Last week I got my awesome new trail shoes, La Sportiva Crosslites. I got to wear them Saturday on my run with Laura and I must say they rock! So light and grippy. I love the feel of the narrower and lower heel. I actually felt more nimble and stable without the extra wide flare at the bottom of the heel, which is ironic because traditionally it is thought that it gives you more stability, maybe on the roads but I don't know that it holds true for rough trails. They aren't as soft as my other trail shoes and this may take some getting used to just like running barefoot, but this shoe is meant to be my first experiment with a more minimal shoe. I wouldn't call them minimalist but they don't have all the bells and whistles that my other trail shoes have. My other shoes feel light at the start of a run but by mile 4 of a good effort I'm usually feeling their weight, I found this didn't happen with my Crosslites. I'll be interested to see how they do on a run of 8 miles or more. This weekend they will be put to the test of racing at the Run Like A Girl 8k Trail Race.
Last week was one of my best weeks of running so far since my return to running. I am happy to report that all my runs were enjoyable, and several gave me the elusive runner's high.
My Tuesday run I let myself pick up the pace a bit and really enjoyed feeling myself flying through the woods over rocky terrain and down steep inclines.
Wednesday I did my first installation of speed work. I warmed up 1.5 miles, then did less than a mile of fartleks, then less than a mile of cool down. I wanted to start off my first one some what easy, only 4 fartleks, I didn't want to over do it my first time out. I would liked to have gone faster during the fartleks but Tina was with me and I let her set the max pace since she isn't as speedy. I still got a good workout just not a max speedwork effort.
Then came Friday (elated angelic choir sings in back ground)! Friday I headed off to Crowders Mountain with a plan to run 6 easy miles. It started with a feeling of dread, I just knew this run would suck, legs felt cement filled. Much to my surprise by mile 3 I was feeling good, by mile 5 I was as high as a kite, mile 6 still awesome and decided to make it a 7 miler. By the end of mile 7 the delirious runner's high had dissipated and I was happy to stop while things still felt relatively good. Wow, what a run! I love having moments where I feel as though I could just run forever.
Saturday met Laura for our weekend run. She decided she didn't want to do a full long run, say 8 or 9 miles, but wanted to work on speed at a shorter distance. Her half marathon training plan called for a 10k so we picked 6 miles. 1 mile warm-up, 4 mile tempo, 1 mile cool down. I set the pace for our warm-up and tempo. Laura did a great job of keeping up. We did have to walk one hill on the way back in. I had another insane runner's high moment. I asked Laura if she felt like the wind because I did. Her reply was not as cheery and I'm thinking at that point if she had been closer to me she would have thrown a punch my way. I knew she was struggling at points and did my best to keep her focus away from this discomfort by giving her tips and making light conversation. With the tempo done I had Laura lead us on the cool down, which ended up only being 10 secs slower than the last mile of our tempo, way to take it down a notch! Laura had on these awesomely bright socks, green with a wide orange stripe and two small yellow stripes. She was Rainbow Brite in all her glory. I couldn't help but stare at her calves. I'll have to blame those socks on my near miss that has left the outside of my right ankle tender, luckily it doesn't hurt to run just walk.
After such a great week of running last week, yesterday's run was kind of sucky. It wasn't horrible but I never felt like the wind or that I could run forever and I sure didn't feel like adding any extra mileage to my plan. Oh well, runs like that are what make you stronger mentally and physically.
Daydreaming, ah, my favorite hobby outside of running. Of course much of that daydreaming revolves around running. Sometimes I enjoy hunting for gear on the interwebs that I can't have or races I would like to do. This time I'm day dreaming of an Adventure Running Co. trail running vacation. What are the chances that the Mother's Day fairy will buy me a trip? I think it would be fun to get my trail running girls to go with me and we could all take a much needed break from family duties for a week and enjoy the beautiful landscapes Mother Nature has to offer in our great country.