Mon 9/19 (7.9mi, 55min, 7:02/min) After a mediocre 18 miles on Saturday I took Sunday off as usual and went for a hard Bridle Trails loop Monday. My training plan called for an easy day but I was feeling good after a day off and the weather was warm but slightly cooler than the last few weeks. I pushed the pace from the start and didn't feel like I was really running that well. I was definitely pushing myself and at the point of trying to hang on and keep from slowing down. Running the loop CCW changes the climbs around so that I don't have any for the first half and then have a short hard climb and a short moderate climb just after passing the halfway point. I felt pretty good going up the climbs and found a good piece of motivation from a podcast that I regularly listen to called Marathon Talk.
Each week on Marathon Talk the British hosts have a common set of segments covering what they've been up to, running news, rant/raves and upcoming marathons among other things. One of the regular segments is a comedy bit read by a great English soap actor called Tony Audenshaw. The bit is called "Tony's Trials" and it's a usually Tony talking about things happening in his life that tie into running. This particular podcast had to do with motivation and Tony was explaining to a friend that no matter if you run relatively hard or at your limit, your legs will still hurt afterward. This led to Tony's common refrain / amusing tagline of the segment: "So just F&!*#@^ your legs! Just F&!*#@^ em!" with the profanity beeped out. It was funny but at the same time made me think about my legs. It inspired me to ignore my legs and continue pushing myself. I kept the pace up and kept ignoring my legs to finished with mile splits of 6:34 and 6:06 stopping my watch with a new PR of 55:34. This was 1:45 faster than my best time for a full Bridle Trail loop and almost 4 minutes better than my previous best CCW loop. Breaking 55 min is next on the list if the trails stay dry.
Tue 9/20 (6.8mi, 58min, 8:36/mi) After Monday's beating I headed out to Viewpoint park for the first time in quite a while. I ran 4 loops around the trails. In the middle of the 3rd loop I felt a sharp pain in my right foot near the attachment points of 3rd and 4th toes. It was so bad that I had to stop dead in my tracks and wait a few seconds for the pain to go away. It lasted about 30 seconds and it was very out of place for me (and a tad scary.) My right heel was also hurting, probably from pushing it too hard on Monday in the Trail Gloves. I absolutely love those shoes but they offer just about zero protection against even smaller rocks. I took it easy and trotted back to work.
Thu 9/22 (8.3mi, 1h 9m, 8:19/mi) My heel was still sore so I skipped my run on Wednesday and just went to the gym instead to spend some quality time with the Kettle bells. Thursday I ran a full loop around the Bridle Trails but added a little detour in the middle of the lap to follow the route that the Bridle Trails Winter Running Festival follows. I want to run one of the events in the race coming up this January but I don't know which one. The 10 mile was fun last year but doing a 2 or 6 person 50K would be fun as well.
Sat 9/24 (13.5mi, 1h 50m, 8:10/mi) I took Friday as a complete rest day and had a weekend non-long run scheduled for Saturday. I had to finish in under 2 hours so I set off to run a few local hills. I went up the Tunnel trail, out around Ray Nash and then onto Whitmore/78th. I practiced power-walking up the steep side of 70th and then headed down 40th toward Wollochet. From there I looped around 24th to come around the other side of 70th with a quick half loop of the park before heading straight back home with 10 minutes to spare.
This caps off a relatively lighter week of 36.5 miles. I planned to run fewer miles week this week because:
a) It's good to throw in a recovery week once in a while and
b) I was on call for work so I had to be reachable by phone and be relatively close to a computer so couldn't just go for a long run after work.
Mileage will pick back up next week with my last long run (21+ mi) on 10/2 before the Pt Defiance 50K on 10/15.