"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, Who is in you, Whom you have received from God? ... So use every part of your body to give glory back to God..." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Sunday, August 28, 2016

No longer a Slave to Fear.

"I am not longer a slave to FEAR, I am a child of GOD."

The lyrics to this song is one of my favorites. With my eyes closed and my arms in the air I saturated myself in the lyrics. Tears streamed down my eyes during our worship music at church.
"I am NO longer a Slave to FEAR."
The song ended but the words still rang in my head. I grabbed my pen and notebook and wrote out "I am no longer a slave to ME FEAR.
Subconsciously, I wrote the word ME...I meant to write FEAR.

I was taken back by the mind of my pen. Why did I write "ME"?
Am I a slave to myself?
What am I afraid of with in myself?

This resonated with me, leaving me confused. Yet, at the same time...Fearless. Because I don't have to be afraid of myself. I am not a slave to FEAR.

My biggest fear prior to this song was running 30 miles today. And now I felt FEARLESS.

Total Sacrifice
I had a last minute change of plans. Wednesday night I got a reminder that I needed a 30 mile run. I had no one to run that with me. Saturday was the Crim and I was planning on running it at a fairly fast pace. The 30 mile run was way more important that running a fast Crim. I went to Andy and told him I would run it with him. He was pretty happy to hear that. I knew Lacey was racing and she had told me she didn't know how she would feel about our Sunday Runday. I was hoping someone would be able to run either Sunday or Monday long with me. At the last minute, Friday night Lacey shared she was going to run 22 miles with me....

The Goal:
  • 30 miles:  Lacey offered to run 22 miles of it with me. 8 miles solo was doable.
  • We both ran the CRIM 10 miler on Saturday. Only I ran it, She RACED it.
  • It was 85 degrees and 70% humidity when I started, MOSTLY Sunny.

RUNDOWN: I left my house at 11. By the time I came out of my garage I had to turn around and take my shirt off. It was a stinking inferno out. I carried my water bottle full of ice cubes, hoping it would last me 8 miles. Once I got to Laceys I knew I could refill it.
I was out of water and roasting when I arrived on Laceys back deck.
"Lacey we need a route that we can refill out water every 8 miles."
That was another plan that we had to add.

You cant fight genetics. I have gotten used to running in 80' & 90' weather. And I have also been running back to back long runs for weeks now.

"I just didn't want you to have to run alone on your long run." Lacey whimpered as the heat took the life out of her.
And had she not been so sacrificial, I would have.
You see, Lacey isn't training for anything. She didn't  need to run 22 miles with me. She definitely  didn't need to run 22 miles after RACING 10 miles of hills at the Crim.
Who does that?
I looked back at Lacey and she was done. Her pink compression socks were rolled down and she was sweating through her clothes. She NEVER sweats. She had ran 18 miles with me. Simply because she didn't want me to run alone.
As I looked at her, I had to look away. She Gave me EVERYTHING she had and then some just so I wouldn't be alone. She sacrificed her recovery for my long run.
"Lacey, Call it in. Let me run you back home, you do not need to run 22 with me."
She knew that was what had to be done but it was killing her.
"I'm running you back home, I need water anyway."

I was at 28 miles at her house. I felt great. "Lacey what's the longest route back to my house?"
30 miles was the goal. Now I wanted 32 miles.

Pure sun for over a mile. I smelled like road kill. My skin was sticky and clammy with sweat and salt.
Then came the hills. I was determined to finish my last couple miles out strong. I took advantage of the down hill and did my best with the up hills until walking was all I could do. A large gardener snake slithered across the road. I found myself 5 feet vertically in the air. I knew I had enough energy to get home by my response.
It was a perfect 32 mile run. Perfect distance. Tough run. Grateful for Lacey.

Distance: 32 miles
Pace: 10:12min/mi
Time: 5h 27min
Calories: 2461

No Longer a Slave to Fear. Letting things go. I find that most of the things that I am afraid of is created by ME. I create my own Fears. I was reminded "I am a Child Of God."
My confidence and security must lie in HIM, or I will always struggle with Fear.


Monday, August 22, 2016

Chasing 9's.

61 one miles is a lot less than the 77 miles I did the week before. My body manages to stay upright through all I have put it through.
One of the reasons my body has not fallen apart is because I have not been doing speed drills.
Training for Cloudsplitter does not really require me to run repeats around the track, Thank GOD!
But it does require me to run a lot of miles.

