Six sunrises after getting back from Caumsett, Lauren and I packed our bags once more and headed out to Bear Mountain State Park, Bear Mountain is located about 60miles north of NYC, west of the Hudson River. Besides from being a beautiful weekend to be outdoors, our main goal was to check out The North Face 50k course that Lauren will be racing in late April.
I woke up to the faint sound of a motor running and rhythmic footsteps pounding lightly on the treadmill in the room below. Lauren was well into her run and I wanted to sleep in after a long week of work. A dull pain went through my spine as I gingerly rolled out of bed. I had tweaked my back helping Lauren move the past weekend and it was still a little sore. I stretched and lightly massaged it, applying a thin layer of tiger balm to my sore muscles. The pain subsided. I was worried how it would feel after the car ride to Long Island, but the thought passed as I still had to pack, go for short run, and eat before the Raulli's came to pick us up.
Overall, I was very pleased with how my training went for Caumsett. Early on in the cycle I had back to back longer progression runs and I think I handled these very well. I feel that these set me up for the rest of the training block because I was somewhat used to being able to increase my effort level towards the end of each long run on tired legs. While my speed on these weren't too fast, I think the overall feeling that my legs, lungs and mind pushed through in these early runs help prepared me for some of the faster more intense workouts in the the latter parts of my training.
Throughout my entire cycle I recovered well and was able to hit my mid-week workouts. My training was definitely well balanced and I think I will be able to handle a variety of unknowns during the race, like an early fast pace, random pace changes, or sit-and-kick fast finishes. I did feel a little beat up mid-late February but now having rested my legs I feel very strong and ready to race!
While it may not be as dire of a question as whether to live or die, asking yourself if you need a coach or not is a good question to ask yourself at any point in your running life. Ever since I've graduated high school, I've had trouble responding to a coach. There may be a plethora of (piñatas?) reasons for this, but I think it mostly has to do with the fact that I love to run. Winning and racing is not the driving force behind why I go out for my daily ritual of hitting the trail or road. I really enjoy being a student of the sport and like being able to push myself in different ways in training, sometimes even if it's not the most logical thing to do. I'm experimental to a fault, and the end result ultimately becomes another piece of data for me. This is not to say I don't care about racing or setting PRs. I do, but on a daily basis what fuels my mind is creating something that I've never done before and seeing if it works out.