On Sunday, I ran up & over Candy Mountain and back. I wasn’t deceived: the north side is very steep in places, and the footing is not great. I cannot imagine running that in the dark, as the 50 & 100-milers do. I struggled with this run. I am so slow – my average pace was 18:52/mile – and I don’t really gain much speed on the descents. To finish the 50K within the 8-hour cutoff, I’ll need to cut a full three minutes per mile. That’s a lot, and it intimidates me.
But the good news is, this was just the end of the third week of a 24-week plan. I need to trust that I will get there. My job right now is to keep doing the work and not get hurt. If I push myself to do too much too fast, I sharply increase my chances of getting hurt. I’m already dealing with a cranky IT band; I don’t want to risk getting a serious overuse injury that sidelines me. Although this was a very tough run, I’m already looking forward to doing it again. It’s a great challenge. My legs absorbed the descent pretty well I had minimal soreness the next day. And because it’s part of the race course, the more comfortable I get with it now, the better I’ll do come March.
I snapped a few pictures on Candy; I like this one best. The skies were all day, so I wasn’t expecting much. This is the view of the backside of Red Mountain, taken from Candy. I like the changing colors of the vineyards.
I was able to test out my stash jacket from Altra, and I love it! It was raining heavily (for here) when I left the house, and by the time I arrived at the trailhead the rain had diminished to a occasional drip. I wore the jacket at the outset, and took it off mid-way up as I was already getting warm. The wind was fairly strong on the mountain, so I put it on and took it off again several times. I was able to take it off and put it on without breaking stride. It’s perfect! (I was wearing my OrangeMud Hydraquiver, and the jacket goes on & off without having to adjust or move the HydraQuiver. I can access the bottles & the pockets while wearing the jacket, too.)
Yesterday’s workout was a 3 mile easy run. I struggled to keep my pace slow enough (I have Garmin set at 13:00-15:00/mile as an easy pace). I take that to mean my endurance is already improving. This week is a recovery week, so I’m not going to tamper with that. But next week, I’ll adjust that pace to 12:30-15:00/mile. Today was another easy run – 2 miles this time. I noticed that I didn’t have the “the first mile always sucks” feeling during this run; I don’t think I felt that way yesterday, either. I’m hopeful that’s a good sign.
I’m coaching with Girls on the Run both today and tomorrow. Tomorrow is a rest day, so I won’t be running with the girls. I’ll be cheering them on, though!