I remember months ago reading how many miles my training would have me running and thinking "How am I going to do that?"
I have to take care of my kids, my husband, my ministries at church, work...
I just couldn't put it all together.

But I did. The puzzle all came together.
My kids are older and are very busy with sports.
Andy is very supportive. He is also running a lot more making me get in those double runs.
I have had 2 groups I run trails with and then I have Lacey for Sunday Runday. Sunday Runday now includes Andy, due to the murder in our small town he does not want us running the backroads alone.

So I am training for the 100k in October. That means ANY Races in between is a TRAINING RACE. Due to me NOT running much faster than a 8min/mi one of the races I run every years is going to be a total BOMB.
This years CRIM is going to be UGLY.
My Goal: sub 8min/mi. OH I am living on a prayer!

I ran my LONG RUN today very SHORT.
SUNDAY: Andy mapped out a run for Lacey and I. A perfect 16 miler.
MONDAY: Initially I was going to run 20 miles.

The LOW down on the Low Miles.
Almost directly after putting my NB shoes on I changed my plan.
Rather than running a moderate 20 miler, I decided to try and run less miles with more exertion.

CHASING 9's. That's what I wanted to do. I wanted to try and keep my pace at a 9min/mi/. No walking hills, no intervals, running it all the way through.

The FIRST 3 MILES were rather smooth.
9:01, 8:52, 8:35.
Mile 4 made we nervous, 8:38. I didn't think I could maintain that pace another 12 miles. I had some hills I had to cover and was scared I would bottom out. I was bent on running hard up the hills.
I had already crossed 2 nasty inclines. I knew my route and I knew I had several more to go.
I was barreling up the hills with everything in me.They were the same hills the day before I was walking. It is a mind game to say the least.
Miles 5-7 were rather flat. I ran through the back roads and corn fields. These miles tricked my legs. I came off the main road unto the dirt roads and my legs felt fatique. I was struggling to turn them over on the gravel.
You have to take a deep breath, a sip of water and start turning your legs over faster. Eventually your body will catch up and then go on autopilot.
9:06, 8:57, 8:48. Slowly I was getting faster. I was dreading a mile of hills coming up on Belford. I felt great. The temperatures were in the 60's, the trees protected me from the cloudless sky and God romanced me with a soft breeze.

I had to dig it in as I turned right onto Belford. That first hill was just a tease for its big brother at the end of the road. I had to nail 3 hills at a 9 min/mi.
I straightened my back, took a big sip of water, prayed and started heading up.
"I can do this, I can do this." I thought to myself
"I'm UP!" I caught my breath as I saw my next hill just a couple hundred feet away.
It was as though my body was just getting stronger. I looked at my pace coming up the second hill, 8:48. I was holding on.
The Big brother was looming at me.
"I can do this, I can do this." I figured if I said it enough maybe my body would believe it.
Mile 8- 8:56, Mile 9-8:44.
If I wasn't out of breath I would have been doing the happy dance. But instead of the happy dance, I peed my pants. Yup, I did. At the top of the hill I grabbed my dropped waters to refill and SWOOSH, there went my bladder. I had enough energy to just laugh at myself.

I was looking forward to the next mile of flat running. Mile 10-8:41. I was feeling strong.

I began entertaining the idea of chasing 8's. It was going to hurt. But I began believing I could run sub 9's. It didn't hurt to try..Actually it was going to hurt.

Then came the hills.
"PUMP Your ARMS."  "Breath Anita." "Pick up your legs and turn them over." I continued to bark orders at myself.
Hill after hill I could feel myself tackling and gaining more confidence.
MILES 11- 8:40, MILE 12-8:39, Mile 13-8:35.
I was actually getting faster with the rolling hills.

With 3 miles to go I had 2 flat miles and 1 mile with 4 rollers. Instead of focusing on the toughest last mile I chose to focus on the MILE I WAS IN.
Stay in the present.
I was getting tired. I was Determined to NOT give up. It had been a long time that I had this kind of a run. I was winded, my legs were numb, my stomach wanted to upchuck. I new I needed to push through.
I looked at my pace and decided rather than maintain my pace I was going to pick it up. Finish strong.
Mile 14-8:31
Mile 15-8:23
Mile 16-7:53

From mile 8, I knocked off seconds with each mile. Slowly chiseling down. Determined to follow through.

