July 5: Woke up at 7:15am to run The Clearing with Tim and Najem. We were shooting to leave by 8 and got out the door at about 830. I snagged a piece of pizza about 15 minutes before the run for some fuel. Worked out great. Najem was back a few times, but for the most part we kept at a good clip for the entire run. We (me personally) had to put in about a 7-8 second sprint to escape the evil dachshund at the end of the dirt road before hitting the trail section. When we saw the dog (smallest of the three at the house, but the most vicious), we insistently were ready to do whatever it took to not get our Achilles bitten at or to be mauled by the two large bear-sized dogs (a saint Bernard and some huge black dog). I got to the far side of the road and put Najem and Tim to the left of me. The dachshund reacted well and began to chase us. I decided to sprint to the front of the group, which actually wasn't the best idea. I guess the dachshund liked a challenge and set his sights on me. It was running next to Tim, but chasing me. Tim luckily had a water bottle and sprayed it in it's face with water. It stopped dead in it's tracks and retreated back to it's yard. We were safe and made it to The Clearing. Beautiful blue skies and we could see everything. It is always worth the 9-10 mile climb (depending on where you start). Finished up the run. Stretched, showered, and walked down to Main Street to use all of our winnings at the local stores. We meet up with Ashley Sawyer and visited Ted's to use our gift cards. Tim tried on some Saucony's and I checked out the whole store to see what I wouldn't buy normally. I ended up purchasing 17 Gu packets for my upcoming long runs. Then, we went next door to Athen's where I treated everyone to lunch. We all got subs. Chicken Parmesan sub equals ridiculous especially because didn't eat breakfast after the run. We were beyond starving. After we headed back to Fowler, everyone headed home after the eventful weekend and I chilled at Fowler until about 4. I left the driveway and drove down Water Street thinking I had everything. I realized I was wearing my contacts and left my glasses in the bathroom. The worst part is that I locked up Fowler because nobody was home when I left. I proceeded to climb through the window (not the first time) and find my glasses exactly where I thought they were. I double checked to make sure I had everything this time and was on my way back to Plymouth. The trip went by quick and I made it in great time. I took 6 minutes off the ETA that was on the GPS. Relaxed for the rest of the night, made some mac and cheese (now that I had the proper cookware) and went to bed.
July 6: I set my alarm for 810am, but snoozed until I crawled out of bed at 845. It was difficult to get going in the morning, but I pushed myself out for a very easy 5.5 miles. Made it back before the heat kicked in for the day. I went to grab a bagel out of the freezer and noticed there was mold on all of the bagels (both packages). I do know I bought them a week before I headed up to New Hampshire and stopped off at Keene for a couple days. They sat in the car the whole time. I popped them in the freezer when I got to the bunkhouse in Plymouth. I defrosted one the other day and it did not show any signs of mold. I pull them out today and they are gross. I was too hungry so I threw out all of them except for one. I performed some minor surgery with my Gerber knife (courtesy of Wilson Perez) and toasted it up with some butter. Tasted fine. Though, I did hit the bathroom pretty hard before my second run. Bagel might of been a factor. Relaxed indoors to avoid the heat and hydrate for the second run. I made some phone calls to the family members and got an answer from Sarah. We chatted a bit about running and stuff. I peeked out the window and saw some dark clouds. I said my goodbyes and headed out the door for my run. If anyone has seen the video I made on Facebook about the storm I had just missed on my run. I ran THROUGH a very similar one for 7.5 miles this evening at 6pm. It's funny how weather like thunder and lightning can make you run just a tad faster. I hit 2 miles at 12:18, the next 2.8 was 15:40, my last mile was the uphill Highland St mile of 5:55 (new record for myself). Overall time 42:44. I was gonna walk it off more, but the thunder was right above me. I quickly hopped inside where I dried off and made a protein shake. Showered up, made some pasta to carb up for tomorrow's run, relaxed, off to bed at a decent hour.
Summary: 13 for the day. Harder effort in the afternoon than I was expecting, but it's not hurtful for the training. Loosened up my calf a little bit.
July 7: Woke up around 830am and got ready for a longer run. Ate a banana and drank some Gatorade. Brought a lemon-lime Gu packet. I mapped out a run and it wasn't long enough so I did a larger loop of the original run. Turned out to be 13.9. Cruised the whole way. Keep it under control and used the Gu at about 8 miles (just about half, it was tasty). Unfortunately, the chaffing hit at the same time so I mentally slowed up a bit. It was a first for me, blood. I had wanted to run for about 1:45-1:50, but my inner thigh was telling me otherwise. It ended up being a 1:33:33 with a sub 7 last uphill mile (from the other side this time). What was a spectacular sight was a momma deer and a fawn crossing the river as I ran over a bridge. It was sorta heartwarming. It got my mind off my chaffing for about 25 seconds. I did stop in at Marshall's to kill some time and look for a can opener. As I am walking in, I realize 4 out of 5 articles of clothing are either from Marshall's or TJ Maxx. It just shows what a loyal customer I am or I just don't shop in many other stores. The rest of the day is set aside for organizing for the family weekend and waiting for the arrival of my girlfriend and mom :) I might throw in a 3 mile shakeout with strides in the evening.
Summary: The past 6 weeks have been a solid block of training for me. The weekly mileage has been 60, 72, 71, 73 and 63 + XT with some mini workouts, explorative long runs, quick finishing miles, and a motivation boosting race. The best of all is that I am enjoying every second I am on the roads or trails. It amazes me sometimes that a dull day can be brightened and turned around with a simple run around the block either by yourself or with a couple of buddies. Everybody keep up their training and make sure you are having fun with it. Once it feels like a job, it truly stops being beneficial.