I would have liked to have kept the mileage increasing, but my week was insanely busy with work and I ended up not getting home until after 9 pm several nights, so I had very little time to run. In hindsight, it's not that bad to have had one down-week after my first 4 semi-legitimate weeks in awhile. I have the drive to be training hard again, but throwing in some down weeks here and there will enable me to push for a later peak, which seems desirable at this point. I originally figured I'd try to get a peak in December, but that seems way too soon, probably 1-2 months before I'd be ready for a fast marathon if I trained hard through then. There's nothing of note, racing-wise, to peak for in Jan/Feb, so if I could push for March or even April, that would be good. For right now, I'm just enjoying getting some speed back.
Monday: Off, wasn't home until 10 pm.
Tuesday: 8 miles. 1 mile warmup, 3 miles in 18:12, 2 min rest, 3 miles in 17:53, 2 min rest, 1 mile in 5:25. Last mile was really really hard. Got home after 10:00 after getting my work and run done. :(
Wednesday: Off, wasn't home until 9 pm.
Thursday: 8 miles, 1500' gain, JCC to 5-way and back with Heidi Madsen, a speedy female undergrad from the U. I knew the evening would be horrible, so we fit this run in at 6:30 until 7:45 in a relatively serious snowstorm. The pace wasn't super fast, but that was mostly a result of the atrocious condition of the trail (slush, deep mud, ever-deepening snow, heavy winds, freezing temps, etc) and finished literally a few minutes before sunrise, which was apparently at 7:50.
Friday: 5 miles, 1000' gain, with Holly, 0:4x. Wildrose loop + run up to the city creek ridgeline. Nice and easy, was testing out some old XC spikes in the mud, + had to make it to a date at the symphony shortly after finishing.
Saturday: 7 miles, A little ways up Bountiful Blvd over to Mueller Park Canyon and Kenny Creek Trail, up the trail, and back, 2000' gain. Unbelievably obnoxious mud. The trail is cut in a fashion that allows all the moisture from melting snow to drain into it, so it was pretty absurd. My Nike Zoom Streak XC 3s that I bought for $28 busted through in the right side of the right toe box on the way down, so my feet were ridiculous when I finished. Brought Holly along and she loved it, but has never been more dirty in her life. Haha.
Sunday: 16 miles to and on Jordan River Parkway, down to West Valley and back. First half in 53 min, second half in 47. The last few miles were extremely difficult. Fortunately, this run is basically flat other than a very minor hill at the end, which was helpful, but I really didn't have more than a couple minutes left at that pace at the end or I would have been toast. Felt pretty close to all out, which was slightly less than encouraging, but thinking about it, I suppose a 16 mile run with the 2nd half at just under 6:00 pace should be quite encouraging to me. Still, I know that I need to work my speed strength a lot. I can run slow literally all day and night long, but I need more runs like this where I'm pushing a fast pace over the second half, especially when I start getting tired, and I also need more tempo work. That said, I think the treadmill work has been helping, so I'll continue to do some of that.
Totals: 43 miles, 4500' gain. Kind of meh, but it was relaxing and it's not like I was hoping to do this little. Fortunately the work-related situations that caused this to happen were maybe a once in a year type thing at most, so it's not going to be a pattern.
Music for the week is the absolutely stunning 18th variation from Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini. I had the great pleasure in seeing this whole piece played live by the Utah Symphony Orchestra and Lukas Geniusas, along with Shostakovich's October, Borodin's 2nd Symphony, and the Suite from Rimsky-Korsakov's The Tale of Tsar Saltan on Friday. This is of course best as listened as a whole, but given that I sincerely doubt anyone who reads this has the interest in sitting here and listening to a 24 minute piece of music, here is a highlight: