Weekly Total: 64 miles, a mix of road and trail. No treadmill!! Last high mileage week before Miwok (in two weeks).
Sunday AM: 17 miles trail, 4 hours, ~2200 elevation gain. First snow-free Middlesex Fells outing of the year. I committed myself to the rugged Skyline Trail for the first 11 miles, ignoring the tempting obstacle-free trails that jut from the bottom of every gnarly hill. Though the Skyline Trail is slow-going, I’m convinced that navigating the rocks, roots, and rolling hills makes me an all-around better runner. (And it’s fun! Trail running is good hard fun!) I ran the loop clockwise until Sheepfold, then turned around and ran back counter-clockwise to where I started. I did this because the 2 miles in between Sheepfold and Wright’s Tower are like an abyss that can easily take me close to 45 minutes. It was warm enough that I sweat on the hills, so I was glad to have a handheld water bottle, but after 2 hours I wished I had some snacks. The morning’s constant drizzle eventually turned into rain. When I arrived back at my car, there was a family in the car next to me, waiting out the rain. They stared at me as I came barreling out of the woods, half-drenched, ripping open my car trunk to locate a packet of almonds and chocolate, which I poured into my mouth while sipping sparkling water and pacing in front of my car before going back into the woods for some more! After refreshments, I stayed on the easier trails and managed 6 miles more miles (fairly speedy at that).
Monday AM: 9 miles, Bread and Butter Loop+. I did an extra mile to celebrate the 60 degree temperature that awaited me at 5am.
Tuesday AM: 6 miles easy. Today should have been a rest day, but with rain and cold due tomorrow morning I couldn’t help but to soak up an easy jog (and normally I hate when people say “jog” or “jogger” as opposed to “run” or “runner,” but I certainly jogged).
Wednesday AM: 60 minutes swimming.
Thursday AM: 8+ miles, Bread and Butter Loop, moderate pace. 30 degrees, dangit.
Friday AM: 60 minutes swimming.
Friday AM: 9.5 miles Pancake Loop, fast pace. There’s something particularly invigorating about following a long swim with a longish run. Too bad I can’t stand road cycling — I’d probably make a pretty good triathlete. Anyway, after my run I delved into my GPS watch settings to try to troubleshoot the crazy elevation readings I’ve been getting, like 1000 feet of elevation gain on a pancake loop because apparently I’m running 200 feet below sea level. Then I noticed the weight setting on my watch was at 148 pounds. Wha?? This is what I weighed when I got the watch right before I ran Bear Mountain almost 2 years ago. Bear Mountain was really my foray into ultras (though I only ran the marathon distance) and since then I’ve lost 15+ pounds. And I wasn’t terribly unfit to begin with! I guess it shouldn’t be surprising that running 40-60 miles per week coupled with swimming, chasing after Little Boy, and low-carb eating would lead to weight loss, but somehow I was surprised because it really felt effortless. Because I never really think about my weight anymore — I’m much more concerned with facial lines and creases.
Saturday AM: 14+ miles, trail, Western Greenway. The last time I was on the Greenway, I was XC skiing in 15 degrees. So it felt pretty freaking good to be trotting in the crisp April sunshine. I didn’t bring any food or water, which is a good thing because otherwise I would have probably kept going. Taper madness.