Tomorrow will be the end of a 4 week cycle and the final run of my peak week before Leona Divide 50M. Next week will be a Modified Build before a recovery leading into the race. So far this has been a really good cycle and only one more run left. It's been a cycle in which I can feel the progression throughout the weeks but not be overly tired or taxed.
Monday was a recovery run which I did on the treadmill at the gym before my weight workout. I like to put the setting on random hill profile with level 6 and run moderately only bumping into Z3A on the biggest hills and spending all the other time in low Z2 and even Z1. I have been hitting the weights hard during this cycle on both my upper and lower body. I am up to 4X6 reps of wide arm pull-ups with no assistance. Now for some of you that might be a piece of cake especially if your a guy but for this girl that is awesome! I remember struggling to get just one and trying to time my attempt in low use hours at the gym. I didn't need an audience since it wasn't pretty. Things are much different now as I confidently leap up to the bar and swing my arms out wide and whip out 6 solid big boy pull ups then do a dead man hang on the last one for 30 seconds....ahhh progress it's so motivating!
Tuesday was a new workout called "Intervals/VO2 max at an incline". Sounds hard and it was, very hard. The workout goes like this: warm-up 30 minutes building to 3A then 4X5 min. on a steep incline pushing to max heart rate then jog down in less than 70% of interval time and repeat. If you follow the Daniel's training method these are done at I-Pace meaning you drive to max but recover for no more than 70% of interval. You can rest for up to 90% on some I-Pace workouts but I didn't get that luxury making all the others harder. I could not drive to max on this workout because my legs gave out and could not propel me up any harder. This was a brutal workout but short. I was able to get to my markers every minute time and time again but I felt like I was crawling, scraping and digging my body up that hill. I can't wait to do it again now that I know what's in store. :)
Wednesday was another recovery and again I opted for the treadmill because I wanted to consolidate time and do it just before my weights. Even though I had the tough workout the day before I felt really strong on this recovery run which was a good sign going into Thursday butt kicker.
Thursday's bring the tempo run. This week the tempo portion was 8 miles at M-Pace which is still 7:48 for me. I warmed up with my usual 3 miles then hit it and felt like I was on fire. Miles were coming in fast so I throttled back my heart rate and found a good spot between 165-167 beats. I was still faster but not over so much that I was busting into Z4. These tempos are supposed to be run in Z3B in the upper portion and my Z3B ends at 171 so this was perfect. During this run I found myself daydreaming and planning my day then all of the sudden I would be back on the gravel road remembering that I am doing a hard workout. Just as I was finishing up the tempo portion Trisha shows up so we ran back to the car together. Now that is a great run, one in which it comes easy and natural. After my 12 mile run I was in car thrilled because it was so much easier than last week.
Friday was OFF! I still jogged 3 miles on treadmill before yoga and weights just so I would be warm.
Saturday (today) was Black Saturday with 2X40 minutes for me. Stacey, Kris and I all met at the top of Saltzman road at 6:30 a.m. We all had early commitments so we had to start our run in the dark cold rain. Of course we were all dressed in BS attire but Kris had to upgrade the outfit by adding socks with skulls.....awesome, we all need them. Stacey and Kris will look great with their long legs but I might look more like the Dutch paint can man.....you know the guy on the Dutch brand paint can.....not a good look but I am willing to sacrifice my fashion sense for the group. :) As we ran down the sun was coming up but there was no yellow globe but at least it was light out. I don't know why but we were all kind of out of sorts on the first repeat. We still worked hard but none of us seemed to be feeling the love. Maybe it was too early but by round two I was on fire! Kris and I had to go all the way down to highway 30 on the pavement and run all the way up to Skyline to get enough time and it was still short. On our second one I could see Kris on the turns....more progress. Right on her tail were three girls and one split off from the crowd in an attempt to pass Kris back but that was not going to happen. Kris set it in another gear and I got to watch the girl give up, turn around and come back to join her friends again....that's when I ran by and pushed my heart rate up to 175 to get a decent gap hoping they wouldn't chase me because that's all I had but the fear of a chase helped get the blood moving. When I reached the gate I took a look at my watch and was pumped to see I was 2 min. faster! Saltzman repeats are going to soon be a thing of the past....we need more hill! The total distance is 3.6 miles from Hwy 30 to the top and I did mine in 37:30 and 35:04! I was so happy because the negative talk was churning big time in my head on the first one. My butt was tired from all the legs workouts in the gym, my stride felt weak and uncoordinated, I had it all going on but then things just turned. I love that!
Tomorrow is 5 hours in the gorge and there will be some snow travel but we have to get our there. I need to be on some technical challenging terrain so I can get my legs trained up for Bighorn 100M.