Post-Mortem: Zumbro 17

A chance to think it all over.

Refreshers
Race Report
All Zumbro 17 Posts

Good Things
Pushing outside my comfort zone. I ran a distance I’ve never completed before, on a course I’ve never seen, in a town I’ve never been to, on less than ideal training. And a terrible night’s sleep and a slight relapse of my cold and a terrible attitude. It was a big confidence booster to know I can execute a race well without covering every inch of the course.

Resting when I needed to. I took 16 days off from running when I was sick. That’s about 1/6 of my total training, and it sucked to do it, but it was the right thing. I needed the rest. I didn’t wait til I was completely better (obviously), and when I had a little relapse, I did keep running through it, but I felt I rested enough. Running indoors more helped prevent me from getting chilled and fatigued.

Staying aerobic during training. I may have cheated a few times, but overall I was strict about staying under that 143 bpm HR. I will be doing another MAF test in a few weeks to see how things are progressing, with the warm weather and the cold entirely gone (which it had better be!) I wish I’d had a better way to gauge how I’ve progressed, but the illness in the middle threw everything off.

Memorizing key facts about the course. I knew where the climbs were, and how many there were. I also knew approximately the distance between aid stations. That was really all I needed to know about the course, and it really helped me plan as well as power through mentally. Knowing I was done with the big climbs when I was about 10 miles in helped me push a bit harder on the back end of the race.

Bad Things
Not warming up. I keep saying this and then I just end up farting around pre-race. Just doing SOMETHING would have been a good way to shake off my crappy attitude and my nerves.

Abandoning strength training. I keep saying this, too. I wouldn’t have so much hip pain if I did the lower body exercises I had planned on doing.

Avoiding the doctor when I was clearly ill. I kept thinking, oh, there’s nothing that they can do for me. But first of all, I don’t really know that, and second of all, it was worth a shot considering how long this stupid illness has lasted.

Planning pace based on my watch. The GPS added over a mile of distance to my race. What I should have done is planned out times of day for reaching each aid station in order to make my goal, and gauged my progress that way.

My gear wasn’t very maneuverable. I was wearing gloves, which were clumsy; I could have used some fingerless gloves to regain some dexterity. I also found the protein bars were very difficult to get out of my handheld pockets. I need easier access to my food and other supplies.

Sitting around on Saturday post-race. I should have gone for a walk or something, just to keep the legs moving, especially since I had a long drive on Sunday. Instead I lazed around in the hotel room.

I had better not have ANY of the bad things on my post-mortem report in 6 weeks, after Superior. I’m documenting these lessons, and still not learning them, which is pretty lame.

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Race Report: Zumbro 17

zumbro

Takin’ it to the house.

Official Results:
Time: 4:47:58
Pace: 16:56
Placing:
Overall: 332/358
Gender: 168/186
Division (open): 107/112

App Results:
App: MovesCount
Time: 4:48:13
Pace: 16:07
Distance: 17.87 mi (LOL, no)
Heart Rate: 162 bpm

Goals:
A: 4:59:59
B: 5:29:59

Food:
What I ate the night before: Bagel with cream cheese, banana, pretzels
What I ate on race day: Banana, bagel
What I carried with me: 2 handheld water bottles (1 for water, 1 for strawberry lemonade Powerade), 2 protein bars

Gear:
What I wore: Long sleeved tech tee, tech hoodie, running tights, buff (as headband), baseball cap, gloves, short socks
Gadgets: GPS watch, fitness tracker

Discussion:
This is a tale of risk and reward. I have whined and complained and looked for any reason not to run this race over the past week. The weather annoyed me, but then I thought of the people tougher than me running the 100 and 50 races, and the volunteers willing to brave the elements. Then my cold returned, but I drove down anyway, because the room was paid for and I needed to fulfill my promise to volunteer. Then I slept horribly and decided in the middle of the night that I couldn’t race. I would sleep in some, and then go volunteer.

