After taking a full weekend to go gallivanting around Algonquin Park at the end of September, I needed to seriously apply myself to getting some mileage under my belt in preparation for Horror Hill. While there is a brand spankin' new 25km option available for 2014, I'm not one to mess with the idiocy of past years, so I'll be doing the 6-hour once again.
It just wouldn't feel right to go about it any other way.
So, pile on miles.
|Running through the sunset|
I did actually run a solid 18k on rail trail the weekend before the Algonquin trip, getting the weekly mileage up over 50k for the first time since the Waterloo Marathon (and being hit by a car). The short course racing over the summer seems to have done me some good - I've been running faster than ever since that odd turn of speed at Belwood, setting an Olympic distance run PR at Lakeside despite the week of slacking off while motorcycle touring.
I've been feeling pretty strong, and ramped things up as fast as I felt I safely could. Last Saturday I threw down a trail run of just under 23km (which resulted in both of the above photos), doing approximately the same distance as I'd backpacked the Saturday before. I topped out over 60km for the week (Mon-Sun), and thanks to some hard weeknight running, I'm actually at 62km for my training week as of last night (with Fridays off, my training week is Sat-Thurs).
|I rode my bike a little as well, and did some swimming.|
I had been going to do an even longer run this Saturday - probably about 26km, which would be around 2.5hrs. After all, I did long, hard runs 2 weeks before Around the Bay and the marathon. It's a psychological boost to know that you're capable of doing the distance, especially if you haven't done a lot of long workouts lately.
Here's the thing, though: the legs are holding up, but man, I'm a little weary. I haven't been getting enough sleep lately, and my stupid left eye twitch that I remember from marathon training has come back.
Fact: my very first Horror Hill back in 2010 was done after never having run more than 25km/3hrs.
Fact: I spent almost 6.5hrs moving at an aerobic pace with some major energy spikes on uphills while hiking the Highland Trail with ~40lbs on my back. This definitely counts as training for Horror Hill.
Fact: the call of the woods is very strong at this time of year, and Tanker and I thoroughly enjoyed Campsgiving last year.
|Colour on a local Cambridge trail last Saturday|
Sometimes discretion really is the better part of valour. Rather than beating myself into the ground with a huge, long run this weekend, I'm going to go glamping with my sweetheart. We'll take our canoe with us and do some paddling, hike some trail and enjoy the long weekend together. I'll probably do a bit of trail running on the 10km of trails at the conservation area, but with no pressure to go long or hard - just for the sheer joy of exploring.
I hope to return home on Monday sans eye twitch after some good sleep and gorgeous scenery, with legs that are ready to respond to one last week of hard running before taper.
|And maybe a little more cold tolerance..|
Happy Thanksgiving to all of my Canuckian friends - hope you, too, get to spend it in a way that makes your soul sing!
While you're at it, why not sign up for Horror Hill? There's still plenty of time to register, and with 5k, 10k, 25k and 6-hour options there's an event for everyone's taste!