Last week’s workouts saw another cutback week in my long run mileage. It’s hard to believe that I’m 3 weeks away from VT50k. I’m enjoying the down mileage and prepping for next weekends last long(er) run – 24 miles!!
6.7 mile run, 9:34 avg pace, 0 ft elev gain (Ha!)
30 minutes at-home strength training w/ the BOSU, mini bands and DB’s
After searching for hills exclusively since March, I have neglected my flat as a pancake beach runs. Such a shame! Kyle and I made a run date for the unofficial last day of summer to meet up for a sunrise beach run. The forecast said cloudy with a chance of rain but per usual, the forecast was way off. Don’t believe everything a meteorologist tells you!
Later in the day, I attempted an at-home strength training session. I got it done but it was all over the place. That’s what happens when you have two kids and a dog who want in on the action. How did I ever workout at home before? Ah, yes. It was 5 a.m. and everyone was asleep!
5.9 mile run, 9:24 avg pace, 374 ft elev gain
Morning Flow Yoga @ Bending Bodhi
This was my fourth day of running in a row so I let Max dictate the pace. He was extra ‘stop and sniffy’ and I had no problems with it.
30 minutes Stepmill Intervals
60 minutes strength training
I skipped one day of cross training (Monday) and I paid for it. I was extra, extra sweaty on the stepmill as I climbed Christ the Redeemer in Rio (via the program on the ‘mill). FYI – I totally had to look up where Christ the Redeemer was. I knew of the statue but didn’t know that was it’s name. Thanks, Planet Fitness, for making me smarter everyday.
It felt good to hit my legs and upper body heavy with the weights. My legs were feeling fatigued the post lift fatigue later in the day.
2 hour trail run, 9 miles, 1,030 ft elev gain (maybe?)
With the kids’ fall sports season kicking off, my trail running Saturday’s are getting squashed. There’s no way I can drive an hour or more to the trail head, run, and then get back in time for carting kids to the fields.
I decided to move my long run to Thursday because a trail run wasn’t going to happen on Saturday even if it was a cutback week.
It was a bluebird day with temps in the 60s. Plenty of doggies to pet, one snake and one weirdo guy who commented that he wished he was half the man I was as I ran by. Wtf does that mean?!?!
No falls, no rolled ankles. It was a good run.
6 mile run, 9:05 avg pace, 724 ft elev gain
The plan was to run a hilly route with at least a 1/2 mile hill climb. I decided to be an overachiever and did 3 of the 1/2 mile hill climbs and a 1/2 mile long gradual hill in addition to the other hills. Usually, when I’ve included those hills, I get at least 500 ft of elev gain. Imagine my shock when Suunto, Training Peaks and Strava said I got a puny 300 ft. WHAT?!?!?!
Thankfully, something was calculated wrong and it turned out to be 724 ft of gain instead. Talk about feeling like you are losing fitness if from all that climbing I only got 300 ft. Ugh!
It goes to show…technology is not always good!
4 mile trail run, 11:50 avg pace
As much as I hate to see summer go, the seasons are changing. The air feels different. It smells different. That’s one of the first things I noticed when I took off on the trail with Max Sunday morning. There’s some color changes in the leaves and the air just smells drier. I know that makes zero sense unless you’ve smelled the same thing.
I kept the pace easy and thought about what’s to come in the new season. Kind of exciting, right?
“Let’s take a moment to pause and let it soak in what we just did”.
It was after midnight. We were exhausted and ready for nothing more than a shower and sleep after a day of running the Vermont 100 on 100 Relay.
As we parked the van at Allie’s condo, Nat, with tears in her eyes, said those words. I’m so glad she did because she’s absolutely right.
We go through our days bouncing from one commitment to the next. How often do you pause to let the events of the day absorb?
1 van, 6 women, 100 miles, 14 hours, 7 minutes.
That’s a lot to soak in.
The last and only other time I ran a relay race was 5 years ago. It was a lot of fun but being in a van for 24 hours is a lot. You smell, you are tired, you are sick of eating random snacks, and you just want to be done.
She made it sound so fun – 100 miles on Route 100 in Vermont. The best part? It was a one day relay! How could we refuse?
