Monday: 3 miles of walking to and from home, MARTA, and work. Total: 3 miles (walking)
Tuesday: Approach trail to Appalachian Trail with Jason Spruill. The run goes from the visitor’s center at the base of Amicalola Falls (1800’) to the top of Spring Mountain (3700’) and back for a total of 17 miles. Having never been up there, I was expecting it to take us about 2 hours to get there and a best case scenario of 3 ½ hours round-trip. The hardest part of the run is the very beginning. With no chance to warm-up, you are forced to slog up steep switchbacks and then trudge up a steep gravel road. The trail is never overly technical, and after the initial climb it becomes more runnable. While there is plenty of climbing, it is never relentless (except for the beginning). I let Jason lead us out there and he set a brisk pace. I had to be on my A-game to keep up with his power hiking, and he attacked the running portions as well. With a few miles to go I realized that we were making great time, so I took the lead and powered up the final climbs. I got to the top of Springer in 1:37:34, with Jason not too far behind. We took a few pictures and at some food, but it was windy at the top, so we didn’t dally too long. Going back was obviously easier, but there were more uphills going back than we had remembered downhills going out. I usually hit a low point between 2 and 3 hours, but I felt great the entire run. With a few miles to go, I realized I had a shot at finishing in under 3 hours, so I hammered the long downhill and finished in 2:58:42. On the drive home, we drove through a Chick-Fil-A that was selling 10 lb. bags of ice for $0.99, so I bought a bag for the ice bath that night. Total: 17
Wednesday: 4 miles of walking to and from home, MARTA, and work. Total: 4 (walking)
Thursday: Still sore from Tuesday’s run, I did an easy 6 miles in 51:10 (8:32 avg.) around Piedmont Park before work. Icebath after work. Total: 6
Friday: Since I’ve got a 5K coming up soon, I wanted to do a workout that would give me a sense of 5K pace and a reminder of 5K pain. I ran to the closest track (Clark Atlanta University) and did 6 x 800 with a 200 jog: 2:50, 2:49, 2:48, 2:48, 2:48, 2:41. Average 800 was 2:47 and average 200 was 1:13. The goal was to run 2:50 so I exceeded that slightly. This gives me confidence to run between 17 and 17:30. By the end of the year, I hope to be in the low 16’s. The total run was 7.5 miles in 54 min. (7:12 avg.). Total: 7.5
Sunday: 9.5 miles in 1:16:08 (8:01 avg.) at Atlanta Memorial Park. Total: 9.5
Weekly Totals: 40 miles running (7 miles walking) in 6 hours (9:00 avg.).
My IT band has been bothering me since the run on Tuesday. I need to get some massive hill training in preparation for the White River 50 Miler, but it seems like my body breaks down whenever I do runs with significant elevation changes. I really need to be more consistent with my core exercises. The 40 miles this week was intentional, as I am getting in some recovery before my two races this weekend: a 5K on Saturday and a 34 miler on Sunday. Time goals for the two races: run under 17:30 (and as close to 17 as possible) for the 5K; run under 5 hours with a controlled effort for the 34 miler.