I almost forgot how tiring training blocks can get. Almost. Four weeks into training for my first ultra of 2016, I am starting to feel a bit worn. Of course, it is normal when running for 9+ hours a week at varying intensities. Being prepared for an ultra means being acclimated to this kind of fatigue. As the workouts start to get more difficult, I am trying to strengthen my mental stamina as well. If I plan on running Vermont successfully, I need to have the grit to get through low points. So, when I go out for a long run or a tempo that I don’t quite feel up for, I am trying to see it as mental training just as much as it is physical training.
Now for a quick recap!
Tuesday was with The Breakfast Club, as usual! I did my best to keep the pace up on this run. Once I linked up with the crew, we made our way to the Charles where I ran a few 7:15 miles. Energy levels were high and I felt accomplished starting the week off right.
Wednesday called for a few uptempo miles. Keeping with my training strategy, I ran out towards the Newton hills for a warm up and then ran 6 miles at 7:30 pace. The run was during a downpour, so I was cold, soggy, and pretty much miserable. Boston has been pretty kind with the weather this winter, but running in the rain is never fun. The uptempo miles on this run felt tough, but something about pushing hard uphill is extremely gratifying. I never get tired of it.
Thursday was the first run I started to feel downright tired during. Colleen and I were out the door at 5:50 to go to the The Breakfast Club for Britt’s Farewell :'(. From the start of the run I felt lethargic, and even 9 minute miles felt fast. I don’t think I was really sore or overworked, just a bit burnt out on having another double digit day. I finished up 10 easy miles grumpy and uninspired, but days like this are to be expected when running 6 days a week.
Friday meant snow in Boston! And that meant a 5 mile treadmill run! Woo! Always dying for vertical, I ran the first two miles at 10% grade. My original intention was to run the entire run at that grade, but my legs are not there yet! I’m not sure if this run felt iffy because I did it on the treadmill or other reasons.
Saturday I ran out to Heartbreak Hill Running Co. for some company during my 18 mile long run. The shop is about 3.5 miles from our apartment, so after that nice warm up I took off with the group. I ran most of the run alone sadly, feeling a little to slow to keep pace with a group in front of me. 7:50 pace for an 18 mile run is obviously respectable, but it was my hardest long run to date. Hopefully, they get easier from here!
Finally on Sunday I tagged along for Colleen’s long run. We did 13, complaint filled miles along the river on a beautiful sunny day. The weather was nice, but our attitudes were sour. Clearly we are getting tired! Hopefully things turn around next week!