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.
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!