Nevertheless, I completed the race, felt mostly great during it, and even came in under my goal. A freaking miracle. Or something that was always possible, I just didn’t have the information to confirm it.

The last hour or so of the drive from Duluth to Wabasha (where I stayed) was gorgeous. I’ve never been past Red Wing in Southeastern MN. The bluffs were stunning, as was Lake Pepin, which is enormous. The drive took a little over four hours, including a quick detour to pick up bagels, which turned out to be my dinner and lunch.

I checked into the hotel and then drove out to the race start/finish area to volunteer. I was assigned to work in the timing tent with some friendly people, including last year’s winner. Trail people are the best: even the elite runners in the community contribute. We had a good time gathering data as runners came through for their laps. Most were finishing their 3rd laps as they came through, though the leaders completed their fourth laps while I was on duty. We had sufficient staff that I was able to leave a little early, which I didn’t want to do, but I wasn’t feeling well.

I went back to the hotel and did all the prep work I could. I set out my clothes, charged my watches, and ate some food. I thought I was being super prepared by opening up my protein bars and tearing them into small pieces, since their wrappers are hard to open and the bars can sometimes be hard to tear with teeth when it’s cold. And it was cold. It got down to 18 F overnight, which is I believe the coldest it’s ever been for a Zumbro event. The 17 mile race start was in the mid-20s F, I believe. I also put some mints in a snack-sized bag in case I was a little nauseated, and I had a pharmaceutical bag with a Pepto tablet, antacids, and ibuprofen. (I know ibuprofen is not recommended for distance running, I also didn’t want to end up with menstrual cramps ruining my race.) I turned out not to need anything other than the protein bars (of course), but my bite-sized pieces mushed into larger lumps, so it wasn’t a total success. It was easier than eating one out of the wrapper, I will say.

I went to bed at a decent time, after soaking in the bathtub in my hotel “suite” (a fancier single room), hoping to fall asleep quickly. I was so nervous about the race that I tossed and turned the night away and slept in fits and starts.

I got ready fairly quickly, since there wasn’t much to do, and drove to the race start, arriving at maybe 8:10 or so. I checked in and then looked around for my friend, who was also running the race. There is truly no cell service in the race area, so it was amazing I found him so quickly. We sat in my car while I filled one of my water bottles with sports drink and I pinned on my bib and took off my winter coat. It’s not great that a winter coat was necessary in April. I slathered some Vaseline on my nose and we decided to mill around at the start. There wasn’t much else to do. Probably should have warmed up, but didn’t. I never learn.

The race started around 9 after a short, funny briefing from the race director. The 17 mile race has a slightly different start than the other races, due to the large number of entrants. We followed the RD, who was on an ATV, up a road instead of hopping right onto the single track. That supposedly spread out the runners a bit. I’m not sure if that’s the case because I was in nearly last place at the time. There was plenty of room for me to run! I spent most of the race alone, which was fine with me.

I have to go with my GPS data when discussing the race, because I have no other splits, but it was off by over a mile. I thought by planning my average pace, I’d be in good shape, but that doesn’t help when the distance is off. I needed instead to calculate what time I’d need to be at each aid station in order to make my overall time goal. I had WAY less of a cushion than I thought. According to my GPS, I hit 16.7 miles in 4:33. Now that would have been incredible. I suppose it doesn’t really matter because I don’t have a very good recollection of this race, mile for mile.

I didn’t run this race at an aerobic pace. I barely paid attention to my heart rate at all. It maxed out at 188 bpm when I was climbing the second of the four big climbs. I noted when the climbs were coming (race start, 6.5 mi, 7.5 mi, and 10 mi, or so) as well as the approximate distances between aid stations (they were really close! The farthest distance between stations was 4.33 miles.) It was nice to have that information socked away, it made the race more manageable. It was also great not to have a big climb during the last 7 miles of the race.

