American River 50 Mile Training Recap: Week 3

American River 50 Training Recap week 3

This week was remarkably unremarkable – I did my runs, felt pretty good, and had only one negative mental spiral.

Read Prior Recaps

American River 50 Mile Training Recap

American River 50 Training Recap week 3

Training Goals

  • Strength train two times a week
  • Yoga once a week
  • Mobility work/ foam rolling nearly every day. I won’t commit to every day, but more often than not
  • Research 1 area of 50 miler
  • 1 run with significant elevation gain a week
  • 2 trail runs a week

Plan v. Actual

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

Area of Focus This Week

Fueling – research how I should supplement my existing fueling for 50 miles.

The Week That Was


The plan had me doing yoga today. I didn’t.

I have no reason for not doing it, or even good excuses – I just didn’t feel like it.

But I did foam roll tonight, so I wasn’t a total slug.

Tangentially related to running was my great frustration for the day – there are few things I love more after a long run than a cold can of coke. I was excited Target has coke on sale this week so I was going to treat myself and stock up. At Target, the cash register didn’t reflect the sale price. I thought maybe they’d have a ‘if it doesn’t scan you get an extra discount’ deal.

Come to find out that in Alameda County, we passed a soda tax. Part of that law is soda can’t be sold at a discount within the county.


I was unreasonably upset by this. I have so few vices – let me buy a case of coke at a discount.



I’m trying to switch up my running routes a little so I combined my go-to 4-mile route with my go-to 6-mile route for new frankensteined 6-mile route.

I still need to perfect it though- I wasn’t sure where to turn around so my run ended up at 6.5 miles.

My streak of actually doing my strength work continues. I’m tempted to add a few more moves into the mix, but I’m afraid if I add things in, I’ll be less likely to do it at all. I think one reason I’ve been successful with it so far is that my routines are fairly short. If I add in a few moves, it will take longer and I’ll be more likely to make excuses why I can’t do it at all.


My go-to 8-mile route heads from my house to Jack London Square, but I know I’ll get into a running rut if I only do my go-to routes.

So this morning I went in the exact opposite direction and ran to Lake Temescal, which is about 3 miles away. The lake is small (about 1.5 miles around), and has two different paths around it, one near the lake (and flat) and one a bit farther out (and hilly), so I decided to two do both loops before heading home.

The skies have cleared, so for this week at least, the night trail runs are back on. Since many dirt trails are still muddy, we did the paved trail at Inspiration Point. Nice night for it, but much of the trail is on a ridge that was super windy.

My cheeks were frozen by the end of it.

All runners and all paces are welcome to run with this group, but I suppose people willing to do night trail runs are a self-selecting group – even at a 9 min/mile pace (fast for me, especially on the second half of two-a-day run), I was the runner lagging behind.

I’m ok with that (but it was hard not to notice).


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#seenonmyrun Yep. Their logic checks out.

A post shared by Sara Kurth (@puffincoaching) on

I usually do my runs first thing in the morning. But today, I had a few things I wanted to get done right away, so I didn’t get out the door until around 10.

I felt so much more energetic running a bit later in the morning!

Maybe today was just a fluke, but I think I should review my morning routine and try experimenting with running at different times of day.

After the run, I did my strength routine (mostly).

My strength routine is made of moves that I cycle through 3 times. I was multi-tasking during my strength work today (heating up lunch). I did the first two cycles through just fine – focusing on the workout. The third time through I kind of half-assed it while I made sure my lunch didn’t burn.

I’ll count it as a complete strength workout, but it isn’t a habit that I should get into.

I did extra foam rolling tonight, my calves seemed especially knotty.


I do love my rest days.

However, since I skipped yoga on Monday, I made up for it today, doing the NTC workout Yoga Ready. It’s a short little yoga workout, but it’s something.

I felt like having the discipline to do something after bailing on Monday was more important than having the intention of doing some long, drawn-out hour-and-a-half yoga extravaganza that I never got around to.


The group run with the club this morning was 15 miles, so I did those miles in my role as coach and pacer. The course was around Alameda, the one area of the world where my usually great sense of direction consistently fails me. I’m not sure what it is about this island that always gets me so turned around (I didn’t get lost on the run, but I took a wrong turn on my drive over).

15 miles didn’t feel like enough, so I did another loop of the Island. I didn’t know exactly how long that loop would be, but it felt like the right option. The extra mileage was exactly 6, leaving me with a total of 21 miles for the day.

I felt surprisingly good for the entire run, so that gives me a little bit of confidence that I have some chance of doing this.


I returned to the scene of the Great Trail Mudfest 2 weeks ago – the Briones Reservoir. I knew it would still be muddy, but it’s such a great option for a trail run when I’m looking to do 13(ish) miles, it was too good to pass up.

Today the route was merely muddy, not super-duper-crazy muddy like it had been. While there was less mud overall today, the mud seemed a lot slipperier. I feel like I had to tread more gingerly than usual in places so I didn’t fall on my butt.

It took me a few miles to get into this run. The first three miles felt like a total slog (not coincidentally, the first three miles are the muddiest part of the course). I immediately regretted my choice in routes.

However, I eventually got into the rhythm of it and the last 10 miles were fine. I was still tired (the whole point of the back-to-back long runs is running on tired legs, so that is a feeling I am looking for), but it wasn’t a total slog.

This trail is maintained by EBMUD, and it requires a use permit. In the year I’ve been running it, I had never seen them enforcing or checking trail permits. I have now had my permit checked two of my last two visits.

I’m not sure if its coincidence, or if something has happened to cause the increased park police presence, but in either case, I’m glad they are keeping people honest- I always wonder what percentage of people actually have permits.

Week Overall

  • Overall, it was a pretty good week on the goals front – I did my yoga (eventually), 5 of 7 days of foam rolling, 2 strength workouts (1 kinda half-assed, but I was most of the way through before I started slacking).
  • I did 2 or 3 trail runs, depending on how you define ‘trail.’ Wednesday morning’s run was 2/3 road 1/3 trail, Wednesday night was a course that is widely regarded as a trail, but is paved. In either case, I met the spirit of my goal so I’ll count it as a win.
  • In researching my 50-mile fueling needs and realized I need to practice more with real food. I had some practice on Saturday as I got to feast at the running club’s snack table before heading out for my second loop. My stomach didn’t care in the slightest. That’s a good sign.
  • I did some more research on goal paces and race pacers. I’m debating if I want to have pacers and as I got into the weeds of AR50 specific paces and aid stations, I started to get into a negative mental spiral (Do I want a pacer waiting at the aid station at mile 41? What if I don’t make it that far? They’ll have come out for nothing and I’ll feel guilty for wasting their time. And seriously, mile 41? Why do I think I can run that far in the first place…). I had to step away from my research entirely. I’ll revisit it again later.
  • Overall, I feel amazing considering I ran over 60 miles this week. I don’t know if it’s the foam rolling, or a mindset, or what exactly the difference is, but when I was doing the equivalent mileage during 50k training, I felt dead and totally drained.

Next Week


PlanYoga5 miles
8 miles6 miles
rest10 miles20 miles
ActualStretching6.5 miles
8 miles7 milesrest10.5 miles
21.6 miles

Area of Focus

Hydration. I tend to only drink water on the run (getting whatever other nutrition I need from fuel), but I may try experimenting with different sports drinks.

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