12 - 1:22:12 My stomach felt uneasy all day after the food poisoning the day before. I drank water all day, but did not eat until 3 pm. I finally went out to run at 6 pm. Unfortunately, the snow melt had frozen and I was limited to running on the salted USI road loop. I decided to run it until I got tired or felt sick. Well, I grew tired from running and tired of running the loop after 8 circuits and a little more than 12 miles. Good run after an illness. Having pushed this run to Sunday will make this week big.
6 - :39:11 This would normally be a day of hard running, but I did not want to push it too hard since my body had not fully recovered from the illness. I ran a loop around USI that I like. I picked up the pace for two miles during the last half of this loop on the asphalt Greenway path that runs through the woods and fields.
6 - :39:09 Very similar to Tuesday's run, just a few seconds faster. Body slowly recovering from last weekend. I long for the trails, but I am not willing to run in sloppy mud when I really want to have good leg turnover.
24 - 3:04:48 I am in pain. This day did not go as planned. I wanted to go to LBL, but the heavy snow that fell there earlier in the week is melting into a quagmire that has forced officials to close some areas and the trails that pass through them. USI has a quagmire with considerably less snow, so I stayed home for a redundantly boring mud run. I had hoped to run the two-loop marathon course at LBL, so my goal was to muster enough resilience to accomplish that in our little woods.
No way. Not even close. The temperature did not drop below freezing on Friday night, so the remaining snow and ice was working all three shifts to saturate the clay. The result was that super slippery layer of top mud that reeks havoc on a winding trail. Though I ran my first 1.4-mile loop at 7:20 pace, my heart rate was near T zone. Don't get me wrong. I loved it, but with each lap the trail became more slimy and dangerous. On the eighth lap I felt a burning pain on one of my mud covered ankles. I also slid off of the trail twice and started feeling strain in my groin. So I left the mud after 11.2 miles.
While changing into new socks and road shoes I realized that the mud in my right shoe had actually rubbed a dime-sized hole in my sock . . . and my ankle. I washed it with what was left of my Cytomax and rubbed on some Glide.
I then set out to finish the run on the roads and asphalt trails. That first mile on the USI campus was a strain. I usually leave a trail run feeling better than I would have if I'd completed the same run on the roads. Not this time. My knees and groin were screaming from many slips on the trail. I settled into a rough feeling 7-minute pace for several miles of what has become my standard, hilly half marathon course over the last couple of years.
As often happens on these long runs, I had a bad patch with six miles to go when every body part below the neck was giving me hell. That mile, of course, had one of the big climbs of the day. It was at the top of that climb that the Garmin bleeped out my split in it's high-pitched laughter - 7:31. I responded by running a series of short strides in an attempt to loosen the legs and get my pace back. It worked well enough to allow me to run 4 more 7's.
I folded and nearly collapsed while climbing the last mile of the run. Honestly, my lower body may have felt better at the end of the Silver Rush 50 last July. With my sweetest voice, I promised my dead legs and aching glutes a thorough massage. They ignored me and I, well, I laughed. What could I do?
In summary, my first attempt at an ultra training day in 2011 turned into a survival test . I came up short on miles and long on time. The trails were not kind to me. My legs were hurting and my ego was checked. So, it was a good day.
Weekly totals: 48 miles (5:45)
I can get there from here.