I was passed by multitudes in the beginning of the race, as I expected/planned. After the first mile (maybe less), no one else passed me permanently. I was on the chase for the remaining 16 miles. One woman passed me heading into the first aid station, but I didn’t stop at the aid station, and she never caught back up. I caught up to a couple of 50 mile runners on their final lap after I left the aid station, and stayed with them off and on until they stopped at the picnic pavilion at the top of the 3rd climb. They didn’t finish too long after I did, so they must have rallied.

I started hunting people down on the hills. I am (comparatively) good at climbing hills, thanks to my experience running in Duluth. They really suck, and there were some STEEP climbs in this race, but I think hills defeat many people mentally before they do physically. I refused to be defeated by the hills and just kept chugging away slowly, heart rate be damned.

I whined about the sand when I found out about it, but it wasn’t terrible. It wasn’t like running at Park Point, where half the beach comes home in my shoes. There are a few short stretches of sand early in the race, but the longest stretch of sand is between the 2nd and 3rd aid station (it’s the same station, visited twice). I caught my foot on a branch and tripped in the sand, which was lovely. I wasn’t hurt and only got a little bit of sand on the tip of my water bottle, so it wasn’t a disaster. It threw me off, and then the sand stretched on a bit, so I was a little low, but I hit the third aid station pumped up again.

The final big climb began when I left aid station 3. It was really tough, and followed up by a VERY challenging downhill, with all kinds of rocks. I encountered a 100 mile runner on the way down. The poor guy was injured I believe, and was inching down the hill by holding on to the shoulders of his pacer in front of him. Rescue was on the way when I got to the bottom. *Update* He finished the race! Amazing. I came across this account from the fellow who was helping the runner down the hill; it turns out he wasn’t the runner’s pacer, but a spectator and a true Trail Person willing to help someone in need.

The reward for reaching the bottom of the hill is a flat gravel road and then the bridge to aid station 4. After that, it’s fewer than 3 miles to the finish, and just a few uphill battles to wage. The actual finish did seem like it would never come, but I was so excited to come down the long stretch of grass I’d seen runners come through the night before. I was really pleased that I was able to run it in to the finish. My friend and his parents saw me coming and literally had to yell to get my attention, since I wasn’t expecting them. I got a nice welcome from the race announcer in the timing tent; volunteering has its perks! I’m not 100% sure what he said, but it was more than just “here’s Runner XXX from City, State.” Or, “can we get a bib number on that?” Which happened a lot. I learned from the night before and had my bib positioned on the left side for easy viewing and easy scanning from the timing mechanism. “It read beautifully,” I was told after I checked in to say hi after the race.

I ate eggs and bacon and cookies and fig newtons post race and it was glorious. I didn’t feel barfy at all during the race and only had mild worries about stomach cramps. For the first few miles my head was a little fuzzy due to a little bit of congestion, but it mostly cleared up. I coughed plenty during the race and had a few rather painful coughs after the race ended, but I must have just had to shake something loose. My nose, on the other hand, was RAW. I had a runny nose for most of the race, and of course was being gross and just wiping it on my sleeve, because what else could I do? I’m not good at snot rockets. I had a lip balm with me and finally became so bothered I dug out the lip balm and smeared it on my mouth and nose. Heavenly. I need to find a better way to carry stuff than the pockets of my water bottle hand-holders. It’s challenging to get stuff out (because I jam so much in them) and moreso when I’m carrying both handhelds.

I would absolutely, without a doubt, run this race again. The course is challenging but I really enjoyed it! I’m not sure I would enjoy it 3 or 6 times, but maybe. It is well-marked (I did hear of some wrong turns though), although I did have a few “OMG am I on the trail?” moments, even though there was nowhere to take a wrong turn. I’d come across a “reassurance” marker eventually, though. Everyone was so friendly, the food was delicious, the swag was amazing (I was only deterred from getting a hoodie because I didn’t have cash to pay for it), and the scenery was heavenly. I can see how the trail could get extremely muddy, so while it was cold (and terribly windy for the Friday runners), we were fortunate for mostly dry trails. There was some mud, and it was a little tricky to navigate without slipping, but not impossible.

