Chippewa Moraine 50K 2018 Goals

I’m pretty excited to get back into racing, after DNFing my first race of the year. I’m still feeling a little under the weather, but it hasn’t gotten worse, so I’m hoping it’s just allergies.

This is my second time running this race. Last year I finished in 8:57:29, 2:31 before the official time cutoff. In re-reading my race report, there are a few things I obviously need to do differently: eat more pre-race, protect my eyes from sun/sunscreen/sweat/salt, and run faster. Other than that, this race is a different beast.

My training is somewhat up and down, just like last year, but the “downs” were later in my training cycle this year. Last year I had my bad months in January and February, and this time I had them in March. However, I had crappy training weeks leading up to the Fall Back Blast and still managed to kick butt at that race, so I don’t think it’s going to be a huge problem.

The big question is trail conditions. Will there be lots of snow? Will there be ice? Will there be mud? I’m guessing there will be a mix of all three. What I’d really like to know is if there are any actual dry spots. I’m a little concerned my poor legs are going to get chewed up by the course. I wouldn’t care if I had lots of time cushion, but that 4 hour intermediate cutoff (plus some randomly announced vague threat of being forced to turn back at the second aid station!) has me stressed out. However, I just looked up that I made it there in 4:08 last year, and I can surely run 15.55 miles 8 minutes faster than I did last year. That’s like 30 seconds/mile. As long as I can make that halfway cutoff, I think I’m golden.

A Standard: 7:50:00
B Standard: 8:10:00
C Standard: 8:25:00

I want to finish this race injury and illness-free, sleep well before the event, have a good time, complete the distance, and make the cutoff with room to spare. I’ve set up my pace chart so that I have a 5 minute buffer to make the 4 hour cutoff, so as long as I stay ahead of that, I should be in good shape. I’m gunning for a big course PR, at a minimum. I thought about re-adjusting my goals based on the potentially bad trail conditions, but I will stick with what’s on my pace chart.

Chippewa Moraine 50K Training: Week 6

I finally chose a race! Since Zumbro 50 filled under my nose (the Ultrasignup notification didn’t work correctly, probably due to user error), I had to pick another race. I thought about doing Trail Mix, but the cutoff is 8 hours (and the 4th loop has to be started before 6 hours elapsed), which is faster than my current PR. Of course, I signed up for Chippewa Moraine last year knowing that the cutoff was faster than my 50K PR at the time, but I decided not to risk it 2 years in a row. Also, I like the out-and-back nature of CM50K better than 4 loops at Trail Mix, and I really enjoyed the Ice Age Trail. I’m looking forward to a big improvement in time this year – provided I can keep the sweat and sunscreen out of my eyes.

Monday: 7 mi, treadmill
Tuesday: 6 mi, treadmill hill workout
Wednesday: 6.5 mi, treadmill
Thursday: rest
Friday: 5.6 mi, treadmill speed workout (10 x 0.25 mi)
Saturday: 11.2 mi, treadmill (split into 8 mi and 3.2 mi)
Sunday: 13.8 mi, trail/road/treadmill (7.5 on the snowy Lakewalk & London Road, 6.3 treadmill)
Total: 50.1

Holy crap last week sucked. I am so bored of the treadmill. It’s really hard to get motivated to get on it after I get home from work… then I end up working out later than planned due to my procrastination, so then I have no time to do strength training before dinner… whoops. But that’s how January and February work. I endure, and no more.

I thought I was going to make this week a cutback week, and I didn’t! I’m glad of it. I didn’t do a long run, but instead did 2 medium-mileage days back to back on the weekend. It’s not quite the same when the runs are split up, but 1. the treadmill only runs for 99:59 at a time and 2. who cares? I still need to do some long runs, but those are going to have to wait until it’s warmer. I’ve got more time now that I’m doing a later race, and I am running a shorter ultra, so I won’t have to worry as much about not getting long enough long runs for a 50 miler.

I managed to get out on Sunday. I was planning to run outside on Saturday, too, but it was snowing and 10F so I decided against it. Sunday was even colder, but it wasn’t snowing, and I didn’t realize it was windy until it was too late. It was rough, running into the wind on the way back. My poor face. It was worth it just to mix things up, especially since this upcoming week doesn’t look any better.

