March 26, 2010
March 19, 2010
I only had soreness for a few days and last night Pam and I hit the trails again for a nice and easy 4 miler. It felt great! We went out to Brown's Ravine and met up with the FTR group. We ran in the back of the pack, as any good trail turtle does, and we were happy to run with a new FTR member and new trail runner, Lynn. She just ran her first half marathon last weekend, and too was testing her legs out after a few days of recovery.
The evening had spring time written all over it. It was beautiful. The weather was perfect, the trails are in great condition, and the company was perfect.
Tomorrow, Pam and I test our legs again by doing an easy 8 miles. We're meeting up at Twin Rocks and heading, I don't know which direction we're heading, but either way, is cool by me. One way is less hilly, but I know it will be an easy run, so a few hills won't bother me at all.
Next weekend we start our high mileage back up as we're jumping on our next 50k, Folsom Point Spring 50k happening on 4/24/10. We've got 6 weeks to prepare for it, and I'm excited. This 50k is in our backyard and we'll be able to get a lot of training out there. My main goal in the next few weeks is to get in more hill training and a lot of core work.
This week we took it easy, but it's time to get back into the 50k training mindset. Getting in the long mileage is going to be a little bit tougher this time around as golf season is back in full swing and I've got tournaments on the schedule. But I think I've worked out a pretty good plan and everything will fall into place. I'm hoping to be stronger for this next 50k. My main goal is to be able to keep up with my fellow Trail Turtle, Pam, who rocked at WTC!
Get dirty this weekend!
March 14, 2010
2 days before the race, I started to get stomach issues; something I don't usually get. I attributed this to a combination of nerves and a touch of a stomach virus. I wasn't able to eat much, but kept on top of the fluids. A frantic email went out to Diane, my patient, expert coach (and wonderful friend) asking what I should do. She gave me guidance on what to eat and by race morning I was nearly back to normal. Saturday morning I collected Mary and we headed up to the start. It was frigid cold but the excitement of the day kept the adrenaline pumping. Found Shannon and my FTR peeps and took a few pics and video.
pre race vid
Pam and I are as ready as we'll ever be. We did what we were suppose to do. Could we have done more, yes, but we did what we could with our busy schedules.
We started off running on pavement for the first 2 miles and that's when I saw my first hallucination - a 6' talking banana - but it's ok, because Pam had the same hallucination, so we should be ok - right?
After crossing 49 it got really muddy, but we've trained in mud, this is no big deal, we're ready.
At some point in time, a fellow FTR got this pic of us. It's definately after Aid Station #1 cuz we're sporting our new Trail Turtle shirts.
Once you make it down Dead Truck Trail you come out at the bottom of Ball Bearing aka Ball Buster! My goal was to be at the bottom in 5:30, I hit it in 5:25. When I saw my time I said "sweet"!! This is where I hit the wall. This hill is the MOTHER of all hills. Not only is it extremely steep, and just keeps on going, it was muddy and slippery. I had a really hard time getting up this hill. I had 35 minutes to get to the next aid station or I was not going to make the cut off. Ok, no problem, I can do this. I had to stop several times to catch my breath, etc. I felt nauseas, dizzy, and all I could think about is I want to lay down and go to sleep, oh and I WANT MY MOMMY!!
At some point I took this picture which is a reminder why I run trails. It is so pretty. Where else can you come across countless waterfalls? It's what its all about.
I had to keep telling myself that you can't quit! Demons were battling in my head. This was the hardest part. The last 4 miles. This is when you realize how sucky it is to be out there by yourself. No iPod and no buddy. The brain can be relentless.
I think the best part of this whole thing is that Mark has a new appreciation for what I've been training for. All day today, Sunday, he's told me how proud he is of me and how impressed he is. He had gotten there pretty early and saw quite a few runners come through. He said a lot of them looked like someone had beaten them up - bloody, etc. Once he realized how far I was going he finally GOT IT! These past few months I've been gone A LOT, this was what it was all for.
PS - Pam finished in 8:20! She is my hero. A true Trail Turtle!
March 12, 2010
The much anticipated day is upon us and the infamous Trail Turtles have arrived!! Tomorrow morning, Trail Turtles, Shannon & Pam, will arrive in Cool, CA for the 14th annual Way Too Cool 50k.
After many months of training, sore muscles, fatigue, gastrointestinal issues, bug bites, mud baths, rain, and psychological angst, the Trail Turtles feel they are ready for the challenge. They have faced a lot during these past months - some great, some not so great, but they feel they are at their best, physically. They know what they need to do - pack enough fuel, band-aides, wet wipes, an extra pair of socks, camera, and a very positive attitude. The most important will be to set a pace that gets them to each cut-off point in time. Can they do it? We spoke with one of the Trail Turtles, Shannon, and here's what she has to say:
"Pam and I are nervous about the cut-offs and other issues we have faced in past runs, however, we've done everything we can do to be prepared for the challenge we face tomorrow. Our only goal is to cross the finish line standing and smiling!! We are hoping we are able to keep our spirits up and enjoy the run. We don't want to see any 6 ft badgers (one of our fellow runners has seen one of those, yikes) or any Storm Troopers (Pam has seen one on the trails before - HHMM). But mostly I hope we don't end up like Carl. I am hoping we can maintain our pace so that we can enjoy the scenery, take pictures, and hopefully see a newt or two."
The race will begin at 8am and closes at 4:30p. Come on out to see the Trail Turtles cross the finish line. If you're there by 4p (3:30p, just in case they have a burst of energy), you should get to see the epic finish!
Go get dirty Trail Turtles, you can do this!!
Sidebar from a fellow trail runner:
Watch out for the newts. They're out there with this wet weather, especially near the creeks, and they're just too cute to step on. If you do find one, I've heard they generally head towards the downward side of the trail and that's where they should be placed out of harms way.
