Last week I hit the grass circuit for some mile repeats at 10k effort. These are more directed toward the Grandfather Marathon in July and will be slightly helpful on a few of the longer climbs at the Chattooga 50k. 'More fitness is more better' is my motto and though I have stayed away from speed work for the entire year, I have just been itching to run a little faster the past few weeks. So, in the spirit of running by feel I went out for a little relaxed form speed work. I followed that up a couple of days later with an aggressive 6 mile climb and an even more aggressive 6 mile descent back to the car. This made the legs scream for a couple of days. By Monday though, I was feeling pretty normal if not a little stiff and so went out for 24 easy miles on the Appalachian Trail, out of Watauga Lake access.
I just ran and ran and ran. After my watch beeped 1:42 I turned around and ran back to the car. It was slightly less climbing on the return and I was slightly quicker as a result, though I had no goal to run negative splits, just to relax and run for at least 3 hours a final time before the 50k... only three weeks to go now.
So that leaves a couple of longish runs over the next two weekends. I will also be sprinkling in a couple of mile repeat sessions and a few tempo runs as well while cutting back a bit on the overall workload volume.
I am ready to go. Visualizing the course, dealing with the early ease and excitement as it transitions into the fatigue and ultimately the despair that must be dealt with in its lonely steps, somewhere in there learning something, remembering something... whatever the lesson will be.