After back to back long runs last weekend in Shenandoah and Massanutten follow up with more running, Pilates and Bikram yoga this week my legs have been sore this week, but Western States is coming (sooner than I think) and the mountains were calling for another training run.
We got back from our road trip to Ohio just before 2am on Sunday morning and I was lucky enough to grab 2 hours of sleep in the car (Thanks, Adam!) which made by 7am wake up call that much easier. I headed out to meet Dave Herring for a run at the AT parking lot on Route 55 in Linden. It is great to run with friends and Dave was able to drop aid for us which is just awesome.
About half way into my drive I realized I left my Garmin charging on my computer, doh! At least I have my phone and the Strava app, it would have to do. Too bad I couldn’t figure out how to link my HR monitor to the app, but it likely would have drained the phone battery anyways, oh well.
As we headed up the trail, all my hamstrings were saying was “slow down” and “you should be at home hanging out with Adam” basically just complaining about my choice of Sunday morning activity. While I am glad that I am getting some good work on my legs and while I hope that they are not complaining like this come May, it is hard to keep myself from thinking I am doing something wrong. Part of what I love about running and being out in the mountains is how much pleasure it brings me and if every training run feels like “work” then it is hard to stay motivated and focused. I was eating and fueling right on schedule, with my pre-run avocado with lime juice and 2 hardboiled eggs, my energy levels were steady all day with my Cacao Energy Squares but my legs were just putting up a fight. However, somewhere around mile 19, my legs just decided they had put up enough of a fight and were going to start cooperating with the plan, thank goodness! The last 8miles I was able to run most of the hills and recover at the top, reminding myself that it isn’t all the time that I get to push my legs after 20miles of running and focusing on how much this kind of training is going to help me at Western States.
All in all, it was a great day of training, mentally and physically, we even added a hill repeat in an open field in Sky Meadows, I might need to come back and do some more here! The trails were snow and ice covered to start turning to slush and mud at lower elevations as the day went on. We even saw someone ice fishing; which I thought was possibly a bad idea as the ice just could not be thick enough when the air temps are over freezing, but hopefully he didn’t fall in.
At one point there was so much ice melt from the trees that it is was hard to tell if it was raining or just melt! Now to keep this kind of training and motivation consistent until the end of June and hopefully add some heat training once all this snow melts.