Help the newts if you see one but be sure to wash your hands in the creek afterward.
A great quote that fits the Trail Turtles:
A man(woman) must love a thing very much if he/she not only practices it without any hope of fame and money, but even practices it without any hope of doing it well. - G. K. ChestertonGood luck to all tomorrow!
March 9, 2010
I'm a little sad about this training ending. It will always be my 'first' ultra and nothing can usually compare with your firsts in life. It has been a fantastic journey and I've gained such a great friend through this process. Part of me doesn't want it to end (the head part), the body is screaming, "lets just lie on the couch, you don't need to run!" I know the day of the race will be filled with excitement, some anxiety, many bathroom stops, but we'll be there together and with all those who followed us through this journey. It's going to be a great day :)
March 5, 2010
We met at Karen's at 7:30a and headed out. We stayed on the bike trail til we bypassed the area that can sometimes be under a foot of water. Then we hit the dirt - aaahhhh the feel of dirt under the feet just does a body good - and the soul!
I felt really good! I was so amazed at how good I felt. I'm still amazed. But anyways, we did 10 easy miles, however, at about 7 miles I started to feel my back bothering me, just like last week. But I didn't let it slow me down.
When we got done, I had to run to get to my massage so I didn't get to stretch, but I stretched while I waited for my Mocha from Starbucks - um ya, I had to have my birthday mocha!!
My massage was great - Suzanne does wonders! But unfortunately it didn't help my back - this sucks. I've been hurting all day again! Last week I attributed it to the mud, running on slants, etc. But today we were virtually mud free, ok there was a little bit, but nothing to write home about, so what did I do to tweak my back today? AAARRRGGGHHH
I'll ice it all weekend, take my ibuprofren, and hope for the best. If I don't feel better by Sunday, I'll schedule another appointment with Dr. Steve this coming week and he can work his magic. And then I'll just have to pray that I make it through WTC without it flaring up again.
Tomorrow my birthday continues - yes, I don't just have one day birthdays - they must last a minimum of one weekend, sometimes a whole week, depends on what day it falls.
And here's the both of them at X-Mas giving kisses.
We are gonna go see the new Alice in Wonderland - I'm so excited.
Have a great weekend!
March 4, 2010
After this weekend, I felt the need to take 2 rest days. One of those days I had a much needed massage...aaaahh. I really need to do that more often :) I had 4 miles of hill repeats scheduled for Wednesday and since it was STILL RAINING, I had to run on the dreadmill. I got going, and surprisingly had a fantastic run...on the dreadmill of all things! I listened to Cardiocoach version 7. These audio workouts are the best. Did 4 3-minute hill repeats, then 10 1-minute hill repeats with 10 1-minute sprints in between the 10 repeats. Kicked my butt! Followed up with alot of core and hip work and stretching. Tomorrow I am off and will run 10 miles with Shannon to celebrate her birthday!!
HHHHMMMM sleep or go run on the hamster wheel? Extremely tough choice to make! Tuesday I did manage to crawl out of bed and get to the gym and push out 2 miles on it. OMG I hate running on those things. I realized I haven't been on one since I had that miserable 5 miler a few weeks ago. I've become very spoiled with getting in afternoon runs after work.
So needless to say Wednesday morning and this morning - sleep won the vote! I keep telling myself my body needs the rest! I sure hope that plays true come next Saturday.
Since tomorrow is my birthday, I'm gonna start anew. Forget about the last 3 days and move forward, because that's what ultimately we have to do at WTC - just keep moving forward. I will get in a nice 10 miler with Pam bright and early, then I head off to get a much needed massage. After that I head to Roseville to work with a beginner's quilt group (I've been teaching them to quilt). Saturday I will enjoy the day with my youngest (Skyla), go to the movies, etc. Then I'll get in another run on Sunday with Pam. Then we completely taper off next week, however, I do plan on getting in some kind of XT.
Side bar: I was reading a great article in Jan/Feb Ultrarunning magazine titled "Getting through your first ultra" by Gary Dudney - funny how that article showed up in time for WTC. I really enjoyed one paragraph where the author discusses the differences between a street marathon and a trail ultra.
"In a marathon there are only about 4 things that can go wrong. You're gawking at the helicopter covering the start and you twist your ankle in a pothole. You trip over someone who cuts in front of you to grab a cup of water from the cute girl at the aid station. You flatten up against "the wall" worse than usual, or your hamstrings cramp like made at mile 22. Otherwise, marathons are pretty predictable. You run, run, run and finish pretty much where your training puts you. Not so with ultras."
"With ultras, you have to expect the unexpected and get ready to roll with the punches because you're going to get punched. Your hamstring may go south, your knee may go south, your ankle, a toenail. Name a body part, it might misbehave. You may trip and fall down over one of ten thousand roots or rocks; you may even fall off a cliff. You might dump your iPod in a river, leave your water bottle at an aid station, get stung by angry wasps, follow the wrong trail to nowhere, put your foot down on a rattlesnake, do a face plant in a rock garden, get blisters on top of blisters, throw up, lose heart, get dizzy, or get to the end of your rope. The trick is to realize ahead of time that anything can happen, so when something does happen, you don't get discouraged. Something is always going to go wrong, for you and everybody else, but it can still be your day."
This is just a small portion of the whole article, but I just loved it because it is so true. The funny thing is this can and does happen every time you go out on the trail, even just for short distances. So I know that I have faced most of this, and I think that I'm pretty prepared. The key will be to "...sharpen up your gallows humor and work the mental part..." and "keeping your sense of humor when the chips are down...."
So be prepared for the unexpected and laugh as much as possible - that's my plan!! What's yours?