“Double-doubles” as I call them are a running style I found in preparation for my first 50 miler. What is a “double-double” you might ask? This is what I call the double long runs I do on the weekends as part of my training. I’m relatively certain they are just called “doubles” in “ultra” nerd phraseology; however, my friends and family already think I run double the average person with one long run a weekend much less TWO. So I dubbed these weekends the “double-double.”
I have always had a love-hate affair with these “double-doubles,” but who wouldn’t? Depending on what level of fitness you are in at the time, a double-double can either be something you enjoy or torture. Pick a day, it changes. The entire premise is doing a second long run during the weekend on tired legs to simulate how you may feel during the second half of an ultra. It also helps with the mental challenges you will face during the race because, in my opinion, if you can drag your tired & sore self out of a warm house on the final day of the weekend, consistently for months, you can get through miles 35-50 (and I hope 62-100). For me, these double runs can be especially difficult right as you are jumping back into a training cycle. Your body may be ready, but your brain says “you’ve already done so much work, let us relax and eat pie.”
The last few recovery weeks post JFK50 have been pretty difficult for me to enthusiastically jump on the training bandwagon. I mentioned in earlier posts about the post-race recover blues and late working nights making it tough to motivate for morning workouts, and sometimes even afternoon ones. While I am definitely recovered and not really “blue” anymore, it has been hard to jump into full training or “BEAST” mode, as I like to call my training. The late working nights have not truly subsided (although holiday weeks are helping), but more than that, every run I was able to convince myself to do felt sluggish and less than enjoyable. I “run for the fun” has always been one of my unofficial mottos, and when it is not even mildly enjoyable I start to doubt my goals and racing schedule.
“Double-double Toil and Trouble” is fitting, because last weekend felt magical, but also symbolized the trouble I’ve been having in the preceding weeks. As I prepped for a weekend of long runs, I can look back and say that I was looking forward to my runs more than the previous weeks. Some part of me just wanted to get outside and go long, even knowing I have not been having the best of luck getting myself out the door. Thus I feel like I had a major breakthrough and the Eminem song lyrics”Guess who’s back, back again” was jamming in my head, and I may have done a little wiggle dance in my kitchen upon my return from the 2nd run last weekend.Despite a cold, blustery wind on the first day, I cranked out 23 miles at just slightly slower than marathon race pace. It felt fantastic! Then I got to have an amazing lunch with the girls (Zaytinya). Then, come my Sunday run, I was amped and ready to go! My plan said 15 miles and I mentally said “GAME ON!” In less than 2 hours, my Sunday run was complete for a total of 5 running hours that weekend! “BOOYAH!” I said while giving myself a mental high five (yup – I’m that much of a nerd). Bottom line, my runs from last weekend completely amped me up, and because I know my body (& mind!) has recovered from the last race & I can move forward in training in a positive manner. At least until the next mental roadblock…like Christmas and other Holiday events that seek to destroy my schedule.