Friday, June 25, 2010

And I'm back

On facebook that is.  Ugh.  It's truly a love/hate thing.  No sooner had I deactivated my account, then I realized that I had a few irons in the fire so to speak that would be left hanging if I just dumped FB all together.  So limits are set.  If I can stick to them, I should be able to manage it better. 

Running is going well.  We had a nice trail run at Mitchell last night.  There were 7 of us all together and it felt nice to introduce some others to the beautiful trails that we have so close by.  The bike trails are a nice, short, but fairly technical route.  You really have to stay pretty alert, at least the first few times you run the trail so that you don't take a tumble.

I love running out there.  I love the way the trail changes with the time of year.  Winter is barren and this make the trail feel more open and airy.  Spring brings new life and after months of gray, it is a nice change to see the trail come alive again with new growth.  Summer brings with it a real robust fullness to the vegetation.  Of course the flies are not my favorite part, but once the swarm dies off, they are tolerable with a few swats now and then. 
Of course I am looking forward to fall.  Despite what some would have us think, Texas does have foliage that changes color.  It may not be till November, but it does happen.  You just have to look and then appreciate it.

I have 26 miles on the books for the weekend.  A 16 miler and a 10 miler.  I will be trying out the homemade sports drink from the Thrive book.  I made some last night and while I think it was a bit heavy for the short run, it was tasty and refreshing.  I think it will be a good source of calories during the longer runs. I plan to do a more extensive review soon.  I love using whole food options while running instead of products that are full of ingredients that I can't pronounce or have no idea what they are.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Hitting Refresh

I have recently deactivated my Facebook account in an effort to help me to refocus and refresh where my efforts are leaning.

If I am to run a 100 miler in October, I believe that all of my energy and time that I have to spend away from my vocation as mom need to be placed upon this.  I can't believe what a time sink FB has become and while I do enjoy the distraction as well as seeing what old friends and my beautiful granddaughter are doing, I also find that I will push away those who live with me just so I can catch up with someone that pre-fb days, I would not have been keeping up with.

I don't know when or if I will return to FB.  If I do, it will be managed much differently.  

So my efforts are shifting to the house, running, and a bit of blogging.  I hope to figure out this 100 miler thing.  I want to get it done in October so that I don't have to train so hard during the holidays.  But I am also preparing a back up plan to run the 100 in February if needed, or maybe even desired.

Huntsville holds a very special meaning to me with my mom's ashes being spread there.  I feel a certain peace as soon as I enter the park and I long to return the moment I leave.  It's one of those places that I don't mind being along.  I feel safe and I really don't ever feel as though I am by myself.

That is one aspect of running that I never realized I would have to embrace if I am to complete the goals that I have set forth for myself.  Up until recently, running has afforded me many social opportunities that I might never have experienced.  And being a fairly social person, I love this.  However, not many of these wonderful people have the goals that I do.  They are so good to support me in my efforts emotionally, but let's face it, who else but a wannabe ultramarathoner would want to run 35 miles on a Sunday morning in 90+ degree heat just the for training?   Who else would want to run on trails that have horseflies and snakes just lurking in the background or stumps and roots that wait for just the right moment to pop up and trip you?  I understand that what I am undertaking is unusual and most people aren't interested in doing it themselves.  Why I have it imprinted on my soul to do it, I'll never know. 

So, as I am discovering, training for these events is a lonely affair.  I suppose it is meant to be.  There will be many moments on the trail of the race that will be spent alone.  I need to be comfortable with that.  And I am far from it.  I will admit, it is getting better as I do it more and more.  I find that I am looking for moments to run solo. I believe this process is less about running and more about something bigger than myself. 

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Trash food = trash tummy

I have really fallen of the healthy food this weekend and I can feel it with every inch of my being.  What once was a nice treat for me is now almost like a poison.  I keep hearing Brendan Brazier's words in my mind, "eat nutrient-dense foods and you won't use precious energy trying to digest it.  That energy can then be used for other things, like recovery."

I am sore all over today.  More than I usually am and I would bet my life on the probability that it has to do with the Arby's sandwich I ate yesterday and the fish I ate last night.  It was delicious fish, but still, for me, animals based foods are just not where I thrive the best.

And Arby's?  Seriously?  I didn't eat that crap when I did eat crap!  Even as I was putting it in my mouth, my head told will regret this later.  White bread and pseudo-meat?  My head was right.  I was sick all morning today.  My recovery from yesterday's run has been slow.  I usually bounce right back the next day, but not today.

I ate much better today.  Vega shake for breakfast, Quinoa for lunch, Cuban black beans on the stove for dinner along with some Mexican cucumbers and Tomato Salad.  My body feels happier already.

Cycle Down Week

This week's training was a scheduled cycle down week and it felt great!  I ran a nice and easy paced run most every day and totaled about 40 miles for the week.