I’m interested to see how a higher mileage training cycle will affect me at CM50K. Of course, I still have several weeks to go, so a lot could happen, but I decided not to cut back my mileage to the low 40s (what I typically strive for in a 50K training cycle) despite changing my goal race distance. I hope this leads to an improved time! Also, I want to celebrate making it through the entire month of January without an unplanned rest day and without illness! (Knock on wood!) The previous 2 years, I have spent several days out with illness in January and/or February, so now I just need to stay healthy through February!

Post-Mortem: Chippewa Moraine 50K

Race Report
All CM50K posts

Good Things
Training flexibility. I had to train around work trips, hockey, and weather reports, and I didn’t have a treadmill to fall back on when it was colder than the Arctic outside. I also wasn’t following a specific plan, but I still managed to get in long runs, 50 mile weeks, and a bit of quality tempo work. I got out there and ran when I could. I didn’t take too many unscheduled rest days. I dragged my butt outside in layers of clothing and still froze, but got my workouts in. I talked myself back into runs I’d talked myself out of running. I ran the same boring routes when sidewalk and trail conditions limited my options. I got sh*t done.

Preparedness. I made several checklists, and the only thing I didn’t do was purchase a travel-sized spray sunscreen. I brought along a full sized one instead. There wasn’t a single thing I forgot to do, or wished I’d done once I got out on the course. I put everything on these stupid checklists, by the way. I wrote down stuff like “take off rings,” “fill hydration pack,” and “leave race bib in the car.” It takes my mind off the little things to just write them all down.

Bad Things
Nutrition. Being hungry at the start of a race is a bad idea. I made mistakes in how much I ate. But ultimately, it goes further than that. I haven’t done much to address the diet side of my training, and that’s going to have to improve right away. I need to eat better during training as well as eat better pre-race. I think I do an ok job of eating during the race – not fantastic, especially if there are no potato chips, but ok.

Training volume. I did what I had to do. However, I still only averaged about 38 miles/week, and I didn’t do a whole lot of that on trails. More time out on the trails, on tough, hilly routes, and more miles in general (maybe an average of 42 mpw, nothing insane), would have given me a bit more stamina. I can look at all kinds of “reasons” for why my training wasn’t so great (travel, weather, etc.), but the “reasons” don’t magically turn it into a good training cycle, they just show I made the best of what I could get.

Sleep. I got probably 3 hours of sleep before the race, which is an improvement over my pre-race sleep at Wild Duluth. I am not sure how to fix it, but I’m going to keep trying. Maybe I’ll take a hot shower in the evening or something.

Chippewa Moraine 50K Training: Week 12

Race week! Basically a pointless training report.

Monday: 3.7 mi, trail (Lester Park)
Tuesday: rest
Wednesday: rest
Thursday: rest
Friday: rest
Saturday: 31.1 mi, trail (race!)
Sunday: rest
Total: 34.8 mi

I felt sick most of the week. Even my training run at Lester Park went poorly – I had some lower GI cramping that slowed me to a walk a few times — on a super short run! Some sections of the trails at Lester Park were closed, and they were a bit muddy in other places, but I cannot wait to get back there.

I took the rest of the week off because I was terrified of getting sick. The weather was crummy, anyway. I did yoga every day leading up to the race, so that was good. It helped quell some of the fatigue/malaise I was battling the whole week. That “taper flu” is no joke.

This training cycle is going to feed my training cycle for my 24 hour race in June, so I won’t really be taking time off (I will start running on Wednesday, after getting a massage on Tuesday, which I really need!), just making adjustments. There’s lots to dissect, but that’s best left to its own post.

Race Report: Chippewa Moraine 50K

Official Results:
Time: 8:57:29
Pace: 17:18 (the course is 31.1 miles, not 31)
Overall: 172/174
Gender: 61/63
AG (F 30-39): 18/19

Watch Results:
Time: 8:57:31
Pace: 16:42/mi
Distance: 32.19 mi
Heart Rate: N/A (still haven’t fixed this)

A: 8:00
B: 8:30
C: 8:59:59

What I ate the night before: bagel and cream cheese, bagel and Nutella, Ruffles, birthday cake Chips Ahoy. So, garbage.
What I ate on race morning: bagel and cream cheese, part of a vanilla Coke, Clif bar.
What I carried with me: Clif bars, 6 Gu packets, Strawberry Lemonade Gu tablets (one pre-mixed, plus the container)

What I wore: t-shirt, shorts, ball cap, buff, arm warmers (I didn’t wear the buff or the arm warmers the whole time)
Gadgets: GPS watch, fitness tracker

Discussion: Another difficult race, but I am pretty pleased with my result. I went into this knowing I would either get a personal best time, or I would be swept. I can now say with conviction that I do not like chasing cutoffs. It worked out ok this time, but only because the intermediate cutoffs weren’t hard cutoffs, and in fact were very lenient. Which of course I didn’t know until I was already freaking out.

