My main concern with running the Bighorn Trail 50K last weekend was how it would affect the following week of training. The whole point of a training run is that you can still bounce back and resume training where you left off and not have to take an easy week to recover. This was especially important to me this time since I've got the Missoula Marathon coming up on July 12th and wanted to get in one good mileage week before doing a mini-taper for that.
Although my legs felt pretty good the day of the 50K (even afterwards), Sunday morning was a different story. I was definitely feeling the effects of 31 miles of trail running, specifically in my quads, thanks to the monster downhill. Monday didn't feel much better. No pain, just really stiff and sore. I had planned on taking those two days off anyhow, so no worries there. I was worried about how Tuesday and the rest of the week would go, but it turns out everything worked out just fine:
Monday - Rest
Tuesday - 6 miles. Very slow.
Wednesday - 9 miles. Slightly faster.
Thursday - 9 miles. Exact same pace as Wednesday.
Friday - 5 miles. A little faster.
Saturday - 18.2 miles. On the Eagle Cliff trails, which are primarily used by cross country skiers in the winter. I discovered that in the summer they are primarily used by cattle. Between smelling fresh cow pies, getting lost on the not-so-well marked trail system and just not feeling all that great, it was a rough day. I had originally planned to be out for up to 4 hours, but when I finally made it back to my truck to replenish my bottles after just over 3 hours, I had had enough.
Sunday - 23.66 miles. Wasn't sure how this was going to go after Saturday's tough run, but my legs felt really good. I once again used a 20 minute to 4 minute walk to run ratio, which worked out well. I also ran a couple of loops rather than a long out and back, which gave me the opportunity to replenish my water bottles. This proved to be a good thing since the temp was in the lower 80s by the time I got done. The last couple of miles were a little more of a struggle...I think my electrolytes were getting low and I didn't have any Gatorade or salt tabs on hand to combat that, but otherwise it went very well.
Total - 70.86 miles
So, I crested the 70 mile mark (just barely) for the first time since sometime before Boston. Just in time to taper, too. Missoula is only 13 days away and I've got my hometown 10K to run on the 4th. I still have no idea what to expect in Missoula....I'll just have to see what Mother Nature and my legs give me on that day.