I hung around for a little bit post-race, and then went back to my car, intending to hang out in it for awhile before driving back, to make sure I wasn’t out of it. I felt pretty good though, and actually didn’t even feel cold, which surprised me. I went back to the hotel, drew a bath, and then lounged around for the rest of the day. I didn’t hurt physically, but I was worn out. I drank a couple of vanilla Cokes, ate some bagels and other snacks, drank some water, and rested. I need to bring some more substantial food next time; I really should have left the hotel in search of a real dinner, but I didn’t.

Sunday I felt ok. A little tired and cranky, and my hips were creaky, as usual. I desperately needed coffee and stopped for a latte in Red Wing, which was the closest Caribou. (I wanted to hold out for Sbux but the closest one was inside a Target in Hastings, and I wanted no part of that.) It took forever thanks to a billion people at the drive thru plus some annoying dude in front of me taking 11 guesses at the trivia question. This is irrelevant to the race recap but it annoyed me and kept me from feeding my addiction. I stopped in the Twin Cities as well, to break up the drive and move around a bit.

I am so glad I didn’t quit before the race even started. I got a nice dose of endorphins and a confidence-boosting result. And I only have to suffer through a few more days of cold weather before we get some 50 F days in Duluth! I’m ready to take a few days off and then regroup for Superior.

Zumbro 17 Goals

This race will officially mark the longest distance I’ve ever completed under my own power in one attempt. My previous record was 16 miles, which I completed when I was 20 during a Relay for Life event at the University of Illinois. I walked 16 miles on the track through the night. I don’t remember how long it took since it was 13 years ago. I’m sure there will be a fair amount of walking on Saturday.

I don’t know what to expect for this race. I was very prepared for the Harder ‘N Hell Half back in October. I’d run the entire course once, as well as multiple segments of the course. I’ve never been on this Zumbro course. It includes sand, which I can’t stand. I slept in my own bed the night before HNH; I’ll be sleeping in a hotel 20 miles away from the race start and 4 hours away from home. My mileage is similar, but I think the terrain was tougher last fall. I was doing more trail runs, more hills, some speed work, etc. This time around, I was working on building an aerobic base, and did a lot more treadmill or road running thanks to snow, ice, and darkness. I’ll have to do a comparison after the race is over.

My illness plus the running conditions (cold, icy, snowy, muddy, etc) that I’ve faced over the past few months have left me uncertain of my abilities. I also have done very little running over my target heart rate, so I don’t know what kind of speed I have at, say, an average of 145 bpm, or 150 bpm. What kind of a boost do I get if I let go of my self-imposed limitations? I don’t know.

The goal in the back of my mind for months has been 5 hours. So I’m going with that.

A Standard: 4:59:59
B Standard: 5:29:59

If it’s muddy, pouring rain, snowing, or the weather is otherwise extreme, goals take a backseat to finishing.

I need to maintain about a 17:38 pace in order to finish in 5 hours.  I’m giving myself a little fudge factor, because the race is actually 16.7 miles long. That pace includes stopping at aid stations, which I want to minimize. I hope to refill on water and grab a snack or two at stations 2 and 4, and run through 1 and 3, unless I need water at 3. My friend is a ham radio operator at the 1 / 4 aid station, so I will have to make sure to say hi on my way through. The distance between aid stations in this race is pretty short (the longest distance between stations is 4.33 mi), so it’s very easy to skip a couple stops.

As always, I don’t want to puke, become incontinent, pass out, or otherwise have a medical emergency. I’ll have my heart rate monitor on and while I won’t be strictly regulating an aerobic pace, I will make sure that I’m at an aerobic HR before I start eating. I think that was my problem in HNH when I got nauseated and couldn’t eat. I was going uphill and my heart rate was probably pretty high, but I didn’t have a monitor and wasn’t as in tune to how I felt at different heart rates, so I tried to eat.

