Well its almost August and I can’t believe how quickly this summer is going. Most of my summer has been filled with swimming, eating, friends, work, and of course lots of training.
I signed up for Grindstone 100, or more accurately, a friend signed me up as I was having trouble actually pressing the enter key on my laptop. 100 miles in one day, I am super excited, and nervous all at the same time. I have been reading blogs, planning nutrition, and logging miles ever since. Because there is no terrain near where I live, a friend has come up with a plan to mimic several miles of climbing. Typically we pick a hilly route, run 15+ miles and end up at the gym, then we get on the treadmill at a 15% incline and walk/jog for 2-4 miles, and finally we finish up a few more miles back to our cars. Its interesting to notice the change, when we first began this workout, the treadmill had to come first, and it was a struggle to maintain an even heart rate for even 2.5 miles, the hilly trail miles came after and it was a struggle to just get to 18 or 19 miles. Now this workout happens twice a week and the treadmill portion either comes at the end of the long run, or (if we are short on time) we make it a two a day and do a second run in the evening on tired legs. I know it doesn’t take the place of actual hiking miles, but it will have to do.
As for races this summer, there was a challenge thrown to me by my husband. He has been watching me log all these long slow, slow miles, and got it into his head that he could finally beat me in a race…so he challenged me to race him at a local 4th of July race. Four on the Forth is a great local race put on by the Cardinal Track Club. Last year I ran it in 25:46 and placed third female overall, this year with the fear of my husband beating me, out of nowhere I ran a 24:58, placing second female overall. I guess lots and lots of miles made up for my lack of any speed work whatsoever. Though my husband did not beat me, he did PR by nearly 2 minutes!
My “training partner in crime” (shown above with me photobombing him) of course smoked the race, he ran a 5:44 pace after running 11 hard trail miles before hand. Needless to say that I only ever see the back of him when we train…but its great motivation for me to run faster!
This next weekend I will finally get out to the mountains of western NC for some good climbing, no more flat-landing this weekend!