TBD Spring Ultra Training: Week 1

I think I’m going to run Zumbro 50, but I’m not 100% certain yet. This is my first week back after my two-week hiatus, and it probably wasn’t super smart to jump right in with 42 miles, but I feel pretty good.

Monday: 6.2 mi, treadmill
Tuesday: 7.1 mi, road (Minnesota Point)
Wednesday: 6.6 mi, treadmill, strength
Thursday: 6.8 mi, treadmill, strength
Friday: 10 mi, paved trail/road (Lakewalk + London Rd)
Saturday: 5.3 mi, trail (Hartley Root Canal + Guardrail), strength
Sunday: strength
Total: 42 mi

I’m trying to reach 1700 miles for the year, and match last year’s total mileage for December, so that’s part of the reason I stupidly decided to ramp up my mileage. It’s not like I was inactive over my break, and I haven’t tried to run fast or do anything really hard, but it’s still probably not the smartest thing I’ve ever done. Eh. I’m not worried about training perfectly.

The treadmill is so boring, even with Netflix on and my cats downstairs to watch me. I do my best to break things up by changing the speed or the elevation, but it’s still a frustrating slog.

I was glad to get outside for half my runs, even though I was cold. On Friday, I actually started out too warm and ended up having to slow down to a walk because I was overheated and feeling a little ill from it. Unfortunately, I got cold later on from the damp clothes, though my handwarmers kept me from getting truly cold. Friday’s run was my first double-digit mile run since Fall Back Blast, which I didn’t realize, but I really struggled at the end and had to add in a few walking breaks. The cumulative effects of higher mileage + cold + bulky clothes + ice and snow + headlamp were too much for me to handle. Learning experience. It wasn’t an awful run, but not one of my favorites.

My run on Saturday was much better. Hartley was beautiful, and it wasn’t too cold. I think I found a good layering option, and I had hand warmers again. I brought my headlamp along but didn’t take it out until the final mile, preferring to run along in the gloaming with just the waning ambient light on the snow showing the way. I’ve run those trails at Hartley so many times, I could almost do them blindfolded. I didn’t even feel chilled afterward! It was a nice way to end my running week.

I’m really trying to ensure I do some kind of strength training a few times a week. It’s easier to do when I’ve done a treadmill run, because I’m not chilled and I didn’t have to drive home from somewhere else. Even if I do just a few planks and pushups, it’s important to do something. Greater core and leg strength will be helpful with building endurance and stamina, and overall improved muscle mass will help with weight loss. I did not do any yoga this week due to my bruised knee (it doesn’t hurt to walk or go down stairs or do anything dynamic, but it hurts to kneel on it directly, of course), but I did planks and lunges and other circuit-training-style exercises. I’m trying to build up a lot of different ideas of exercises to do, so that I can do a lot, or a little, or mix things up to avoid getting bored.

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