November 26, 2013

Trusty OLD Steeds

There are only 11 days standing between me and a whopping 50 mile course. Yikes.

Obviously, as my lack of posts suggest, I have not been running. Like, at all.

Nada. Zip. Zilch.

I tried to run one of these last weekends and I didn't make it very far before my back started seizing up and my foot started aching. I bought Hoka One One shoes...which are the price of two or three pairs of shoes but are supposed to make you feel like you're running in the clouds. They are very padded, but pretty stable. I was counting on these shoes being the missing link and hoped they would solve my problems. They did not. Instead, I think they created more. So they went back to the store. Now I'm left with my original trail shoes that have seen many miles. Good idea? Probably not, but with less than two weeks until the race and no running happening, there isn't enough time to break in new shoes.

One last hay day for my trusty steeds.

Backyard Burn 10k?

Potomac Heritage Trail
DC 50
DC 50

Greenland 8M
Golden Gate Park

Beaver Creek

Barr Lake


North Face DC 50M

We've been through many, MANY runs together. Many runs that I can't find the pictures of right now to do the shoes fair justice. They will have to go into retirement on December 8th, 2013.

Anyway, let's stop with the emotionalness! I know I could have said 'let's stop being emotional' or 'let's stop with the emotions' but, I like emotionalness more. I like new words. Ones that I make up myself. Makes me feel like I'm in touch with my creative side.

I have actually been going to the Progress! Okay I think it was three times. Last week I went and did my own wod while the class was going on so I could feel semi included. It was rowing, squats, situps, pushups, and singles and attempts at DUs.

Then yesterday I did rowing and a ridiculous amount of squats.

And today, I will go and do more rowing. It seems to be the safest thing right now. It won't wear down my shoes or make my feet hurt, hasn't really had a negative impact on my back so far, and it gets my little leggies headed back to tree trunk status!
From The Oatmeal, so freakin funny and accurate!

As far as the race is concerned, I'm getting excited. Which is shocking. Granted, the excitement is mixed with anxiety, fear, nervousness, nausea...but you know, it's in the the mix!

Mostly, I am ready to get it over with. I'm ready to have the stress off of my back and get back to just enjoying my workouts and my Saturdays, sans guilt that I'm not running. I get to sleep in again!!!

I hope that someday I return to my love for running and trails. Who knows, maybe being out there for 14 hours (hopefully less than 14 but more than 11 because that means I made the cutoffs...) will renew my love for it. Probably not.

I still want to run shorter runs here and there to keep in the general fitness of being able to knock out three miles on any given day. And if, over the course of time, that three miles somehow turns into 30, then so be it. So long as 'over the course of time' means never in a million years. Or five. Whichever. Let's not split hairs.

In conclusion, let's get er done. (Is that the saying? Did I spell that right?)


November 12, 2013

The Almost Great Debate

Okay so, this weekend I did not run. Whamp. Or yay? Not sure. That's not the great debate though.

Not running this past weekend means that this weekend will mark three weeks out from the 50 miler, and I have only a 20 miler under my belt. Which happened in October. Maybe even in September...not sure. I've done plenty of 13 milers...which is about a quarter of the race. Not. Good. Enough.

SO I have - for real - one more chance at a looong run this weekend, and then I have to just be okay with the way things are. I kinda already am okay with things.

The decision I need to make comes down to this:

Run until I get pulled off the course for missing a cutoff (which could mean the veeery slight possibility of me finishing. Is that safe?!)

Run until my legs fall off (which leads back to #1 because with no legs, undoubtedly I would miss a cutoff, unless my legs don't fall off until I cross the finish line...)

Run until a predetermined mileage. 'I will run until mile X and then call it a day.'

The reality is, I haven't done nearly enough to theoretically do well in this race. I know paper stats aren't everything in life.

According to the course guide, I need to keep a 16:45 min pace through all 50 miles and 9k of elevation gain and 10k of loss. 16:45 min pace may seem like cake to you, but we are talking about multiple miles at a time of uphill battling. On a trail. That makes people slower.

And don't come at me with all this about 'Well you'll be at sea level' because while it MAY help a tiny bit, I highly doubt it will give me super powers. Unfortunately.

So let me hear from you! What do you think?!

November 06, 2013

Miracles Can Happen

Weekly Recap Time!

First I'm going to tell you what was supposed to happen.

Then I will give you the down and dirty of reality.

I don't even think that last sentence made sense.

BUCKLE UP! It's going to be a bumpy ride...

Journey into Pretendland starting in 3...2...1...

Say what?! How did my hair change to blonde?!

Getting a little carried away with PowerPoint...

