Training Troubles

Last week was sort of a funky week, since I didn’t have any specific training plan. My goal was just to keep the mileage relatively low. I did ok on that front, with 5 days of running and 21.7 miles.

I’ve started training for the Harder’n Hell Half as of Monday. Meaning I did one 3.8 mile trail run.

Three things are derailing my training slightly. Two are very correctable things: vacation and hydration. I am having a staycation, I guess, as my family is visiting from the Twin Cities and from Grand Forks. I skipped a couple of runs as a result, but that was time well spent. I’m probably eating too much, since there’s snacks all around, but everyone is leaving today so the snacks will subside.

It’s also very hot here. I mean, I know there are hotter places on earth than Duluth, MN. However, those places are expected to be hot. This place isn’t. It was pretty darn hot for the Voyageur 50 this past weekend (a future race for me, DEFINITELY), reaching 87 degrees, I think. It was much hotter for the Western States 100 and for many other ultras, but again, this is northern Minnesota, not Squaw Valley. I have slowed down, slathered with sunscreen, and even doused my hat (and clothes on occasion) before even starting a run on occasions when I’ve been running in the middle of the day. I’ve been running in the early afternoon a lot, to coincide with my nephews’s naptime, and also to try to get a little heat training in. I won’t be running anymore races in the heat, but it’s still beneficial to my overall training.

The heat during training isn’t a problem. I am hydrated beforehand, and I have been bringing water on all my runs, even if they’re under an hour. I know the running martyrs over on Runner’s World Online will boast about how they run 50 mile recovery runs without “taking” a single drop of water and they feel just fine but you know you can totally do what’s right for you *cough*slowloser*cough, but I would rather bring a small handheld water bottle just in case, than end up overheated or dry mouthed. It’s staying hydrated overnight that is a problem. I have been waking up dehydrated since it is so hot in my house overnight. We do not have air conditioning, and have poor air flow in the house. Monday night I went to bed at midnight and it was 69 F outside and 87 F inside. Bleccch. I don’t go running until I’m hydrated again, but I need to be more careful. I almost had a charlie horse at work yesterday, unprovoked. Bad sign. The absolute worst of the heat is behind us, so this problem will sort itself out even if I can’t.

My third problem is a funny twinge in my shoulder, which has caused me to take a few days’ rest from strength training. Not a big deal, as I still got in 4 or 5 days last week. It feels ok again, so I was perhaps overdoing the yoga and benefited from a little rest.

Today’s a new day to get back on track with hydration, routine, and nutrition, and I’m ready to tackle some serious hills this afternoon, one of my major adaptations to my training plan. No more dinky little gradual hill repeats; these are going to be tough and I’m going to be a beast on the course this fall because of it.

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