American River 50 Training Recap: Week 5

american river 50 mile training recap wk 5

I’m at my best when my runs are part of a routine. This was not the case this week. In lieu of two really long back-to-back training runs (which wouldn’t work in my schedule due to already made commitments), last Saturday, Sunday, and ending this Monday, I did three long-ish (back-to-back-to-back) runs. It threw off my sense of timing for the rest of the week.

Add in the continued rain/drizzle (meaning any attempts at trail runs would be a mudfest) and I feel like my week was exceedingly meh.

Read Prior Recaps

American River 50 Mile Training Goals

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

Area of Focus This Week

Mindset. While my runs have been going well physically, mentally, I feel like I’m lacking a little spark

The Week That Was

american river 50 mile training recap wk 5

Plan v. Reality

Plan10 milesYoga9 miles7 miles
rest15 miles15 miles
Actual14 milesrest9 miles7 miles
rest25 miles (15 with the club, 10 solo)14 miles


If I had my way, I would have been able to do a 50k race one Saturday followed by a 10-15(ish) mile run on Sunday. However, due to the race calendar, my very abbreviated training, and already made commitments, that wasn’t going to work for me. So instead, I’m doing back-to-back-to-back long/longish runs on three consecutive days.

The result? 10 miles on Saturday, 21.6 on Sunday and 14 this morning. A 3-day running total: 46.1 miles. I felt surprisingly good during all of the runs. I’m tired, sure, but I never felt utterly exhausted or like I couldn’t go on.

Ideally, I also would have loved to do a trail this morning, but it had been raining all night and was still drizzling in the morning. Once again, I just wasn’t in the mood for a mudfest, so I stuck to a paved trail.

Cheating, perhaps, but slogging through the mud when I’m already feeling a bit off my mental game isn’t a great idea.

I did an extra long foam rolling session tonight, just because.


Ahhhh…. rest day!

I’m surprised at how good all of my runs over the weekend felt. I’m tired today, but not terribly sore. That’s likely a sign my training is going better than I think it is, but I still can’t shake the feeling I’m not doing enough.

It’s the same feeling I vaguely remember having before I ran my first marathon – the fear of the unknown or of not doing enough. I have to accept it’s the fear and paranoia talking, not any actual fact of my training.

More foam rolling and lots of stretching today, but not much else.

My area of focus this week is on mindset, but I feel like I’m going in the opposite direction after today’s rest day. As I was wrapping up my nightly routine, I was struck by how much I didn’t want to run tomorrow.

Like really, really didn’t want to run.

I’m sure it was a passing thing that comes with a lazy day and listening to the raindrops falling outside.


I again woke up to rain. Between the rain and a lazy-day hangover (not an actual hangover, but the total loss of inertia that comes with a lazy rest day) it was super hard to head out the door this morning.

The worst of the ‘I don’t wannas’ that I had last night have passed. This morning, it was more of your garden variety I don’t wannas that I know to ignore.

I dawdled a little heading out to let the rain die down to a drizzle, then I got going.

I expected to feel a little tired or sore this morning, but it felt like just another run.

Yet another good sign.


Today’s run was totally uneventful (in the best way). I did it and I felt good. Then I got home and did my strength work.

All good.

Then I totally forgot I did the run.

Later in the afternoon, I noticed my running shoes were a bit wet and I wondered to myself why my shoes were wet.

I’d totally forgotten I’d done the run.

Later, I went to Instagram and wondered why I had a bunch of new likes. Um, because I did a new post about that day’s run (which I do every run)?

I (again!) totally forgot I’d run.


Yeah rest day! I did extra stretching this morning since I was feeling a little stiff, but little else.


Even as I woke up this morning, I didn’t know how far I was going to run. The running club (in their taper for the Oakland Marathon) was doing 15. So I knew I was doing that. I also knew that wasn’t long enough, but I couldn’t decide on how many additional miles I should do. 5? 6? More? I decided that I’d do at least an extra 5, but I’d leave the specifics up to how I felt.

Once again, my 11 minute/ mile pace group totally rocked the group run in less than stellar conditions. It was drizzling as we started and the rain kept getting steadier as we went on. By itself, that is annoying, but tolerable. What made it worse was that it was also super windy and on the way out, we were running into the wind. The rain felt like hail pelting our faces.

But the good thing about doing an out and back run (and running into the wind on the way out) is that when we turned around it was at our backs. It almost felt like the wind had died down. It hadn’t, but it was pushing us back. Ahhhh.

The rain stopped and the sun (very tentatively) came out as we finished. We had our usual snacks, then I headed back out.

I can confirm the wind had not stopped because I again was running into the wind on the way out. The rain had stopped though, and that made a huge difference.

Even as I set out for my extra miles, I wasn’t sure how long I wanted to run.

I ended up running until like I felt like I’d run enough.

Unscientific, perhaps. But it felt good.


I really wanted to hit a trail today, but it’s been raining all week, so I knew trail conditions would be terrible.

So I compromised and did the Briones To Mt. Diablo trail. This trail is partially paved bike trail and partially more traditional dirt (and hilly) trails. It ends up being about 60/40 paved/dirt ratio. Which worked out well.

As expected, the trail conditions were terrible. Muddy, super slippery, huge puddles.

I’m glad I didn’t do a full on trail run since I was getting a little spooked on the trail bits today. Between the leaps to jump over the worst of the puddles and the slippery mud, I was getting increasingly aware of the potential to twist an ankle or wrench a knee.

Today’s run also reminded me of how heavy wet shoes are. My shoes were soaked to the core on the trail. Then, when I was on the flatter paved bits, it was noticeable that each shoe suddenly weighed several pounds each.

The timing of this run was perfect – it started raining just as I was pulling out of the parking lot after my run.

Week Overall

  • The goal successes: 1 hillier (mostly) trail run, 1 strength workout, 6 of 7 days doing foam rolling or mobility work.
  • The goal not-quite successes: while I did more stretching than usual, no true yoga work. Fewer trail runs than I would have liked.
  • I feel like my mindset focus this week wasn’t terribly successful. I’m still feeling like my runs are lacking a little bit of a spark. However, my mood was generally boosted after my 3-day run fest felt so good. That gives me hope that I am on the right track.
  • I’ve been going back and forth about if I want to have a pacer on race day. I’m still on the fence, but I have asked a few a friends to at least save the date for me. I still haven’t decided if I’ll have a pacer, but at least I know it’ll be an option. 

Next Week


PlanYoga6 miles
9 miles7 miles
rest27 miles14 miles
Actualrest6.5 miles10.5 miles + 5 miles7 milesrest28 miles14 miles

Area of Focus

Mindset (again). I don’t feel like I made much headway on it this week.

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