Okay - so what was really supposed to happen:

The boyfriend and I signed up last minute for the Heart Half Marathon in Loveland, CO with the knowledge that it was a point to point course. Meaning, you start the race, run 13.1 miles and finish at a completely different location. The race provides a shuttle to take finished racers back to the start and the parking lot, but my thought was to run back to the car instead of taking the shuttle. Thus getting myself 26.2 miles. I was going to tack on an extra five while Steve got to relax in the car so I could get my 31 miles.

The reality went a little different than that. Just a tad.

I meant to pull up a picture of a desert...I guess I had something else on my mind.

In reality, that pretty blonde in Pretendland transforms into a turtle on its back, about to get run over by a semi truck.

On Friday, the boyfriend and I went up to Lookout Mountain for our good friends' wedding. It was a beautiful celebration, but we knew we needed to hold back on the partying so we could have a good run the next day. We got home late, woke up early...and scrambled to get to the race on time.

There was very little fanfare at this race. The shirts are pretty nice though (mine is a little snug so I need to get my booty working out!), with the mens shirt a dark blue and the womens shirt a hot pink that I love love love, both long sleeve. We hurried to the potty palaces and then over to the car to finish gearing up and layering for the bitter cold morning. I had so many layers on...

We heard a mumbled message over the loud speaker and then saw a ton of runners making their way off in the we followed. Runners for the half had to walk over from the parking lot to the lake that we would run around 1.5 times. I told the boyfriend good luck and knew he would do really well and end up waiting for me. I just hoped he wouldn't have to wait as long as he did.

The race started with a simple 'GO' and I tried to pull the reigns a little on my speed, knowing literally this would be a marathon (+5 miles) and not a sprint. Quickly I found my self in the back of the pack...very familiar territory. I played rabbit with a few people for a while, just trying to concentrate on enjoying the day and take my mind off the already forming foot pain.

Around about mile 4, I noticed my hip starting to tighten. That's not good. Usually I can make it through a half without that happening, so I immediately grew concerned about the remaining miles ahead of me. Already present foot pain with now coming on fast hip pain. It has been a long time of running without true hip pain from my old days pre-PT sessions..but the flashbacks started flooding in.

I made it through the 1.5 loops around the lake and was happy for some different scenery. In races, I hate when I can look off in the distance and see where the other runners are. I just hate it. And that's what running around the lake did. Oh...I see where those runners are...that's about X miles away.... blegh. No fun.

The course turned onto a main road that runners follow for a couple miles before turning into a neighborhood and semi running around a different lake. It was pretty uneventful other than things were starting to fall apart. I think this was about mile 7 or 8. I liked running through the neighborhood at first. It occupied me to look at all the ritzy beautiful homes, making mental notes to ask the boyfriend if he noticed the same ones. After a little while in the neighborhood, a car came down the street and then slowed to a crawl when they saw me. I got a little nervous and paused my ipod. Much to my surprise and amusement, the car was blasting Eye of the Tiger for this complete stranger. I laughed and waved as I passed and they sped off, presumably to find the next runner. That was the highlight of this race for me...that and doing it with the bf.

Slowly I made my way up this big hill out of the neighborhood and onto this bike path around the other side of the lake. By now I was in rough shape. I couldn't bring myself to eat anything, almost threw up around mile 11, and basically reduced myself to just a fast (in my head it was fast) walk. I could see this girl behind me for most of the time through the neighborhood and I just told myself to keep her behind you. That served as a little motivation to keep me shuffling every once in a while.

With about a little over a quarter of a mile left, I finally saw the boyfriend. He was trying to take pictures of me (hobbling), and I was so grouchy and mean. After I passed him and he went to the finish to see me come in, I started to cry. I did okay the whole race dealing with the pain and the once again ever too familiar disappointment... but once I saw him and heard one of the race people tell me to 'Finish Strong' (I can't you jerk, I'm hobbling), it set in that I wouldn't be able to run back to the car. I would be boarding the shuttle, and coping for another weekend that I did not get my desired amount of miles.

I ran the last quarter mile and finished just barely over 3 hours. Disappointing performance for sure. I walked over to where they had picnic tables and just sat down and cried. I can't describe how frustrating it is to have foot pain, hip pain, etc interfere with my plans when my leg muscles feel completely fine. My body is used to running 13 miles. I need to be able to push past that if I want any real chance of finishing the 50 miler.

Yesterday I saw the PT and my hip feels better, and even my foot is okay. It seems to come and go. I'm hoping the foot holds out for this Saturday so I can throw one last ditch effort at this race. Technically, I think I have two more chances, but I really want to nail this one down. I'm going to shoot for either 26 or 28 miles this weekend, and then 24 next weekend if this Saturday works out. Then it's taper time.

I even feel guilty about tapering for a race that I didn't really have a build up in training.

Damage control at this point. Miracles can happen.

Getting in Shape

Getting back into shape is a S T R U G G L E! I get into a good groove, nice routine for a couple weeks and then BAM. Sickness sweeps over t...