October recap; November plan

I’m so glad that October is behind me. I felt that my training was really unfocused and I am feeling ready to pretend I am training for an ultra. Of course training will need to be squeezed in around a full time job and part graduate school. School, by the way, continues to consume most of my time with fun things like group project work: 10-noon AND 3-9 on a Sunday. An full day of work and that is just for one class.

October was a transition month in terms of training. It was time to rest up from my half marathon training this summer and time to test the waters to see if I can be 50k ready by January 7. Here’s a look at how training stacked up.

Total miles: 134.9

Some weeks were better than others, but overall I’m pretty happy with my mileage. I think I am starting to figure out planning my runs around my homework, even though it usually means running in the dark. I’ve also accepted that 5 runs/week is my max. Very frustrating since I spent the early part of the year finally getting used to handling 6/week.

Longest Run: 15.5 miles (twice! 10/16 and 10/22)

The first time I ran 15.5 miles, it was a pavement run with with a number of smaller hills. The next week I took to the trails for the same distance, but about 3-4 times the elevation gain. I was slower, but it wasn’t a terrible experience. I decided I would just do all my long runs on the trail since it went okay.

Worst Run: 10 miles (10/29) + unscheduled rest day

The plan was a weekend of back to back 12 milers: 10/29 and 10/30. Of my planned 24 miles, I ran just 10 miles. I started the run hungry. It was much hotter than I expected. Mentally I could not get focused on running. The miles seemed to be crawling by. The hill climbs were agonizing. Just over 8 miles into the run I got a bloody nose and decided to call it quits. I walked until the bleeding stopped then half jogged back to nearest bathroom to wash up (which conveniently brought me to 10.01 miles total). I was so glad to have an excuse to cut this run short. I took the next day off as well because I was still feeling very negative about running.

What’s next?

If I want to keep thinking ultra, I need to focus on distance. November long runs will be 18 miles (road), 18 miles (trail), back to back 13s (trail or road), and 21 miles (road). I know I need to keep working on my trail running, but I just don’t feel like I can tackle longer distances at the same time as an increase elevation. I will allow myself to first accomplish the distance on the road, then take it to the trail the next weekend. On the third week I will cut my distance with back to back medium distance runs.

I will also aim for one medium long run of 10 miles on Wednesday. My other three weekly runs will be 5-8 miles based on how much homework I have. Some weeks I will only have time for 2 additional runs, but I will aim for three whenever possible and accept the fact that not every run of every week is going to be perfect.

I will also be running Garmin free whenever possible. I did this the other night and it completely changed how I was feeling about running. I was ready to give up on the ultra completely, but then I started running and remembered why I love it! I went from absolutely dreading the run to having one of the best, most relaxing runs of the month. Or at least it was relaxing until the sun set and I had to run the last two miles home in the dark. That part was not fun. Someone please remind me to start wearing my headlamp!


4 thoughts on “October recap; November plan

  1. It sounds like you have a great November planned! Hopefully the cooler weather will inspire your runs in addition to running Garmin-less. I always find it amazing how much weather can impact the way a run feels!

    Group project work on a Sunday sounds like hell. Don’t your professors know as a runner you need Sundays for running and resting?!


  2. Keep that 50k dream alive!! If you keep knocking out those long runs, doesn’t matter trail or road, you can be ready by Jan. I am trying my hardest to log elevation gain but that’s not necessary, the long runs are priority of you’re short on time. Keep us updated

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with you – 5 days a week is my happy max! Do you have a 50K picked out? If so, it must not be around here if it’s in January? I ran a 50K trail race once and I was under prepared for it since I never run trails. It was in the Fall and a lot of leaves covered the ground (hidden tree roots!). I tripped a lot!! I am planning on doing a tougher trail race (marathon distance) in June, so I’ll be more prepared this time!!


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