>The waiting is the hardest part….

May 28, 2010 § Leave a comment

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Not too much to report. The taper has begun, which is generally the most nerveracking difficult time of the training process. The build/peak weeks are cut and dry. You either do the workout, and get through it, or you don’t. You meet your times, or you don’t. The taper is much more abstract, with runs based on feelings and disposition. But last week was good. For as much running as I did, I felt strong and there wasn’t too much lingering tiredness or soreness.

5/17: 6×2 mile, 1 mile wu and 1 mile cd; 2 hours
5/18: easy hour, 7 miles
5/19: 20 miles with 10 miles at MP; 3 hours
5/20: easy hour, 7 miles
5/21: 1:15 of hills in the AM, 2:45 of hills in the PM, 26 miles.
5/22: HUMP 50K, 5 hours 15 minutes
5/23: Off

Totals: 106 miles, 16 hours, 15 minutes

Definitely the toughest week I have put in. The HUMP run was a good exercise in patience – I definitely practiced staying calm and dealing with issues during the run. I ran alone for most of the 32 miles, had to play close attention to course markings, and had to deal with no water stations on the second loop.

Aside from that, all I can say is I feel ready. I’ve put in the miles. Not a day in the past few weeks has gone by without thinking about the race in some way. I get pumped thinking about this moment from last year:

and it feels like time to do it again. 8 more days…….
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>Rinse and Repeat

May 17, 2010 § Leave a comment

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*I’ve had this post sitting for awhile now, waiting to add things, but then I got lazy so I’m just combining a lot into a big post*

5/3 – Recovery 8.5 miles, 1 hour 5 minutes

5/4 – 4×2 mile, 2 mile wu, 2 mile cd, 1 hour 45 minutes

5/5 – 21ish? on trails, 3 hours

5/6 -8.5 recovery, 1 hour 20 minutes
5/7 – 3×20, 2×10 hills, 10 minute cool down, 20 miles; 2 hours 50 minutes
5/8 – 29 miles; 6 hours
5/9 – 1 mile; 8 minutes, 22 seconds

Total: 101 miles, 16 hours, 8 minutes, 22 seconds

So this week went much better than last. I struggled a bit with the 4×2’s again, but I think that is normal as my speed has been falling off with all of my long runs. I was a bit worried coming off of the hill workout this week that I may not hold up for the long run. Usually I would just accept that it would be slower than usual, but since Bobby was going to head down to the OD course with me I wanted to make sure I wasn’t holding him back…too much. We headed out the door at 5:30 saturday morning, dropped aid at 2 spots (Elizabeth’s Furnance and Veach West) and drove over to the Little Fort area to park. This was going to allow us to run ~29ish miles of the course, from 64 – 93. We both knew that seeing the last third of the race course would be a huge help for our own race. The day took about 6 hours, stopping/goofing off/napping included.
This included about an hour of a climb up to Sherman’s Gap, and then a half hour climb up to Veach Gap. Melissa will be with me for these parts of the race, so that should make them more bearable on race day 🙂 I still didn’t see any bears, but we did see this snake:
BUT the realy highlight of the week was the 2nd Annual Arjun Birthday Baltimore Beer Mile Championships. I was back and ready to defend my title of first woman from last year, and a little scared about the fact that I actually had another competitor in my division this year (usually girls do teams of 2). Alas, my beer-drinking abilities are similar to that of a 200 pound male, and I kept my title for a second year in a time that surprised even me, 8:22. I think I need to market this skill a little better, I feel like that’s where my future is. Anyway, I made a sweet video of the event and it’s on youtube HERE.
Moving on after that, I had a nice little rest week on tap.  I still had 2 long runs of 17ish miles and 20 miles, but other than that I did easy days of an hour to an hour and a half, with TWO days off! Yes, that’s right, I was that tired. Along with being tired, I have noticed I am hungry all the time. So hopefully that means something is working.

>Things Fall Apart

May 2, 2010 § 1 Comment

>This post has nothing to do with Chinua Achebe’s book, but as I was running yesterday those words kept popping into my head as the theme for the week. I felt overly confident after last week’s workouts, and going into this week I figured I was superhuman and would handle the workouts again just as well. This is my weekly wrapup:

4/26 – 4×15 minutes, 10 miles; 1 hour 25 minutes
4/27 – 7 miles easy; 1 hour
4/28 – 15 miles (6 at Marathon Pace); 2 hours
4/29 – 7.5 miles easy; 1 hour 5 minutes
4/30 – 4×20 hills; 20 miles; 2 hours 50 minutes
5/1 – 32 miles on the AT, 6 hours 15 minutes (with breaks)
5/2 – Off

Totals: 91.5 miles; 14 hours 35 minutes

So maybe this is what Ben refers to as metamorphisizing. I know that in order to get stronger, you first need to be broken down. I have one more “build” week, where I will probably hit 95-100 miles, then I get a rest week!! (my massage is already scheduled :)) I would like to say that at least one of these workouts last week was a “strong” one for me, but that wasnt the case. I think the 2 hours would have been okay but I was having stomach problems. The hills were just hard. I made it through 4 of them, but then was supposed to do 20 minutes at marathon pace. I got through like 45 seconds, then just slowed to a jog for 10 minutes and called it quits.

Saturday’s forecast was 90 degrees. Not great news for a long run, but was kind of a blessing in that I can practice in the heat before race day. I had intended to go out to the OD course, but with a weather report like that and a lack of knowledge and comfortability knowing where I could pick up water…..mama didn’t raise no fool. You’re asking for trouble heading into unknown trails in the heat. So, I went out to the AT to do a out and back. Usually, this run takes me about 5 hours. Knowing where the water was, I could just relax and get the miles in. Or so I thought. The trip out went well. There were a good amount of people out hiking on the trail which always makes me happy. I think my favorite groups are the boy scout troops. The boys are mostly afraid to look at me and seem quite nervous about my spandex and sports bra which leaves little the imagination. Meanwhile the dads are pumped to see me and give me encouragement in the form of comments like “You go girl!” (he probably has a daughter) to (as he stares at my legs) “You look….in shape.” (he probably doesn’t have a daughter….). So that makes the time go by. I also got to have a staring contest with this little guy:

So I made it all the way out in 2:35. Perfect! Right on schedule. I knew my Nathan pack was about 1/2 full, so I thought I was on track with that too. I guess this is about the time of day when it really started to heat up, because climbing up the switchbacks I was downing the water. Then I kept drinking while I was running. And kept drinking. Until finally, I had no water left. My watch indicated that I still had about 25 minutes at least of running to the water stop. Crap! And on a day when I thought I planned it well! I managed to remain calm though, and kept telling myself to just take it easy, I will get there. Eventually I did and basically showered under the water pump when I got to Gathland State Park. It seemed like as soon as I was wet, I was dry again though, so I got some food in me and kept going. I was hurting at this point, but nothing too major, just felt very dry….my black shorts were now caked in white salt too. I got up to my favorite lookout spot here:

 and knew I was close to the end. About 1 minute from the car there’s another water pump so I stopped again, and when I stopped this time the heat really hit me. I was dizzy and dry heaving a bit, but I sat for a few minutes before pushing to the car. I knew it was just a matter of getting to the Subway about 5 miles away and getting some food and a coke in me. Unfortunately, my body didn’t want to wait that long and I had to pull off to take care of some sickness on the way. I suppose I was more dehydrated than I thought. Sigh. I will certainly have to work harder at that for OD. But I did make it to Subway and got a footlong chicken bacon ranch and a large coke which hit the spot. All in all, not too bad a run, but a definite reminder than when it’s hot, DRINK!

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