Things are still continuing to go well this week. Although the runs have been harder to get in due to family obligations and household projects. Last week I managed to get in around 70 quality miles. Consisting mostly of speed work and tempo stuff. Last Saturday Jessica, Tristan and myself all made the trek down to Phil Sheridans Horse Thief Canyon 6.5 miler. I had never been to that course before and I really wanted to check out those infamous water crossings first hand. This seemed like the perfect chance to do that since I don't think I would like them too much in early spring with 5 inches of snow on the ground.
I was not running the race Saturday. I was there as a sort of support for my wife as she continues to embrace this whole trail running thing we all love. Though I wasn't entered in the race I asked Stacey Sheridan If it would be all right that I run with my wife? Stacey didn't mind and at a little after nine in the morning the field was off and down the road.
It was really a beautiful course and I was amazed at how much it didn't look like Kansas around there. Some parts of the course even reminded me of New Mexico with all the sandstone formations. What I was more impressed with though is how Jessica tackled all the obsticles including the chest high water crossing. It was a lot of fun just watching her have fun. After the race we hung around and talked to Phil and Stacey. That was something I hadn't had the chance to do for awhile. Also it gave me an excuse to sit around and eat Staceys famous cookies. After an hour or so we packed it all in and headed east.
Sunday was another early day for me as I decided the day before to go for a point to point long run from my house to Osage City 30 miles to the south. I knew it would be crappy with all the ass-phalt but it had to be done. I was originally planning to do my long run on Friday morning but we had some big storms roll through on Thursday evening. Which really did a number on the trails. So instead of playing in the mud for five hours. I decided it would be better? To run roads??? For five hours.
Luckily I was feeling pretty good Sunday morning and even with a 15lb. pack on my back with all the supplies I would need. I still managed to get down to Osage City in 4:26 and change. Possibly a little too fast for a long training run carrying that weight combined with the pounding of the hard surface but I actually felt really good. Things seem to be taking a turn in the right direction for me as far as training goes. I continue to feel stronger with each run and am becoming more confident in my ability to compete again.
After this haywire summer I've had I learned a lot about my limits. The most important thing that I learned is that I'm not 25 anymore and that I can't train like I am. With all the outside stress I have in my life I found that it actually hurt me more to train 90 miles a week than it did help me. I put a lot of pressure on myself to get those miles in and that broke me down mentally. Even though I was in great shape physically. Mentally I was a freakin basket case. With a family, a mortgage, a job and long commute to that job it was just logistically impossible for me to log those kind of miles and still be me.
Since realizing that I've trimmed all the fat from my running diet. Cutting out all the useless filler miles leaving just the quality meat. I've also put a cap on my weekly mileage. No more than 70 per week. It seems to be working and the body is responding well to the added rest. I hope that everyones running is going well and that the trails are treating you well.