Team Air Supply was formed that night with Allie, Laura, Sandra, Sarah and I. We proposed the idea to Nat and she quickly joined the crew.
Before we knew it, August was here. Sadly, at the last minute, Allie had to bow out of the relay due to a family funeral but still graciously offered up her condo to us. Thankfully, Kara hopped right in to take over her legs.
Our team had a 9 a.m. start on Saturday morning. We had plenty of time to check in and get ready to run. Unlike RTB Relay, VT 100 on 100 is one van of either 4 (ultra team) or 6 runners. Since we had 6 runners, we each would be running 3 legs. I was runner 2 with legs: 2, 8, 14. I volunteered for the most mileage (21.75) and the most elevation gain (over 2000 ft) since I had 20 miles on my training plan anyway.
Good 50k training, right?
My first leg (leg 2) was so fun! It started off on the trails of the Trapp Family Lodge (i.e. the Von Trapp family…the hills are alive), met up on a pretty tree lined dirt road and finished on pavement.
I played it safe on the trail and dirt road section (lots of wash out spots) to feel out my ankle since I had sprained it the week prior on the trails. It felt decent but I had a long day of running ahead.
Once we hit the pavement, I had caught up to the lone woman ahead of me. The heat and humidity of the morning was already kicking in. I was drenched with sweat but feeling great. So great that I didn’t even know that the other woman was still hot on my tail.
This pic cracks me up! I’m so casual as Laura nervously looks back at the woman coming up behind me.
Seeing my team gave me a boost of energy as I tackled the never ending hill climb to the next transition area where Laura would take over.
Leg 2: 7.47 miles, 551 ft elevation gain
We then hopped in the van to cheer on Laura and to get Sandra to the next Transition Area (TA). The day flew by as we repeated this routine over and over again (Sandra handed off to Nat, Nat to Sarah).
The heat and humidity was kicking up as the day went on but our team was feeling strong. We all went into the relay thinking it would be for “fun”. Haha. Famous last words from 6 competitive ladies.
Before I knew it, my second leg was up. It was the longest one of the relay and the most elevation gain. The description made it sound heavenly – climbs at the beginning, followed by downhills and relatively flat with shade. I think there was even something about the runner who runs this will be “enlightened” when finished with this leg.
It started off on a mega hill, it was just after 2 p.m., hot, humid and I was feeling ‘meh’. The climb and the downhills felt great on the dirt road. But then I hit the pavement and the full on sun got me. The shade that was mentioned? It was on the other side of the road. The flat road, which you would think would be a welcomed sight, was horrible. Womp, womp, womp.
All smiles running downhill on dirt roads!
My calves started cramping up at some point. Thankfully, my teammates were able to deliver my trusty Spicy Brown Mustard to stop it immediately.
When I finished the leg, I was not enlightened. I think I may have said, “I hate running!”
Oh and to make it even better? The leg was 1/2 mile longer than it was supposed to be. Yup…not enlightened one bit.
Leg 8: 10.3 miles, 875 ft elevation gain
Abandoned school bus embedded in the ground…only in VT!
It started to get really dark soon after that with big dark storm clouds looming. We were excited for some rain to cool us off.
We got a little bit more than a little shower. It full on poured during Kara’s last leg complete with thunder and lightening.
By the time Kara passed the slap bracelet off to me for my last leg, it was almost 8 p.m. and the rain had turned to a gentle mist and night was closing in. It was refreshing but still very humid.
With “only” 3.9 miles for my last leg, I was ready to give it my all. It started off with a climb right away from the TA followed by an amazingly long downhill in Killington. Of course, that was short lived. There was one last long climb to tackle. There was a guy in front of me who I slowly reeled in before turning into the next TA.
I was so happy to be done!
Leg 14: 3.9 miles, 608 ft elevation gain
The rest of the ladies killed their last legs in the dark like the badass runners they are.
Sarah was the anchor leg and brought our team to the finish line at Okemo at 11:07 pm. We were overjoyed to learn we came in 2nd place Women’s Team Overall in 14:07!
Of course, that now means we have to go back next year to shoot for 1st place.