I enjoyed some beautiful trail runs this week while out in Williamsburg for a family vacation, as well as a VERY unstructured workout that mostly consisted of going for segments, then hitting a steady pace until we got to various points where we paused to regroup. More on that later, here is this week in a snapshot:
Monday: 7 hilly miles, 1:07:59
Tuesday: 10.6 miles, 1:26:37 (minus 3-4 minutes I left my watch running at a regroup point)
Wednesday: 3 easy miles, 28:17
Thursday: 7 miles, 1:06:16
Friday: 7.1 miles, 1:06:11
Saturday: 16 miles, 2:17:18
Weekly Total: 51 miles
This week was the week of group runs! I joined in with some friends on Monday morning, then joined the same group to run the road version of the Crazies run I tried a few weeks ago. This route has many, many Strava segments and some legendary uphills (including one on a road appropriately named Hilltop). A friend of mine pointed out some segments that I would run anywhere from mile race pace to 5k race pace on. Over the ten plus mile run, I would run a steadier pace in the 7:xx minute/mile range between these segments until we would occasionally stop and regroup to make sure no one got lost. It was one of the most fun runs that I have ever done; I will be going back whenever I can.
In Williamsburg, I found some trails and took it easy for a few days while taking in the sights and spending a lot of time walking every day. My family and I had a lot of fun, and I was surprised by how quickly you could leave behind the town once you got onto a trail. I do not have the best phone camera, but I decided to stop and smell the roses and take pictures, which is not my usual approach. However, this season of training is about enjoying the journey to the 50k.
I capped off the week by helping a runner I met through She Runs This Town with her long run workout! We did a 5 mile warm up, 4 miles at 7:47 pace, 2 miles at 7:37 pace, and a 5 mile cooldown. I tried a Gu gel I bought and did not love how it sat in my stomach, but was generously offered a Maurten gel to try, and wow! It went down easy and stayed down without complaint.
To end the year, I made a move I have been thinking about for some weeks and signed up for the Salisbury Marathon on 4/1/2023. Nope, it is not an April Fool's joke! I am hopeful that the 6 weeks between the 50k and marathon will be enough time to recoup and run a solid marathon debut. Is it a little backwards to run my first 50k before my first marathon? Sure, but I am hoping to have fun along the way. If my training continues as it has, this whole experience will be worth it, no matter the outcome on race day (although hitting my BQ time of 3:30:00 would be nice!).
In the upcoming week, I hope to challenge myself with a workout that focuses on alternating a tempo pace mile with a mile of "float" recovery. This workout may flop in the sense that I may not hit the paces that I think I can, but it will help me learn a lot about pacing in the half marathon-marathon pace range.
Enjoy your miles!