Eugene Curnow Trail Marathon Training: Week 3

A big week for me! And NO treadmill running!

Monday: 6 mi, trail (Bagley), 136 bpm
Tuesday: 6.6 mi, trail (SHT at Spirit Mountain), 141 bpm
Wednesday: 7.3, road (MAF test), 134 bpm
Thursday: 5.4 mi, road, 130 bpm
Friday: rest (work/travel)
Saturday: 4.1 mi, road, 137 bpm
Sunday: 18 mi, trail (SHT out & back starting at Becks Road), 148 bpm
Total: 47.4 mi

This was my biggest mileage week of the year, and thus probably ever, and I set a new personal best in miles covered, at 18. I was really excited to have decent weather the entire week. It was hot on Saturday, but I ran in the evening after we returned from an overnight stay for a family event. It was late enough that I wore my headlamp and turned it on for the last mile or so, mostly for visibility to cars.

On Monday, I tried to take things nice and easy to recover from my long run the day before. Since I was running Bagley, I still got in a bit of climbing, but I didn’t feel overexerted.

Tuesday I parked at Spirit Mountain and did 5 repeats of the “stairs” on the trail just beyond. My legs were burning but each time I reached the bottom again, my heart rate had recovered to an acceptable level, so I felt good about the experience. I ended up running farther than I had planned. I ran down to the Knowlton Creek crossing and then climbed back up, but decided to continue on the main trail back toward the Magney parking lot, to see where I’d missed the turn the previous Sunday. The trail goes down along the base of the ski area and along a creek; it’s a very nice section of trail. I found where I’d missed the turn and can’t believe I missed it, it was really obvious where the trail continued. Mystery solved, I guess. I didn’t think very hard about where I was going, and realized the Magney parking lot was a lot farther away than I thought. I ended up leaving on a spur trail that I thought would lead me to the road, but I couldn’t figure out how to get there. I ended up on an access road for Spirit Mountain, and followed that back. I got to the final ski run and climbed the rest of the way to the parking lot.

Wednesday’s workout, I already discussed. Thursday I took it really easy (obviously, from the 130 bpm HR), running a familiar road loop around UMD and back home.

Sunday, I picked a pretty tough course, starting and ending just after Ely’s Peak. I didn’t climb all the way up the peak, but there’s still some very technical climbing on the trail in the area. I ran more slowly than I would have liked, but it was a training run, and I probably could have had a few more gels/snacks along the way to get an extra boost. I definitely have a lot of work to do before the race next month, though. The last few miles were very frustrating, since I would think I was picking up the pace, then I’d look at my watch and see just how slowly I was going. The final mile was pretty darn slow, but that also includes navigating the rocky sections near Ely’s Peak that required extra care due to my tired legs. My sense about this training cycle is that if I do enough climbing and make a lot of my runs challenging, I will set myself up for a good race. We’ll see how that goes. I still have several long runs left, including a 20 miler planned I think for next weekend, so there’s lots of time to improve. I hope.

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