I drove down from Duluth on Friday afternoon, stopping at the interpretive center serving as the race headquarters to pick up my packet on my way, since I was staying further south in Chippewa Falls, about 30 minutes’ drive from the start. It took like 3 seconds, which was nice, and then I went outside to look at the start/finish. The view from the interpretive center was lovely. It’s up on a hill (more on that later), so I could see quite a way (there’s a pic in my race goals post). It must be gorgeous in fall. Apparently it’s quite buggy in summer, so I was thankful we missed that part.

I slept terribly, which was unsurprising. I was tired most of the day, but of course that didn’t translate into sleepiness. Too much adrenaline. I got probably 3 hours or so, which I’ll take. I think I only slept about an hour before Wild Duluth. I set my alarm for 5:40, got up around 6, and farted around aimlessly, trying to pull things together in a disorderly manner, and left around 6:45, since I wanted to make sure to get a decently close parking spot. I did! I sat in my car for a little while, doing a few final preparatory things and trying to keep myself from getting too amped (fail). Then I milled about awkwardly in the interpretive center – I don’t know a lot of runners, and everyone there seemed to be with either a running buddy or a large group of friends. I did talk with my friend Jay, who I know from Runner’s World’s forum. He is running the Ice Age 50 in a few weeks and used this as a training run. That’s on the a different moraine, BTW. They’re really into glacial debris in Wisconsin, I guess.

Start to AS 1: 3.3 mi, 0:48:20, 14:39 section pace (on pace for 4 hr cutoff)
The start is at the top of a rather steep, grassy hill. And the race is an out and back. So put that together and remember it for later. The first (and therefore also last) 5 miles of the race have markers (for the 7 mile runners), which was nice for calibrating my GPS error. The first mile+ of the race is on grass, so it’s more like a cross-country start. I was zipping along, feeling confident, but also feeling hungry. Big mistake not to deal with that sooner, but I was so focused on staying on top of my pace. The race is all rolling hills, few of which are super challenging, but they’re still hills. So many hills. Anyway, I was dumb and was worried about nausea pre-race so I didn’t eat enough. I shouldn’t be feeling physical hunger so early in a race. I could also tell my body was too amped up – I wasn’t going out at too hard a pace, but the adrenaline and excitement made me feel like a low-level electrical current was buzzing through my body. I mean, besides the currents that normally occur. A couple miles in, we passed behind the interpretive center again, which was kind of depressing. A small part of me wanted to turn off. A very small part of me, but still. I didn’t stop at the aid station because I wanted to keep moving, and I was already snacking slowly on my Clif bar. Ugh, swallowing food during ultras is THE WORST.

AS 1 – 2: 6.5 mi, 1:41:47 (kind of, I forgot to hit the lap button til I was out of the aid station), 15:40 section pace (Off pace, but still cumulatively on track for 4 hr cutoff)
This section was ok. I am trying to remember stuff about it, but my brain is a bit fried. I had to reapply sunscreen on the go because the sun was getting a bit warm. Also a couple of women running together caught up to just behind me, which was fine except they used me to pace off of for longer than I’d like, and when they slowed a bit to let someone pass and to take a quick breather, they didn’t get far enough behind, so I could hear them chattering to each other for miles and miles. This is my own personal problem, but I run alone. I like running alone. I like running in quiet. So it annoyed me to hear them talking, even though they had every right to talk. (On another side note, this race banned external music, which I found amazing. I do not need to hear someone else’s iPhone blaring their walk/run interval mix app.) There were a lot of glacial lakes, which I enjoyed – we even crossed a few, on bridges of varying levels of stability. One such bridge, which I walked across due to its dubiousness, was cobbled together from various chunks of other bridges, planks, and other miscellany. Another bridge seemed to be on the verge of submergence. There were lots of runnable sections, and I ran most of them. There was a short section in grass again (ugh), and then I ran on the road for a bit, back into the woods, and then back onto a road down into the second aid station, which again, I bypassed. I think I started eating a gel during this section, but I can’t remember.

