Left Hand TrailAfter running 50 miles in 5 days during the first half of my vacation, targeting 100 miles over the full 10 days seemed like a good idea.  I lost confidence when my left knee began to hurt.  I slowed down my pace with a 6 mile run on the 7th day.  This seemed to help, enough to where I ran 14 miles on the 8th day to catch back up.  That apres-run recovery required an ibuprofen.  I should take vitamin-I more often, it really does the trick.  I ran an 8 mile trail run with Keith and Jen yesterday, pictured here on Left Hand Trail, and closed out the 10 day training plan with 13 miles today for a full 100 miles.  Actually, 101.

I’ll change up my training program tomorrow with shorter runs.  The next two weekends include relatively short 5K races.  With DST over and less daylight available for running, my distance will necessarily decrease.  I’ll leverage this by working on my speed.  My recorded 5K race pace is currently slower than my 10K pace.  Not too unusual for older runners, it takes us a mile or two to build momentum.  Something I want to work on though.  My goal is to run under a 7 minute per mile pace for a 5K.  I’ll have two shots at it before Christmas.  My expectation is for a quicker time in the second event as my muscles learn how to run faster.  All things being equal.  Speed is learned.  The weather could play a factor and I don’t know if that course in Fort Collins is flat or hilly.  The CU campus course next weekend has some slopes but nothing too steep.

Not sure how I’ll work on speed exactly but I’m looking forward to it.  I’m fairly fatigued from this 100 mile surge.  Oddly enough I ran my best pace of the last 10 days today with almost every mile under 8 minutes.  I was dead yesterday though running a 9 minute pace.  I know from past surges that I need to back off once my knees begin to hurt.  In a sense, it’s positive feedback that I’ve trained hard.  Whether it’s track or football, my money is always on the athlete who is at 95% over the one at 100%.

I’ve been thinking about my goals for next year.  Besides needing to be prepared for a marathon in February, I really just want to maintain.  I achieved modern day PRs this year at the 10K and half marathon distances.  If things work out, I’ll do so in the 5K too.  If I have an improved speed goal next year it will be to best my time in the Bolder Boulder 10K, perhaps sprint up that final hill on Folsom.  Otherwise I’ll take another year of avoiding injury and running a few competitive events.  Nothing wrong with consistency.  I’ve maintained my weight at 175 pounds for close to 2 years now.  I know health charts would have me at 165 for my height, but at least I’m not gaining pounds anymore.  Unless of course I’m starting to shrink due to old age.  I received numerous comments this year from people suggesting I’ve lost weight.  Apparently my body has shape-shifted somewhat, but I’ve been quite steady at 175.  I still have a paunch that is atypical of a marathoner, but it’s flattened slightly.  I’m starting to tuck my shirt in more often.

The vacation training blitz is over.  I’ll still be able to get some distance in on the weekends.  I have Fridays off all month and my Christmas shopping is half complete.  With two more events planned, I shouldn’t call it done, but starting to look ahead into next year.