It feels good to back off a bit and give the legs a rest.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Week 3 of the Block

All was going well last week until Saturday morning's run.  I had 20 on the schedule and knew it would be a tough one because of the expected temps, but I had no idea what the day had in store for me. 

I suppose the catalyst of the whole problem began on Thursday.  I had spent a little too long at the pool and was a bit overcome by the heat.  I did not really think too much about it as I don't normally do well in the sun as a rule, but I didn't appear to be badly sunburned, just very "dry" and somewhat fatigued.

Friday, we visited another pool and I stayed out of the sun completely, so I thought I was ok.  I've had heat exhaustion before and I know the dangers, but this time, I just did not click to the fact that I was suffering from it again.

On Friday night, I had a strange feeling that my sleeplessness would get the better of me and I was correct.  Insomnia reared it's ugly head and I only slept about 2.5 hours before the run.  I had planned to leave my house at 5:15, get 10 miles in and then meet a small group to run an additional 10 at 7 am. 

Because of the lack of sleep, I hit the snooze alarm and didn't get out the door until 6:20.  I was late and I was nervous that I would miss the group meet up.  I was close to reaching them at 7, but I felt that if they had left a little earlier, I would miss them and never catch up with them.  I decided to make a cut across to catch them at a different location.  I somehow got lost and so began the descent into a really not so wonderful run.  Actually, 2 miles in, I was feeling the urge to slow down and even walk.  This played into my anxiety of missing the group as well.  About 7 miles into the run, I figured I had missed them and they were quite a ways ahead of me.  I was embarrassed about not showing up when I said I would and this was another mind game for me. 

As I ran down one of my favorite trails, I noticed I was completely drained.  8 miles in I had consumed 40 oz of water and was looking for more.  Still, no red flag went off for me.  There are no fountains on this trail, so I ran most of it without water.  I saw a strange looking man that obviously had no business to be on the trail and I became a bit paranoid.  I kept looking over my shoulder expecting that he was going to give me some grief.  Thankfully he never did.  I ran into a girl from the group at the end of this trail and she told me that the group was actually behind me!  I had managed to cut too far ahead of them.  She also told me that they had left 15 mins later than planned because they were waiting on someone...(me!)  Ugh.  Another head game. 

The group was very gracious and understanding and thankfully allowed me to run with them for awhile.  At about 11 miles in, I knew I was going to have to shut things down.  I was completely drenched with sweat, which is very unusual for me and I couldn't keep enough water in my bottle.

Another mental game was the fact that my Garmin was reading 9 miles.  I felt like I had run more and I knew my route fairly well, but for some reason Garmin was not reflecting the mileage I thought it should be.  It wasn't until I was almost home that I realized that it had somehow turned off. 

I was very discouraged with less than 10 miles showing on the watch and feeling as bad as I did.  Later in the day, I did re-map my route and discovered I had run 12 almost 13 miles and the Garmin was not on for some of the run. 

I had intended to finish the day's mileage in the evening, but that was not to be.  I began having symptoms that reminded me of last June when I was heat exhausted during Hells Hills.  Chills, headache, cramping, nausea, etc.  Very unpleasant.  Thankfully, several running saints talked me into some common sense thinking and I scrapped the mileage for Sunday as well. 

I had 5 on the schedule today, but I took it off as well.  I want to be sure I am really better before I head back into training. 

I feel much better having taken the time to rest, rehydrate, and eat well.  I've put the four pounds I lost on Saturday back on and I've reworked the running schedule to scale the long runs back a bit until I feel 110% better in the heat.

I had hoped to have a 60 mile week last week, but I am happy with the 43 that I put in.  I learned a lot this week and am happy to have runs like Saturday to make me appreciate the really great runs that will come later in the fall.

This week is a cycle down week and then next week I'll start a new block.  I should peak in time for Captain Karl's 60 K.

To my friends who look after me when I am not looking after myself so well...thank you!  Happy Running!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Progress Continues

This is just a short post to check in and update how the training is going.  I was able to hit 50 miles last week which was very exciting!  I am feeling very strong and fairly well acclimated to the heat.  I suppose time will tell after this weekend with expected temps to reach close to 100.  I have an 18 miler on the schedule for the weekend.  This distance and the expected temps will be a true test of my running endurance.

The Vega is continuing to provide me with the ability to recover from runs much quicker and this, I believe, could be the answer to a more successful training season.

I enjoyed a nice run tonight of about 9.3 miles.  There was a gentle rain which helped to keep the temps down and provided a cooling mist during the entire run.  I kept my pace slow as I was running with a friend who is just beginning to acclimate herself to the summer heat as well.  The last two miles were pretty quick for me, but, strangely the 8:28 and 8:01 pace felt almost effortless though I did notice I was moving at a fast pace, well, fast for me!  Tomorrow I plan to do a longer tempo run at about an 8:30 pace.

The mileage for May was close to 120 miles.  Considering 50 of those miles were done the last week of May, and I am increasing my weekly mileage in a more consistent manner, June should show more mileage than I have ever done in a month.