Distance: 16
Pace: 8:41/mi
Time: 2:19

My thoughts: I had no one to run with today. Andy did NOT want me to run. I ran for YEARS alone. I was nervous leaving my house but took a second to pray again. "And God if it is in your plan that something happens to me, just let it come from behind and make it QUICK!" 
It felt so good to push myself today. I love the idea of setting goals. Setting them high, with a little bit of fear in there. The fear that is scared of the results and determined to achieve them.
The older I get the more conservative I find my goals. Maybe it is all those injures I have had. Maybe it is being afraid of failure.
Who knows.
I just know that God has protected me, strengthened me, opened doors for me and guided me. I am so grateful for every victory and every failure.


Monday, August 15, 2016

The Thoughts of Defeat.

"For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me." Job 3:25

Time is closing in. The questions, the insecurity, the worry comes in waves.
"Can I do it?"
"How bad is it going to hurt?"
"Can I withstand the pain?"
"Am I strong enough?"

There are just things I can not prepare for, like 17,000 feet. Cloudsplitter is going to kick me in the teeth. NO DOUBT.
It comes down to me being able to take the hit, multiple times.

For weeks now, I have put myself in the hurt locker.
These BACK TO BACK long runs are really hard on me.

SUNDAY was just Andy and I. It is his long run day, like a good wifey I ran it with him. I was very submissive and let Andy pick the route and lead.
That was my biggest mistake.
I let Andy take us 5 miles to Holdridge, then run the West Loop with the Technical loop and Lakeside loop, then back home.
The problems:
  • 82' degrees
  • Hills, a lot of hills
  • Pure sun down Grange Hall
  • Andy increased his miles and increased his technical route.
We both biffed it on the trails. We were going up a hill and I said "Ok, I am up...And now I am down!" Andy screamed "Nita!" as I picked myself up out of the dirt laughing. Nothing broken, nothing hurt. I landed like a pro. I get hurt worse nailing my toes on the rocks.

Andy was low on water with 4 miles still to go. I dropped some Gatorade and gave it all to him. I ended up giving Andy the rest of my water to get him home. He bonked bad.
I think he got a little heat stroke. He got sick and wasn't right the rest of the day.
As he was riding the struggle bus home, I reminded him to remember how bad he felt. Then the next time he wants to quit remember he ran through worse. To remember the pain. To embrace it, to capsulate it and swallow it down to help  finish. I think he would have thrown me in the ditch if he could have caught me.

SUNDAY NIGHT. The worry sets in. Did I tear my body up too much? Can I do it again tomorrow?
SO I do EVERYTHING I can think of to PREPARE myself to run long again on Monday.

BUT NOTHING prepares my mind for running 30 miles.
I don't have Matt or Ken.
I am scared to run alone.
I am scared to run the backroads.
I am scared I can't do it.
I am just plain scared.

6am comes early when you sleep with leg cramps and body twitching. I am the worse bed partner there is.

My MIND instantly accepts failure. I decided I would only do 20 miles. Even though Rachel said she would meet me at 7am for over an hour of running, I still decided I couldn't do it today.
"I can just cut my miles back this week."
"I don't need another 70+mile week."
"I should just let my body recover from that horrific run yesterday."
"Nobody cares if you run 20 miles or 30 miles."
"Its gonna be a tough week, just cut back this week and pick it up next week."
"Its not safe to run alone, what if I get shot?"

Before I left the house, Andy asked me how far I was running. When I told him my plan and all my excuses he was shocked. "Really?"
I walked out the door keeping my game plan.

I drove my truck to Sherman Middle school. I would do loops making my truck a pit stop for water and nutrition. I would also check in here.
Rachel helped me with my hardest miles. The beginning is always the hardest. I have so much noise in my head. My body is achy and tired. I am trying to tread between my thoughts, the goals and my broken body.
Morning running is always the most adventurist. Together we saw 1 coyote and a handful of deer. The coyote looked right at us. It was pretty awesome. Its TRUE. It was a Coyote, seriously!
Before Rachel left me, she gave me a "Half marathon route" from my truck.
13 miles alone. Just get through this loop. Then I could quit at 21 miles.
I saw Lacey on my way down E.Holly rd. She stopped and checked in on me. I was already so sweaty and stinky. There was not a dry patch on my body.

My phone was blowing up. I was trying to run and check my messages. My Garmin shows my messages, making it a lot easier then having to pull my phone out every 5 minutes.
I saw one from Lacey. I checked it.
WOW! If I made it back to my truck and to the elementary in the next hour and a half she could run with me from 11-12. I had to pick it up.
Suddenly I realized I WAS GOING TO RUN more than 20 miles.

