- Simulate running on tired legs
- Simulate metabolic load of longer events
- Practice pacing
- Get some serious mileage in
- Acclimate to conditions
- Practice eating/drinking
Here's now my weekend sandwich developed:
Friday: I went out on my normal lunchtime run (Friday has become an 800' ascent "TGIF" day for the small group I run with at work). We can get from downtown to the top of the mountain and back (6 miles) in just about an hour.
Not a bad way to spend a lunch break. Due to the fact that I had been oncall for almost two weeks in a row, I decided to take the afternoon off so I could get a long run in before resuming my oncall duties for the weekend. So after reaching the top of the mountain and running back down with my friends, I said goodbye and headed into the woods to explore some of the trails of Mill Mountain and the surrounding area. Thanks to GPS, I was able to track my distance as I mindlessly ambled through the woods. I discovered a new trail that winds along the Mill Mountain low country -- and 18 miles later I decided to call it a day. 18.6 miles
Saturday: Work woke me up and wasted most of my morning. Then I watched VA Tech softball, mowed the lawn, and pretty much declared Saturday as a rest day. (Wait, doesn't mowing the lawn count for anything? Like 5.2 glasses of wine, or half of a Big Mac?!?!?)
Sunday: Church followed by an afternoon VA Tech softball doubleheader spent on the couch left my legs restless. I left the house around 5pm, and drove to the Blue Ridge Parkway (about 10 minutes from my house). I ran a mile south on the parkway, then galloped along a horse trail that eventually brought me back to the trails that I had explored on Saturday. 7 miles later I decided I'd better turn around or I'd be finishing in the dark. 14.1 miles
Monday: Absolutely done with oncall, I decided to get the most out of what was left of the weekend and turn this sandwich into a whopper. I left from the house with my GPS for a long road run. Nothing like an asphalt thrashing to beat the legs into shape. It was a hot one too -- temps around 85, no wind to speak of, relentless sun. Random route out 10 miles (thanks GPS), a stop for a V8 and Dr. Pepper, and mile 20 found me at the local swimming pool for a dip before the final 2 miles home. Just in time to shower, dress, and head out for a family cookout. Nothing like a long weekend of running to build up an appreciation for family, not to mention a real appetite. 22 miles
Now I rest, eat clean, and think happy thoughts. OD 100 is on the horizon. I'm not exactly where I would like to be in my training for a hundred miler, but I've consistently put in 40-50 miles per week all year, and run a few PR times. My fitness is better than it ever has been. If I can rest, recover, and hold this level of fitness, I should have a shiny new buckle come June 8.
Run hard out there.