Laying Bricks

Dan’s most recent post inspired me to write one of my own. Not because my training has been super inspirational, but it has been very consistent (almost annoyingly so) the past couple of weeks. I want to be able to look back and remember that even though these weeks didn’t include big, flashy runs, they were important building blocks.

I officially started my training segment for GT, and ultimately for ECSCA, the first week of July. Since then, without meaning to, I’ve run exactly 48 miles per week for the past three weeks. Though I know that I’ve put in some good work, I am a little self-conscious saying that I’ve only run 48 miles/week. Many of my friends (especially Dan) run a lot more miles than I do and I definitely can fall into the comparison trap at times. I’ve been feeling a little anxious about my training, thinking that I have to cram in the running before my next race. But I have time! And it’s all cumulative. I need to have faith in consistency. (Here I am, using this blog post to process my own feelings about it.)

So zen in Montana.

July 3rd – 9th

On Monday, we fit in one last lovely run in Montana before the long drive home. On Tuesday, the 4th, I was straight up exhausted and went for a slow, supposed-to-be easy run in the heat of mid-morning. On Wednesday, we ran clovers at NP and I (with everyone else) felt tired and slow, but I actually was only one lap off of my PR. On Thursday, we ran very slow and easy hill repeats at Dino Ridge. Friday, I took the day off.

The tired and sluggish theme carried into the weekend, but I still got a lot out of it. On Saturday, I experienced some new trails in Boulder running with a group of friends for Aaron’s return to Denver. We ran from Doudy Draw up into Eldo (is that what it’s called, Pace?) and it was lovely! I’ll definitely be back. This was my first run of the season when summer hit me in the face. I was thinking we’d be out for about 2 hours and that my handheld would be enough. I ran out of water with a few miles to go and was so hot, so thirsty and salty at the end. I chugged water we had in the car, then stopped and got some ice and chugged more water. That led to a bloated/uncomfortable belly all day and I never felt like I could get re-hydrated. I need to do better! Besides that, I had a dreamy morning. A bunch of us went back to Golden afterwards and drank coffee at Pangea’s back patio, then soaked in the river, then Dan and I went to Cannonball with the Pace-Bells and it was a perfect Golden day.

Summer weekends are meant for running trails with friends!

On Sunday, Birdie and I wanted to do a casual trail run together. We didn’t want TOO much climbing, so we decided to start from Windy Saddle and head out on Beaver Brook. We hiked when we felt like it, ran when we wanted, and didn’t stop chatting the entire time. This is what an easy run on trails is supposed to be like! There were times when I’d start to think about my pace and what it would look like on Strava, then would have to say to myself ‘nope, doesn’t matter’ and shut it out. I’m starting to feel a little bit resistant of wearing my watch all the time. I don’t really care to know my pace while I’m running, but I do want to know distance and I want to see elevation gain once I’m done. But when I have it on, I look at it multiple times per mile, which is unnecessary. Maybe the solution is to wear it, but leave it on the time of day screen.

River-soaking PR this week.

July 10th – 16th

I took Monday off. Tuesday, I ran Green (of course) with Birdie AND Paul! On Wednesday, I worked my butt off at NP doing a version of the climb the mountain workout and then went out for a few miles in the afternoon.

Thursday’s PlayGldn workout was a training highlight of my month. Dan had a workout planned and led us all through it, yelling out intervals that included 1:00 – 1:30 reps of hard uphill running then 1:00 of recovery down. There was an awesome crew there (with lots of fast ladies) and at the end of our first set and at the completion of the entire workout, when people had their hands on knees trying to recover, I looked up and felt so inspired. Cheesy, yes, but everyone was working so hard together and I just felt it. This is my team.


Best workout, best group shot.

On Friday, we flew to San Jose to start out whirlwind family reunion weekend. I had dreams of visiting Big Sur, but because of road closures, we settled for Point Lobos State Nature Reserve instead. It was beautiful, but I don’t really recommend it for running. Too many nature-viewers on the paths. We dipped in the ocean, then stopped in the charming town, Carmel-by-the-sea, before driving south to Atascadero where we were staying. I’ve been to California a handful of times now, but normally my trips are limited to the big cities. I really enjoyed seeing the agricultural landscape of the state!

I was very set on spending some time in San Luis Obispo and Googled to find a running route that would suit our desires for a long effort. We ended up doing the Poly Canyon loop, which is on Cal Poly University’s campus. We went through the cattle gates and were met with rolling hills, chipmunks, other critters, cows, wild turkeys, horses, and more. It felt like we were in some sort of amusement park with no other people. We had a blast and were able to complete the loop, then we turned around and went back out on the road portion, past the meat processing plants and all, to get in some more miles. I got in 16.5 miles total and felt totally worked in the best way at the end. PS, if you’re ever in SLO, I highly recommend Scout Coffee. The iced Americano and ham and cheese croissant were life-giving after that run.

Ten out of ten.

On Sunday, I wanted to do a quick run to get me to 50 miles for the week. With all the driving, though, we were a bit rushed during our planned stop in Santa Barbara and only had time for 3.1 miles. This brought me to 48.8 miles. After almost missing our flight due to LA traffic and getting home after 8pm, I was really tempted to go out for a short run to hit the 50-mile threshold. I have it in my head sometimes that hitting a certain mileage per week allows me to check off a training box – 50 miles: check; I’m doing training right. But, my body probably doesn’t know the difference between 48.8 and 50 and all it would have done is caused me to get less sleep. So, instead I read my book in bed and chilled out after the busy weekend.

Best travel and life companion.

July 17 – 23rd 

On Monday, I was emailing Birdie my training plan for the week (as I always do) and with a busy weekend upcoming where I would be tied up at a friend’s bachelorette party, I decided to try to squeeze in more weekday miles in lieu of a long run. The plan was 10 miles per day, Tuesday – Saturday.

On Tuesday, I ran Green with Birdie. On Wednesday, after a couple stressful days at work, I decided to sleep in and run to/from the office to get in my miles. It’s exactly 5 miles from door to door for me, so that was a no-brainer. On Thursday, we ran “frontz” at Dino Ridge and I focused on running downhills with purpose, which led to one of my fastest ever days on the hill. I got in 7.3 miles in the morning then went out for a slow 3.4 miles ending at the creek in the afternoon. I was stressing about how I was going to fit in 10 miles on Friday since I wanted to go to NP and knew I wouldn’t have time after work. Birdie and I talked about meeting really early to get some miles in before NP, but settled on 5:45 because I can’t set my alarm for before-5am more than once a week. I had a great morning, but only got in 7 miles and not the 10 that was originally in my plan. After work, I headed out for the weekend in Denver celebrating my gal! On Saturday, after a night with not much sleep, I snuck out for an hour and a half to get in 10.5 miles and say hi to Dan in Wash Park. I took Sunday off, knowing I had plans all day and I’d be exhausted from white water rafting and bachelorette-ing the day before.

Celebrating Megan > Running more miles

So, again, I fell just short of my 50-mile goal. But I also had a really busy week that left me feeling anxious at times. Again, I’m processing here and working through this as I’m writing, but I need to remember that stress is stress. And in the long run (heh, pun not intended), 1.6 miles more during the Monday – Sunday period doesn’t make a huge difference in my training and is less important than sleep and recovery.

Overall, I feel like I’m getting a solid foundation and preparing myself for a kickass fall (my favorite running season). With my goal race not until November 18th, I need to make sure I stay healthy and plan my training so that I peak at the right time. To stay healthy, I’m going to Kindness Yoga at least once a week, normally to Jerrod’s Kinda Hot class. And I’m trying to keep running fun and adventurous and with friends as much as possible.


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