I think I’m going to call it a day and say that my training to pace my longtime BRF Leighanna at Burning River 100 is finished! I started training in early June after just coming off a typical for me training cycle (last minute race decisions, large increases in mileage, fast long runs, no rest days) and rolled it right into Burning River training with an 8 mile long run on the trails in early June. After spending the last few years running mostly trails, I had really stopped spending time in the woods altogether. In fact, before June, I think my last trail run was sometime in January. I think much of that had to do with running just not being a priority and if you’ve read my blog for a while, you can see that I really began to focus on Crossfit and preparing to compete in two competitions so far this year.
I knew that without a doubt, pacing Leighanna was a priority for me. We’ve spent so much time supporting each other and guiding each other through training cycles, long runs, and big races, that me pacing her was just an unspoken kind of thing. Once we worked the details out, I knew that I’d have to get in trail shape which meant that all of my long runs needed to be on trails. And I’m really proud to say that they were. As much as I love a good long trail run, it is infinitely easier and faster to roll out of bed, throw on some running shoes and step out of my front door. But I knew that that wasn’t going to benefit me. So I showed up each weekend, often meeting a longtime friend Abbie, sometimes meeting Leighanna, and we did the thing. We ran the trails we would be running on race day and slowly I got my trail legs back. And it feels so damn good. Every weekend (other than my one weekend in NC) was spent in the woods and damn if I didn’t love every second. From the day we got soaked in a multi hour downpour, to the torrents of bugs (and my first tick bite!) and the unrelenting humidity, I have loved this training! And in very atypical fashion, I didn’t half ass it. I did it by the book-slow increases in long runs, some rest days (I could’ve been better), cross training, and two other runs during the week. I’m proud of myself for sticking to a plan and I’m really looking forward to being in tip top shape to pace Leighanna.
Here is a snapshot of what my last week of training looked like:
Monday: I started the week out with fried shoulders after overhead squats, DB presses, snatches and a “fun” little workout named Dead Balls- basically amrap wallballs interspersed with deadlifts to mix things up. The bonus is that I substantially improved based on the last time I did this workout.
Tuesday: short but sweet workout with back squats, pull ups and another round of baseline (500 meter row, 40 air squats, 30 sit-ups, 20 push-ups, 10 pull-ups). I matched my time to the second from when I last did this in January. I later ran 3 trails miles with Leighanna in a new to us very isolated state park. I’m pretty sure we were the first people to run there in at least a month as evidenced by more spiderwebs in my face then I’ve ever experienced to date. Gross
So many webs
Wednesday: various clean and jerk work and a metcon with heavy (for me) squat cleans, pull ups and box jumps. Still working on getting 1 freaking unassisted pullup in 2018
Thursday: I “slept in” until 5:45 and ran 5 miles after work on an extremely deserted trail in the afternoon. The tree covering made the late afternoon temps much more bearable and I found the isolation a welcome reprieve.
Alone and loving it
Friday: High rep front squats and an untimed metcon of kettlebells swings, high pulls, and goblet squats. I felt good enough to go up in weight the last few rounds of the workout.
Saturday: A long metcon consisting of intervals of jump roping, lunges, pushups and sit-ups. I snagged a 1 minute PR! 3 slow miles after.
Sunday: My favorite workout of the week: 15 miles with Abbie and Leighanna which was our last big run before Burning River. We ran the 2nd leg plus a bit more of the 8 person relay of Burning River. It’s an easy trail section of almost all bridle, roads (didn’t love those sections) and grass. I’ve run it before (about two years ago) and I felt so much stronger this time around. It’s a ton of uphill and I remember walking so much more in 2016. I was sad when the run came to an end which is not typical for me. It felt good to end with gas in the tank.
This is a pic of me with a geocache. I originally found this while hiking in January and remembered its location when I went running by this weekend. Sure enough it was still there so I put in a second entry. I love things like this
Plans for the next two weeks is to go into taper mode. I’ll probably take a few days off and maybe attend a yoga class or two. Hopefully I’ll be able to do one more short trail run and then the big weekend!