Starting the race in last/close to last worked well last time, so I think I’ll do that again. I can start off slowly and take the first climb at my own pace. I will run everything that I can, and walk the rest without feeling guilty about it. Post-race, I may stick around to help, or I may drive back to the hotel after eating plenty of food. I felt kind of crappy after the HNH but once I ate some fries and chicken tenders I felt amazing. I want to feel safe to make the drive back before I head out; I don’t need a low blood sugar situation taking hold while I’m driving down the highway.

I’m looking forward to getting out on the trails, cheering on 100 and 50 milers who pass me, high fiving people at the aid station, and overall having a rockin’ time. If I finish smiling, it’ll be a success.

Not-the-best Laid Plans

I have a lot to do in a short period of time. I’ve been treating Zumbro like it’s far off in the future, even though it is in 3 days. I have a really bad attitude about the race right now, so I’m wallowing in denial. Yesterday I hit a pretty low point when I found out the forecast for race day had plummeted from a pleasant 59 F down to 42 F. I know many would consider that ideal racing weather, but I was really looking forward to a balmier day. It’s snowing right now; my only consolation is my office doesn’t have a window so I don’t actually have to see it snowing.

I was so distraught yesterday upon reading the forecast (and checking other weather sites for confirmation) that I considered not starting the race. My frustration with the way this whole training cycle has played out got the better of me for a moment and I wanted to take my toys and go home. Or stay home, rather. Then I remembered there will be people running 100 miles on the same trails in colder weather through the night, and 50 milers starting at midnight freezing their butts off, and volunteers out there all day and night in the cold, and I shook it off.

I have been feeling better lately, and really turned a corner on Monday with my cough. It’s still there, but I’m breathing a lot easier and I have noticed my heart rate overall is down during the day. I have not run outside since Saturday, which may have helped, since I’m not exerting myself out in the cold. I’ve run twice this week: two 4 mile treadmill runs that have been at overall faster paces than I was previously able to achieve, with lower overall heart rates. I’m resting today, running 3 miles on the treadmill on Thursday, and then traveling and volunteering Friday. That should be a sufficient “taper.”

I have never traveled for a race, other than a 5K, and my plan is to overpack and not feel guilty about doing so. I don’t know what I’ll want or need, and I’ve got plenty of space since I’m driving myself, so I’m sure I’ll bring a bunch of stuff for worst-case scenarios.

Here’s my list of stuff to do:

  • Grocery shop
    • Protein bars
    • Sports drink
    • Snacks/meal for Friday night
    • Baggies
    • Vanilla Coke
    • Mints
  • Gear shop
    • Anti-chafing balm
  • Get tasty bagels (on the drive down, because there’s no Bruegger’s in Duluth)
  • Laundry
  • Wash water bottles
  • Packing
    • Winter coat
    • Blankets
    • Tall socks
    • short socks
    • shoes x 2
    • Garbage bag (for fashion in case it rains/drizzles)
    • gloves
    • buffs
    • sports bras
    • shorts
    • tech tee
    • UMD hoodie
    • ball cap
    • toiletries
    • phone charger
    • sports watch chargers
    • sports watch and fitness tracker
    • heart rate monitor strap
    • computer
    • PJs
    • warm stuff for Friday night volunteering
    • antacids/Pepto/ibuprofen
    • an abundance of hair ties
    • sunscreen
    • petroleum jelly
    • water bottles (sports + general)
    • everything purchased grocery shopping
  • Misc
    • Figure out when to leave on Friday (check-in is at 3 PM, I need to be at the race at 5 PM)
    • Final weigh-in on Thurs. (for training wrap up)
    • Write post about racing goals
    • Study race materials again
    • Recon of parking situation (Friday evening)
    • Write down directions to race start

That’s not that big of a list, which makes me think there are other things I’m forgetting, but it was a good exercise

Zumbro 17 Training: Week 11

April Fool’s came a day late in the Northland.

