TNF ECS 50K Training – Week 11

My training plan has a two week long peak and I am currently right in the middle of it. I’m linking up today with MissSippiPiddlin’ and HoHo Runs for their Weekly Wrap link up.


Here is a recap of last week’s training for The North Face Endurance Challenge 50K, which is only twenty-five days away (!!).

Monday – Easy 3 miler in the evening. I was able to do this run outside and squeaked it in just before sunset.


Tuesday – Easy 5 miler after work. This one had to be done on the treadmill because the sun had already set when I started my run. Thanks to the beginning of Daylight Savings, however, I am expecting to be able to do most of my runs outside from now on!

Wednesday – Rest

Thursday – 7 mile hill workout on the treadmill. I did ten quarter mile repeats for a total of 1,640 feet in elevation gain. Four of my repeats were power hiking on 15% incline.

Friday – Rest

Saturday – 14 mile long trail run. This was supposed to be a 24 mile run, my longest run of the training cycle. I envisioned myself finishing tired and triumphant, but it was just not my day and unfortunately I had to cut the run 10 miles short.


Barry joined me for the run because I wanted to explore the full 7.2 miles of a trail I like to run at Pandapas Pond in the Jefferson National Forest. The original plan was that he would run the first 14 with me and then I would do two other shorter loops to total 24. I was having one of those girl problem days, where all you feel like doing is curling up on the couch with a heating pad and some chick flick movie on TV. And I was emotional, of course, so there were tears by mile 6 of my run. I was also not a very nice person to be around.

DSCN4637 DSCN4638

During the second half of the run I paused at each of the creek crossings (about three total) and soaked my feet and calves. The water was chilly and it felt really refreshing.


We toughed it out for 14 miles, with about 1400 feet in elevation gain total, and it was definitely not how I expected the day to go. My body and legs felt tired, but I think I could have pushed through the fatigue. However, I think I really defeated myself mentally. It just was not productive to be out there anymore.


I kept telling myself “it doesn’t always get worse” but unfortunately on this day it did. I know that during ultras you often go through many highs and lows. It is important to push through those lows because it almost always does get better. But I pushed through on Saturday for 2 hours and it didn’t get better. Enough was enough for the day.

Sunday – My original plan was to run 24 miles Saturday and 5 miles Sunday. Instead, I ended up running 12 solo miles to make up for Saturday a bit. I was feeling a bit better than on Saturday (I took some medicine before my run this time). I did wake up with a cough, but it didn’t get worse until later in the day.


I broke this run up into three shorter out and back runs of 6 miles, 5 miles, and 1 mile. That’s just how it needed to be and it worked for me. I felt pretty fatigued the first mile or two, but then I felt a bit better during the rest of the run. It was raining the whole time, which actually felt pretty refreshing.

Spotted some wild turkeys.
Spotted some wild turkeys.
Watched the train go by at the end of my run.
Watched the train go by at the end of my run.

I was glad to get this run in. As the day went on my cough got a lot worse and I started to feel very fatigued and achey all over. It looks like I’ve come down with a cold or something. By Sunday night I basically felt like I had been hit by a truck. It’s like my body got hit with a triple whammy: soreness from back to back long runs, girl stuff, and this chest cold I’ve come down with. I’ve got another peak week ahead of me, though, so it all needs to clear out soon.

Total Miles: 41 miles

You know that point in training where you feel like you were crazy to sign up for the race and that you probably can’t do it? Well, I’m there. I think everyone hits that point, regardless of whether training has been going well or going poorly. Somehow, I need to pull myself up by my bootstraps, get my head on right, and refocus on the weeks of training to come.

Who else is excited about the beginning of Daylight Savings? I know morning runners are typically not fans, but us evening runners live for the extra daylight!
How do you weather the highs and lows during a long run or workout?

26 thoughts on “TNF ECS 50K Training – Week 11”

  1. I’m not super excited about Daylight Savings, but once summer is here then I get my light mornings back. I hope you feel better soon! Sound like you need a rest day…or two!

  2. Wow, this is so cool that you are doing such a challenging race!! And I would certainly think that a 41 mile week is very good especially when your body was trying to tell you….I’m getting sick!!! I like daylight savings mostly because my husband and I like to go out and watch the sunset and I am usually too late when the sun goes down too early. Have a great week and I hope you feel better SOON!

