I closed out this last week of training with 22 miles in 1 hour and 40 minutes. I am ok with that time but I felt terrible the entire trip. I battled with the sensation of dragging through each step in my stride meaning I felt like I was working far harder than I needed. Did someone attach a bungee cord to my back and the other end to the tree in my front yard? The entire skate I wrestled with the back-pull of that bungee cord. Based on last week's excellent pain free trip of 20 miles, perhaps my expectations were too high this week.
Still 22 in 1:40 is acceptable since if you factor in a 10% reduction in time from drafting and pure adrenaline I am doing fine.
I tired something different this week in order to fend off a growing problem. My feet are starting to slip around in my skates. Specifically my heels are loosening up and slipping up the back of my boots. I do wear really thin socks and so I tried wearing a thicker race sock underneath the thin socks. This definitely created a tighter fit. Frankly though I think the tightness contributed to the drag troubles I explained in the previous paragraph. I like the looser fit.
I believe I have a stress related injury on the outside of my left ankle. The entire outside of my ankle just below the ankle bone is swollen and very sore to the touch. I remember experiencing this as a child playing hockey and baseball. For now I will keep an eye on it and I just need to stretch more before skating. Also, related to wearing double socks, I've learned tightening my skates too much aggravates this condition.
Hayward is only 6 weeks away
I will attempt 24 miles next Saturday and work hard during intervals on Tuesday and Thursday this week. After that, I begin to tapper down the longer miles so that the week before Hayward I only skate eleven on the long skate. I'll take the whole week off between Hayward and St. Paul, which is on August 19th. St. Paul is the race I want to finish with a time between 1:40 and 1:30.
Inspiring Photo from the recent Badger State Inline Marathon