Last week was a recovery and ended my 4 week cycles. Scott moved me to 3 week cycles from here on out for Orange Curtain. Generally I get shifted because I cry, "uncle" because the 4 week cycles are definitely more challenging for me. This time I didn't cry, "uncle" but instead he made the shift to accommodate races and make the most of the time I have left. After reviewing my lovely detailed schedule I see he is taking no prisoners with the workouts. After last Sunday's race it was right back at it with track on Tuesday, a hairy tempo run today only to be followed by 2.5 hours on Saturday in Z3A just to be backed up by 27-32 miles at 8:25 pace on Sunday. That's just this week and next week is not any easier.
Kris was talking about how tight her hamstrings were from her killer Crossfit workout follwed by 20.08K chaser. I replied that my rear end was so balled up that after my track workout I will either be loosen up or have a real pain in my behind. I sort of felt like a stink bug. When you poke a stink bug it curls up into a ball and doesn't come apart unless you wait patiently. I know this because I did it as a kid all the time and still to this day when I see one I have to poke at it. Anyway....that is how I felt going into Tuesday's 10X400 meters. At the track I got a rare treat. Tom AND Steve showed up for the workout. Now this might seem normal if you have followed this blog because I run with these guys all the time but not on track days. I got out of my car in the freezing rain and said, "this is a special day" and Tom replied, "what's so F$%&*ing special about today"? I said, "Here I am at the track at 8 a.m. on Tuesday and you two are here, now that is a special rare occasion and one I never thought I would see". A few laughs and choice words just to let me know that nothing is SPECIAL we were off. After a good 30 minute warm up it was time to move it out. The first three 400's were clumsy as my body tried to remind me of it's stink bug status. It was kind of like pulling a wagon with a bum hitch squeaky and tight. The next sessions just got better and better and I was able to maintain and gain a bit on the last few. So, I came out of the track workout only a half a stink bug and was reminded that Scott is a genious pushing you just to edge but not over.
Wednesday I met Kris and her pooches on the trail for a nice recovery run. Ultra was happy to see Zoe and Emma again and they pranced along the trail trying to be top Wiem the whole way. I was somewhat fatigued all day Wednesday and took this as a sign to go to bed super early if I could as I must not be fully recovered from the last cycle of training. In addition I knew that today's tempo run would be very hard and I didn't want to be tired or feel fatigued.
Today offered a nice break from the relentless cold rain we have been having and 44 degrees felt like 65! I put on shorts and layered so I could strip down to a tank top if I needed. Meeting Tom and Trisha for this workout was a bonus. The workout was: warm up for 30 minutes, 15 min. in 3A the .5 miles at 3B then 55 minutes at pace followed by 20 minutes cool down. I was still a bit tight but nothing like Tuesday. The pace I need to hold was 7:44 and felt pretty confident I could maintain that but 55 minutes was a long time. During the AT portion I tried to focus on relaxing my shoulders and my breathing because I have noticed I have a tendency to really tighten up and force out my air. I don't know why, where or when I picked up this habit but none the less it has become a habit that needs to be broken. I always think focusing on form helps the miles tick by faster during a hard session or when your really fatigued. It seems to move the mind from the negative part of the workout onto something more useful. My 7.5 miles of AT went by fast and I made all the pace between 7:26-7:44 but a couple of them were very challenging and I had to do some sprints to meet some of the markers in time. Overall it was a good workout but I didn't feel like I was on fire or had much more to give. This better turn around before Sundaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyy!
This weekend will be a great test of my ability to run fatigued at pace and I feel that is unknown I will experience at this 100K. I know I can run 40 miles well but I have no idea what's going to happen to my body after that. Doing 2.5 hours at Z3A Saturday on trails then turn around and do 27-32 miles at 8:25 should be interesting and give me ton of information. Sunday calls for 50 degrees and no rain! It's going to be like running in Palm Springs I can't wait.