Moving on from last week's great training & racing, I kept my activities focused on running, specifically for the Mount Washington Road Race. The anticipation of this race is palpable - my Strava feed is filled with hill work, easy runs, and low mileage in attempt to prep the legs for the unforgiving hill climb.
My plan was simple - keep the legs busy but let them recover. This included my summer debut at the Whitaker Woods "Fun" Run 5k series. For whatever reason I skipped last week's run but this week I thought it would be good to force myself to get another short hard effort in before the weekend. Last summer I worked my way down to an 18 minute PR on this course and my focus for this summer is to keep chipping away. During my warm up I did see someone who looked like a strong runner but wasn't sure who it was. There wasn't anyone particularly speedy toeing the line that I was aware of aside from said runner. We started and it was clear that the runner I spotted on the warm up was Zach Switaj, indeed a fast runner (4:11 mile PR). He took the lead from the start and I was pulled into a well-paced first mile (5:4X'ish). I was feeling tired from not sleeping well over the weekend but was able to shake it and keep putting the pressure on Zach to keep things moving. He never got more than 10s in front of me and I was able to put in a strong finish for a PR of 17:39. Granted we had great weather (read: not hot, humid, or raining) and I was running in super light racing flats instead of trail shoes. Next week's race should be even faster (weather permitting).
Wednesday I threw in short 30s hill repeats more to calm my mind than for the actual work. My goal pace heading into the weekend was 1:12 and I wanted to know what that felt like. In hindsight, I probably should have done some training runs on the Auto Road and I'll be doing that next year. Without any practice runs and limited experience on the Auto Road, I was heading into the weekend relatively blind in terms of pacing.
Thursday & Friday were just easy runs to calm the nerves.
Saturday: Mount Washington Hill Climb (Report coming soon)
Sunday: Active Recovery Trail Run. It was good to get the legs moving again. Hilary and I went for 10 miles on the snowmobile trails. I didn't feel great but didn't expect too. Now with Washington in the rear-view, It's time to start up the long runs but this summer I'll be keeping up with the track work as much as possible.
Next week I'll be attempting to maintain good mileage (50+) as well as get into the mountains for my first of several Pemi Loops. With no races on the table in July, I'm excited to put in big days on the trails and focus on my trail running fitness. More to come soon...