XC Journal: Mady Clahane, Cumberland Valley

Mady Clahane gives us an update on her training as she prepares for the big PTXC 7 Invitational this Saturday! The senior has hit some bumps on the road thus far, but is ready to get on the course and compete!

The past few weeks of my training have been going very well! For the last couple weeks in August, my training schedule consisted of workouts Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, with Tuesday and Thursday being my long run days, Saturday being my off day, and thenSunday being my cross training day where the team does a swim workout. Last week, however, we switched to having only two workouts per week because of wanting to be well rested for our two hard meets starting the week of the 7th.

Monday, August 23:
My team and I did our hard workout of the week, which was "short, medium, long hills" with some 400's thrown in. We did a 10 minute warm up, running drills, and 6x100 m striders before we started the workout. This workout consisted of going up and back on our home course's toughest hill 3 different reps in a row per set, with the distance getting progressively longer every rep (short distance and back, medium distance and back, and long distance and back). We cut the normal amount of sets we normally do in half, and then went and did some 400's on our 1000 repeat grass course. It was mentally tough to have to do speedwork after having the lactic acid built up in my legs after the hills, but I was very proud of how myself and my teammates did! We all pushed each other and ended up running better than the paces assigned. Afterward, my team and I did a cooldown, stretched, and iced.

Tuesday, September 1:
Today was our longest run of the week. I ran 8 miles and kept my pace tempo the whole time. We did one of my favorite runs, however, so the time flew by (despite the grueling heat!). Afterward, my team regrouped at the highschool as we stretched and iced together.

Wednesday, September 2:
Today was our minute run day in order to recover from the long tempo run the day before, and to prepare ourselves for the workout tomorrow. The whole team did 40 minutes at a relaxed but decent pace, and then we got back to the school and did six 100m striders and some running drills. We then stretched and iced together.

Thursday, September 3:
We did our second workout of the week today, which consisted of repeat 1000's, 800's, and 200's. We warmed up with a 10 minute jog, running drills, and 6x100 m striders (can't you tell how much my coach loves striders?!). This workout went from short distance to long as we started with 200's, went to 800's, and then finished up with some 1000's. I was really happy with how this workout went for not only me, but my team as well. I could see how all the girls were pushing to stay in packs with one another, and despite the length of the workout, kept it up until the end. It made me such a proud teammate/captain to see how far my girls have come since the beginning of the summer! Afterward, we all cooled down, stretched, and iced together.

Friday, September 4:
Today was our recovery day from Thursday's workout. I ran 6 miles at a relaxed but decent pace, and then me and the girls met back together to do some strength/core training, stretching, and icing.

Saturday, September 5:
Today was my off day.

Sunday, September 6:
Today, our team was not allowed to meet for practice, so I went on a relaxed long run by myself at about 7 am on the roads around where I live. I tried to not look at my pace the whole run, because I wanted to base the run off of how it felt instead of trying to push myself too hard on a relaxed run! I opened up my stride and settled into a rhythm, and I must have felt really good, because when I looked at my watch when I finished, my pace was a lot faster than expected! It was nice getting to run in cooler morning weather, however, which I think benefited how I felt today. I then stretched and had a Sunday breakfast with my family.

Unfortunately, after my run Sunday, I started to feel under the weather. Apparently, I caught a cold that is going around our school, and I was not allowed to come to practice on Monday or race our first dual meet on Tuesday due to having a fever both days. It was really hard to not be out there with my team for the first meet- constantly refreshing Twitter for updates is definitely not as fun as being out there cheering them on! However, I am already starting to feel better, and hopefully I will be 100% by the time Saturday rolls around! PTXC is one of my favorite meets because it is, in a way, the "debut" of all runners in the state, new and old. It really gives you your first taste of how well you and your team are going to do in the upcoming season. I am so excited to see how well my team is going to do, because we've always had great results in this meet in the past, and it's a big confidence booster. The meet is very well run, and it's awesome to be able to come here for a fourth year! Hopefully everything will go smoothly, and I can have the best race I've ever had on this course. The competition is going to be tough, no doubt, but it can only push me to be faster and stronger in the long run. My teammates and I have been training very hard this summer, and hopefully that will show on Saturday. It's crazy to think that this is my last PTXC meet ever, but I know that both my team and I couldn't be more excited for PTXC 7!