"I can do this."
"Stay focused."
"Get to the truck, check your time, eat, drink and GO."

I felt strong as I headed in for my second loop.
I had my music in my ears. I was so excited to have Lacey find a way to help me bring it in. As I ran into the parking lot, the lawn guys pointed at me with a look of bewilderment. "You are still running?" They were there at my first loop, and now for my second loop. I chuckled as I said, "Yeah, I just came back to eat, drink and take off again."
And 4 minutes later I was gone, heading to Lacey.
I had 22 minutes to get to her.
After a mile I knew I would be pushing it. During a walk break, I texted her to head my way.

It was 2.4 miles to where I met Lacey.
I was at 22.5 miles.
I had an hour with Lacey.
I was falling apart.
"Lacey, I am so sorry, these are going to be total junk miles for you today."
"Lacey, get me to the tree, then I gotta walk."
"Lacey get me to the the beginning of the next mile and I am going to take a walk break."
She was so gracious. I let her lead. I couldn't think. I was running in Holly and had no idea where I was. I was toast. I was literally running where I have lived for 15 years and had no idea where I was.
"Oh yeah, we are coming up on East street, I know where we are."
WE WERE NO WHERE NEAR EAST STREET! Lacey never corrected me. She must have known I was "One flew over the coo coo's nest."

I could have had her drive me back to my car.
"YOU can do this NITA, You are NOT going to QUIT."
I was beyond tired and sore. I had surpassed sweaty and exhaustion. Now it was do it or die trying.
I turned my music up, took a big drink, a deep breath and headed back to my truck.
I decided I wasn't just going to FINISH, I was going to finish STRONG.
With the Olympic marathon still fresh in my mind, I thought of Desiree. She was so far behind but she never quit. She just kept plugging along. Slowly, very slowly closing the gap. I just needed to stay strong. Quitting would be too easy. Walking would be too easy. I don't want easy. Easy isn't going to help me with Cloudsplitter in October.

I saw my truck. I still had a half a mile. "No one cares if you stop at 29.5". I DO. I ran that stupid parking lot until I heard the pretty little BEEP notifying me I hit 30 miles.

I was a mess. I smelled worse than road kill. My stomach was starving and sick at the same time. My clothes were soaked from sweat. But I finished.

I should have eaten better. I only ate a banana and a few chews. Which explains why I was having bad dizzy spells at mile10-18. I ran out of chews. I didn't plan it very well.
I will work on this better next run.

I am soo GRATEFUL to Rachel and Lacey for helping me with my hardest sections.

On an ending note. Defeat and failure start in our mind first. It is deafening at best. I decided early on I wasn't going to run my goal.
I was scared.
I was tired.
I was sore.
I had so many reasons and excuses.
BUT let me remind you the power of support. I am not sure I would have finished with out Lacey and Rachel.
I am so grateful for those who believe in my craziness.


Friday, August 12, 2016

Trail Review: Seven lakes

Exodus 33:14 “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

Eventually it all comes crashing down. I learned this week that you can't run over 70 miles, work, parent and wife and feel like a rockstar.
I stretch. I roll. I eat well. I hydrate.
I sleep like CRAP. I am a little bit high energy so when my "Tank" is empty..it isn't pretty.
You know what happens...I CRASH. And like a bad accident, I got the crap beat out of me last week.
I actually scheduled a massage to try and off set the damage. It was lovely.

Sunday and Monday are my long runs. Back to back.
Monday night I am over tired. Sore. Cranky. Emotional. My legs twitch and convulse preventing me from sleeping.
Its awful.
Tuesday was just PLAIN UGLY. I listened to my body. I was beginning to get sick and rested. I am actually on vacation. This made it nice to rest and not be on my feet for 9 hours.

IT IS SO IMPORTANT TO REST. I love running. But you know what I HATE. Having multiple bad runs in a week because my body is begging for a recovery.
I was a MESS Tuesday. I wanted so bad to run..And I could have. It took more discipline to NOT run then to run.

I have had my share of injuries. Running with my Monday group has reminded me that most of the time we trip or fall is when we are tired.
Our body as a whole is the same way. I can feel myself getting sick. My knee is more weak. I was having a issue with my quad. I knew I needed to let my body recover and heal a little bit.

