I’m in my 3rd week of training for Zumbro and my 5th week of doing MAF-based training. I have some general thoughts about both of these facts.
First of all, I was supposed to have done another MAF test already. This puts me in a bit of a tricky spot. This upcoming weekend, I have planned to run 5 miles on Saturday and 9 miles on Sunday. I’m currently at 16 miles for the week, so that would put me at 30, and I’m going to run a short run today to put me at around 33 miles for the week. Last week I ran 30, the week prior 16, and the 2 weeks previous, averaged 30. I don’t think a 3 mile increase is that bad, but I can’t run a MAF test on Saturday without extending the mileage, since the test itself is 5 miles long, and I am probably going to need at least a 1.5 mile warm-up, and then a short cooldown. I suppose I could split up the mileage differently on the weekend, but I need to extend my longest runs. I could also skip running today, but I don’t want to. The most likely solution is to do the MAF test during the 9 mile run. I also might switch up the days. I try not to do long runs after rest days, but it doesn’t really matter.
I’m nervous about what the MAF test will show. First of all, the first test was so wonky that I don’t know if it’s even worth making a comparison. But what if I do get to my max heart rate and I am still running those same paces? Sometimes I feel like I’m not making any progress, especially since I’ve been struggling at times to manage my heart rate on hills. I know there are a lot of factors in play, including weather, fatigue, illness, stress levels, route choice, etc., but I also worry I’m not making any progress.
I do know that I feel mostly fantastic after almost every run. I rarely feel sore, even after hill work. I feel at the end of most runs that I could keep going, with the exception of those runs where I’m frozen solid. While I may not be progressing at the rate I’d like to see, I know I’m not wearing myself down with my training.
I am struggling with how cold I feel after running, though. Sometimes it seems like it’s really tough for me to warm back up, especially if I have to go back outside after I’ve settled back in. I generally feel colder after a run that starts from my house than I do after a trail I have to drive to, probably because I don’t keep my house very warm (67 degrees) compared to what my heater’s blasting out in my car (who knows what that temp is, my car is a 99 model so it doesn’t have fancy temperature settings). The cold is really fatiguing, both mentally and physically. It’s not even super cold, relative to other winters, but I am looking forward to the days when there are highs in the 50s.
My shoe chains are broken. One is still functional, but the other has a broken link that causes the toe to slip off. This could have been avoided if I’d just taken better care of them. I rarely dried them off, so there was corrosion on the links and the fasteners that attached them to the rubber slip-on part, so I’m not surprised that a link broke. I’ve now used them for 1.5 winters, and they cost like $25, so that’s not too bad. I’ll prb pick up a new pair tomorrow. The freeze-thaw-freeze-thaw pattern we’ve been seeing lately thanks to the warmer weather and sunny days has resulted in a lot of ice, and not the nice scuffed-up ice either, the glassy, zero-friction, stealth ice. I’ve nearly biffed it even with the chains on.
I just received a work email regarding safe work practices and winter footwear, which is timely. It even uses the chains as an example! I’m currently wearing no shoes in my office, which doesn’t seem to be approved.
That was a lot of mostly whiny nonsense. I do have another tentative race on the calendar, as the Be the Match 5K is NOT the same weekend as the Superior 25K. It’s the weekend before, which means I shouldn’t be trying to PR or anything crazy like that, but I can’t guarantee I won’t stupidly try to test my mettle. It will still be a nice way to spend time with family and raise money for a great cause, so I can’t wait.