Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Difference a Week Can Make

If you are discouraged about how your weekly long run went, take heart!  I find it fascinating that my long runs can vary so much week-by-week and also that the effort level can feel so different between runs too.  Take a look at my last two long runs below.

On Saturday, January 7, I hobbled through a painful 12-miler with my hurting big black toenail.  I didn't need 12 miles to know that it would be a hard run; I knew in the first mile that this run would be tough.  I grimaced and stopped often (while also stopping my Garmin, usually a big "no-no" for me).  It was NOT fun at all. On a level of 1-10 with 10 being the most painful, the toe was really only a 2 at the most, but it was just an ever-present annoyance that I could not get out of my head.  I struggled to get an 8:52 average pace.

I took a couple days off from running to do the elliptical machine on Thursday and Friday this week, and I guess it made me very eager to run.  On Saturday, January 14, I attempted another long run.  I ran 20 miles on a whim with an average pace of 8:01, my fastest 20-miler in a long while.  And it was done without any thought the night before about food, hydration, anything.  It may be that Mountain Mist is quickly approaching and the need to get one more quality run crept in, or it may be "all" of the trail running that I've been doing that makes road running seem easy!  I can't really figure it out, but it was nice to get a last 20-miler in at that pace before Mountain Mist. 

Thoughts on Mountain Mist With Two Weeks To Go
I'm pretty nervous about running Mountain Mist with only two trail runs as training, but it'll have to do.  I've done the Rocket City marathon and two 20-milers since then, so I have done enough distance (for me).  I don't think it's possible to try to shoot for another course PR for me with so little trail running this time around.  The big black toenail is actually a benefit now, since it cannot hurt during the run.  And not running many trails prevented me from twisting an ankle, like I did last year during training (also see here).  I guess I am playing the "pros and cons" for my training this year, trying to justify it and to feel confident about the upcoming race. 

January 14, 2012

January 7, 2012


  1. I find running to be so mental for me sometimes and when I'm in a bad mood it seems I fight for each step I take but if I'm in a good mood I feel free and enjoy each step I take. Thanks for sharing this, it's nice to know that others have to vary their pace too depending on the day :)

  2. Thank you for posting this. I'm so glad to know I'm not the only one!! I just realized I'm going to be out of town next weekend and will miss volunteering at MM...I'm very bummed about it. You are going to have a GREAT race!! I can't wait to read all about it. :D