What a week! After my road mile last Sunday I had a quick turnaround to get ready for the first XC race of the season. I was a little concerned about whether I would feel sprightly and quick for Friday evening’s race, but (spoiler alert), I managed to get all the work in during the week AND pulled off a good race! Here’s what I did to recover and get ready to race again:
Monday: 8 miles, very early in the morning due to insomnia. After I finished my morning mom duties I headed over to the gym for a warm up mile plus 45 minutes of core and strength training.
Tuesday: Another early run before I took a friend to a doctor’s appointment. 12 miles total with 4 x 1 mile at LT with 1 minute rest in between. Those 4 miles ended up being 5 thanks to distraction and extra time getting the TM up to speed. Followed up with 1/2 mile easy and then 4 x 200 in :40 with 200 easy and finally a cool down. The good news is that my LT pace is inching its way down to where it was last May.
Wednesday: Easy 8 on the treadmill. A few hours later I did a good 30 minute core session with Wasabi.
Thursday: Taper run! 5 miles total: 4 easy, strides and cool down. Hard to believe it is time to race again tomorrow!
Friday: first run of the day was a 15 minute shakeout run. In the pouring rain. Then I headed home and put the longest spikes I had into my XC shoes in case the course was muddy. The race wasn’t until 6 p.m. so I puttered around and got a lot of little chores done during the day and before I knew it it was time to throw on my uniform, pick my kiddo up from school and head to the race. The USATF team I race with, Bull City Track Club, was racing at a collegiate and Open XC race called the Adidas XC Challenge. We were the only open team there and many of the college girls were young enough to be my kids. I wasn’t nervous though, just bemused by the situation and excited to be racing with my wonderful teammates again! With cross country you can’t worry about time too much because there is so much variation between courses and conditions so I was really relaxed during my warm up and on the start line. I had NO idea what kind of time to expect, especially because this is a HARD course, so I just had the goal to run a smart race. Ultimately I felt really, really good about the race: I ran hard but I was in control throughout and I beat a LOT of college girls! My final time was 18:28, which put me fifth for my team and left me very optimistic about my road racing potential for the fall!
Saturday: After a hard race last night it was pretty hard to run again just 13 hours later but fortunately I had friends to meet so before I knew it we had knocked out 8 moderately hard miles.
Sunday: I had planned for a long run with friends, but family life trumped those plans so my run didn’t happen until the evening. That was ultimately fine with me: I got to spend time with my husband, which is rare in our house, and my legs had more time to recover. The workout was 90 minutes with the middle 30 in marathon pace. I am a huge marathon sandbagger so I have never actually run workouts at my marathon pace but it was kind of exciting to start working on learning the pace. I ended up with 12.5 happy treadmill miles with the middle 5 at 6:50 pace and closed out the week tired but extremely satisfied!