With last week behind me and looking into this week, with very minimal pain, I planned for 6hrs on my feet. My first run was on Wednesday, slotted for a relaxed hour and half. I drove up to Centerton because it has plenty of gravel still, even with its ever-growing population! Not being sore from the previous week I was excited to see how they would hold up. Once I started, the first 2 miles were pretty tough. The legs were not wanting to wake up! Either my legs were more fatigued than I anticipated, or they needed more time than normal to warm up. Finally, they woke up, and the run could continue as planned. I maintained my goal of 8-9min/mile, staying relaxed and effortless.
Moving into the later part of my week, Friday, I wanted to pre-fatigue my legs before my long run on Saturday. KMRs (Kessler Mountain Repeats). It’s a 1.03-mile segment with 482ft of gain and roughly 9% grade. With some grades at 13-15%! This is about as good as the hill repeats get here in Arkansas. My goal for this run was to get an hour and a half in while achieving roughly 2k in vert. Still testing my injury and making sure I get time under tension; I didn’t push this workout. Keeping my PE (Perceived Exertion) at roughly 4-6 out of 10. I was focused on staying in the correct PE to make sure that I pre-fatigued my legs just enough. The run ended right at an hour and a half with 1847ft gain (With Garmin cheating me a little lol). Workout completed and now it was time to rest up before the long run the next day.
The weather stated that my area was calling for sub 30 weather with up to 3″ of snowfall throughout the day. At this point should I even get out in that kind of weather? Should I risk it? What would even be the benefits? All questions I had to ask myself before I would set my alarm for the next day. My answers to the above questions were yes and yes! The benefits, for me, were obvious and unknown. Never knowing how race day will present itself, training under all weather conditions is a sure-fire way to be more prepared. Understanding how my mind and body react to sleet, snow, and freezing temps was now just as important as the workout itself. This 3-hour long run would begin at Shores Lake, in the Ozarks, and I would climb for the first 7 miles to White Rock. Once I met White Rock, I would continue on some rolling his until I hit the 1:30 mark and then turn around. I felt great, running with a friend and having simple conversations. The climbs felt manageable, the descents and flats felt smooth. Oh, did I mention, it had snowed, it was snowing, and the headwind was gnarly! The headwind mixed with the snow made it impossible to look ahead, perfect for the mental training. Hitting the turnaround point it was mostly downhill, my bread and butter. We had been maintaining an above average pace and decided to keep pushing the pace while we could. Finishing the run at 18.83 miles 3k feet of gain. I gained a lot of confidence during and after this run. I believe my fitness level is coming around and feeling as if my injury is behind me, confidence was inevitable. (when the stars align)
Weekly Recap: 6 hours, 38 miles, and 5,148 feet of gain.
Next week will be exciting! I will be pushing the workouts more.
Here is my Strava link from my 3-hour run!