Me? A Trail Runner?

February 4, 2018

I’m moving on up and feeling good!

I hit 56 miles this past week, which has been my highest since September before the marathon. I did one up-tempo workout, one true tempo workout, a trail run, and a long run, so I had a full week. My up-tempo workout didn’t go so well, but all of the other workouts went really well.

Here’s a recap on my workouts from the week of Monday, January 29 – Sunday, February 4, 2018. I did 6 runs within the 7 days, and I usually try to get two strength sessions each week, but I failed on both mostly because Cullen was sick, and I wasn’t able to take him to the child care at the gym. I always have intentions of lifting at home, but realistically it never happens. I’m also trying to be better about incorporating yoga into my weekly routine. I went a couple weeks ago but missed last week. As we all know, it is hard to fit in all those “little things” that into our days, but I am definitely better about it if I plan out my entire week on Sunday and write it all down in my planner.


10 miles | up-tempo workout on the treadmill | 3 x (1.5 miles @ 6:45 pace, 0.5 mile @ 6:30 pace)

I really struggled with this workout. I ended up taking 3 breaks during this workout, which I was hoping to take none. I did complete the workout, which I think there is value in that. I started thinking that maybe my iron is low again, but then Wednesday’s (even harder) workout, I felt really good during, so I’m not sure what’s going on. Maybe my body just struggles with running on the treadmill.


5 miles | easy run | inside at The Dome

I wasn’t able to make it out in the morning because Craig went to the gym for his workout before work, and it was too cold to push Cullen in the stroller during the day, so I ended up doing some easy miles at The Dome with the training group. I totally forgot my watch, but I counted my laps.


10 miles | tempo workout | 4 x 8 minutes @ tempo

Paces – 6:28, 6:21, 6:18, 6:14

I wasn’t very optimistic that this workout would go well since I did a harder workout on Monday, and then I ran in the evening on Tuesday. I surprised myself by hitting my old tempo pace (6:20) from this last summer on most of these and feeling really good. (Relatively speaking as these are still hard workouts for me!) And I’m also not great about having negative splits, so that surprised me as well.


7 miles | easy | 8:31 average pace

Starting out, this wasn’t too bad of a run. I pushed Cullen in the stroller: he was happy, the paths were plowed, the sun was shining, and it wasn’t terribly cold. (The temp was 19*F. . . .I think something is wrong with me.) However, then we turned around and started running into the wind, which caused Cullen to get really cold, and he wasn’t such a happy camper anymore. I also got cold running into the wind, but we made it back. Cullen felt better after he got under a blanket and watched some PAW Patrol.


9 miles | trail run | 8:43 average pace

This was the 4th (true) trail run I have ever done since living in Alaska for over 10 years, which is pretty sad because there are so many trails right IN Anchorage. My friend, Mandy, took me on the trails behind Service High School because otherwise I would have gotten lost. We ran for 9 miles, and it did not feel that long. Plus we ran on different types of trails and through varying types of topography and vegetation that kept things interesting. Trail running might have to make this something I do 2-3 times a month, as I think it could really help me become a stronger runner. My only complaint was that I under-dressed and got really cold.


15 miles | long run | 8:25 average pace

I dressed much better on this run, and surprisingly the 6*F temperature didn’t bug me that much. I wore two pairs of pants and a pair of gloves + mittens in addition to my normal winter running clothes, which really helped. I did a big loop, and the run actually went by pretty fast. (Sometimes if I don’t break my long run into 2 or 3 smaller segments, it seems to drag on forever.)

I’m calling these frosty eyelashes and frosted hair my signature look.


Off – I haven’t always been consistent with which day of the week I take off, but I am really loving having Sunday mornings off. It means I can stay up a little later with Craig on Saturday night, and I can sleep in and take my time getting ready for church and work on Sunday morning.

Total miles: 56 miles

Follow me on Strava (Michelle Baxter) for daily updates on my workouts.

I am hoping to hit 60 miles this week, and I’m already looking forward to my weight lifting session on Monday since I wasn’t able to make it last week. I’m so thankful to be feeling so well these days because last year at this time, I just wanted to be able to run a few miles without hip pain.

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