Guys, coming back from vacation is hard. I mean, you have a routine, you get off your routine (like…by a lot), and then you try to fall back into your routine…yeah…it’s not easy. Not at all.
That being said, we had some cooler mornings this week. I enjoyed two runs in the low 50s this week, which felt glorious. I mean…I was still comfortable in a tank top and shorts and I didn’t feel like I was being weighed down by heat and humidity. What a difference from the Caribbean and Florida, eh?
But the weather had some fluctuations in it. And the other mornings I ran, we were up 20 degrees in the 70s. No rhyme or reason to when these occurred…but of course it heated up just in time for my 4th and FINAL 20+ miler this weekend.
Now that I’m back on schedule…how about we dive into this week? I had an extra rest day, which made for 5 days of running…and I could actually tell a difference. Interesting.
Monday: REST/RECOVERY DAY! TRAVEL DAY!
What can I say? I had an early-ish flight out of Orlando to get back to Louisville. And while I could have squeezed in a run around the resort, I didn’t have to get up early to do so. My coach gave me the day off. So, I also didn’t have to try to fit it in when I got back, allowing me to be relaxed on the flight, enjoy lunch out with my friend Melissa (who was kind enough to pick us up at the airport) and get home, unpacked, and get some groceries, because…we literally had NO food in the house. After running some laundry and doing the stretches I couldn’t do while on vacation (French Quarter had a hard wood floor) due to the way the rooms (on the ship and on the resort were) and also the amount of time I had to squeeze in runs every day…that just didn’t happen. My body thanked me…especially when I got to foam rolling. I went to bed around my normal time. Trying to get back on my routine.
Tuesday: INSTRUCTIONS: BASE RUN 6-8 MILES – GOAL 7 MILES + 4-6 STRIDES – EASY EFFORT – TRY NO WATCH AGAIN
This was basically the same run I had on the last day in Orlando. The one where I felt like I was flying, but really I wasn’t. HA! Well, it went so much better. This was one of my 50 degree mornings. Seriously…even with it being my first run back from my 8 day trip, my legs and body responded well. Even the strides went better than they had in Florida. LOVE! I was happy with the end result…definitely felt like I was getting my legs back under me. In addition, I did my extra hip strengtheners that I hadn’t been able to do while on vacation. They felt good to get back to, for sure! 8 miles total for the day.
Wednesday: INSTRUCTIONS: TRACK WORKOUT – 1-2 MILE WU; 7 X 800M W/ EQUAL RECOVERY; 1-2 MILE CD – AFTER 1-2 MILE WU, DO SOME DYNAMIC DRILLS TO LOOSEN UP FURTHER. THIS IS A REPEAT OF A PIOR WORKOUT. WE ARE SHOOTING FOR AROUND 3:30 FOR THE *ON* TIME (~7 MIN PACE) AND THEN RECOVERY CAN BE LIGHT BUT NEEDS TO BE JOGGING, NOT WALKING.
Aside from some stomach issues that morning, this workout didn’t go too bad. I only missed the interval speed on one of them (the 5th) but it was close and I rallied to hit the last 2 with some time to spare. So, I mean, I wasn’t mad at it at all. This morning was in the 50s again. So, that made the 800s feel good. I used the rest time to lightly jog, because that recovery is important to being ready for that next push. And with 7 of them on tap, I wanted to be ready. I ended with 11 miles for the day, with almost perfect 800s right in the middle. I’ll take it. Made sure I was properly fueled ahead of this, using the Maurten 160 Drink Mix. It just works for me.
Thursday: INSTRUCTIONS: NO WATCH ALLOWED! FOCUS ON THE GOAL OF THE RUN = RECOVERY! GO AS FAR OR SHORT AS YOU NEED, AS FAST OR SLOW AS YOU NEED, WALK OR RUN AS YOU NEED.
Ahhh…recovery run. The temperature was back up into the 70s this morning. So, basically 20 degrees warmer than the previous day. Glad it happened on a recovery run day instead of speed work. Dodged that bullet. I just let my legs go however they wanted, while making sure I kept it in recovery mode. With my long run still looming over the weekend, I didn’t want to overdo anything. I relaxed, kept my heart rate down, and rounded out the weekday runs with just over 5 miles. I also did my second day of my additional hip strengtheners because it was the last day I had to work them in. I try to do them twice a week. Was surprised I managed this week.
Friday: REST/RECOVERY DAY!
Second (which is weird for me) rest day of the week. What did I do? Slept in. Seriously. I even went to bed early the night before. YAY!! Took a shower. Stretched. Ate breakfast. Had coffee. Went to work. Went out for (MAGIC) sushi for dinner. Stretched more. Foam rolled. Went to bed at 8 pm. I had an early morning ahead of me and I wanted a full 8 hours of sleep.
Saturday: LONG RUN: 18-22 MILE LONG RUN – EASY PACE – DON’T PUSH IT!! AND PRACTICE RADE DAY FUELING STRATEGY.
I was really happy to hear from my friend, Ron, on Friday asking what my run schedule was. I have two weekend runs, but Saturday was my beast. 22 miles. My last 20 miler in this series (and my 4th one…the most I have ever done in a training cycle). Ron was good for 10 miles with me (possibly more), so I made arrangements to meet with him at 7:30 at the Greenway to run. I got out at 6:15 am to hit the streets and get in 8 miles ahead of those miles with Ron. It was warm (71 degrees) and humid that morning, but while the sun was down, it wasn’t too bad. But the moment that sun rose above the clouds, it got hot. Fast. Ron and I stuck it out, with the last couple of miles being hard. But, while he was done, I still had about 4 to go. And, the route home didn’t have much in the line of shade. I did practice my race day fueling, knowing exactly how I am going to space out my Maurten 320 Drink Mix and my Maurten 100 Gels. I have it down and I feel like, as long as it isn’t hot (and it might be) in November…I finally got fueling and hydrating down. I actually finished off the water in my hydration pack today (which had 2 Nuun tablets in it). It was a hard run due to heat, but I remain confident and feel strong…and feel that Monumental is shaping up in a good way.
Sunday: INSTRUCTIONS: NO WATCH ALLOWED! FOCUS ON THE GOAL OF THE RUN = RECOVERY! GO AS FAR OR SHORT AS YOU NEED, AS FAST OR SLOW AS YOU NEED, WALK OR RUN AS YOU NEED.
Being back on a schedule was a glorious thing. Because, despite having a soccer match on Saturday night (that kept me out later than normal)…I was up and ready to chase my sunrise. I love having recovery runs on Sunday because I can wake up and head out just as it’s getting light out and the sky is turning gorgeous colors. I make it up to the park just as the sun is climbing over the lake and it’s…my favorite thing to take in on Sunday. It was nice not to have a distance run or a run where paces needed to be hit because I really enjoy these runs. I ran comfortably. Didn’t push it on the hills. And got in 5 easy, recovery miles. Perfect way to wrap up the week.
I do believe that my unofficial, official, untraditional taper now goes into effect. My coach doesn’t taper the usual way…in fact, while mileage might be down a little, usually it’s the intensity that he takes down a notch. So…we shall see where we go from here. Race day keeps creeping closer. But this week was much easier with an extra day off and sliding back into my usual schedule.