This week is on track for another 70+ mile week.
My milage gives me more confidence for Cloudsplitter in October. It is not going to help me with the elevation, this Ultra is still going to kick me in the teeth.

The hard part about training this kind of mileage is that I am training distance NOT SPEED.

SOO, You know the other thing that is going to KICK MY TEETH in..THE CRIM at the end of the month. I am going to be riding the struggle bus for 10 miles!

MaryAnn took me out here this morning. We met at 7. The rain stopped for us to get started.
We started our run out with a mile on the pavement to get to the beginning of the trail. Within the first 20 minutes of our run we had seen multiple deer.
The beginning of the trail is more of a open field. With 7 lakes surrounding you, there is always a beautiful backdrop. The first lake we came to is Dickinson Lake.
It is one of the larger ones.
The trail then headed into the woods. But the woods are very open. The park burns the forest making visibility through the woods clear. It makes the trees look so big and strong.
Honestly, Maryann was so sweet as she tried to teach me the trail. I WAS SO CONFUSED.
It seemed like the trail would split into 3's.
We left one lake then headed to another lake.
Spring Lake. Apparently this is the "Hidden Gem." when it comes to fishing. You can only access it by foot, and it is quite a hike if you are dragging you kayak.

Seven Lakes many years ago was a gravel pit.

Our next section of the trail was through the gravel pit and around the camp ground. It is here that we ran around another lake. The gravel terrain made our footing stiff and firm, but we had some climbing to do.
The last section of the trail was dense and more woodsy. The bugs were thick. The trail was more rooty making you have to pay attention to where you were landing. This was fun, until you fall. MaryAnn took a terrible spill. By terrible, I mean the results left her scraped up and bleeding in multiple places. BUT, the tumble itself.. it was the most graceful fall I have ever witnessed. She fell as soft as a feather pillow.  MaryAnn even had a smile on her face. She looked bewildered. She didn't miss a beat. She gently got up, giggled, looked at the dirt all over her right side. It was from her shoulders to her ankles and she didn't even bother to wipe herself off.
I was taking notes. If she could teach others how to fall I would want to learn from her!

We had 2 miles left in our 8 mile run from that point. With another mile in the woods and a mile on the road we finished strong and sweaty.

Seven Lakes had a lot of good elevation. MaryAnn made me work the hills. She doesn't walk them all. They kicked my butt. She kicked my butt!

I will not be going out here alone, but I will be back, hopefully MaryAnn will be my tour guide..Like 20 more times till I get it down.

Here is a great article from Runners World on Rest and Recovery; http://www.runnersworld.com/race-training/rest-and-recovery-for-runners

I need these reminder when I am battling myself, my mind and my body.

Monday, August 8, 2016

I'm still standing.

This week has been pretty Epic for me. I reached the most miles I have EVER ran in a week.
I have no idea how I did it.
It was unplanned and unpredicted.

I also had the worse week in the weeks of being a girl since high school.
Not to get graphic, however; My ovaries are beating me up with no remorse.
7 days of living hell and we are still in the pain locker. This is soo out of the box for me. I told Andy if this is what Perimenopause is going to be like then just TAKE IT ALL OUT!

ANYWAY..on to a more pleasant subject.

Sunday 31st: 17 miles trails
Monday: 26 miles trails
Tuesday: OFF
Wednesday: 3miles road
Thursday: Double run: AM 16 miles trails PM 3.1 RACE 5K
Friday: OFF
Saturday 12 miles Trails
TOTAL miles: 73 miles

Thursday after running 16 miles I  ran another 3.1 miles in Flint.
The Great Pizza 5K.
Lacey showed up at my house last minute to run.

I reminded myself this WAS NOT the RACE I was TRAINING. Therefore, it was important to use it as a TRAINING RUN and not a RACE.

My goal was to run a sub 24.  This would be a respectable time without getting injured or discouraged.
I am at a place in my running career that I run for ME.  Some people think I am competitive. And in my ways I am.
Not in my running anymore.
I compete for me.
I work hard on my goals, my training program and my races FOR ME.
I don't fret over my times anymore and it feels good!



I ran the first loop with Ken and Matt. 16 miles.
The second loop Matt dipped out for a hot date with his wife, Paula. Paula rode her bike to the park to meet Matt.
Ken and I headed back into the trails for another 10 miles. I was on the fence about going back out. I felt like I had been hit and then ran over twice. I knew that I needed to run on empty. I needed to run sore. I needed to feel the pain, the fatigue and the discomfort.

