I began and ended my week with the same run / 7.5 mile course. Sandwiched in between those 2 runs were 3 long runs that when looking back - were tough to chew and swallow, but once digested - should sit well in my belly.
Sunday began with the 7 1/2 mile run I have out the back of my apartment that is a lollipop course with over 600' of gain in it. It was a breezy start into a wind so I started out just grinding the first few miles. I woke up eventually and got my legs under me, starting to feel strong so I pushed the effort a bit as I continued and ended up taking 1 3/4 minutes off my previous best effort. Was pleased with that.
No run on Monday, Tuesday I was off work. Picked up a kid and dropped her off at school and then drove to Mt Herman trailhead. It was warm already by 9 am as I got started. First lap was a moderate effort on the 8 mile loop for a 1:49 time. Second lap started out okay although as always was difficult on the 1600'+ climb up to the summit starting out the lap. I tried to stay with a moderate effort and measured pace and was doing well. With 3 miles to go I was tracking a new PR, feeling fatigued though. Problem was - I had 3 miles to go, and then another lap.
By the time I finished up lap 2 I had slowed and my time for the lap ended up being 1:57 - now 1 minute behind my 3 lap PR. And by now the wheels had feeling off and I was toast. I needed to finish this run though, trying to convince myself that even though my final time was going to suck - I needed to build my endurance and time on my feet. Problem still was I had to gain the summit. What a slog. It was miserable as I was so weary. I stopped several times - barely resisting the temptation to sit down, lie down, pass out.
I kept moving, slowly and finally got to the high point. I meandered my way down the other side managing to run when I could. As I made my way around the back of the mountain I ran the downhill's and flat sections - walked slowly up the uphill's. If it wasn't for the fact that I needed to pick up the same kid from school I would have taken much longer than I ended up doing. Lap 3 was 2:19. Total time was 6 hours, 5 minutes. 24 miles. Over 7000' of gain. I barely made it to school on time to pick up the kid. What a long day.
The one good thing about this "run" was that I wasn't sore afterwards, just weary. Very, very weary.
Wednesday a rest day and then Thursday my next long run of the week. 13 miles on Falcon Trail. I went counter clockwise and started out the first miles feeling slow and sluggish but as I got into the climbing section of the South end of the loop I felt better and went to work. 5 miles in and I figured I had an outside shot of getting halfway / to the high point in 60 minutes. I had only managed that once before. I ended up missing it by a few seconds for a 60:05 to the 6 1/2 mile mark - redlining the effort over the last /2 mile which resulted in once I crested the high point - taking a minute to walk and catch my breath.
I dialed it back while still maintaining a moderate to hard effort for the last 6 1/2 miles and ended up with a lap time of 1:54:45. One of my faster times in recent months. Best since mid June. This was a good run and helped with a confidence boost after Tuesdays effort.
Friday I did a moderate effort for 18 miles on Santa Fe Trail. Started at Northgate and went up to Palmer Lake and back. Out in 80 minutes at 8:52 pace. Turned - it was mid 80 degrees by now - and upped the effort to 8 minute pace for the next 3 miles. I though about trying to come the whole way back at that effort but fatigue caught up so I gradually slowed down and ended up finishing the last 9 miles at an 8:13 average. Total distance 18 miles. 2 hours 34 minutes.
Today (Saturday) I finished off the 70 mile week with the same run I started out the week with. After a sluggish and slow start I dialed it up and ended up with a 63 minute lap - 65 seconds slower than last time. A good work out to cap of a week with some really hard work in it.
So - the meat of training is over - less miles on tap this upcoming week - I'll look to work hard on most, if not all of the upcoming miles this week. Want to stay sharp. Still don't feel quite up to where I was going into the last 50K race in June, would like another couple of weeks of long training runs like the past 2 weeks - but will take what I have managed to get in - and look forward to the Stump Jump 50K 2 weeks from today - with expectations of being somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 minutes slower to 5 minutes faster than the last race.