Monday 2/28 (5mi, 46min, 9:12/mi) After a long run on Sunday my legs were a little sore and my right Piriformis muscle was hurting. I wanted to get an easy recovery run in but I wasn't up for running in the cold and rain so I plodded away on the hamster wheel for an easy 5 miles. I was a little out of breath running just over a 9:00/mi pace due to Sunday's long run. It was good to shake my legs out a bit.
Wednesday 3/2 (6.3mi, 56min, 8:57/mi) After cross training on Tuesday I ran out to the Bridle Trails and looped around the interior. The weather warmed up a little on Wednesday but while I was running in the middle of the forest it started raining pretty hard and then turned into hard hail. My Piriformis was feeling a little better after all of the stretching I've been doing for it. I took the Cascadia 6 shoes out for another run and they felt better this time than the last few runs I've had in them. Maybe they needed to break in a bit.
Thursday 3/3 (2.0mi, 19min, 9:30/mi) I warmed up on the treadmill before lifting weights. I set it to a 10% incline and ran two slow miles uphill. It was pretty tough to keep the pace at that incline and it ended up being quite a good warm-up. Prirformis was still a little sore.
Friday: 3/4 (7.6mi, 55min, 7:18/mi) I got a new pair of New Balance MT101s (green this time) because my first (black) pair are starting to wear out already. I ran with the new ones for the first time Friday on a loop through Redmond. It was about half on sidewalk and half trails. I feel that the MT101 works really well on both surfaces while not being an expert on either. I ran down to Grass Lawn park, then up the Old Redmond Road hill. I noticed that I was keeping a pretty good pace in the low 7's even heading up the hill. It's been a while since I've run any kind of tempo (the run out to Target on 2/16) and my legs felt good at a faster pace so I tried to keep it up. I pushed it going up the hill and over the top out to the cut-over trail that took me out to the power line trail that bisects the Bridle Trails. I wasn't gutting myself with the pace, it felt sustainable for maybe an hour to 90 minutes at most. The trails weren't too muddy so there were only a few spots where I had to run along the extreme edge of the path to get around puddles. I stuck to the inner trails again and came out by the corridor trail. I kept the pace up and tried to ignore my complaining Piriformis over the last mile and a half before I got back to work. My splits were all between 6:50 - 7:24 with an outlying 7:54 through the toughest part of the Bridal Trails. It was a great run with temps in the high 40s and no rain, fantastic conditions for this time of year. I love those MT101 shoes.
Sunday: 3/6 (15.9mi, 2h 25m, 9:09/mi) This was my last chance to do a long run to prepare for Chuckanut. After running 21 and 24.5 miles the last two Sundays I decided to run a med-long trail run to see what kind of pace I might be able to deliver on race day. I drove out to Pt. Defiance park so that my entire run could be on the trails. I'd run here once before almost a year ago but I was following a friend who knew the trails pretty well. I didn't pay attention at the time of how the trails were laid out. I was prepared this time with a great color map that I found online and enlarged, re-oriented in Photoshop and printed out just the way I wanted. Yeah, I left that on the printer at home. The other thing that I forgot that ended up being important was two band aids for my pinkie toes. I sure love the New Balance MT101 shoes but the toe box is too narrow for me and will rub my pinkie toes raw if I don't tape them up in these shoes. It took about 2 miles for the pain in my right pinkie toe to start. After the run it was pretty badly abraded.
I headed out from the car and quickly found some trails that I remember walking in the past and followed them to see where they could take me. I saw that there were signs at most of the trail heads that had either a circle, triangle, or square on them. I recalled from the map sitting at home on the printer, that the trails marked with a square were the outermost loop. I picked square whenever I had the chance and found my way around some really nice slightly muddy trails but many times when the trail would cross a road there would be no indication of where it picked up on the other side. Sometimes they'd lead you into an open grassy area that you had to cross before searching for the connecting trail marker to continue on. I ran somewhat of a loop but didn't want to be so rigid with my route so I just started turning onto other side trails where the path looked good or went uphill. After about 90 minutes I started to recognize the trails that I'd already run on and was getting a feel for where I was in the park. The good thing about running at Pt. Defiance is that it's a "Point" (triangle shaped) and 2/3 of it is against the water. Almost all of the roads are one-way going in a CCW direction. This makes it really easy to find your bearings when you need to.
I felt pretty good during the run other than my pinie toe. I kept on top of hydration and food. I made my Perpetuem slurry again but used coffee instead of water to mix it. The coffee didn't provide as much flavor as I'd hoped. I thought I'd get a really strong coffee taste, but I mostly tasted the Espresso Hammer Gel I added. Between the Slurry and a pack Clif Bloks I kept well fed and my energy never dipped according to my mile splits. The link below goes to an animated image showing the path I took today. I was all over the place. It was a great run and I feel much more confident about Chuckanut than I did a month ago when I was just coming back after being sick.
Notes: I forgot to turn my watch back on somewhere in mile 3, hence the one mile jump. I went back to the car at mile 10 for my gloves. My fingers were really cold.
In other news, February was a sub-par month for mileage. I missed the first 8 days of the month ill. I managed a little over 100 miles due mainly to the 21 and 24 mile long runs the last two weekends. It's been really cold and rainy here so I only managed a staggering two miles barefoot (well, in my socks).
YTD (as of 2/28): 247.1
Barefoot miles: 2
Total time: 17h 12m
Avg pace: 9:05/mi