Friday, July 20, 2012

50 Mile Obsession

Obsession: the domination of one's thoughts or feelings by a persistent idea, image, desire, etc.

50 Miler Course. I will need to run ALL of that RED.
I ran 32.5 miles of this course in May but need to do the
very large outer loop as well, an additional 18 or so miles.

I am completely obsessed with next June's Peaks Ultra 50 Miler Race.

I have 11 months to prepare for this sucker. My mind has been racing with questions like:

"How do I train for something like this?"
"How does my nutrition change to support the increase in activity?"
"Can I get the training I need in with busy family and work life?"
"What kind of strength training do I need to do in addition to the increase in mileage?"
"Am I going to be able to get the long runs in during those cold winter days and evenings?"
"Can I run the race alone or will I freak out?!"
"Can I get someone to run this thing with me knowing I am slow as hell?"

My mind won't stop.

I am very much a planner so I needed to come up with a practical approach to tackling these questions. So, I have decided to take each one of those questions and answer them. Simple as that. Don't dwell on it but actually make a list and answer each one. What can I do to achieve a solution and succeed at the race next year? For me, to succeed is to finish. I don't even care if I am dead last and it is the middle of the night. I want to finish it.

1. How do I train for something like this? I wish I had a disposable income to hire a running coach, nutritionist and strength trainer but that is not to be. So, I am going to have to piece together information from friends, blogs, Facebook groups and other athletes. It will take more time and effort but I can do it. I have used Hal Hidgon's training plans for the past two years and will probably follow the marathon plan for this race. I checked out a training program for a 50 miler and there is no way I have time to fit that in. So, I will do the best I can with the marathon schedule. A solid base and several long uphill hikes will help and will have to do.

2. Can I get the training I need n while being busy with family and work life? This is going to be the hardest part of the next 11 months. I don't need to ramp up the running immediately but I do need to keep a steady, solid running base which I can easily maintain right now. But, I will need to ramp it up just when winter arrives, which will be really hard. It will be dark and cold which makes it challenging not only for motivation but for staying outside for prolonged amounts of time. Somehow, I will have to scrounge up some money to purchase warmer running gear and will get a pair of running snowshoes. I will need to incorporate some mountain hikes throughout the winter for sure. Luckily, we are moving to Middlesex, VT and Mt. Hunger and the Worcester Range will be in our backyard. I will also be participating in the Peaks Ultra Half Marathon Snowshoe Challenge next March.

3.  How does my nutrition change to support the increase in activity? I guess eat more? Ha. I will have to read up on this. Anyone have any suggestions? 

4.  What kind of strength training do I need to do in addition to the increase in mileage? Since I started running 2 years ago, I have seen a physical therapist to keep myself in neutral position so I don't develop pain in my hips, back, shins, etc, and have so far been pain free! If you need a good PT, check out Jen Poulin at Poulin Performance in South Burlington, VT. I also saw them for strength training programs for each race so I have a bundle of exercises. I have gone through the exercises and pulled out specific ones, such as lunges, ball squats, core exercises, etc, and have done them for two weeks now. I plan on being very faithful to these until the race so my core is super strong! I am sure I will be visiting Jen again, getting new exercises or adjusting the program. I wish I had the time and money to get a gym membership but that is not in the cards. I spent 20 years in a gym and I am quite knowledgeable but this will have to do.

5.  Am I going to be able to get the long runs in during those cold winter days and evenings? Well, I think the longest runs will be more toward Spring time so I may be spared the super cold days and nights. I was blessed with a super warm Winter and early Spring this year and was able to get out running on the trails in March! I hope it is the same this coming year (sorry Winter lovers). I may also try to find a used treadmill but I doubt it. I will just have to suck it up. I think the investment will have to be in better winter running clothing. I pieced stuff together this past winter from my hiking clothes but I would like to get something that is actually for cold weather running. Santa, do you hear this?

6. Can I run the race alone or will I freak out?! Can I get someone to run this thing with me knowing I am slow as hell? DONE! My friend Deanna spoke with her friend and he agreed to run it with me! I have not met him yet but look forward to doing some runs with he and Deanna this fall or winter. My biggest fear is the 18+ miles that I have not done; the part that goes over Bloodroot Gap. I am not a fan of being way the hell out there by myself after already running 20+ miles so I thought that I better have someone run with me so I don't FUCKING QUIT when I get to that point. I don't want that mind game alone. I know I will have to ultimately fight those thoughts but having someone along to also help fight it will be a bonus. So, thank you, Jeff, for running with me!

My hydration pack/my best buddy for the next 11 months

I am sure I will have many more questions and doubts and triumphs and successes and will learn so much about myself during the next 11 months. This is what I hope for: to stay healthy, to be supported by my family, to have a warm winter like last year so I can get out on the trails early, and to have fun!!

Oh, I am taking any advice anyone wants to give. Send it my way!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Maine Vacation in Pictures

Reid State Park. Moose Point State Park. Webb Lake. Perfect weather.




Making a fort out of drift wood



Dinos in the sand













Adam and Aida fishing




Morning Muffins!

talking a break from swimming to draw....



Daddy and Aida

Shayna and Aida talking about sharing toys...
a popular conversation for 2 days.


Rachel and Shayna on Center Hill trails

Moose Point State Park