This was my first weekend to be able to do two longs walks, which is one of my training techniques for Heartland and Ultracentric. Since it is not practical to do many ultra-distance walks in training, doing two (or three) long walks in a week is one way to acclimate my body to the long distances required for ultras.
On Saturday it was pretty cool for this time of year, low 70s in the beginning, low 80s at the end, and it wasn't too humid. I started around 6:15 and completed 20.1 miles. I pushed the pace a little bit (more than I should have considering I was going to do another long walk on Sunday) and by the end of the walk I was feeling sore, especially in "the buttocks" as Forest Gump would say. For the rest of the day I was still sore and stiff, and that really concerned me since I needed to get out again the next day. But I decided not to panic and to wait for Sunday morning before deciding if I could do the second walk.
Distance: 20.1 miles
Sunday was great! I took a slower pace (around 12:20) and that made all the difference. I was a little sore in the morning but not much, and once I got started the soreness went away. The air was thick today and it was much sunnier and hotter (upper 80s when I finished) and within a couple of miles I was soaked with sweat.
After the first loop I ran into a great Master's racewalker who decided to change his route and join me. I really enjoyed talking to him, and it made the pace seem easier and the time go quickly. I was really happy to stop when I got to my car after the second loop, but I have to say that I could have gone on without too much trouble. Considering that I walked 42 miles in two days (and spent more than 8.5 hours on my feet) I feel great, and I even did a little bit of yardwork (after we took our daughter to Chuck E. Cheese). I'm going to take tomorrow off, but I could definitely get out and train tomorrow if I wanted to.
Distance: 22.1 miles
Another interesting thing about the two walks is that I didn't use gel on either walk. I drank lots of gatorade and ate a Clif Bar at the halfway point of each race, but no gel. When I was training for the marathon I always had to suck down lots of gel, and I usually would still bonk at 18 to 20 miles, so hopefully the fact that I'm not relying on gel means that my body is adjusting to the distance and optimizing itself for ultras.
I'll be on the road all week this week, from Monday morning to Saturday morning. Luckily I'm going back to San Antonio so I'm planning to do most of my walks on the trails at McAllister Park. I'm still behind in reading everyone's blogs! According to Bloglines I have 102 unread running posts to read!! It may take me a while to catch up, so don't be offended if I haven't visited or commented in a while.
Hope everyone is having good luck with training and the weather!