Traveled trails: one week from 25k

Planning for a 38K trail race

I am one week from 25K of trail running. Looking back over my training, I am not as well-prepared as I could be, but I am sufficiently prepared. Since this will be the longest distance I’ve raced (or run), that was my primary goal. Here’s my final week of training before the taper:

Recap of the last week before taper for a 25K. One week from 25k of trail running!

Monday: Rest. Still feeling the effects of my weird long run last week.

Tuesday: 3 miles, 856 ft elevation gain. My plan this week was to cut back distance and run short but steep trails. This trail has an average 12% grade and is a 15 minute drive away, so it’s often my first choice for a short uphill run.

Wednesday: Upper body strength. If you’ve followed my training recaps, you might notice this is out of order – I usually do my lower body workout earlier in the week. This day I didn’t make it to the gym until evening. I was tired and trying to talk myself out of going, because I had deadlifts scheduled and deadlifts are extra torturous difficult when you’re tired. So I bargained with myself that I would still go to the gym but do my upper body workout instead.

Thursday: 3.2 miles, 1,040 ft elevation gain. This is the same trail I ran Tuesday, with a little extra distance from attempting to go another direction. It was only an attempt because: there is an easy and a hard way up this trail. The easy way is the one I ran Tuesday – yep, the 12% grade is “easy”. The hard way is about 1/3 the distance with the same elevation gain. So, I planned to run up the easy way, down the hard way, up the hard way, down the easy way. The hard way, it turns out, is a scary trail to go down – it’s far to steep to be runable, and then about 1/10 of a mile down is a section that essentially looks like a dropoff. I don’t do  heights….sooooo when I got to that point, I turned around and went back up.

Friday: Lower body strength. Went as planned apart from the deadlifts I was avoiding Wednesday…I got in about half the reps I planned because they just were not working for me this day. Do you think all the hills might have had something to do with it? I’m going with that, anyway.

Saturday-Sunday: 11 mile backpacking trip, ~2,000 ft elevation gain. All hiking, no running. Sometimes getting away from everything is more important than the training plan. Full recap of the trip coming later in the week, but the most relevant thing here is that I am not even a little bit sore today (Monday); so I’m feeling pretty well adapted for spending lots of time on the trail at the race next Saturday.

Plan for this week: Taper, of course. Short easy runs, yoga, and race.

Do you ever make “gym bargains” with yourself?

How steep is too scary to go down?

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