Journey back to the High Country

I finished up with my coaching obligations in New Jersey early in the week and then began to pack up my things to head back South for the summer. Before hitting the road on Thursday, I had a mile repeat workout that I did at Rider University. The goal of the workout (as with most ZAP sessions) was to start moderately and move forward throughout. I was slated to run 4 reps, take a slightly longer set break, then run 3 reps to finish, with the first rep of the 2nd set to be run a hair slower than where I finished the previous set. I was concerned heading into the session not because of the aerobic demands of the workout but because my hamstrings were still sore on any harder or longer run I’d do. Here’s how it went:

7×1 mile, 4/3, 2 min between each rep, 4 min between sets:

4:52
4:49
4:45
4:44
_____
4:47
4:46
4:36

Overall, it ended up being a good session but it was a mentally challenging morning. I find that doing a long run or tempo run alone isn’t that difficult for me to wrap my head around but shorter repeats solo are tough. I almost pulled the plug on the mile session after a few reps because I was fighting with myself to keep focused and finish the task at hand. But my legs and hamstrings felt decent and it wasn’t as if I wasn’t getting faster with each repeat so I pushed on. I even threw my spikes on for the last one which was fun! It was another good introductory workout as I get back into full training mode.

Shortly after the workout, Esther and I hit the road for Richmond, VA. Because Hopewell, NJ and Blowing Rock, NC are over 10 hours apart, Esther and I decided to break the trip up over a few days to save our legs a bit. After getting in 2 easy runs around Richmond on Friday and Saturday morning, I completed my trip back to ZAP.

As I approached Boone, I realized that I hadn’t been at ZAP for over 6 months! Shortly after Thanksgiving I was gone from NC and then bounced from NJ to FL to SC over the next few months. It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon in the High Country and I remembered how stunning this area of the country can be.

On Sunday morning I got in my first long run with the ZAP crew at Watauga River Road in Valle Crucis, NC. Joe, Tyler, Colley, and I clipped off a controlled and steady long run while engaging in some entertaining banter that I’d missed over the previous 2 months away.

Later Sunday afternoon Esther, her parents, and I went to Gideon Ridge Inn in Blowing Rock to organize our upcoming wedding in September. Gideon is a beautiful little inn and restaurant in town where we will be getting married. It has some breathtaking views and we were all able to get lots done before we all steam ahead with our busy summers of training, racing, and coaching.

Where Esther and I will get married in September. It should be beautiful!

Where Esther and I will get married in September. It should be beautiful!

Thanks for reading! More to come next week!

Here is my last week of training (5/17-5/23):

Sunday: AM: 17 miles (1-1-2-1 x2)  PM: walk

Monday: AM: 6.5 miles   PM: 6.5 miles

Tuesday: AM: 11 miles (10×20 post run)

Wednesday: AM: 13 miles (12×200 meters post run)

Thursday: AM: 13 miles (7×1 mile workout)   PM: 5 miles (in MD)

Friday: AM: 11 miles (in RVA)   PM: 5 miles (in RVA)

Saturday: AM: 9 miles (in RVA)   PM: walk (at ZAP)

Total: 97 miles, 10 runs

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