Spring is coming. Due to my hamstring issue last week I took most of the week off. This left me with an abundance of energy on Saturday and I used it on prepping all the landscaping beds at the house and spreading two truck loads of mulch. I was pretty sore on Sunday morning from all of this shoveling and raking, but the end result was worth it. We also mowed for the first time this year.
I ran yesterday morning for an hour before church. Everything felt great except for the soreness from the work. The hamstring feeling normal again is a truly answered prayer from God. I know I will have to take it easy for a while and really limit the time I spend running fast. I may put more time and focus on running hill repeats and tempos on the hills. This will be easier on my body and give me the needed adaptations for Old Dominion.
I listened to a few installments of Endurance Planet Ask the Coaches and Ask the Ultra. I really enjoy listening to Lucho answer questions and give quality insight. Two things of note stuck out to me when it came to 100 mile training. 1) A good goal would be to have a 50 mile weekend or try for 30 mile back to backs. It is ok to push past your limits and comfort once in a while as you will surely be pushing past them in the race. It is good to see what that second day feels like and get that kind of soreness from so much up time. and 2). Back to backs are not necessary if you are running a lot of miles during the week. If you are not able to run much on weekdays throw them in, but not every week. Shoot for every other week. I feel this is really good advice and is very much aligned with my current thoughts. For me a 50 mile weekend is much better than a 40 mile day where I really beat myself down. There needs to be a balance and you must realize if you push too far past your current ability you will have a hard time recovering and continuing to train.
This really is one lesson I wish I would have know a year ago. In training for the C&O Canal 100 last spring I pushed too hard in general. I decided to jump into the race a little late. At the end of March I found my volume to be up 80% higher than any other recent month. The volume was manageable if I would have taken 2 months to build to it, but all at once was too much. Throw on the end of the month a 42 mile rail trail run where I pushed pretty hard at the end and I was doomed. After that month I never felt good about running again. My pace slowed for any given effort and ultimately my race really suffered. What should have been a flat and fast for me 100 (actually closer to 106) miles turned into a slog fest. Lesson learned, watch those miles and do not push too hard.