Ok, I have been missing in action and action is really the right term. Life was busy lately and that has been a lot of fun at the same time. Last Thursday we packed our car for an extended weekend trip to Moab, Utah. We went to visit the famous Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park and Moab is the town closest to both national parks. I had even hoped to get a run in which would have been an awesome location to run in either national park, but in the end I did not run because it was a family trip and that mattered more than a run. I was still active though with hiking and being out and about in the national parks.
I love Moab as a vacation destination. It is a small town in Utah and it is about 6-7 hours away from where I live. We left Thursday afternoon at 3.00 PM, but an hour of traffic jam in the Rocky Mountains extended our drive quite a bit. We arrived at the hotel in Moab at around 10.00 PM and pretty much went to bed upon arrival. The next two days we visited Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park, but also spent a lot of time at the hotel pool and spa. After all, vacation time is also meant to be time for rest and relaxation.
We drove back on Sunday morning and the weather was so beautiful at home that I used the opportunity to go for a run. After sitting in the car for about six hours I was happy to move around a little bit. Since I had been resting for the last two days my legs felt fresh and strong and I ran over 7 miles with an average pace of 8 minutes and 7 seconds.
Tuesday we went skiing at Copper Mountain. Copper is about 90 minutes away from where I live – unless of course you get into a traffic jam on Interstate 70 which actually happens a lot. However, today we got lucky and the drive was uneventful and we arrived at the slopes at around 8.30 AM. We talked to some other skiers later on and they were not so lucky – the were from the Denver metro area as well, but they had a traffic jam which extended their drive up to almost 3 hours. We left Copper Mountain in the early afternoon and again got lucky with the traffic. Near Evergreen along Interstate 70 the Colorado State Patrol had setup a speed trap with at least three patrol cars on a 2 mile stretch, but we did not exceed the speed limit and continued on home with no interruption.
After taking a break for about an hour I went for my usual marathon training run. The temperatures were in the mid-60s, but it was a bit breezy. Still, I was kinda shocked to see my average pace come it with 8 minutes and 16 seconds per mile on 7.65 miles distance.
Last Sunday completed my 8th week of marathon training. I kind of treated this last week like a bye-week similar to what the NFL teams do during mid-season. I drastically reduced my mileage this week to give my body a fair chance to recover and to help muscle growth as well. I did four Kosama boot camp style workouts and ran 3 times during that 8th week of my marathon training cycle. The improved pace on the Sunday afternoon run was awesome and I love to see that my training schedule is working out appropriately.
Now with the bye-week behind me I can fully concentrate on the remaining eight weeks of my training. The week before last week my long run was for over 22 miles and I want to do a few more of those. Recovery from that long run was actually pretty good and since I am planning to run three marathons on three consecutive weekends it is important for me to see how my body recovers under similar conditions. I am even considering to push my next long runs up to 24 or 25 miles in length (depending on how I feel and how the weather co-operates / my wife has been sick since Thursday and I am kind of waiting to get what she has – hopefully I can fight it off).
But let’s speak long runs again. For one going long almost to race distance is usually not part of a conventional marathon training plan, but then again I am not training for just one marathon. I know that if you would train for an ultra-marathon that your longer training runs can go above 30 or 35 miles or so and with that being said I think my plan sounds solid.
Update: I had actually written this posting last night and wanted to publish it today. However, it feels my wife’s sickness is catching up to me and today was not necessarily my best day. I hate putting training on hold, but I need to get this bug/virus out of my body quickly and so today I did a lot of pro-active things to fight back.
Anyway, enjoy some of the pictures I took while being on vacation.
The images below were taken along Highway 128 that leads from Moab towards the Interstate 70, but as a Scenic Byway. This route is a bit longer to go compared to taking highway 191 straight up to the Interstate, but it is well worth it. The scenery along the Colorado river is just breath-taking and for me it is one of the most beautiful roads in the United States. I have never drive this way during a sunrise and it was amazing to be there so early in the morning.