Lately running has been both a pleasure and a grind. I’ve had some rave runs on some beautiful mornings right here in New Hampshire and a few in the Adirondacks. And some runs have simply been a grind, just another run to build fitness and get me closer to my goals.
My last race, the Loon Mountain Race (read the recap here) came at the end of a hard 10-day cycle. Which showed me that I can race hard even when I’m not “tapered.” That was a bit of a confidence boost considering I’d raced the weekend prior and ran a 45 minute run the day before Loon. It was a great way to close out ten days of hard training and head into vacation.
I spent most of vacation resting and relaxing and opted to run every other day. It was a nice break from the grind and now I’m back into another 10 day cycle, although I had a bit of a hiccup this weekend when I woke up on Saturday with an ear-ache. That ear-ache turned out to be an ear infectio–a little too much #lakelife I guess. So I played low for Saturday and Sunday and missed a tempo and long run, but was back this morning feeling much better.
Here’s a look at what my hard 10-days leading up to Loon looked like and what 7 days of easy running on vacation shaped up to be. I’ll continue in this pattern of 10-days hard and 7-days easy.
6/25 5K race with a mile warm up and cool down. This race ended up being a short course, so I took it as a good hard effort under stress (it was 84 degrees at the start). 4.0 miles
6/26 Mt. Major Run up and down the mountain with a few extra miles tacked on. These mountain runs are quickly turning into my favorites. There’s some hard work, an amazing view to reward you at the bottom, some good downhill and then I tack on a few miles on the road afterwards which is a great way to try to finish strong on tired legs. 9.5 miles
6/27 Hilly run. My weekday runs take me down rural roads near my home. I like to climb the ridge for the views and the gorgeous morning light. 7.04 miles
6/28 Easy Run. This felt like a slog and my breathing didn’t feel as easy as an easy run should feel. Most of the time the pace of these runs is 9-9:30/mile. 10.26 miles
6/29 Easy Morning run 4.0 miles. Track Speed Work in PM: ladder workout with 200m recovery after each 200, 300, 400, 600, 600, 400, 300, 200, 200, 200. This ladder felt fun, but I definitely didn’t finish my 200’s as strong as I would have liked and I dropped off the pace towards the end (my recovery 200’s slowed way down too)
9 miles total.
6/30 Easy Evening Run. Getting up at 5am seems to be taking a toll on my so I’m trying to incorporate some evening runs to at least give me a day to sleep in. 3.45 miles
7/1 Easy Run. Another morning run around the neighborhood. Most Friday’s are easy running. 4.0 miles
7/2 Easy Run. I was a little apprehensive running for 45-50 minutes the day before a race. But my coach assured me that we were more focused on the hard ten days that this race so I put the miles in at a very comfortable pace and I felt really good. I finished the run with strides to prep my legs for the next day. 4.5 plus 6xstrides. 5.0 miles total.
7/3 Loon Mountain Race 6.5 mile race with a warm up and cool down. A fantastic race for me that started with a 15 minute warm up and finished running down the mountain as the cool down. 10.4 miles total. My full race recap is HERE.
7/4 Recovery run. Because loon had some steep downhill and a cross-country section my legs were really sore, especially my ankles. I did this run in the Adirondacks and it was a toasty afternoon so I kept it super slow and easy and just went for time instead of distance. 57 minutes of running.
End of 10-day cycle. Begin 7-days easy
7/5 complete rest
7/6 Easy Run 6.04 miles. My legs felt peppy for this lake-side run. Running through the Adirondacks is one of my favorite things in life.
7/7 complete rest
7/8 Easy run 6.26 Another great run that felt light and easy, even threw down a sub 7 min mile at the end because I was feeling too good not to.
7/9 complete rest
7/10 Long Run. Super soaking run through the rain in the Adirondacks. I woke up on Sunday to overcast skies and about 3 miles into my run the heavens opened and I ran through down pour for most of my run. The sun broke through the clouds just as I was finishing up. This felt easy up until the 10 mile mark and then it was a bit of a struggle to finish the last three. 13.5 miles.
7/11 Recovery Run. After driving home from the Adirondacks I was surprised that my legs felt so good and I felt so fresh. I ended up running most of this recovery run at just under 8 min pace. 6.25 miles
End 7 Days Easy.
In case you haven’t read my experience using InsideTracker you can find it HERE. Based on my blood work results I’ve made some changes to my diet. Nothing drastic just swapping some foods for more nutrient dense foods and adding in food that are high in the Vitamins and nutrients I’m lacking. Here are some of the changes I’ve made:
- Snacks I have replaced Larabar snacks with half an avocado. Typically I have two Larabars a day one mid morning and one in the afternoon. Cookie Dough is my favorite flavor. I recently decided to stop buying them and replace those snacks with half an avocado. So now I’m eating an avocado per day, sometimes more if I add some onto my lunch or dinner. This simple swap has me feeling much better. I’m pretty sure I inhale those larabars in two bites, with the avocado I actually have to sit down to eat it, get a spoon and take my time. I’ve noticed that my mood is better and I just feel more satisfied throughout the day.
- Fish I’ve started cooking a large piece of fish at the beginning of the week and now I’ve got leftovers for the rest of the week, so I’m hitting my InsideTracker goal of eating fish twice a week. This will help increase my Vitamin D levels.
- Supplements I’ve started taking a Vitamin D and Iron supplement to help get those levels back on track, since my InsideTracker results revealed that they were low. I’ve set up text alerts with InsideTracker, so now, right after lunch I’m reminded to take my supplements. I choose to take them after lunch instead of in the morning because coffee can often block the absorption of key nutrients. I’m sure if I didn’t have the text reminder I’d forget!
If you’re considering getting your blood tested with InsideTracker, I would say do it! If you’re like me an a normally healthy adult your doctor typically doesn’t have a reason to run blood test unless something is “wrong,” but it’s great to be ahead of the curve and proactively improving your health if you can. InsideTracker can help you do that. You can get a discount with code RUNFARGIRLJULY on the test you order from InsideTracker.com.
I’ll be getting my blood re-checked here in a few months to see if the changes I’m making are having an impact. Aside from the ear infection I’ve been feeling like I have more energy, which is good because with moving on the horizon and a few other summer races I’m going to need all the energy I can get.
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Email: RunFarGirl [at] gmail [dot] com