"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