I ran in my new HOKAS, 26 miles. No blisters. BUT a WHOLE lot of DIRT.


Sunday, August 7, 2016

Finishing Her run.

"Bear Ye one another's burdens and so fulfill the Law of Christ." Gal 6:2

Channel 12 passed us as we ran down Fish Lake road.
"Crap!" I yelled up to Jama, "WHAT time is it?"

Lacey met at my house. She picked up Andy and I. The three of us headed to Jama's house to meet her and Claudia. Then the 5 of us headed to Rose Oaks for a Memorial Run for Alexandra Bruegar.
We had 20 minutes to run 2.5 miles.
The group got to witness Andy and I,  Marriage Conflict 101.. We discovered we dropped the cooler and water off at the wrong entrance. To me it wasn't a big deal. But I live in the land of mishaps and mistakes. Andy...not so much.
We had to pick up the pace. This very empty stretch of road was full of cars heading towards Rose Oaks.
I couldn't be late, I had organized this little event that appeared larger than I expected. I tried to calm down, relax and just remember this was for Alexandra.

Alexandra was a local Holly runner who was shot and killed a little over a week ago while running. She was a very dedicated runner who ran almost every day this stretch of road near her parents house.

As we ran, I couldn't help but look at my girls around me. Andy ran just a few feet behind me. I was surrounded by runners. My friends drove by me waving at us. So much support. I was so blessed.

We turned into the park and it was packed.
Kay, my dear friend and fellow coach came out with KT taped around her knee. She finally got clearance to run 1 mile. She brought her daughter and friend to support and give back. That's who she is.
Lukas, one of my cross country runners was there with his family and Harry another cross country runner.
My trail running partners, Kris and Rachel.
Moms and runners from my sons school were there, Erin and Jennifer.
Then there were those I have ran with, MaryAnn, and Ken. Ken already ran that morning but rode his bike to show support.  .
My head was spinning. So many people came out to support this runner, this runner none of us even knew.

BUT this is what we DO. We are NOT just a person on the road with nothing better to do. We come together. Runners unite, engage and gather together. They support one another and encourage each other.
"Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed." Ecc 4:9
We are mothers, fathers, children, coworkers, neighbors, grandparents, friends.
We are not out there sweating this summer for nothing. We have dreams, goals, ideas, plans. We have heartaches, hardships, and life circling around us.
This run is our outlet, our therapy, our lifeline.
Many runs are for a bigger cause, for a loved one struggling, or just something bigger than ourselves.
Our run gives us peace, comradery, clarity, compassion, strength, stamina and spirituality.
It took everything to hold the tears back.

We gathered together to FINISH HER RUN.
Kris walked under the tree to meet her father. She asked if she could pray for him. Broken and overcome by the love, he welcomed her prayer. Everyone gathered, laying hands on one another as Kris lead a beautiful prayer.
Franz, her father spoke heartfelt and thankful.  I said a few words to thank everyone for coming out to support Alexandra and her family. I opened it up to anyone that might like to speak.
Words for spoke from several.  Beautiful words, loving words, and some even brought gifts for the father.

Many runners brought an old pair of running shoes to dedicate in honor of Alexandra as a memorial.

All different, from different backgrounds, different nationalities, different genders, lifestyles, professions, WE became ONE.

As One, we strolled out of Rose Oaks, some running, some biking and some walking, we headed to the memorial of flowers about a mile down Fish Lake road.
As One, we would Honor this young lady, this daughter, this coworker, this friend, this Runner and Finish Her Run.


Monday, August 1, 2016

Kens Wisdom on Ultra Running.

"If you start to feel good during an ultra, don't worry you will get over it." Gene Thibeault

Running a 10K is all the way different training then training for a Marathon.
And Marathon training is all the way different training then training for a Ultra.

Marathon training has you running long runs with a rest day or an easy day in between.
Ultra training has you running Back to Back long runs.

Yesterday, I ran 17 miles on the backroads. We ran it easy. My 22 miler Thursday into work put me in the hurt locker. I could feel my right hammy still angry at me. I liked the idea of easy. I embraced each of the hills we walked. Especially knowing that I was going to be running again today.
Meet NATE. He works at Rose Hill. He got off his tractor to give us some water on our run yesterday. We ran out 2 times!