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Accepting it will never be warm again. #duluth #springtime

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Wahhhhhh.

Monday: 4.1 mi, road, 138 bpm
Tuesday: 5.1 mi, paved trail (Lakewalk), 136 bpm, discussed here
Wednesday: rest
Thursday: 5 mi, treadmill, 136 bpm
Friday: rest
Saturday: 7 mi, paved trail (Lakewalk), 138 bpm
Sunday: 9 mi, treadmill (with short potty break around 6 miles), 137 bpm
Total: 30.3 mi

Boring week of training. It’s cold again/still. I was hoping to do trail running over the weekend, but I didn’t feel like slogging through fresh snow on Saturday, or worrying about ice on Sunday. Saturday’s run was kind of tiring for some reason, probably because I was cold. My heart rate was higher than normal throughout the rest of the day and I felt like crap when I went to bed. Of course that was also because I ate a BW3 philly sandwich for dinner which was both disappointing and rough on my digestive system.

I still have a lot of logistic work to do for the race on Saturday. I have never traveled for a longer race, so this will be new for me. I’ve also never been on the course. I need to figure out what to pack, stock up on anything that I need, and read the race info to figure out a race plan.

I don’t really know what to think. This training cycle has been kind of depressing for me, since I’ve been sick for what, like half of it? Plus it’s still cold, and I was hoping for some warmer days to gain a bit more confidence, and to see if maybe that would clear up the last vestiges of my cold/whatever. I feel like a big whiny whiner lately, but I can’t help it. My illness and the depressing weather have really affected me.

This upcoming week will be light on running so I can feel rested and relaxed going into the race. I’ll probably run short runs Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, and then rest Wednesday and volunteer Friday!

Zumbro 17 Training: Week 10

I was this close to DNSing the race and heading to Tampa for the Frozen Four.

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Source: Michael Dwyer/AP via the St. Cloud Times.

Monday: rest
Tuesday: 4.5 mi, treadmill, 136 bpm
Wednesday: rest
Thursday: 6 mi, treadmill, 134 bpm
Friday: 7.5 mi, road (MAF test), 137 bpm
Saturday: 6.0 mi, treadmill, 139 bpm
Sunday: 12.1 mi, trails (Hartley), 141 bpm (with large sections of “cheating” over 142 bpm)
Total: 36 mi

If I wake up tomorrow with my cold worse again I am going to explode. And DNS the damned race.

I decided screw it, I was going to run anyway, despite the cold. I stayed inside for my evening runs, to make sure I didn’t get too cold (plus it was dismal outside) and could stop at anytime if my heart rate went crazy.

I already discussed the MAF test. Saturday’s run was unremarkable. It was snowing off and on all day so I had to stay inside, which sucked.

Sunday I needed to get outside and run a challenging run, for confidence’s sake. I don’t know what I was really thinking I would prove from a long-ish run, but I guess I needed time to practice eating and drinking during a reasonably long run. My goal was to run 12 miles in 4 hours aerobically. I am fairly amazed that I managed to get almost exactly 12 miles from a route not planned in advance. I went to Hartley and did Root Canal, 2 loops of Guardrail, Root Canal again, and then some kind of cobbled together route that involved unpacked snow. So the last few miles were in the most difficult terrain, unintentionally. I was getting cranky as heck because I just couldn’t stay below that 20 min pace and stay under 142 bpm. I was hoping to make up time at the end and hit the fluffy snow and couldn’t, so I “cheated” and just listened to my monitor beep away while I ran above my target heart rate. At this point, who cares? My training was interrupted by a cold for almost a freaking month. It undid a heck of a lot of the gains I’d made in fitness, especially aerobic fitness. I’ll be managing, rather than micro-managing, my heart rate at Zumbro, anyway. And I just hope and pray that there’s no snow and it isn’t a muddy slogfest the whole way. Some nice dry dirt trails would be amazing. I’ll be so fast! Ha.

