Yes, Virginia, there are four seasons in Iowa! This weekly recap is brought to you by cooler temperatures and fall football festivities. I love running year-round, but if I could find a home climate with lows in the 40’s and 50s, and highs in the 60s and 70s every day, I’d probably move sight unseen. Well, I suppose I might want a job…and a place to live…and I should probably ask the beautiful epicurean what she things too. I should probably just move to Rivendell.
Ok, so that magical temperate kingdom may be a dream, but I can at least embraces the glimpses of it that come with fall in Iowa. Since moving to Iowa, I have been amazed at just how unpredictable the weather truly is, regardless of the time of year. Don’t worry, though, global climate change is still just a rumor! *sarcasm* This week brought the lovely fall temperatures that I look forward to every year, and with them, perfect running weather! It was a bit hot at the beginning of the week, but by Saturday morning, I had busted out my arm warmers and I couldn’t have been happier.
After a heavy mileage weekend, I stuck to my training plan and utilized Monday as a rest day. I spent plenty of extra quality time with the foam roller though!
Temperatures were still in the low 90s at the beginning of the week, so this was probably the least “comfortable” run of the week. However, I met a friend for some early miles before meeting up with our running group for the regular Tuesday Vardo run, and I ended up with a strong run. My legs were a bit more tired than usual at the end, but nothing out of the ordinary. I was wearing my new pair of Altra Provision 1.5s for the third run in a row, and I think the necessary period of adjustment finally hit me a bit.
Distance: 11.7 miles
By this point, I’m pretty much done with the heat. Thus, it made perfect sense for me to wake up early to knock out a 10K before work. I’m about the furthest thing from a morning person that you’ll find, and getting up early on Saturday mornings for long runs is already pushing it. Thus, it was a pretty big deal that I got my butt out the door, but I was happy that I did, and felt even more energized and productive the rest of the day! Are you a morning or evening runner?
Distance: 6.2 miles
I have Thursday reserved for hill or speed work, and I opted for hill repeats after work. There aren’t many hills at my disposal, but there is a workable hill not far from our house, so I ran down to the base of the hill and began my repeats. When I’m by myself and I start tackling hills, it’s really easy for me to slip into “ultra hill” mode, which is simply code for “walk the hills, run the flats”. This is all well and good on a long run, but not terribly productive when I’m aiming to do hill repeats. Thus, the fact that this hill is on a busy road means there is just enough incentive, in the form of passing traffic, to keep me running! I ended up with 10 repeats, and felt great afterwards.
Distance: 6.3 miles
Pace: 8:17/ mile
It may have been a rest day on the calendar, but my energy was off the charts, so I ended up getting plenty of other things done, and felt great heading into the weekend. I love productive days!
In the back of my mind, I’ve continued to train such that I could run a marathon at any moment. This has fit very nicely with my more recent training, but served as an even better motivator earlier on in the year. As a result, I’ve made it a point to run at least one “marathon” every month this year as an added challenge to myself. These runs aren’t any more organized than any other training run, but I set out to push past the 26.2 mark, which I’ll be doing much more of in the coming months. Thus, Saturday served as my September marathon, and I couldn’t have asked for a better morning. The temperature was hovering around 45 degrees when I woke up at 4:30AM. I met a few friends at 5:00AM to beginning running, and we met up with the rest of the group at 6:00AM. I wanted to pull back my pace a bit since I know I’m going to need to slow down considerably in order to run for 24 hours. I probably should have pulled back even more, but I was feeling really good, and the weather was glorious. There was added energy in the air on account of the Iowa State vs. Iowa football game as well, so it was a great morning. It didn’t hurt that I knew I was returning to homemade peach crepes and the Everton v. Chelsea Premiere League game (on TV) with the epicurean as well. 🙂
Distance: 26.6 miles
We woke up and carried on our pancake Sunday tradition with a bit of a twist in the form of South-Indian idlis (steamed fermented rice cakes) with some delicious chutney and jam. After a lazy morning relaxing, I headed out the door for a comfortable Sunday run. The weather was once again glorious, and the run was calming to the point of zoning out and barely noticing where I was going. I still made it home, and had plenty of time to enjoy the rest of the weekend!
Distance: 12.2 miles
Total Distance: 63 miles
I know that the beautiful fall weather is going to be short-lived, but I’m excited to enjoy it for the next few weeks while it’s still here. Soon enough, we’ll be raking leaves and racing the snow! I hope everyone else had a great week, training and otherwise.