My calves ache and my feet have taken a pounding in recent days. When I wake up from a good night’s sleep and take my first steps I can feel the good ache in my legs and feet as my contracted muscles stretch out. This past week I ramped up my running in preparation for the North Face Endurance Challenge 50k. 27 miles marks a five week high and I got in two good time trial efforts in the form of Milwaukee's Bastille days 5k and the Dances with Dirt half marathon at Devil’s Lake.
|Devil's Lake Dances with Dirt Elevation story|
The week started out with early AM runs of 5 and 6 miles in the heat and humidity on Monday and Wednesday. These were slow miles with the dog and having not run in the AM for a while I was still acclimating. Thursday night was the always fun Bastille Days 5k running through downtown Milwaukee. There is always a fun atmosphere with lots of hot bodies on display and good eating. I did not know what to expect for performance. I felt strong, went out fast and gradually faded with mile splits of 5:41, 5:54, 6:36 and a final time of 18:49. It was a good time trial and puts me about a minute slower than where I was during my spring training cycle.
|Pre race dinner hickory smoked beer can chicken|
Come Saturday I had another race effort, this time the Dances with Dirt half marathon in Devil’s Lake. I drove up Friday and camped with some friends. During the hot night before the race I woke to a few Charlie horses. There was a lot of climbing in those first few miles of the race and my calves were still destroyed from the 5k two days prior. I walked most of the uphills and wondered if I would be able to knock this race out in less than 3 hours. The embarrassment of being passed by what felt like everyone was a little much. After the initial climb I sped way up catching most everyone that owned me on the climb. The downhills were wide open without switchbacks which I loved. Good race, and a good wake up call to my current running fitness, would do it again.