AS 2 – turnaround: 5.75 mi, 1:40:56 (actually longer, see above), 17:33 section pace (no longer on track for 4 hr cutoff)
Ugh. I looked at the elevation profile for this section and confirmed it is mostly uphill. I thought maybe it just seemed that way but I was correct. I really struggled through this section, probably because I was behind on my nutrition from the get-go, and because I was getting a little warm. (I wet my hat and my buff at one point, which didn’t help much. Should have dunked them in the lake.) Just past the aid station, I saw the leader (who set a course record) cruising in. So, I kind of hate out and backs for this reason. Not because I have to see the leaders, but because I have to see everyone. Sometimes in groups. Usually looking better than me. And we all have to greet each other and say nice job! Which, I like to hear, and I like to say, but I don’t necessarily like to say it 171 times. Especially when I’m chasing a cutoff and the returning runners get the right of way, so I’m constantly running to the side of the trail. Once I got close to the aid station (maybe a mile), I was in full on panic mode. I knew I couldn’t make the cutoff. The runners I was passing were encouraging as I wildly tossed out my worries about getting cut, reassuring me I wouldn’t, but I was freaking out. I was questioning signing up for FANS, questioning my goals to eventually move up to longer distances, and questioning my decision to run ultras at all. For a few strides, I’d be resigned to being cut. Then I’d shake myself out of that, and fight for it. I really hustled when I could, though I tried to make sure there was something left in the tank if I did get allowed to continue. And I did! Even though I made it there about 8 minutes after the 4 hour mark. I felt kind of dumb, but at the same time, how was I to know? I’ve seen people get cut, first hand, when I volunteered. I also saw a guy get spared the axe, but he wasn’t allowed to stop at the aid station, he had to continue through. So I was prepared for that, too, even though I desperately wanted pop. They did let me stay, so I chugged some Coke and ginger ale, mixed up another bottle of with a Gu tablet with the help of a volunteer (ok they did most of the work, and someone even offered to open the tablet bottle for me, because they were so amazing and I was so clumsy), grabbed some cookies to go (I didn’t feel like I could eat right at the moment, since I was feeling a bit queasy from hoofing it in), sprayed myself down with sunscreen, and left.

Turnaround – AS 2: 5.75 mi, 1:47:50, 18:45 section pace
I walked for quite awhile once I left the aid station to settle my stomach and recover a bit for the trail to come. Once I ate a few cookies, I picked up the pace again. I wanted to make the secondary cutoff at the 6 hour mark (which was only announced in an email sent this week! yikes!) to get back on track. I knew if I was over, I wouldn’t be over by much, and would mostly likely be allowed to continue, but I wanted to make it on principle. I ran when I could, power hiked when I could, and took it slow on the really steep climbs. I got into more of a rhythm, since I wasn’t passing runners in the opposite direction (I didn’t see another runner for the entire second half of the race), and since it was more downhill than up on this section. It did seem to take an extremely long time. I was having some trouble with my eyes – the sunscreen (I did a 3rd application during this section) or the salt from my sweat was getting into my eyes, and when I got wind to my face, my eyes started stinging. I had to do a makeshift eyewash with some of the water from my pack, cupped in my hand. That worked ok, but I guess it washed off some of the sunscreen (duh) because I have a bit of a sunburn on my face, despite 4 applications (one pre-race, 3 in-race) and a hat. My nose was in tough shape, too. Since it’s always running when I am (ha!), it was getting chapped, and the salt/sunscreen combo was irritating it further. I ate another gel during this section, although it took awhile because I was averse to swallowing. My stomach wasn’t super upset, but I felt like I was going to gag on anything I tried to swallow. (I didn’t, but it felt that way.) At the aid station I drank some pop, grabbed some cookies to go, and headed off at a trot.