  3. That’s such a pretty trail. Sorry about having to cut your long run short. Sometimes it’s just not in the cards. Yes, you’re totally in that crazy place with 25 days left. Taper time!

  4. For me, often food is the cure for a bad long run — that is, whatever food I have waiting for me at the end. Hey, works for me!

    I also find sometimes when I really struggle with a training cycle, I have a great race (although that always true).

    Soup! Hydrate like it’s your job!

  5. Ugh, I hope you feel better this week! I agree, it really does seem to happen to every one that we begin to second guess ourselves and the training. Hang in there and I hope the second part of your peak training goes better.

  6. I’m impressed that you went back out Sunday. Nice work! I just had a terrible run and it was only a 5 miler. I guess some days are just…meh. I’m excited for DST. I try to be a morning runner, but I really like sleeping, so it’ll be nice to be able to run after work without rushing to finish before sunset!

  7. Sorry to hear about your bad long runs! I hope you are feeling better. The trails you run on look awesome! I can’t imagine training for a 50K so kudos to you for taking on a great challenge! You can do it!

  8. Early morning runner here, mad that it’s back to being dark again when I wake up. Boo. But I do enjoy the time after work I have to read on the porch during daylight or head for a walk to stretch my legs.

    I think as runners we can all relate to that bad long run that makes you question everything. Shake it off. Try again. Honestly, I think in the long run those are the runs that make us stronger.

  9. I’m in the same boat as you with completely doubting myself. That feeling will pass though! Use this new week as a chance to move forward with your training and forget about the crappy week you’re leaving behind. I’ll do the same thing, deal? We can do this ๐Ÿ˜€

  10. YOU CAN DO IT!!! You’re not crazy. You’re just having a bump in the road. Just look at the next day when you ran 12 solo miles. You got this girl!

  11. excited about daylight savings…..ummmNO-lol!!! I had to go take a nap in my car at lunch today…haha!

    I hope you feel better soon…make sure to rest up and let your body heal.

    What a great idea dipping your feet and calfs in the water…so smart!

    Rest up!

  12. Right there with you. It was a rough week all around.

    You know at this point, you’ve done the work. You could stop running now and still run this thing. Heck, 6 weeks after my marathon last year, I was 20 seconds from a PR at a half marathon I ran at the last minute! With only one 10 miler in that whole 6 weeks. You’ve got this.

  13. Sorry your run didnt go as planned, I have definitely had days like that! I know what you mean about giving up mentally. Once I lose my motivation its all over! Glad you were able to get in another long run on Sunday. You will still be totally ready for your race!

  14. How exciting your race is getting close! Meagan, you’ve got this! You’ll think about all of those tough runs in your race — all those trail miles — and they will propel you all the way to the finish. Tough weeks are typically followed by good ones too. I hope your cold is short lived and won’t cause any problems. Thanks for linking with us.

  15. I had to run in the Florida heat & humidity this weekend. It sounds awful because I am very greateful to be in Florida… but the weather conditions just killed me. 26 miles on my plan and I stopped at 20. Enough was enough.

  16. Sounds like you had a double whammy – girl problems and that nasty virus coming on. I’d say you should be pleased with a 14 miler and a 12 miler under those conditions. Hang in there, you’ll do fine. Just make sure you get the chest congestion cleared up so you don’t have a repeat of last year.

  17. You did great to get 14 miles with that much elevation gain and you pushed through. You will be okay race day, you got to cut yourself some slack when you aren’t feeling well.
    15% incline if tough! That is some serious training- you will fine!!
    I hope you feel better soon.

  18. 14 miles on a trail! I’d say you were a rock star on a day like that!! Bad days happen and put this one in the rearview mirror. Your Sunday run was already better and you’ll be ready for race day before you know it.

  19. Oh yuck! I got a head cold right at the beginning of my training plan and I was worried I’d be thrown off the schedule even before I did anything. Hang in there, and focus on the fun of the race, or how you’ll treat yourself afterwards. I always schedule a pedicure after big races.

  20. Bless your heart, I know what you are feeling like, it’s sometimes best to just chalk it up and try again another time! With my frequent half’s and run streak of 1 mile a day going I have not been doing my normal 5k 3 times during the week. I’m ok with it but DST hasn’t been too bad since I don’t run as long. I have noticed though I am staying up later at night and I really need to try to wind it down sooner. Thanks Meagan for your support! Have a great weekend!

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