This was definitely a nontraditional week training-wise. The first couple of days I was still feeling a bit sick so my running hiatus continued. Wednesday marked my return to sweating in a big way with an epic 17 mile hike of Half Dome in Yosemite. Maybe not the smartest thing to do after being sick and inactive for 5 days, but so totally worth it. The hike was an intense workout, with more than 4,000' of climbing over just 7 miles, then coming all the way back down. I was just as sore, if not more so, than after many of my marathons! Needless to say, our second and last day in Yosemite was more of a leisurely walk : ) Over the weekend I finally got in some running mileage with an easy run with a friend and a solo 16 miler, my last long run before Chicago in t-11 days!!
Worked all day then headed to Yosemite!
hike: ~17 mi, ~9 hrs.Hiking Half Dome was an absolutely incredible experience. It was extremely challenging, both physically and mentally, but so rewarding and memorable. The whole experience seemed to strike a balance between exhaustion and exhilaration. It also made for one killer workout! Seriously, hiking is no joke.
hike: ~3.5 mi, ~2.5 hrs.After a full day of hiking Half Dome the day before, we were all tired and sore so we decided to spend our final day in Yosemite taking things a bit more leisurely. Highlights included swimming at the base of (ice cold!) Yosemite Falls and meandering through some meadows with amazing views of Half Dome and the surrounding granite faces.
swimming at the base of the falls
Half Dome from Cook's Meadow
Considered running, but second day DOMS hit and I felt like I'd been hit by a truck! Seriously, so sore. Just the thought of running was laughable.
run: 6 mi, 9:08 avg pace.I wasn't sure how my body would feel after the hike and the almost week-long hiatus from actual running, but I had plans to do an easy run with a coworker so there was no hitting snooze. I actually felt pretty good once I warmed up, and while I did feel more fatigued than usual, I managed to pick up the pace in the last couple miles to a sub-9 pace and finish with a solid 6 miles before heading to work.
run: 16 mi, 9:13 avg pace.
I was a little nervous about this run as I seem to have been for all my long runs this training cycle. I had initially thought of trying to fit in the elusive 20 miles I've missed twice now, but decided that with Half Dome earlier in the week it would be too much. Plus, for me the 20 miler of a marathon training cycle is far more mental than physical. So I stuck to my training plan, which called for 16 miles as my last long run.
I decided to do a double out-and-back to hopefully avoid getting too bored on the bike trail, and was pleasantly surprised to find a bunch of folks out there from the half and full marathon training groups run by my store. Even though I wasn't running with any of them, it was nice to have some company out there and see some friendly faces, including a couple coworkers who do double-duty as coaches. Although it seems to be common practice to run long runs at a slightly slower pace than your goal, I always find this challenging for me. I see the higher paces and feel like I'm slacking. The same thing goes for "easy" recovery runs, that are often anything but for me. I think this, in addition to being bored with my routes and running solo, have made me dread my long runs.
I felt decent on the majority of the run, but the last half were a little disastrous. I don't like carrying extra fluids if I can avoid it, and so I often plan my runs so I have frequent access to water at the fountains along the trail. The thing is, in one direction there are plenty - nearly every 1-2 miles, while in the other direction, there's only one in an 8 mile stretch! The latter is known as my oasis, as it as appeared as such on many occasions. This was what I was counting on for Sunday as my water stop on my second out-and-back. Well the universe apparently had other plans because about a half mile from the oasis I found my way blocked by...construction. Yes, there was a detour that allowed you to keep running, but there was no substitute for the blocked water fountain. This meant I had no fluids for the last half of a 16 mile run, meaning I couldn't take my final Gu or salt cap. I'm sure many of you don't have much sympathy for me and are thinking this is why I should carry at least some water with me, and I don't disagree! But it was what it was, and I my thirst became all-consuming as the miles ticked on. It was even more maddening because only days before I'd had a far more serious run-in with dehydration. Hopefully this was the last time!
run - 22 miles
hike - ~20 miles