beach with the beach manager and some trainees til midnight). Saturday I had to work at 7am which meant I couldn’t do my long run in the morning as I have been and like to do. What I didn’t anticipate was working til 5pm. At that point, I decided to go to the campfire/marshmallow roast going on by the visitor’s center before setting out. Long story shorter, I ended up getting started at 8:45. 17 miles and ~2:15 later, I was done and drenched with sweat (hello nighttime humidity!), but fortunately could sleep in as long as I wanted Sunday. When I did finally rouse myself it was HOT out. I decided to make it a heat training day and slogged through the most miserable 4 miles of the year. But after a cold shower and lounging around watching golf most of the rest of the day, I decided I still felt pretty damn good and was ready for more this week.
This week, while the mileage is going to end up about the same, doesn’t quite resemble last week much in structure. I have a 5k “fitness check” race tomorrow morning in Wilmington, DE (it also happens to fit my standard of trying to always do races that give me free beer afterward) so while I wasn’t going to do any sort of taper, I did shift the schedule a bit to allow me to allow me to race tomorrow with legs that have at least some giddy-up in them. So after an easy Monday double, Tuesday I slept in a bit and headed to the track to run a mile time trial. Why? Two reasons — 1- I wanted to try out my awesome new Brooks ID uniform (verdict: feels as fantastic as it looks!) and 2- I had absolutely NO idea how to take it out tomorrow or about what time would be reasonable and I wanted some answers. I got them, sort of. It was already pretty hot at 8:30am (but hey, it’s summer now, deal with it!) and I clocked a 5:18 with splits of 81, 81, 80, & 76 to set a lifetime mile PR.
It’s been ten weeks and a 572 miles since my last 5k check-in back in April (which was just a VERY windy, solo time trial on a track) and I would like to believe that I’ve gained some fitness since then, that I’m at least a little bit faster. Tomorrow we’ll see. The conditions are supposed to be not horrible at 8:30 in the morning, probably around 80. I can live with 80 in late June.
Sunday I have plans on doing my 18 mile long run up on the NCR with Johnny and Jess which will be cool, it’ll feel like we have our own little running group (although I think Jess will only go a few miles with us as she builds back up).
And now we’re up-to-date! I’m gonna spend the rest of today sitting on my butt, shaving my legs (don’t judge!), eating, watching more futbol and tennis, and trying to get to bed at a reasonable hour. There will likely be a race report forthcoming either tomorrow evening or Sunday, stay tuned!
Til then… RUN HAPPY EVERYONE!
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