Yesterday’s workout marked the end of my second week running 40 miles and the first full week in the Hoka One One Bondi 4. I had a mixture of feelings about the week, but mostly exhaustion. Boy, has it been a long week with work and training! Being back in LA, I was able to get back on my weight training schedule and had access to our Athletic Facility for treatment. I’m super proud of my progress in the weight-room! I’d say I am most proud of my neutral grip pull-ups, because I have increased to alternating the yellow and orange band in between reps, meaning the next step will be unassisted pull-ups! My other accomplishment has been deadlifts with the hex bar; my easy set is now 55kg and I am able to go up to 67.5kg on my last set. As far as running goes, it has been back and forth.
Last Sunday, I mentioned I began running my new shoes; they have been treating me well, but there is still some discomfort in my shins. I view this discomfort as a normal sign of progression; I’ve increased my mileage so much that calf tightness is expected. Luckily, the pain hasn’t been bad enough to the point where I would need to take the day off or cut back my mileage. I know it is mileage related and not another stress reaction because after I get out of the pool they feel much looser and less achy.

My team reports this Sunday to complete our physicals and team photos before we leave to Mammoth Mountain for three weeks of altitude training. My teammate Aliya and I decided to get one more tempo to gauge our fitness before we begin training with the team. My Friday was completely booked, so I was left with no choice but to do the morning weights session before our tempo. Luckily I view this as a positive, because I would be working through fatigue-which will benefit me in the long run. For the purpose of the workout, it put a great toll on my performance. Our goal was to run 6:50 the first mile and drop down to 6:30 the second mile. During the workout, we hit our first mile at 6:40. At that point I was feeling great, it was a huge improvement from the last two tempos, which I felt flat from start to end. About a quarter mile into the second mile I felt the weights in my legs; my cardio felt fine, but my legs suddenly felt like bricks. I completely fell off our pace and tried to regroup myself. With a little over a half mile to go I was able to regroup myself and power it through to the end. Aliya absolutely killed the workout! I’m not exactly sure how fast her second mile was, but I’d say it had to be close to our goal of 6:30. The fact that my cardiovascular system felt as though I could do another 2 mile tempo excited me! I am convinced my body was more tired from weights than I anticipated and I cannot wait to see how I do on our team workout Tuesday! Rather than do a double, I went into the pool at work and shook my legs out to allow them to regenerate a little faster.

Overall, I’d say I got a great week of training in. I have also been working with our new Dietitian, Beth Miller, and believe our nutrition plan will start showing improvements in my training in the weeks to come. Tomorrow, I will go out to my mom’s in Newport Beach to get a nice 8 mile run in and then an easy 6 or 7 on Monday before the team tempo. I have yet to decide if I will increase my mileage or stay at 40 for my first week in Mammoth, but I think basing my decision off on how I feel after the tempo would be wise. I will be sure to check in after the tempo and again after we finish our first few runs in Mammoth.

Just Keep Running XOXO

Ashlee Powers