Nat Couture Training Update: Rollin' With The Punches

August 05, 2016

Lots of highs and lows in the last few weeks of training. Even for someone like me who's been at it for many years, it only takes a few bad days to throw me off mentally. 
Last week I had a tight calf/achilles for a few days and in addition to that tweaked my back on Monday morning while doing weighted squats, forcing me to take the day off. The funny thing is, the day off, helped me get over the calf issue, but for some reason that initial feeling you get when you're forced to take an unplanned day of rest is not a good one. It throws me off my game and makes me feel like I'm falling behind, which is really not the case, but it takes a bit of mental gymnastics to deal with it. I ended up rolling my calves 3 times a day most of last week and decided to take Saturday off as well as a mini taper for my double running of the Herring Run. I ran a pretty typical week other wise, and by 5am Sunday morning(race day) I felt like a million bucks. I even had company with me for the two morning pre-loops of the race course. Andrew Titus joined me for both loops, while RD extraordinaire Bryan Gagner and Fundy Trail Runner Tim Barry rounded out a wicked foursome for loop 2 as we watched the sun come up over the bay. That was the best run I've had in a long time. The pre-loops also prevented me from doing anything silly during the race itself, which is just what I needed.   
I'm now at the beginning of my last training week, and I'm feeling tired, but happy to be nearing the end of a long training block. Training for a 100 miler is like walking a balance beam. One has to constantly choose between resting and training where rest leads to poor fitness and training potentially leads to injury. I've rarely been officially injured but I often teeter on the edge of injury for long stretches of time as I prepare for each long race, and this time is no different. I'm glad my back is good, and that my calves/achilles seem to be under control as this upcoming weekend I'll be racing the 50k at Brookvale, and will use that as my final long run. I'll get to meet up with some runners I haven't seen in a while. 
After that, I'll be running a little but will mostly try to regain some strength and flexibility and will try to catch up on sleep. I'll be spending my extra downtime hours planning the race day logistics.
Here's a peek at my running log showing the last few weeks:
I've reduced the mileage of the last few weeks given that I've chosen to incorporate the Herring Run and Brookvale. These last two weeks of July were meant to be 160-170k, but they'll be more like 140 each, but the efforts will be harder, so we'll call it even.