American River 50 Training Recap: Week 2

American River 50 recap week 2

Week 2 of (officially) training for the American River 50 miler (AR50). This week was a rainy one for us here in the Bay Area and I was reminded of how out of practice I am running in the rain.

Read prior training recaps.

American River 50 Training Goals

  • Two strength training sessions a week
  • Yoga once a week
  • Mobility work/foam rolling nearly every day
  • Research one area of running a 50 miler
  • 1 run with significant elevation gain a week
  • 2 trail runs a week

The Plan v. Reality: Week 2

PlanYoga5 miles
7 miles6 miles
rest20 miles13 miles
ActualNTC Mobility5 miles
7 miles6 miles
rest20 miles14 miles

Area of Focus

AR50 course review (elevation gain, where are the paved v. trail sections). Course limits, pacing issues.

The Week That Was


Technically, I didn’t do yoga today, but I did do a Nike Training Club workout ‘Open Rotation’, which focuses on mobility and movement.

Close enough for my purposes.

I also did some foam rolling, so I’m doubling up on the mobility work.


I noticed a distinct lack of oomph on my run this morning. While I know to expect that on my Thursday runs, Tuesday is usually my peppiest day.

I’m not sure if it was just an off day or if I’m still tired from my back-to-back long runs over the weekend.

It’s likely a combination of both – I imagine my body is a little confused by this sudden uptick in activity. I need to give it a little time to catch up.

I did my little strength routine after the run. No drama, no hemming and hawing. Just got home from the run, set my timer, and did it.

For me, that’s huge!


Living in Northern California has admittedly spoiled me when it comes to running in adverse conditions.

We don’t get snow or super cold temps. We also don’t get many days of hot or humid weather. After a few years of drought, I don’t even run much in the rain. And when it does rain, it’s usually more a sprinkle than actual rain.

That may change in the next few days. We apparently are in the midst of an ‘atmospheric river’ and it’s supposed to rain for 4 or 5 days straight. Why the weather people are all calling it an atmospheric river instead of a big storm system, I have no idea.

I woke up this morning to rain (actual rain, not the usual sprinkles). I putzed around a little to kill time thinking it may lighten up, but based on the forecast I knew that wasn’t likely.

So I just headed out the door and got soaked to the bone.

I could feel the drivers in the cars I passed looking at me at questioning my sanity.

My pace wasn’t all that different than my usual pace, but I sure felt faster in the rain – leaping over puddles and rushing through yellow lights so I wouldn’t have to wait through a red light.

No night trail run tonight due to the weather.

I’ll do any two – night, trail, rain. But all three? That’s a little too hard core – even for me.


I was able to get the first mile of today’s run in before the rains arrived again.

Good thing tomorrow is a rest day, I need to give my shoes a chance to dry out. I have two pairs of shoes rotating at any given time, they are now both soaked to the core.

Hopefully at least one pair will be dry by Saturday. I usually stuff my shoes with newspaper to dry them out, but in this day and age, I don’t get the paper. Hopefully, the Safeway grocery ad will have the same effect. [update from Friday night: grocery ads are just as effective drying out shoes, both pairs were dry by Saturday]

I usually like to do my strength routine right after getting home, but I had to switch up the timing today.

I got home literally dripping wet, so a warm shower was first on the agenda.

The strength work happened, but not until after lunch.


Rest day.

Of course, it’s the one day of late when it isn’t raining at the time when I would have been running.

Murphy’s Law at its best


The running club marathon training group runs (where I am a coach and the pace group leader of the 11 minute/mile group) are back after a week off.

Like last week, I went out to the Iron Horse Trail. It’s a great option for long runs. It’s something like 30 miles long (one way), so you can do any distance on it, there are water fountains and bathrooms along the route and while there are a few road crossings, most are very lightly trafficked so there isn’t much disruption to your running flow.

I felt great on this run – it felt like I haven’t run with the group in forever.

Its really only been a week?


I like to do trail runs on Sunday, but after a week of rains I knew (like last week) pretty much any trail I’d do would be a muddy mess.

really wasn’t in the mood for a muddy mess today, and making myself do a muddy trail run when I’m not feeling it wouldn’t do my body or my mind any good. I’ve long since learned to not make myself do a trail run if I’m not feeling it – the odds of getting lost or getting injured on the trail is just too high if I’m not into it 100%.

Mind you, I don’t get out of running if I’m not feeling a trail run.

I still do the run, but like I did today, I kept it paved.

Week Overall

I feel like I should be running more miles, but I don’t want to increase my mileage too fast or I’ll end up hurting myself or totally burning out. So I’m ramping up the mileage (fairly) slowly and trying to ignore the little nagging bit in the back of my brain telling me I’m not doing enough.

  • I’m still 100% on strength work! Yeah!
  • While I didn’t do yoga, the NTC mobility class I did on Monday served basically the same purpose, so I’ll call that one a win.
  • I foam rolled (both using the MoveWell app and not) or used The Stick 6 of 7 days this week. Yeah there too!
  • My goal fails for the week – I did zero trail runs and while I did some hills, I wouldn’t call them ‘significant.’ So big red Xes there.
  • I did some research into the specifics of the AR50 course and pacing. I got a few general ideas of what to expect, but I think I’ll revisit the topic again as race day gets closer and I start preparing my race plan.

Next Week


PlanYoga6 miles
8 miles6 miles
rest15 miles12 miles
Actualrest6.5 miles
8.5 miles6.5 miles
yoga21 miles13 miles

Area of Focus

In my continuing effort to control my ‘I don’t know what I’m doing running 50-mile’ panic, I’m focusing in on, and researching, one area of 50-mile training per week.

This coming week, I’ll research fueling.

I have marathon and 50k fueling down, but I know to go longer I’ll need to switch it up and add some more substantial fuel options into the mix.


American River 50 recap week 2

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