AS 2 – AS 1: 6.5 mi, 2:00:01, 18:28 section pace
This section started out ok – I felt pretty strong, rolled through the grassy areas, and then things started to go really badly with my eyes. They were stinging and burning so badly I had to stop and clean them out again, and then I had to get my buff out of my pack pocket and wet it down so I could wipe them as needed. It was a big pain to get my glasses off and on for some reason (they kept getting caught in my hair), and they were filthy (probably from sweat and salt), and cleaning them only helped marginally. Instead of being spotty, they were smeary. Ew. I lost a lot of time and energy dealing with my eyes. Every tenth of a mile seemed like it took forever, even when I was moving at a decent clip. I was itching to hit the 5 mile marker, to begin the real countdown and to figure out where I really was in regard to time left. My GPS was off by about a mile at this point, so I kept having to do Race Math to figure out approximately what distance I had left. I’m an engineer and I’m really good at math, but Race Math is still a problem for my poor, scrambled brain 20+ miles into a race. Just when I thought they had taken down the countdown markers, I finally hit the 5 mile marker. And then eventually the 4 mile marker, and then I knew the aid station would be somewhere along there. I got to re-cross the bridges, re-circumnavigate the glacial lakes, and cruise along on the runnable sections on this stretch. If not for the issue with my eyes, I would have had a much better time on this section. I got more cookies and pop at the aid station, and then marched off, knowing there was nothing else between me and the finish line.

AS 1 – finish: 3.3 mi, 0:58:34, 17:45 pace
I didn’t remember much about this section from all the way back at the beginning of the section, other than that there were a couple climbs. Well, there were 3… but they came in stages, so it felt like more than three. I tried to hustle up because I knew it was going to be close. I really wanted to finish under the 9:00 mark, to meet my goal and to meet the official time on the site (note: they will recognize a finish over the limit but before the sweeps – I thought I was last, but there were 2 women who came in, I think with the sweep, and they received official times even though they were over the “limit.” I’m so glad that’s treated as just a guideline.), and I knew I was going to get slowed down by the steep sections, so I hustled as much as I could. I started to get a side stitch, and kept having to slow down to manage that. It didn’t fully develop, so I was glad of that, but it slowed me down enough. I came around behind the interpretive center, wishing as I had 2 miles in that I could peel off, but kept shuffling along. I finally reached the grassy section, then the road crossing, and then I was winding my way along the hillside below the finish. Even that seemed to take longer than it should have; there were way more twists and turns in that last half mile than I remembered. And then I was mounting the hill. And it felt as steep as a cliff. There was a sign out that said “No Walk Hill,” but there was no way I was going to run it. Another sign followed that said “Don’t Quit,” and that one kept me moving, even when I wanted to stop to catch my breath. A third sign said “Empty the Tank,” which I found amusing because I felt a bit like I was going to empty my tank all over the grass. I didn’t, whew, but that climb really made me feel nauseated. Finally, I reached the flags leading up to the finish, and was able to run the last 100m or so. There was hardly anyone around, and I got a few half-hearted cheers (which was really awkward, why sit around at the finish line if you’re not going to cheer! And I heard people cheering loudly for other people once I was within earshot of the finish, so I felt kinda crappy that I didn’t get at least a bit of that reception.), which I returned with a smile of “appreciation” that was equally lukewarm.

I sat down in the grass and took my pack off, which felt amazing. It had been killing my back and shoulders all day. Too much stuff, not enough core strength. I lay down for a few minutes with my hat over my face, and then sat back up again, thinking about what to do. I saw the Superior/Zumbro race director and he asked me how it went. I talked for him a little bit about how I was pretty happy with the result, but pushing for that cutoff was hard. The other fellow he was talking to told me it was pretty great for me to run it in like that, just before the time limit, and that he tied for last in his first 50 mi. I said he should be jealous, because I didn’t have to share the honor. I was kind of enjoying my first DFL finish, only to find out later that 2 people finished about 10 minutes after me!

This race was tough for me, but it was also a great result. I set a personal record by over an hour! And my average pace was almost 3 minutes faster than my first 50K! And I didn’t give up! I would definitely run it again, and not just because the bib has a woolly mammoth on it.

I didn’t like chasing the cutoffs. I didn’t mind coming in near last place, but I minded that my chances of an official finish eroded as the race went on. I also wonder if I had not had that intermediate cutoff, if I’d have been able to pace myself better. Or would I have slacked and done even worse? I don’t know. Maybe it was a good thing and I just don’t know. I did feel triumphant that I beat the clock, just barely. There was something very satisfying about coming in at the last minute, that maybe I wouldn’t have felt if I had finished in 8:40 or 7:50. Of course I would have felt some other kind of triumph, but I don’t know. There was something enjoyable about facing down those time constraints and beating them.

Chippewa Moraine 50K Goals

First trail race in over 6 months! I’m both excited and terrified.

CM50K start

I took a picture of the start when I went to pick up my race packet this afternoon. This course looks lovely. I’m just sad the trees don’t have leaves yet.

