Last week I took a cutback week in order to acclimate to summer heat and humidity. I had run three weeks of my highest mileage in two years (38, 40, and 40), so I was due for a cutback anyway. Instead of running higher mileage, I forced myself to do shorter runs slightly later in the morning so I could adapt to the heat.
One positive aspect of the heat was beautiful blue skies on most of my runs. It is amazing how uplifting and refreshing blue skies can be.
Monday: Rest day
Tuesday: 4.1 mile stroller run
Since I was running only 4 miles, I opted to start a bit later (close to 9 AM) to force acclimation to the heat. I worked on keeping a light effort (something I need to do anyway with marathon training starting in a couple months). My goal was to run a 9:00-9:15/mile pace and I averaged a 9:01/mile pace.
Wednesday: 6 mile uptempo run & strength training
I ran early before Ryan left for work. All the events of the week weighed heavy on my mind and I found it a struggle to control my pace. So, I let myself pick up to a moderate effort, then to a moderately hard effort. My splits were 8:44, 8:22, 8:04, 7:30, and 7:21, followed by a cooldown mile to get home.
It felt good to run fast again. Thanks to all the focus on mileage and strides, I felt more comfortable in the tempo effort than a few months ago. I even claimed second on a Strava segment in town!
After the run, I completed a TRX workout from Running Rewired. We finally installed a wall mount for our TRX. While the positioning of a wall mount hinders some exercises, I was able to do almost all of the prescribed exercises.
Thursday: 4.2 mile stroller run
This was another acclimation run. It was 73 degrees and humid when I ran! I finally started to feel as if I was acclimating a bit. I focused on keeping a light effort and averaged an 8:55/mile.
Friday: 4 mile trail run
After weeks of rain, the park by our house was finally dry. I took Ollie out with me. The first thing I noticed was the humidity, then the blankets of cottonwood pollen. Given that combination, I focused on keeping the pace controlled. We averaged a 9:20/mile and both enjoyed running on some grass.
Saturday: 10 mile long run
I focused on controlling my pace, since it was warmer and more humid even at 6:45 AM. By the end, my legs still felt good, so I eased into a smooth moderate effort. My last mile was an 8:03; it’s encouraging to see those paced coming back at the appropriate effort levels.
I enjoy branching out a bit further from home on these runs. It is so quiet and scenic once you get even a mile out from the town center. The only downside is – for the third week in a row – I was dive-bombed by red-winged blackbirds. I understand they are likely protecting a nest, but sometimes they seem to get a little too close for comfort!
Sunday: 3 mile stroller run + strides & strength training
Summer runs with Ollie are a fine balance. Like many dogs, he is sensitive to heat and humidity. With 65 degree temps and relatively mild humidity (68%), the weather was beautiful for us but required keeping it easier for Ollie. I completed a set of strides, with almost all of my paces below 6:00/mile. I feel my stride improving, especially in my hip extension.
After brunch and putting Isla down for a nap, I completed a modification of the Performance Prep workout from Running Rewired (subbing in some exercises from other workouts in the book). This workout included kettlebell squats, swings, suitcase carries, bear crawls, push-ups, TRX rows, and lots of mobility exercises.
And that was 32 miles for the week! It feels good to have what was once my high mileage as now a cutback week.
How was your week in running?
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