Happy Tuesday Everyone!!
Here it is, full recap from last week’s running. For those that don’t want to read through all the details:
Total Miles – 72.5 miles
Total Elevation Gain – 7,700 feet
Monday, November 7th – Planned: 6 miles with hills Actual: 2.8 miles with hills
Mondays have become pretty hard to wake up early and get out for a run. I like watching The Walking Dead and for us out here in AZ it doesn’t come on until 10pm. By the time I finally fall asleep we are talking 1130 or midnight. So of course I slept in Monday morning and decided to get a run in during lunch.
Plan was for 6 miles with hill repeats. The mountain near work isn’t quite the mileage I need but it definitely gives me the elevation gain I need. 800 feet over a mile and a half is excellent hill work. So I figured I’d get another lunch run in during the week to make up for the missed run Monday morning. On a side note I forgot my watch and had to use Strava on my phone. I HATE forgetting my watch. Anyways, pretty solid run, tons of traffic on the mountain so I couldn’t really get into a good groove. Run ended up being 2.8 miles with 850 feet of elevation gain.
Tuesday, November 8th – Planned: 8 miles Actual: 10.61 miles
Run #1 – Got up early in the morning to hit a 7.5 mile trail on the way to work. I normally tackle this loop clockwise but this morning I wanted to change things up and attempt the counter clockwise route. This was magical, it makes the trail so much more runable and I really only have to tackle one big climb. Plus the weather was amazing. So run #1 ended up being 7.5 miles and 1000 feet of elevation gain.
Run #2 – Brought an extra change of running clothes to hit the mountain on lunch again. Gotta get runs in when we can right?? Pretty similar scenario as Monday. Solid run with lots of traffic up on the mountain. So run #2 ended up being 3.11 miles and 840 feet of elevation gain.
Total for Tuesday between my two runs was 10.61 miles and 1900 feet of elevation gain.
Wednesday, November 9th – Planned: 10 miles Actual: 9.34 miles
I was meeting a group of guys at 445 to knock out our 5 mile loop. I knew I was planned for 10 miles so I headed out alone at 4 am to knock out 4 miles worth of hill repeats. I mentioned this in a post last week, this was a really windy day and I had to push myself to get through these repeats. I was really happy when I was headed back to the parking lot to meet up with the guys. Once we were running together things were a lot easier and I was actually surprised that my legs still had some spring in them after the repeats. Maybe I didn’t repeat hard enough?? So this run ended being 9.34 miles with just under 1200 feet of elevation gain.
Thursday, November 10th – Planned: 5 miles Actual: 2.8 miles
HAHA this was my lazy day. It was super windy on Tuesday and Wednesday. When I woke up on Thursday and heard the wind outside, I had no problem deciding to lay back down for a couple more hours of sleep. I brought my stuff along with me and hit the mountain on my lunch break again. Third time this week, solid run with lots of hikers enjoying the weather. Another side note, I forgot my watch again and had to use Strava on my phone. I HATE forgetting my watch. Same stats, run ended up being 2.8 miles with 850 feet of elevation gain.
Friday, November 11th – Planned: Rest Day Actual: 5.16 miles
By Friday I was pretty set on going after the 70 miles for the week. I slept in on Thursday so I felt good with a run on my planned off day. Not to mention a buddy was running that morning so he didn’t have to twist my arm to get me out for our 5 mile loop. We met in the parking lot at 445 am and had a perfect 55* that morning. We kept it pretty casual as we talked through all the important aspects of life, but mostly running lol. Run ended up being 5.16 miles with 400 feet of elevation gain.
On to the weekend and S@#$ was about to get R-E-A-L…..
Saturday, November 12th – Planned: 13 miles Actual: 15.5 miles
I knew I was planned for 13 but if I wanted to 70 miles I needed to put in some extra work. Our son had baseball at 800am that morning so there was no way I was waking up to start running at 3am. I “happily” decided that I would run in the middle of the day so that I could take my time as well as get some much needed training in the sun. Hit the trails around noon and planned three loops of our 5 mile route. I crushed the first two loops and figured the last one would be a real sufferfest and I would be power hiking a lot. To my surprise my legs showed up and that third loop was only slightly slower than the first two. Outside of the warm temps, this was a solid run to start off my weekend. Run ended up being 15.5 miles with 1100 feet of elevation gain.
Sunday, November 13th – Planned: 24 miles Actual: 26.2 miles
This was the focus of my entire week. I was not only going after 70 miles for the week, but I was on the actual 50k course for race day and was using this run as a complete race day simulation. I was running through everything that I had planned to that point with the exception of bringing extra water since there would be no aid stations out on the trails this day.
I broke the run into two loops so I could hit the car at some point and refill my water and fueling. The first portion is one giant loop that is roughly 16 miles. I was particularly interested in a section around mile 6.5 because this is a section of the trail that will be included on race day but I had yet to run. Boy was I glad to run this section. It actually has a bit more climbing than I expected and really helps with my race day planning so I make sure to have some gas left in the tank when I hit this section. Once I hit about mile 10 it’s pretty much all downhill all the way back to the car. I intentionally bombed this section clicking off 7 and 8 min miles to make sure my legs were tired for the second loop. Got back to the car, had a banana, refilled all my water, refilled all my fueling, and headed right back out for the second loop.
The second portion is roughly 10 miles and this section includes a smaller section that is actually the start of the race. Again being intentional, I wanted to tackle this section in daylight because this was a section I had never run before and I wanted a good opportunity to plan for race day. Just like the section earlier, I’m really glad I ran this trail before race day. This is 100% a blow up section of trail. For about 3 miles the trail is amazing, it’s all switchbacks with small inclines and declines that are crazy fast. Even being about 20 miles into my run I was clicking off 8 min miles in this section. Then comes miles 3 – 6…these are some tough miles. You have some pretty strong climbs followed by a long drawn out steady climb all the way to where an aid station is going to be on race day. That wouldn’t be so bad if your finishing with that section like I did during this run, but that isn’t the case on race day. On race day once you hit this aid station, you have another REALLY long climb up to the highest point of the race. If I’m looking at the data correctly, you hit this really fast section clipping off miles like crazy, then from mile 5 to about mile 11 your climbing about 1000 feet of elevation gain. YIKES!!! Again, I can’t say this enough, I’m so glad that I got out on the course before the race because now I know I have all the right information to put together a strong race plan.
Totals, November 7th – November 13th – Total for the week was 72.5 miles and 7,700 feet of elevation gain.
There is only one word to describe this week…CONFIDENCE!! My body feels amazing, and I know that I’m ready for this race. I can honestly say that this is the most prepared I’ve ever been going into a goal race. All I need to do is finalize my race day plan and then execute. If I can do that I know that this race is going to be the accomplishment and the performance that I’m expecting out of myself.
How do you develop your race day plan?
Do you ever do course recon and run miles on the actual race course before race day?