Zumbro 17 Training: Week 8

Ok I’m running again, hooray.

Monday: rest
Tuesday: rest
Wednesday: rest
Thursday: rest
Friday: 5.3 mi, road, 137 bpm
Saturday: 6.4 mi, trail (Hartley Root Canal & Guardrail), 139 bpm
Sunday: 9.4 mi, trail (SHT, Twin Ponds to Haines Road & back), 147 bpm
Total: 21.1 mi

Thursday I finally made a breakthrough in my cold/whatever was wrong with me. I was able to breathe deeply without feeling like coughing, and I no longer felt sluggish physically and mentally. I haven’t shaken this illness completely, but I felt on Friday like I was at a point where I could run again without setting my recovery back. It was warm enough to run without a boatload of layers, so I had to take the opportunity.

I had a few wonky heart rate issues while running on Friday, although some of them were periods where my heart rate was too low, and others where it was spiking while going slowly on a downhill, so I think there was a bit of an issue with the monitor. I’ve definitely lost some fitness.

Saturday was incredibly warm for March. It was 65F while I was out at Hartley, and I was running in a t-shirt and wishing I’d also worn shorts. Unfortunately, it wasn’t warm enough in the shaded areas of the trail, and it was incredibly icy in some areas of the Root Canal path. I was extremely cautious and managed to only fall once, and I was already hanging on to a tree, so I was able to prevent a crash. Both feet slid out from under me though, so I was clinging to the tree trunk for dear life for a moment. The Fisherman path was so icy that a guy who had passed me earlier decided to turn around rather than try to traverse it, and this guy was a pretty serious-looking runner. He was even carrying soup cans as hand weights. Fortunately, the Rhamnus trail also leads to the Guardrail trail, and that was snowy, but manageable, so I was able to get my mileage in. It was slow, again, but the soft snow was definitely a factor.

It didn’t get below freezing on Saturday night, so I decided to take a chance on running some of the city portion of the Superior Hiking Trail. I started at Twin Ponds and ran until I reached Haines Road. I turned around a little early because I didn’t want to take the steep climb on the other side of Haines Road, so I didn’t hit my planned 10 miles. I don’t care, it was worth it to skip that climb. The trail wasn’t icy, but it had some soft snow and a lot of mud, standing water, and running water. The trail itself had turned into a stream in a few points. I did my very best to be a responsible trail runner, sticking to the trail and just suffering with wet and muddy feet, rather than trying to get around muddier spots and widening the trail, causing further damage. I was pretty worn out on the climbs, and I think I only ended up with 2 of the 9 miles under 20 minute pace. I wish I knew how much of that could be attributed to my own conditioning and how much was due to the trail conditions. It would do a lot for my confidence, which is low right now. I completely gave up on trying to manage my heart rate after awhile. I guess another round of MAF training is in order, with more of a trail focus. I told myself it was more like a race effort! But really I was justifying cheating on my training. Let me tell you, it was incredibly depressing to see my heart rate spiking while going at incredibly slow paces.

I got into the Moose Mountain Marathon via the lottery, so I am pretty pumped about that, and I also got my volunteer assignment for Zumbro. I will be helping in the timing area on Friday night. I don’t know what that entails, because I don’t think anyone will be finishing during the time I’ll be assisting (course record is 18 hours, and I’ll be done 14 hours in), but the start/finish area is also an aid station since this is a looped course (6 loops for 100 milers, 3 for the 50s), so maybe we record in/out times at the aid station? I don’t know, I’m just glad to be of service.

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