In no way at all does it feel like I have been training for 10 weeks in 2016. This year is absolutely flying by and with races starting to get close, things are starting to get exciting! While I have been writing this blog as a build up to Bear Mountain, my true goal for the first half of 2016 is the Vermont 100. As such, I have a bunch of “tune-up” races leading up to my hundred mile goal. One of them is Bear Mountain, but this coming weekend I have the TARC Hale and Back 6-hour. I am really excited for this race for a bunch of reasons. One is that TARC puts on great, low-key events with a bunch of local runners. Honestly, most of the time they feel like social events than grueling ultra marathons. I am also excited to give my first timed event a try. It is a completely different experience to run for a set time rather than a set distance. Since how far I go will be completely decided by me, I am curious to see what my result will be.
Here’s what went down in week 10:
Still doing the consulting grind, I came out to California on Monday. Usually, I take Monday as a rest day, but with daylight savings time giving me some extra light after work, I decided to swap my Tuesday run for Monday and hit the trails for some hill repeats. I was super happy I did as the trails and sunset were stunning and a welcome change of pace from the bike paths I have been running endlessly.
On Tuesday, I decided to get up and just run a few easy miles around my hotel. This training cycle has gone so smoothly, it felt so bizarre to run not according to a plan. It felt pretty nice to have no distance, pace, workout specific goals to hit.
Wednesday I overslept. While daylight savings is great for after-work excursions, it makes running in the morning pretty awful. There is nothing like running for an hour and a half in the morning in complete darkness. So, I got up for my alarm and reset it. This turned out to be a mistake. After work I went to a new path to try and spice up my running routes. Turns out, it was no different than what I normally run expect it was about 80 degrees. Even though it was an easy day, roasting in the dry hot sun for 10 slow miles was absolutely miserable.Oh well, mental training for Vermont I suppose.
Thursday I did some 2 mile repeats at 6:50 pace along the bike path. I felt really really good on this run (probably because I hydrated extra well after being roasted the night before). Before this training cycle, I found it really easy to skip workouts like this, but the variety and challenge they add has been really rewarding.
Friday I got back to a cold Boston. Colleen and I went out for a nice loop around the reservoir at a conversational pace. Fridays are probably the hardest day for me motivation wise, just being exhausted from traveling in Thursday night and the time change, so it is nice to have Colleen motivating me to run.
Saturday meant it was long run time! Colleen and I both decided that a flat run along the river was more appealing than anything involving hills, so we set out along the Charles. Colleen was running 16 miles while I was planning 22. Colleen was still recovering from her respiratory illness, so she was on the “struggle bus” but I did my best to keep her spirits high. After 14 miles together, Colleen circled back to the apartment and I picked up the pace for the last 8 miles to around 7:20/mile. I am feeling really comfortable with my endurance, and the whole run felt pretty relaxed.
Sunday Colllen and I ran together again! This time, 9 easy miles along the river again. Yes, we are probably being lazy not getting enough hills or trails. But having a puppy, traveling for work, and having Colleen be sick means we cut corners sometimes. It happens.