A Standard: 8:00:00
B Standard: 8:30:00
C Standard: 8:59:59 (cutoff is 9 hours)

Hah, wouldn’t that be something, to have my 50K PR be better than my marathon PR? I need to hit the turnaround in 4 hours, so I’ve got to front-load my effort, which is contrary to my typical race plan.

I’m worried because I’m not feeling very well, and actually haven’t been feeling well since about Tuesday. Maybe Wednesday. All the days are running together. The good thing is, I haven’t actually gotten sicker, so maybe it’s just a combination of a cold front and race anxiety. I haven’t run since Monday, though I have done yoga. I had a vitamin C drink and a zinc tablet every day. I’ve avoided caffeine today (other than a latte this morning), and I’m trying to stay hydrated and relaxed.

I’m staying about 40 minutes away from the race start, which means an early morning for me. I’m hoping I’ll get more sleep than I did before Wild Duluth — anything more than an hour should guarantee that. Gotta stem the onrush of adrenaline through my system somehow, though.

Of course I want to finish this race without injury and without spewing bodily fluids from any of my orifices. I also want to rise to the challenge. All of my trail races to date have been companions to longer races, and I’ve had no worries about missing cutoffs. This is going to be a big challenge for me. This trail is also “easier,” in that it doesn’t have the big climbs that Superior and Wild Duluth both boast, so I will be able to see what I can do with a runnable trail. I was so tired when I was running Wild Duluth that there was no chance to push myself. I don’t want that to be true this time around. I want to run fast. Maybe not the whole time, but I want to run the flats and downhills with some speed! I would like to be less cautious. I’m such a conservative racer, always waiting for the blowup that never comes (or comes anyway, like in Superior Spring 25K last year when the heat got to me), and then I wonder if I could have found a little bit more inside my legs, or my gut, or my head.

Whatever happens, I made it to the start healthy, happy, and in a good position to PR (of course, with a PR of 10:25, I’ll either PR or tap out of this race), and I’m happy about that. Now I’m ready to go out and tear up this course!

Chippewa Moraine 50K Training: Week 11

Last real week of training. Gulp.

Monday: 5.5 mi, trail (Bagley)
Tuesday: rest
Wednesday: 6.6 mi, road
Thursday: 4.2 mi, road
Friday: 8.5 mi, road
Saturday: 10 mi, road
Sunday: 4 mi, trail (Hartley)
Total: 38.8 mi

I survived the week! It was rough. I was in a really low mood (as I wrote last week), and really didn’t enjoy any of my runs last week. Even the gorgeous weather on Saturday didn’t help my mood, since I knew cold weather was coming. It was really nice to run in just a t-shirt and shorts on Friday and Saturday, though.

I treated myself to a couple of trail runs. I’ve not been running a whole lot of trails, partially due to trail conditions, and partially due to a desire to get my freaking runs over with. This is sort of stupid because I am running a trail race, but I have done enough running on trails throughout this training cycle that I feel like I’ll be able to stay on my feet.

I’m also not really “tapering” the way a traditional training plan would dictate. I don’t know if this is a smart idea or not, I won’t find out until after the race, I guess, but I chose not to for several reasons. I had some low mileage weeks (weeks 9 and 7) recently, so I felt like those cutback weeks were a good substitute for a taper. I haven’t had super high mileage overall, although I have run 2, 50 mile weeks. I will have to run the numbers on my average mileage to see if it’s higher than I think. I don’t feel run down, and I don’t have any major injuries. Mentally I’m having a bit of a tough time lately, but a few days off can solve that. I’m also running a 24 hour race 6 weeks after CM50K, so I want to build off this training cycle for that race.

This week was tough mentally, but I did manage to get my butt out the door, even if it was almost 7 PM before I started, even if I had to wait out a rainstorm, even if I felt kind of crummy. That’s one of the things that has stood out for me this training cycle: I have taken very few unscheduled rest days just because I didn’t feel like running. (I have taken a lot of unscheduled rest days for hockey, though! A much better reason.) I am going to pat myself on the back for that. Guilt is a powerful motivator, it appears!

This upcoming week, I’m going to take things as they come. If it’s nice enough, I’ll run. If it’s raining or snowing or sleeting, I won’t run. I’m focused on the logistical preparations I need to do, on resting (sleeping well, I hope) and relaxing (yoga every day!), and on giving myself a mental break from running.