You can see how well it's going.
In the days after we got home from motorcycle touring, I got right back after it, piling on the running mileage like it was my job. I knew I was nearly out of time to get back to peak in order to have physiological adaptation time prior to the Dirty Girls 12-hour, and I had basically taken two weeks nearly off from running as I recovered from the Conquer the Canuck 50k and wandered through (and sometime up) the majestic Laurentian Mountains in Quebec.
8k on a local trail Monday, June 27th, just to test out a new pair of trail shoes and reacquaint myself with how beautiful my home is.
|I can live without mountains if I have this.|
Stepping it up, I ran up to the pool on Tuesday - 10.5km almost all uphill and into the wind. I had planned to get in another 13k run-commute to my mum's place on Wednesday, but that got shortened to 10.5km. Still not bad, considering it almost didn't happen at all.
|The story of me flashing my fishy belly around Mississauga was already told.|
Another 6.5k Thursday - just a boring road loop around our neighbourhood, but Tanker the Wonder Sherpa rode his bike along with me to keep me company, so it was a little more fun than it would have been otherwise. Friday was, of course, my day off - it happened to be a day off work for Canada Day, too, so we hiked some trail, walked up to the store to get ice for the cooler, then strolled down to Riverside Park to watch fireworks and back up the hill again. A total of just over 9km of walking, so definitely some time on feet there.
Saturday would be my last long (3+hr) run before I'd start to taper for Dirty Girls. I had Tanker drop me off at a park in Guelph and ran along the Speed River up to the GORBA trail system, where I spent a couple of hours chasing whatever trail looked interesting before running back down the way I'd come, and ending up at a friend's house where Tanker was enjoying said friend's birthday barbecue. After 3h15m and 26km, I was just in time for cake!
|Which was truly just the icing after running through beauty like this.|
Sunday presented the opportunity to get in a decent back-to-back, so I headed out with Tanker to a section of the Walter Bean Grand River Trail of which I'd only run a tiny portion previously, as part of the Heels & Wheels 5k course.
The Economical Insurance Trailway is stunning, and we got to see it right around sunset - my Wonder Sherpa hiking while I trotted along.
|Near Kolb Park|
|In the woods by Bingemans|
The hills presented a perfect challenge to further test the new trail shoes (which I really like, and intend to have as a 2nd pair to change into at Dirty Girls), and I seemingly couldn't go 5 minutes without seeing some wildlife: bunnies, a gopher, a deer and even a coyote. 15.2km later I had thoroughly enjoyed myself out there. I'd also clocked 76.8km for the week - my second highest mileage ever!
Back to work after the long weekend on Monday, July 4th, I didn't get out running until quite late as I had to spend a great deal of time procuring and setting up a new phone for Tanker (his took an unfortunate swan dive into a cooler full of water on Canada Day and could not be revived). It was 11pm by the time I'd cranked out a boring 11.8km through a local industrial park, chosen merely because it was reasonably flat and well-lit.
|No fun at all.|
I was starting to feel a bit fragile by this point, but pressed on through Tuesday - I finally got in an evening swim at our beloved local outdoor pool, but the adductor in my right leg that had been cranky and sore seriously objected to whip kicking during breast stroke. I still ran 10.4km home from the pool, but I had to do so rather cautiously so as not to aggravate the damnit-it's-not-an-injury.
|While wearing the most obnoxiously loud running outfit ever.|
Pretty sure Tanker wouldn't have given me a ride home even if I hadn't intended to run.
Things weren't feeling so hot by the time I got home, but "hot" is precisely what Wednesday was shaping up to be. Even as I packed up a bag of kit to take to the office with me so I could run to mum's after work, I suspected that I'd be better taking a day off to recover and avoid the additional stress that running during a heat warning would cause my already-damaged body.
Come Wednesday morning it was clear even to an idiot like me - I could shorten the run or try to make some other lame adjustment, but I would benefit more from rest and recovery than any workout I could put in. All told, I'd clocked 98.95km in the 9 days since my return to running after our vacation - an average of 12.37km for each of the 8 days I ran, since I had only hiked and walked on Canada Day. Furthermore, since I'd had no more than 5hrs of sleep any night since Saturday, I figured the best thing I could possibly do was get my dumb arse to bed at a reasonable time.
So I did. Tanker (who wasn't feeling well on Wednesday anyway due to some rather nasty dehydration - that poor lad works far too hard and has no reprieve from the heat) and I went home after work, I made dinner, and we were in bed by 10:20pm. That's a full 3 hours earlier than any other day this week!
It was magnificent. By Thursday morning I was ready to kick arse again, so plowed through a bunch of work at the office and then went out to see how my legs had responded to the day off. It was still incredibly hot out when I snapped out a 5.8k progression run, but my legs actually felt better afterward than they had when I stepped out the door!
I treated them to a bit of hydrotherapy afterward in the form of an 1,100m swim and then a nice stretch in the swirlpool, and today I'm feeling pretty good. It's my day off from training again, so I'll get some further rest and recovery before heading out to the woods tomorrow for my last real distance (hopefully around 2hrs of run/hike) before going into full-blown taper mode to try to arrive at the start line of the 12-hour in some sort of healthy state.
You never know - it could happen!