Today, it was just Ken and I. Ken rolled his ankle like a horror scene last week. Matt couldn't make it. This was a bummer but I was secretly happy it was Matt that bailed over Ken. Matt would have buried me out there! Ken had a handicap, his sore ankle, I knew I could hang. Ken threw one curve ball at me, 25 miles. He wanted to run Holdridge, Grubers Grind and the East loop, which totaled just a little over 25 miles.

I am getting so much more experience on the trails. Running with Ken and Matt has been a valuable part of my training.
Ken and I got started pretty quick. 5 hours of running doesn't leave a lot of time to lollygag.

Running Holdridge, Grubers Grinder is always an adventure. It is deep in the woods. And pretty technical. Although it is a bike trail we have never seen any bikers on it. The switchbacks, roots and hills are not easy to make friends with.
The trail literally reaches up and grabs you if you are not watching your footing. It is one thing to run on the roads but running out there you need to be very intentional running. You have to PICK UP your FEET. You can't look around. It just takes seconds of not paying attention and you are stubbing your toe on a rock or running into a root or tree. I think my brain works harder than it does all week when I run out here.

Ken brought the pace down today to pamper his ankle. I actually think his pace was more steady slowing down. I appreciated the slower pace considering I was adding 3 more miles then my longest run thus far.
The temperatures were kinder to us. Almost all of our runs we have being sabotaged by 85-90 degree weather. We have been drenched in sweat before we hit double digits. We have needed extra water dropped and often run with an entourage of bugs.
Today was like "Cake by the Ocean."
Even the 2 dogs that came after us on the trail left me laughing more than crying. Watching Ken try to tame these dogs with his charm and run behind a tree, I was dying laughing inside.
With just the two of us, the conversation was pretty steady. I spoke more than normal. I know it is hard to believe but I usually let Ken and Matt do all the talking. Matt will look back to make sure I am still hanging in there or say something like "How ya doing Anita?". But even with all the chatting Ken and I did we didn't run off the 3 deer before spotting them. I was all geeked to see them so close. I think they had their eyes on us long before we discovered them!

Ken had a few great reminders for me today for my Ultra.

  • Its not about pace, and hardly even about distance as much as it is about TIME. Time on your feet. (We finished our run according to HIS watch at 4:59:25. "Anita, if we run for 45 more seconds we will have ran for 5 hours." And so even though we had finished our loop we ran for another minute!)
  • Learn to EAT on your run. Figure out what works for you. You need to fuel when you are running for hours. (They have got me hooked on Poptarts! I did eat a granola bar at the 16 mile mark before we headed back out. I fuel up on the trails with Honey Stinger chews.)
I was told that the Organic Poptarts are just not the same. But I am so happy I found these! I couldn't eat the REAL THING!

  • When running uphill remember to shorten your stride and PUMP your arms. (As we finished our last mile, we were on Hess Rd. We had one hill before we turned back into the trail. I thought we were going to WALK IT. NOPE, Ken used it as a LEARNING tactic to teach me to surge up it pumping my arms and shortening my stride at a stinking 8 minute pace. I think he was trying to kill me!)
  • If you twist or roll your ankle, TAKE TIME OFF and come back easy. (Other than Ken bringing the pace down he really didn't miss a beat. He took the week off, icing, elevating and taped it up for our run.)
  • Bring an extra Zip Lock bag to your ultra race. This allows you to take some of your favorite foods on the run with you. It also prevents you from spending too much time at the aid station. (Last year when I ran Woodstock 50m I would take a handful of trail mix and try and run with it. It got all nasty in my palm and essentially never got eating, leaving my hands sticky.)
  • If you feel like you can't FINISH, relax, take extra time at an aid station to fuel and recover. 10 minutes in the big picture isn't going to hurt you.
Tomorrow is Ken's 60th birthday. I think he has a lot to share. He has ran hundreds of races, running a sub 3 hour marathon, several Bostons, 100k's, 100milers, 150 milers and his accolades go on.
5 hours of running went by in a flash as I learned so much.
The Birthday Boy. He brought his Trekking Poles to show me how they work. This is something I am looking into for Cloudsplitter.

The FINAL thing I learned about Ultra Running and My 100k Ultra in October. Just DO IT. Don't worry about how long it will take you. There are some things that you can't prepare for, but do it with no expectations.
I needed to hear this. I wet my pants every time I think about the elevation or running alone in the dark. "If is was easy, everyone would do it." Ken reminded me.

"Its about finding ones path. It's about using experience in life to shape something completely different. That's the art of living. "Scott Jurek