Monday, July 26, 2010

Taper Thoughts, week 3

Aside from barely running last week, this taper has been pretty uneventful. I'm calm and ready, just waiting for race day to arrive! I expected a lot more taper madness than this.

This week's focus is on rest, hydration, and nutrition.

Yesterday's run was a slog. This concerned me because I expected to feel energized and refreshed by now. In the past two weeks I've only run about 70km. So why did my legs feel so dead yesterday?

I sent a note to another runner whose opinions I respect (and who has a lot more experience and knowledge than I do!). Among other things, he said:

First understand that how you feel is 100% normal and not a sign something is wrong. Get lots of sleep this week, eat properly and trust your training. IMO the three week standard taper DOES allow you to run good races, almost as good as the very best taper, the problem is how it leaves you feeling. Toward the end of the week put your feet up as much as possible, until then you can run lightly: short, quickish fun stuff (favorite short trail run?). Your legs are there, they are just puzzled: they'll know what to do race morning!

Relax your mind a bit, and the body follows better too.

Good advice... and good to know that I'm not abnormal!

So here I sit with a giant bottle of water, trusting that my legs will know what to do on race morning!

In other news, I've lost about 7lb since February. Hopefully I can keep it off after the race, which I think is a good possibility since I plan to jump straight into marathon training!

Let's get this show on the road! :)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Random Taper Thoughts, Week 2

I always say that tapering is my favourite part of training... only because I get extra rest days (and I'm a slacker so I like rest days!). But really, it's not very fun. Cue mystery pains and issues, second-guessing my readiness, second-guessing the taper itself (why did I take 3 weeks?!), worrying about gaining weight, and obsessing about the race.

In the first week of taper I'd planned 45 miles and only did 32, but I'm ok with that because I still feel like I need a bit more rest. Yesterday's run was brutal; I felt exhausted, and everything hurt. That was only 10 miles.

I'm doing ok with the no junkfood thing, though I have cheated twice (so far it's the weekends that do me in!). I figure it's still a lot less than I normally have, so it's an improvement!

Then I read blogs of people like Anton Krupicka and I realize how much of a poser I really am! lol

From now until race day I don't really have a mileage plan, except I think I'll try to run every other day, and keep the distances short (nothing longer than 10 miles).

Oh, and I'm getting really excited about the race! I wish it could be this weekend instead of next weekend!

(Is it too early to start looking at weather forecasts?!)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Monday, July 12, 2010

Courage and Light

Check out this ultra edition of Marathon Talk, a UK program. It includes a great interview with Scott Jurek and some helpful information and tips.

Immediately after listening to this, I of course had ultra running on my mind. A coworker brought up a cheesy quote that she had received in an email--something about finding courage and light in your heart. Another coworker pondered, "how does courage lead to finding light?"

I said, "I know!"

"How?" she asked.

"You have to run an ultra to get it," was my response. She is a runner who has said she will "never" run an ultra (never say never!), and last week we had been talking about the appeal of ultras and why I want to run them. So she laughed when she heard this answer. But for me this is really what ultra running is all about, that complex web of things that happen in an ultra: battling pain and fatigue, continuing on no matter what, discovering things about yourself that you did not realize before, finding your greatest physical and mental highs and lows (often within minutes of each other!), and then finally overcoming the course--and in the process, yourself--and then going on to do it all over again.

Obviously there are other ways in which courage is related to light, but this is the most potent for me at the moment, given that I'm tapering! lol In fact, the more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that courage and light are inseparable. But maybe that's just me. :)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

At One with my Raptors

Well, that's it... my last big run before White River!

I headed out this morning after a solid 8-hour sleep (drug-assisted!). It was 18C at 7am when I started, and would rise to 27C by the time I was finished. I knew that was too hot for Sammy to be out all day, so I did the first 45 minutes with him and then took him home and grabbed my hydration pack, and headed out for the rest.

The run was awesome! I felt really good throughout, even to the end. The roughest part was around the 22-24 mile stretch, but then I got a second wind at around the 6 hour mark. It was still slow, but well ahead of the cut-off pace that I will need for the race. And I still had energy at the end; in fact, I felt as though I could keep going. At no point did I feel bad, and mentally I was happy and relaxed and strong.

If my race goes as well as today's run, I'm golden!

I did get a little sun-burned, but not too badly because the trails are pretty shaded.

And I finally made the 200-calories per hour goal that I've had all along.

Distance: 50km
Time: 7:31:43
Total Elevation Change: 14,700 feet
Water consumed: about 5L
Calories consumed: 1600

For the very first time, I actually feel ready.

My La Sportiva Raptors, post-run:

Monday, July 5, 2010

Last Big Week!

Today is the start of my last big training week, and I am aiming for 110km. I slacked last week (not on purpose--I was sabotaged by a crazy work schedule and no sleep!) so I am ready to get back on track this week. I have Thursday and Friday off of work and the weather is supposed to be hot, so I might as well finish with a bang!

The plan:
Monday - 10 miles
Tuesday - 10 miles
Wednesday - rest
Thursday - 31 miles
Friday - 10 miles
Saturday - rest
Sunday - 7 miles

After that, taper starts (though my first taper week won't be dramatic--I'm thinking 75km). My goals for this week are to stay fueled and hydrated, and get in that last big long run in the heat!