Sunday, April 29, 2012

Believe

If you want it, you got it. You've just got to believe...believe in yourself. 


It's been a long journey filled with lots of ups and what feels like more downs. It's too late to worry about did I train hard enough, did I do enough long runs, did I get enough miles it. What it boils down to now is believing in myself. 

I needed a good last long run to believe in myself. And I got it. 

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!
I wanted a night run to see how I can handle being up all day and running at night. I was so fortunate to have Lesley, Chris, Stephanie, Josh, Reece, Ted, Matt and Martin meet me at Northshore to join me for a little night training run. 

After our traditional greetings and talking about what body part hurts, we took off into the woods. 

It was a very warm and humid evening. 

The first loop was pretty uneventful. Martin's headlamp went out after a mile. Chris's hydration pack malfunctioned and leaked all over her back. My headlamp gave me a headache and I ended up holding it the last 2 miles. I ran out of water. And Lesley and Stephanie were brutally attacked by a giant creature of the night (armadillo). 

For the first time in a long time, I felt fantastic. My knee was not hurting, I had amazing energy. And I was running very strong. Later Martin says in that sweet sarcastic voice of his, "I wonder if that has anything to do with you drinking and fueling." Um ok, fine. 

The last loop, it was just Martin, Ted and I. I had my confidence back. I had my energy back. It was 3 a.m. and I was feeling better than I did the week before running at 7 a.m. in 55 degree weather. I was running faster, I was feeling stronger. 

Then out of the woods, a GIANORMOUS, venomous, nasty SNAKE blocked my path. Jumping 15 feet in the air, screaming and running back toward the guys who were just behind me. I yelled at Martin, "SNAKE!!!!!!! IT'S VENOMOUS!!! IT'S HUGE! Get rid of it!!!!!" 

The creature of the night reared up, flared his throat, and Martin wrestled it off the path with his bare hands. 

Ok, maybe not. It was about 8" long, half an inch wide and Martin took a stick a shooed it off trail. But he won major points for getting that thing away from me! 

And in the end....
"I do the very best I know how -- the very best I can -- and I mean to keep on doing so until the end," Abraham Lincoln. 

And that's what it's about.. believing in yourself and doing the best you can until the end. 

Zion 100 
See you at the end. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Trainwreck

I'm a trainwreck.
I'm a mess.
But I'm gonna take you dancing
Put on your party dress
- Old 97s

Tired. Edgy. Lethargic. Slow. Mad. Sad. Scared. What irrational emotion did I forget?

I'm less than a month out from my first 100 - Zion 100. I don't feel ready. I don't feel strong.

I am constantly worried about my knee. I'm not 100% certain it's going to cooperate.

I am worried my nutrition.

I am worried that I didn't train hard enough.

I am worried about being DFL.

I need to find my self confidence. I seem to have misplaced it. I'll find it before May 11. I always do. It's just gonna be a long 3 weeks battling myself in my head...

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Tales from the Trails

There. It's done. 30 yesterday. 18 today. It was ugly. But it's done.

Do I feel more confident about running 100 miles next month? Yes and no.
I know I can keep running when my legs feel tired.
I know I will have Martin and Leslie to be my brain for me and my moral support.
I know I'm tough as nails.
I know I'm going to hurt.
I know I'm going to be tired.
I know this will be the hardest thing I've ever done in my life.
I know I better get a new belt for that buckle because I'm going to finish.

10 things I learned on the trails today....
1. Running with 3 chicks is bad ass.
2. Josh is stealthy and will sneak up behind you like a lightening bolt.
3. Leslie and I  aren't afraid to run 50 miles, but will scream like girls if a bug is involved.
4. Stephanie has super sonic hearing.
5. Baby copper head snakes are yucky.
6. Always keep mosquito repellant in the car.
7. Some people listen to mariachi music while biking.
8. Old people are concerned about when they stop serving breakfast.
9. We look like we know what the hell we are doing because everyone asked us for directions.
10. We like vampires.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Definitely Maybe

Depending on the day or my mood, I vacillate between "how am I going to run 100 miles" and "I got this".

I skipped Hells Hills 50M this weekend for a couple of reasons....first, I can't risk a knee issue. I think it takes me too long to recover from a 50 and I'm just too close to race day. Second, I  wanted the security of being on a trail I knew. Third, I don't want to race. Fourth, I didn't want to drive 3+ hours.

Today, I knocked out 30 at Northshore. I started quite early and ran the first 12.3 miles solo. It was dark for about 30 minutes. Let's say I learned I need to do some night running. Besides the curtain of spider webs I had to clear, every noise freaked me out. I saw beedie little eyes shining at me in the woods, heard strange scampering in the bushes and felt yucky things crawling on me (ok just the spider webs, but yuck)!

It took me 1:14 minutes to run 6 miles out and 1:04 to run that same 6 back. The darkness clearly slows me down.

My focus for the final remaining weeks is to get my nutrition in check. My plan is to try to get about 200 calories an hour. I had a small bowl of cereal before I left the house. I decided to just drink water and take 2 salt stick capsules every hour. At my turn-around point at about 6 miles, I took 2 salt stick caps and a gel -- 110 calories. I ran another 1.5 miles and took another gel, giving me about 220 calories.

I got back to my car and waited for my running buddy, Chris, who said she would join me for loop 2. I counted out my 12 pringles for another 100 calories and had a cutie orange and some Dr. Pepper, right about 200 caloires. And took another 2 salt stick caps.

I filled my pack and noticed I only drank about 20 ounces for those 2:20 minutes of running. Filled my bladder back up and made a mental note to drink more. I threw a few more gels in my pack and off we went.

I tried to sip some water about every half mile. Little sips. Took another few gels at the turn around and some more salt stick caps.

When we got back to our cars, Chris said she would finish my run with me. I was so happy to have a buddy for the rest of the run! I was prepared to go the last 6 solo, but really enjoyed her company.

I did much better on loop 2 in terms of water. I had just about emptied the 50 ounce bladder during my run. Filled it back up, took some more salt, had my pringles and oranges and off we went.

I noticed my knee tightening up around mile 26. Not too encouraging. Other than that, things were feeling good.

Finished my 30 miles in 5:57 and came home for the dreaded ice bath. Things are feeling pretty good right now. I've got another 22 on tap for tomorrow.

100 miles is a long damn way. There are days it scares the crap out of me. A lot. There are days you'll hear me say things like, "I can finish. I have 36 hours. It won't be my A goal, but I'll finish." But sometimes I'm trying to convince myself more than you.

So right now today, if you ask me how I feel about my race...it's a definitely maybe.

Maybe I'll have a great day and everything feels 100 percent.
Maybe I'll have some really low spots and want to DNF.
Maybe my stomach will cooperate.
Maybe my knee will be fantastic.

Will I finish? Maybe.
Will I piss and moan if I don't. Definitely.

Will I have the support of two of the most amazing pacers and crew in this world? DEFINITELY.
Will this be the experience of a lifetime? Definitely.
Will I have fun? Definitely.
Will I learn? Definitely.
Will it be epic? Definitely.


Zion 100 - May 11, 2012. 
Definitely Maybe.