The Hay is in the Barn

Last week was the last full week of training before Rock/Creek Chattanooga Stage Race.  I was pretty pleased with my runs/performance, and Tuesday’s run definitely made me feel better, especially after the past couple of weeks that were, well, shitty.

Last Week’s Runs

Monday: Rest day (as Coach Hunter knows, rest days blow)

Tuesday: AM 10 minute warm-up; Red, White, and Blue Trail (1:28:59); 10 minute cool-down; PM  30 minute recovery run

Wednesday: 39 minutes @ East Nasty

Thursday: 1 hour, 40 minutes on Red/Blue trail with my running buddy, Taylor

Friday: Rest Day — meant to run but got stuck in GIANT traffic jam on my way to Athens, TN and just ran out of time

Saturday: 1 hour, 30 minutes.  Explored some MTB trails over in Athens

Sunday:  50 minute easy run

Stage race has been my focus for so long that it’s going to be hard to return to “normal” life next week. I guess that’s where StumpJump training will come in.  However, it’s probably for the best that stage race training is almost over and that the “hay is in the barn”.  As much as I hate to say it, I think my body will be happy to take it easy for a week or two.

Me, next week

Me, next week

I’ve also let stage race consume me and dictate a lot of the choices I’ve made over the past months. Some are normal such as staying in on Friday nights so I’m rested for Saturday morning long runs. Others are ridiculous– such as lying out in the sun to get a base tan for stage race (seriously? I’m sure sunburn is reaaaallly going to be my main concern and not the 60 miles over 3 days and East TN elevation) or swearing off any shoe with a heel for the past 3 months (as much as I love them,  I can’t really pull off sparkly Toms and a suit. Who do I think I am, Ellen?).

It really is hard to believe that after all of these months of training, it’s finally (almost) race time.  This has been the most difficult yet most rewarding training I have ever done.  I really owe a lot to this training cycle (and to my coach… WWHS?)  I’ve learned a lot about myself and learned to love and appreciate trail running even more than before (which I didn’t think was possible). I truly view trail running as a lifestyle now, and I’m striving to insert the “rules of the trail”* into my everyday life (respect for nature, respect for your fellow runner,  stay on trail, be friendly, what happens on the trail stays on the trail).  Plus, I actually have muscles in my legs now (no, vanity isn’t a rule of the trail but who said I was perfect?)  So now that the hay is in the barn, here’s hoping the actual race is as amazing as training for it was.

*For the lighter and more race-specific trail running rules, check out Candice Burt’s Commandments of Sincerely Unapologetic Runners


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