Last week, I was on vacation at beautiful Babcock Lake. It’s on the border of upstate NY/southern VT – near Bennington. My husband’s family has a house up there, and we visit for a week each year. While I do my fair share of eating and laying around, I also spend a lot of time training. Mostly running, but I also get in some miles swimming on the lake, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, and doing yoga.Babcock Lake sits at the top of a mountain. I usually run the hilly road around the lake, but it’s only 1.8 miles. My other option is to venture out onto Babcock Lake Road. Making a left onto the road means a steep descent that I later need to climb to return back to our house. There’s only about 2 miles of road until you hit Route 7, which is also hilly and pretty busy so I stay away from it. Making a right features several steep climbs and some rolling hills – and about five miles of road towards Grafton, NY. Running the back roads off of Babcock Lake Road aren’t really an option for several reasons. They are unpaved and poorly marked, and a few years ago I got extremely lost trying to navigate the area. To the point where a 13 mile run ended up as a 17 mile run, and I was still 5 miles from the house. It ended with me pretty dehydrated and getting a ride home from a random stranger, and still too scared to go exploring up there.
Cell service is very limited, so even carrying a phone doesn’t help much. There are bears (I saw lots of bear scat this year!) and packs of wild dogs that roam the back roads. I have had several problems with dog attacks in past years. I was never bit, but I’ve had some really close calls and have been chased many times. I prefer the main roads, which means some nasty hills. I call it my week of hill training and do the best I can. I use my watch mainly for distance and don’t really get concerned about pace.
Monday, 8/3 – 17 Mile Long Run + Yin Yoga/Core + 1.8 Mile Walk
After a nice day off of running on Sunday, Monday was my long run day. I needed to front load my higher mileage in the beginning of the week since I was preparing for an upcoming triathlon on Sunday. I went into this run with no pace goals because I knew the hills I had ahead of me. I started with a few loops around the lake. When I got bored of the same scenery over and over (it’s only 1.8 miles around), I headed out to Babcock Lake Road and made a right to climb first, finish downhill. I managed to average 7:50s through mile 11, but once I hit the climbs I let myself relax and slow down. At that point, it was a net elevation gain for the next three miles. Once I got to my halfway point and turned around, I kicked it up a notch and felt decent. Finished the run with a fast finish mile – 6:57! I was excited. Overall pace for the run, 7:55. It’s the fastest long run I’ve ever done at the lake. I did MYRTLs and drills, core, and a yin yoga practice to stretch out after. The rest of the day was spent eating and enjoying the gorgeous lake! It was my day to cook for the family, so I made homemade macaroni and cheese, pulled pork sandwiches, a homemade caramelized onion dip, and a cucumber dill salad from my garden. Definitely the furthest thing from paleo, but it was the perfect recovery meal!
After dinner, I walked the loop around the lake with my mother in law. She is also scared of the dogs up there and won’t walk alone, so I made a point to walk with her every single day since she loves it so much.
Tuesday, 8/4 – 9 Mile General Aerobic Run + Core/Yin Yoga + 1.1 Mile Open Water Swim + 1.8 Mile Walk + Kayaking
Wasn’t sure how I would feel running but wanted to get the miles in regardless of pace. To try to keep things a little easier, I stuck to the loop around the lake. I actually felt decent and managed really even splits. Overall pace, 7:56. I made sure to do my MYTRLs and drills, and came back to the house and did core and yoga with my sister in law. In the afternoon, I swam the length of the lake and back to prepare for the upcoming triathlon and to get some practice in my wetsuit.
I made it my mission for this run to tackle all of the hills – and to run the majority of the downhill first. I decided it was going to be my preparation for the upcoming hilly half marathon I’m running next weekend. I decided to run a comfortable pace, but add my strides in over the last 5 miles (two per mile) and try for a fast finish mile. Here’s the elevation profile from the run:
Total elevation gain over the whole run was 1,300′. I didn’t hit lap for my strides – many of them were completely uphill. I just made a conscious effort to really push those parts of my run. My overall pace was an 8:03, and my final mile was a 6:57 again! It wasn’t as fast as my 17 miler but it was more elevation gain over a shorter period of time. I thought it was an awesome workout, and a successful training run for the upcoming half.
In the evening, we walked again and paddled the lake, and I used the stand up paddle board instead of the kayak since the lake looked like glass. It was so peaceful!
After my 12 miler yesterday and with the upcoming tri on Sunday, I told myself that I could run as slow as I wanted – even if it meant being out of my recovery zone – and to just get the miles in for the remainder of the week. I was starting to feel tired and really feel the effects of running on all hills and rocky roads (the loop around the lake is unpaved). I set out for my easy run and really did keep it easy, but around mile 3.5 I felt something really weird in my groin area. It felt like a tightening – very slight at first, but it got worse as I ran. I stopped, I stretched, I continued. It would loosen up and I’d think it was fine, but then it would return. I wasn’t happy. Everything else felt great, and my overall pace was an 8:54. I did drills and MYRTLs, and did abs and a yin yoga practice for groin, hips and adductors with my sister in law. I foam rolled the crap out of it, and swam the lake because swimming often loosens up my muscles.
We went out for dinner to one of the only restaurants nearby, the Man of Kent, so we skipped our walk but I did go for an evening paddle on the SUP. It was our last night so I spent some extra time paddling around the lake.
Friday, 8/7– 7 Mile Recovery Run + SUP + Yin Yoga
I considered skipping the run since I had the upcoming tri and I thought my groin felt weird, but I had to see if the stretching and foam rolling helped. I ran cautiously and kept the pace easy, and actually felt fine. One time, around mile 5 I had to stop and stretch the area but it was a lot better than the previous day. I’m still worried about it, and keeping and eye on it, but that’s the name of the game – I’m now up to 60 mile weeks. Things will hurt and be sore, and I need to respect that. Overall pace, 8:57. Did a quick paddle on the SUP around the lake and an easy yoga practice with my sister in law on the dock before heading home.
Saturday, 8/8 – Pole Fitness + 13 Mile Bike + 1 Mile Run + Core/Yin Yoga
I missed my pole classes! Got an early morning text from one of my friends asking if I wanted to go to pole. I actually had zero intention of going because I didn’t want to chance being super sore for the tri on Sunday, but I missed it and jumped at the chance. I’m glad I did, learned how to do a “brass monkey”:
It was an early class, so since I had the triathlon and hadn’t ridden my bike all week long, I dusted off my bike and did an easy 13 mile loop followed by a one mile run as a shake out. I averaged 16 mph on the bike, which I was happy with considering I hadn’t been riding and wasn’t sure how it would feel. My mile off the bike was a 7:27 and felt really good – I wore my Newtons for it. Thought it might be good since I spent my whole week in the Brooks Pure Connect to switch it up.
Sunday, 8/9 – Steelman Olympic Triathlon – .9 Mile Swim, 24.6 Mile Bike, 10K Run
Race report coming soon! Here’s a little spoiler:
I won my age group! I can’t wait to recap the race – it was one of my most interesting race experiences for sure!
Swim: 3 miles ♥ Bike: 38 miles ♥ Run: 60 miles
I have so much to get caught up on in the blog world! I also want to do a post this week about Yin Yoga because I’ve been LOVING it – I didn’t post links to the videos I’ve been doing because I want to share them in a post for you guys. Hoping to have some time to sit around and get caught up this afternoon! I hope you had a wonderful week!!
How was your week? Do you work out on vacation?