Even when I’m not training for a specific race, running feels best when I let it naturally fall into a hard-easy routine. Last week’s workout felt fantastic due to this – while I didn’t do any hard workouts, I ran faster and longer on the days it felt good and deliberately kept it easy on the alternating days. I went into this week without much of a plan mileage wise and just ran what felt comfortable and enjoyable.
This week in workout featured a good dosage of heat and hills – in the best way possible. It was sunny and pleasantly warm throughout the entire week. With my IT band feeling better, I enjoyed some of my favorite hilly routes, logging a total of 34 miles and 1400 feet of elevation, and ended the week with a backpacking trip in the mountains.
Monday: 7 miles & strength training
A good hour-long run sets the right tone for a new work week. I ran at a comfortable 8:30/mile pace with a total of 240 feet of elevation gain. The only downside was that, as I usually do once per summer, I tripped and skinned my knee.
My kettlebell workout later in the day tired out my legs far more than the morning’s run. The workout included various kettlebell exercises including swings, single leg deadlifts, goblet reverse lunges, push presses, and deadbugs, followed by some negative pull-ups and dumbbell reverse flyes to work on back strength.
Tuesday: 5 miles
I split up this run into two so I could run both dogs – three miles with Ollie, two miles with Charlie. Both runs were at an easy effort, especially since the summer heat and humidity makes it a bit harder for both the pups.
Wednesday: 7 miles & strength training
I don’t enjoy hill repeats, but I do love a good rolling hills route. None of the hills on this route were aggressive, but the constant variation made this run really enjoyable. This run was one of those rare runs where everything feels fantastic and the final three miles effortlessly hit a sub-8 pace. The total elevation gain was right around 380 feet.
After feeling completely weak on my negative pull-ups on Monday, I almost did a full pull-up on Wednesday! I managed to pull myself about 2/3-3/4 of the way up on the first rep of each set of hanging shrugs. The rest of the strength workout included front squats, deadlifts, hip thrust, push presses, box jumps, and TRX inverted rows.
Thursday: 5 miles
My legs were fatigued from the previous day’s workouts, so I kept the pace easy on this run. Ollie and I ran five miles at a 9:00/mile pace along a flatter route.
Friday: 10 mile long run
This was my first double-digit run since my half marathon in May and the return to the distance felt so invigorating. I brought along some Nuun and stuck to a shaded route due to the warmer temperatures and high humidity. Most of the route was on rolling hills and when the terrain flattened out, my final mile clocked in at 7:44. I finished off my run with about a third of a mile of walking to cool down. When I can, I really like to fit in a short walk after runs – my legs always feel much better.
The hike we initially wanted to do still had some snow at the top, so Ryan and I decided to backpack to one of our perennial favorites – Dorothy Lake. Apparently, everyone else had the same idea, and we ended up hiking another mile and a quarter around the lake to find an open spot. Ollie wasn’t able to swim, but we all still enjoyed relaxing outdoors.
We woke up to a swarm of gnats on our tent. Thankfully, we had applied permethrin to our tent and clothing, but we still quickly drank our instant coffee while packing up our gear. We hiked 3.1 miles back to the trailhead. Charlie pulled the entire way down the mountain, but his enthusiasm was so adorable!
How was your week in running?
What’s your favorite part of summer running?