Summer Plans + Fall Shenanigans

Well, it's been a month since my 70.3 triathlon, so naturally I'm looking forward to the next thing. The current plan is to go and do the North Face Endurance Challenge in San Francisco with several people from my training group in November. I was planning on running the half marathon (they have everything from a 5K to a 50 miler), but I am probably getting talked into the marathon or the 50K. 

I have no other races planned until March so this is a good opportunity for me to have something to focus on before I have to start training for Lavaman in March. That being said, running a trail marathon (with 5,000+ feet of elevation gain) or a 50K is completely different than anything I've done before, so I'm working on a training plan (it's 17 weeks until the November race and I've now run twice since July 17th...). 

I did a track workout on Tuesday (and got to run in a pace group that was 2:00 slower than my usual because it was my first run back!) and a long-ish run today (hello 3.5 miles in 45 minutes...there were lots of dog pee stops). I'm FINALLY feeling back to "normal" other than being a little sore. Other things that are changing in my training are that I'm doing strength and conditioning classes. I might be able to haul myself through a 70.3, but I have zero muscle strength. This was made very clear to me any time I got on my bike, and when I went back to my tech swim class and had to focus on technique. My core can't handle my swim pull, it causes all kinds of sinking problems. 

General schedule for the next four weeks:

Monday: Strength + tech swim
Tuesday: Track workout with run group
Wednesday: Swim group
Thursday: 1:00 easy run
Friday Strength, rest
Saturday: Long easy run
Sunday: Medium effort, medium length run 

This will get me built back up in mileage while giving me some training variety. I would also love to get a bike ride in there somewhere, maybe on Wednesday or after one of my long runs, but I'm not sure where it's going to fit. While a 50K isn't much longer than a marathon, the thing that I've gathered from reading is that races of this kind (lots of vertical and on trail) require a focus on longer distance training runs and cross training to keep you from getting injured. 

Have you run a trail marathon or 50K? What's your best training advice?