Today's run was a mere three miles, but I can officially declare that I've re-found my boomshockalocka (BSL).
It's Week 5 in JJ100 training and that means it's an official step-back week for me. Periodization, it's a beautiful thing :) It helps you find your BSL.
Saturday's long run was run alongside the New Leaf Ultra Runs Summer Palos 32.4M run. I didn't sign up for the race so that I wouldn't be tempted to go over my goal mileage (20 miles). But, Geof was running the full distance, so we ran together for what ended up being three full loops for me...24.3 miles. It was just easier to run a full third loop (8.1) miles rather than work the math and turn back early :) Plus, it meant more trail time with Geof. Can't go wrong there. So, I ended up overshooting my weekly mileage at touch, but that's better than undercutting it I suppose.
The legs felt like bouquets of fresh daisies (only, covered in bug spray). I was really having a great day on the trail. And my feet were THRILLED to be in my Sporty Cats again! I'm pretty sure my feet are now at least a 1/2 size bigger now as my tootsies were jamming it up with the toe guard much of the run. Time to upgrade :)
Geof and I arrived just as the group headed off down the trail, so we took our time gathering our stuff from the truck and finding a spot in the start/finish shelter, catching up a bit with Kelly and baby Caleb, and then, finally getting started 15 minutes later. We were moving at a pretty swift pace, time was flying, and everything was jiving so well. We caught up to the front of the pack by the end of the first loop, topped off the water, ate a Honey Stinger Waffle, took an S!Cap, caught up with Brian a little, kicked around for about 10 minutes, then headed out. After passing the lead pack, other than the two guys WAY out front, we locked into a pace that surprised me once I glanced down at my Garmin...the second lap we averaged between 7:40-7:55. Neither of us could believe how good we felt.
The sky was starting to darken and we knew rain was on its way, so when we pulled into the start/finish, I changed out of my damp Injinji liner socks (umm, these socks, BTW, completely rock so far. Love them.) and into a pair of my hot weather Drymax socks (bad idea, shoulda kept on the Injinjis...never thought I'd say that!!), refilled the bottles, ate another Waffle and then we were off once more. We locked into a more reasonable pace for this one, about 8:15s, and cruised along in what was now a torrential downpour. It was spectacular! We haven't run in rain like that for awhile and it turned out to be such a treat. It made it a little hard to see at times since it was coming down so hard and bouncing off the ground, but the cooling effect was very much welcomed, as well as keeping the bugs at bay while it came down.
We ran through the big puddles, charged up Big Bertha, walked a little bit to shake out the glutes, and generally reveled in the beauty of the rain and the surrounding forest. What a fantastic run.
After my last loop, Geof headed out for his fourth and final one, finishing strong in 5:12 I think (and 3rd overall I believe), for the 32.4 miles, woohoo! Now it was time to eat a burrito and look forward to a step-back week :)
Monday was a short run, then Tuesday was our usual T10 which ended up being a surprisingly great run. Along the way, we caught up to a runner we see out on the path most mornings and is a staple at all the Chicago Lakefront 50/50s. Usually, she's heading back from her run by the time we cross paths with her, but yesterday we shared a few miles with Cathy and had a great time getting to know her a little better...and worked on convincing her to give KM100 a go :)
We are working on incorporating more varied pacing into our runs, as in easy-medium-hard, etc. It's hard to do at first, but I feel like maybe I'm getting the hang of it. Running the exact same pace everyday is good if you aren't trying to improve. Geof's been whispering the idea of intervals for awhile now, so we are giving it a go, albeit informally. Saturday's run was a medium-hard effort for me, Monday was easy, yesterday was a medium effort, today was a hard effort :) Maybe tomorrow will be easy, Friday medium, and our long run medium/hard. We'll see.
I love my boomshockalocka. I'm going to hold onto it this time :)