Saturday was an off day. Not really planned but we had the wife's parents in town and the boys had an early morning swim meet and I never did get a run in. It was supposed to be 4 to 6 miles of recovery so I didn't feel guilty about missing the day. The boys both did great at the meet, the younger son finished butterfly for the first time without a disqualification. Not DQing when you are 7 is a big deal in butterfly. Normally if you can just finish legally you can place. Great job little buddy. The older son is 10 and is just a bundle of muscle. He literally has no fat on him and is solid as a rock. When he swims he just tries to power through the water. For 2 years I have been working with him to just slow down and glide through the water. I told him that swimming is all about technique and he finally had a breakthrough day. He looked smooth and even. He had powerful pulls underwater and man he was cruising. Slow, easy, and powerful got him a first place finish. It really is about technique. Cool job big man.
Sunday was a 15 miler scheduled. I ran with my Doctor training buddy and no one else showed up. The weather was mid 70's at the start and around 86 at the finish. Legs felt good as well as energy levels but I could tell that it had been a long week. There wasn't any pep in my step and I kept telling myself that there shouldn't be any pep left after 50 miles in a week. There shouldn't be any pep left during the race at mile 23 either and that was the purpose of the training. To push through and carry on when you are tired and fatigued.
I am feeling fitter and stronger than I have in years. The consistency and the volume of training is really naking a difference. 5 miles isn't even enough to get going anymore and 10 or 11 seems like a normal days work. The last remaining bits of fat around my stomach is really hard to lose but it does seem to be slowly melting away with the long runs. My core is definitely getting stronger and I can really tell that I am engaging it a lot more during hard efforts of long runs because I am sore the next day. I can tell that after hard and long tempo runs my ribs and sides hurt from the prolonged hard breathing and the use of my core muscles to keep my form erect and strong.
The hills definitely seem easier and I don't even notice them unless they are major hills. I am looking forward to a few sessions of hill repeats in the near future. This should be the last week of my Endurance Mesocycle. Next week will begin the Lactate threshold + Endurance Mesocycle and that's where the real fun should come in. I hope this will be a big week mileage wise, we'll see how the dedication goes. I am taking a rest day today, not because I feel that I need one but because I had to take Big buddy to summer camp for the week. I wanted him to know that he was more important than running so I stayed home and helped him get ready. I guess when I start winning prize money we might evaluate the priorities but I don't really see any Nike contracts in the future, unless they want to sponsor a good looking man......?