The last few weeks have found me in a pretty consistent training pattern. Monday I’ll feel good and run hard. Tuesday I’ll struggle some through an easy run. Monday’s fast pace is still catching up to me during Wednesday’s run, too, and I start to feel some worrying aches and pains in my feet, ankles, or calves. Thursday is a rest day, but on Friday I’m still not feeling great during an easy run. Then I do my long run on Saturday, which feels iffy for five or six miles then gets better. After the long run, all those aches and pains somehow seem to reset themselves, and after a super-slow two-mile recovery run on Sunday, I’m good to run hard again Monday.
It’s probably a pretty good stress-then-rest training pattern, if I manage not to overdo it and get injured. My current plan has me doing about 45 miles this week and the next, then dropping down to 40 for something of a rest week. After that it’s a peak week of about 50 miles, before three tapering weeks heading into the McKenzie River 50K.
I almost didn’t feel like going through the hassle of driving to a trail to run this morning, instead thinking about doing a street run from my house. But then I remembered that I I had bought a shiny new pair of trail shoes earlier in the week (Brooks Adrenaline GTSes) and that gave me all the motivation I needed. I drove out to the Germantown Road trailhead and ran 19 slow miles on Wildwood.
The first five miles weren’t that great. My ankles and calves felt sore and I was having some stomach trouble. I took care of the latter (don’t ask) and eventually my legs warmed up and/or capitulated to the inevitable and stopped troubling me. The middle ten miles were pretty good. I was taking it very easy, making this run much more about time-on-my-feet than anything else. The last few miles weren’t bad, either, really, but after three hours out there I was ready to be done.
In Forest Park, the old classic trail signs, like this:
…are slowly being replaced with a new generation of signs, like this:
The old ones are made of painted wood, apparently hand-stenciled. They could degrade fairly quickly in our wet conditions, but they must have been pretty inexpensive to replace. To my eye, they had a classic look that fit in well in the woods.
The new signs are metal or metal laminated over plastic, printed in a heavy Helvetica typeface, with some additional “Forest Park” and “Portland Parks and Recreation” lettering in the margins. Precluding vandalism (an unfortunately common problem in the park) they could probably last forever. To me, they look wrong, and somehow cheap. I’m glad they kept the trapezoidal shape. I wish they had used a stencil typeface. Helvetica’s modern, clean look just grates on me in this context.
What do you think?
Anyway, I took these pictures during my 16-mile run on Wildwood on Saturday. Two more miles today, in the pouring rain, gave me a 41-mile week, which is not bad. I’m still feeling slow and out-of-shape and still wrestling with various aches and pains, ranging from a sore back to top-of-foot aches and most things in between at one time or another. But I think it’s getting better.
Most people probably say we had a crappy spring in Portland this year, but except for some rain, it’s been ideal for running. Warm enough for shorts and short sleeves, but still nice and cool. But today it was in the 80s, and I’m as far from acclimatized to the heat as you can get. That made my lunchtime run a bit of a struggle toward the end. I’m also generally not in the greatest shape right now. Just as I was starting to recover from the Vancouver Marathon, I came down with a cold, so the last couple of weeks have been pretty sorry as far as training goes. I figure it will be at least another week before I feel like I’m kind of back into normal shape, plus — if the hot weather sticks around — it will take another week after that before I’m more-or-less acclimatized.