The breakdown:
Mile 1: 19:18, 121 bpm
Mile 2: 19:40, 135 bpm
Mile 3: 20:03, 142 bpm
Mile 4: 21:53, 143 bpm
Mile 5: 19:15, 134 bpm
Mile 6: 21:24, 145 bpm
Mile 7: 21:17, 142 bpm
Mile 8: 19:31, 141 bpm
Mile 9: 19:01, 147 bpm
Mile 10: 20:03, 148 bpm
Mile 11: 20:18, 145 bpm
Mile 12: 16:49, 148 bpm
Loose change: 19:49 pace, 150 bpm (weird)

I ate a protein bar and drank about 10 oz of sports drink and 10 oz of water during the run and didn’t have any major stomach issues. I felt kinda crappy at the beginning but that was because I ate a banana while driving to Hartley and bananas don’t always sit well in my stomach. It seems like a decent strategy although Clif bars are a pain in the butt to open. I might break them into bite-sized pieces beforehand and carry them in a plastic bag for the race. I should also try chowing down at aid stations, since food is always easily accessible there, and then have the bars as a back-up.

The next couple weeks are going to be gentler as I prepare for the race, rest, and get back to healthy. The weather should be a BIT milder, and race day is looking to have a high of over 50 F! I can’t wait, maybe I can even run outside in shorts. I’ve got a lot of logistics to plan and I need to study the race information as I’ll be going in with no inkling about the course. Scary that it’s in less than two weeks, but I’m excited to race again, it’s been over 4 months.

Zumbro 17 Training: Week 9

If you were to ask me yesterday, I’d say I was almost over my cold/crud/whatever. Today, a relapse.

Monday: 5.6 mi, trails (Bagley), 134 bpm
Tuesday: 6.1 mi, treadmill (cold and rainy), 136 bpm
Wednesday: 5 mi, treadmill (cold and rainy/snowy/gross), 136 bpm
Thursday: rest (travel)
Friday: 5.3 mi, road and trail (Westwood Nature Center), 134 bpm
Saturday: rest (hockey)
Sunday: 8.5 mi, road, 139 bpm
Total: 30.6 mi

I’m back in the mileage range I want to be in, but I do wish I’d been able to get in a long run. I was planning on doing a longer mid-week run and possibly even doing another MAF test, but the weather turned sour and I decided to take it inside.

Thursday-Sunday, I was in the Twin Cities for a hockey tournament. I worked Thursday and we drove down after work, so it was a planned rest day. Friday I ran around my old neighborhood and into Westwood Nature Center, which I reviewed last year around the same time. Saturday I planned on getting in a short run and instead slept until 11:15. I guess I needed that.

Sunday’s run was… somewhat of a mistake. I returned to Duluth around 5 pm and headed out for a run at 6 pm. I ended up running about a mile and a half longer than expected and was out after dark a lot longer than I wanted to be. The temp dropped about 10 degrees and I was a little underdressed in just a hoodie and short sleeved tech tee on top. Fortunately, I had gloves, but my arms and hands were pretty cold by the end. Whoops. It’s no surprised that today I’m tired and feel yucky. A long sleeved shirt under my hoodie would have been perfect. The good news is, if I ran at the same pace as I did yesterday for the entire Zumbro 17, I’d come in under 5 hours, as is my goal. Obviously that’s not realistic, but running during the day, in milder weather, with food and water readily available, maybe it’s still possible.

This upcoming week is going to be my last tough week, with a long run planned for this weekend. I’ll ease up a bit the following week, and then kinda sorta taper during race week. I am really winging it with this training cycle, which has its advantages and disadvantages, but it’s kind of relaxing to have so much flexibility. We’ll see if it pays off on race day.