Mon: 13, Tue: off, Wed: 8, Thu: swim, Fri: 5, Sat: 27 (trails), Sun: 20 (road).
The most important things I've learned from recent madness - other than the fact that I'm not sure how I ended up wanting to run so much - can be summed up in a few points:
1. Speed work is awesome, even refreshing. This might be a "duh" moment for you, but I am constantly reminded how much power and strength track work brings. Since it's relatively new to me, I'm still discovering my track pace and what feels right yet challenging at short distances.
2. Swimming is fantastic cross training. You get the same opportunity to "zone out" like during a long run, work at a low heart rate and all without impacting joints. Plus, if the pool is nice and cold, it feels so amazing for tired joints and muscles.
3. When all else fails, keep running. Saturday's trail run took everything I had to give, and a little more. I was already nearing dehydration when I ran completely out of water with 2 miles (mostly uphill) until the next H2O fountain at Westridge/Nike Tower. It was hot (over 100F around there) and each slight breeze felt like pure bliss. I noticed I stopped sweating, despite the heat and working hard - a pretty bad sign of dehydration. I was slowly freaking out as my legs and lungs grew more tired and I was getting dizzy. It was around that point that I found my edge and made a conscious decision to push through it. It was a whole new level of mind games. My mantra? Suck it up, you can do this. Tough love make tough cookies. Realistically, I had no other option but to keep moving forward. Step by step. Additional motivation: I have an irrational fear of mountain lions.
So, always take more water than you think you will need and find yourself some awesome training partners who know how to party once you're done: with a ice-cold Gatorade and water, of course. (Donny Hall, you rock).
4. Nutrition and active recovery are what it's all about. I guess this is really nothing new. But after that trail adventure, I had a 20 miler awaiting me the next morning. I did what I do best: I ate. With a purpose. Potatoes, pasta, tempeh, some nut butter, lots of fruit and lots of kale and other veggies. Carbs, protein, a little fat and lots and lots of antioxidants. Nutrient dense foods all the way. I also took a vitamin C supplement (500mg), which I usually take on/after challenging workout days. I went on an easy walk in the afternoon and generally tried not to sit for too long at a time. Active recovery is all about getting blood flowing to the muscles to help them recover and rebuild. I'm not saying I had completely fresh legs for Sunday, but they were good enough to last me a fun (and thankfully flat) 20 miles.
I think I need a nap now.