MCM Training Week 4: Cutback and get movin’

I had been thinking that I was wishing week 3 was a cutback week: between all of the packing and a grueling work week (including a couple 10+ hour days), my runs clearly suffered. Why did I have to push through a 7-mile tempo and a 14-mile long run during such a rough week?

Well, because moving week is no picnic either.

All I had were easy runs (5 scheduled for Tuesday and 7 for Friday) on the docket, so I milked them for all they were worth, running every weekday run sans music, and partially sans Garmin as well (after the move I needed to measure the distance for new routes!).  I started every day except for moving day (Wednesday) with some beautiful miles.

Just me, my running shoes, and my Road ID for a quick two mile loop

Tuesday morning I went on an old standby 3-mile loop, no Garmin, no music – but brought my phone to document my last run from my old apartment. It feels a little silly, since I moved all of a half a mile away, but still worth noting where I spent the last three years of my running life, right? Not to mention the first place I started actually training and competing.

A Cheshire Cat moon kept me company


A busy street, so quiet at dawn


Favorite church. And hello again, moon!


Stop and smell the flowers


Morning is just around the corner

Wednesday was a full day of cross-training: I was up at 7 a.m. to eat breakfast and try to put together all the odds-and-end that are always left to the last minute during a move. Then the rest was running up and down stairs, moving boxes and furniture, supervising the movers I hired, and after all that was done, finishing deep-cleaning t he apartment. Also known as: on my feet – all day. Needless to say, my IT band was pretty unhappy about this arrangement.  But it had to be done.

Legs up the wall before the last car load

It’s all worth it, though. Skipping ahead a bit, NF’s parents came into town this past weekend to help us with unpacking and moving errands, including buying a couple more furniture items. And we got this awesome shoe rack for our front hall – of course it’s already filled with running shoes (note that I have to stack mine while my new roommate hogs four cubbies):

Yes, all of my shoes are Brooks. One pair Ghost 5s, two pair Launch, one pair Pure Flows (first edition)

Thursday, as we woke up to our first morning in the new place, we both kind of had an inkling that a 7-mile run probably wasn’t in the books. So we headed out toward Oakland on a particularly pretty street to try to just enjoy ourselves.Task accomplished – I almost brought my phone to take some pictures, but it’s better I didn’t since it started raining pretty hard in the last mile or so. We wrapped it up the next day with another run into Oakland on a flat-ish track, enjoying some of the greener side streets and the stillness of the morning after a very long week.

Sunday wrapped up with an 8-mile cutback long run, adapting a route I used from my old place (we didn’t get internet until yesterday so we couldn’t gmap anything) that wound up being exactly 8 miles. We powered up Forbes hill into Squirrel Hill and I was feeling absolutely phenomenal, hitting a rhythm I hadn’t hit in quite a while. Only minor issue was when the band-aid on my fourth toe from where I’d stubbed my toe to the point of bleeding under the nail (hazard of boxes everywhere) started chafing my baby toe. Owie. But it was a phenomenal run and I was really happy with how I had charged up Forbes without quitting, cuing into a power song to go up and over. Bodes very well for the tough moments in the marathon.

This week we’re back in action. With the structure of our cycle and other races, this is – I think – our only other three-week build cycle. We’re training aggressively , but also resting aggressively. This week I get a second crack at a 7-mile tempo, though now I’ll need a new route. And on Sunday? Well, we’re funneling our scheduled 16-miler into the Run for Gold 26.2K in Frostburg, Md.! Expect lots of stories, and hopefully pictures, next week!

Kitty reminds you about the importance of getting your yoga in.

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I'm a 35-year-old writer and runner. This is my running blog.

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