Birkie Trail Run Training: Week 8

I’m just glad this week is over.

Monday: rest
Tuesday: 8 mi, road
Wednesday: 7.2 mi, treadmill
Thursday: 5.5 mi, treadmill
Friday: 9 mi, road + trail (home to Hartley Root Canal & back)
Saturday: 5.4 mi, road
Sunday: 18.2 mi, paved trail (Munger Trail, starting at Thomson trailhead)
Total: 53.3 mi

Monday, Monday, can’t touch that day. I hate taking Mondays as rest days. I know it’s totally arbitrary to start a new training week on Mondays, but it’s when I start them. I’m starting fresh with a work week, so I might as well start fresh with a training week. I took Monday as an unscheduled rest day as I was feeling slightly under the weather. Then I felt like I was playing catch-up the rest of the week.

I ended up having to run on the treadmill Wednesday and Thursday due to weather. This is the problem with taking a rest day on Monday – I have no flexibility the rest of the week to account for other circumstances: work, weather, personal life, etc. So I had to torture myself on the treadmill 2 days in a row. (Yes, of course, I could take two rest days in one week.) I decided to start re-watching Game of Thrones from the beginning, so at least I was entertained. Thursday I did 10 x 0.25 mi repeats to keep from having my brain implode from the monotony.

Friday I ran a similar loop to the previous Friday, notably excluding both the short loop at Bagley and the bear encounter. I think I could eventually set this up to be a long run – start from home, run to Bagley, do a loop, then run to Hartley and do the Guardrail loop and come back home. We’ll see. Now that students are back at UMD, I don’t want to do a whole lot of running on campus until the parties have died down a bit. I’m too self-conscious.

The less said about Saturday’s run, the better. I was feeling a bit tired on Friday’s run, and on Saturday’s run, I just gave up on caring. I ran in the middle of the day, it was hot, I hadn’t had much to eat, our lawn mower wasn’t working, I procrastinated my run which ate into my time with my nephews, and I ran with no enthusiasm or drive. The rest of the day was great, I got some kayaking in on the lake, and then a little bit of swimming.

I tried to go easy on myself on Sunday, so I decided to run the Munger Trail, rather than a harder, more technical trail. I thought it would mean I could get done faster. I mean, technically, I got done faster than I did the previous week, but it was a miserable slog. I forgot that easier terrain sometimes means boring terrain. Some short climbs and descents can really break things up; flat terrain means nonstop pounding at the same elevation, same gait, using the same muscles. I hated this long run. But I did it, I survived it, I felt fine afterward. So I guess it was a good mental test.

I really could use a cutback week, to be honest. Normally, I would take one, but I will be on vacation in a few weeks and will be cutting down my mileage in order to enjoy time with family (and also because I’ll be in my car quite a bit). I’ve got two more weeks of higher mileage (for me) to get through, and maybe I’ll start enjoying it again this upcoming week (spoiler alert: it’s Tuesday evening as I’m writing this and I’m not in a super great mood). I am so glad that I’m not doing the 100K race – I can’t imagine what the additional stress of that huge challenge would feel like. It’s fortuitous I decided to just do the marathon, as my cousin is now planning to visit Duluth on the Birkie weekend. Now I can just dash off a quick marathon and head home right after.

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

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