Returning to Form.
This week I ticked the core run boxes, race (tempo), track, and long run. While none of those singular efforts were anything special, it feels good to be recovered and get in full week of running.
I had a great 5k at the Jim Wellinghurst Memorial. There were no expectations other than put in a hard effort. Last year I thought I ran a 16:59 when I really ran a 16:41. This didn't factor into my performance and I had no goals for the race. It's a simple course: first mile mostly downhill on pavement, 2nd mile uphill on pavement switching to dirt before transitioning to downhill, last mile some downhill to flat (mixed dirt and pavement). It's actually 3 miles on the nose so short of being a true 5k.
The first mile I ran 5:19, ideal turnover in the legs. The second mile was 6:03 which was also great given it includes all the elevation gain (150'ish feet). The last mile I still had a little left in the tank to close out a 16:48. That's a time I'll take coming off hiking legs with no road training in several weeks. I'd like to get down to the low 16s but that will require more road work next year. Not sure if that will happen or get postponed until I can get the proper training in.
On Thursday I went to the track and had another great effort. It was hot / humid and I was short on time. My times were atrociously slow compared to other track efforts and time doesn't really matter in these conditions. I settled for a mini progression with no breaks and ran a controlled moderate to hard effort. It doesn't always have to be "fast" to be good track work, as long as you can make the push to get the time in on the track, it will payoff.
And today. Today was a beast. Just when you think the heat / humidity can't get worse... yup. I faced some of the most difficult miles this morning. Hilary and I got up before sunrise to minimize the heat exposure but it really didn't matter. By 8am there was nowhere to hide. We split the 20 mile run into two efforts - the first being the boardwalk and the second a loop over the local bridges. It was just another exercise in how important the mind is in getting the body through hard efforts. While we ran most of the run at 9 minute pace, it was a struggle to keep moving. I had very little motivation (this was on Hilary's training plan). By 3 miles I was checked out and didn't foresee myself participating in the second effort. We refueled and got some more water before setting out for another 10. I could have easily skipped out but Hilary motivated me to come along and I'm thankful I did. These hard miles do so much for conditioning, even at a slower than normal pace.
54 miles on the week, happy with the time on feet and hard efforts mixed in. Next week will be low mileage with a couple focused efforts. Need to taper for UTMB OCC!
Monday: 8 miles roads / trails
Tuesday: Jim Wellinghurst 5k
Wednesday: 10 miles trails
Thursday: 4 miles (track)
Saturday: 5+ in Sleeping Giant State Park
Sunday: 20 miles in Ocean City, NJ