Monday, March 17, 2014

THE TAPER.... week 2

I've always liked a three week taper. But the first week of my three week tapers never feel like a taper. I get done with that last long run and celebrate the "start of taper" only to find out that I'm still running what feels like a million miles. Talk about let down!

I'm now happily(?) starting week two of my taper. This week my mileage will be noticeably lower and my anxiety will be noticeably higher! Yay?

Where is my head at? All the heck over the place! Here's a little idea of what's going on in my taper ridden mind.

Sometimes dumb ideas are born in a drunken stupor. Sometimes they are methodically mapped out. This idea has been festering in my brain for years, like an incurable virus. When I found THE 50 miler I was ready to try it was three or four months ago. I had no idea I would be training in the arctic snow polar vortex never ending winter that we haven't seen in quite a few years. The distance seemed "doable". I was on some kind of high from a great year of running and this all seemed like a great idea. As the sub zero, treadmill, endless twenty mile runs continued I questioned every life choice that had ever brought me to this ridiculous decision. But I kept going, because I'm stubborn or crazy. Crazy Stubborn?

For some reason drop bags have become a source of massive anxiety for me. Why do they stress me out? They're just some bags placed along the race course with items I may need along the way. These bags are supposed to be helpful. I think a professional would tell me that I'm just focusing my nervous energy on the bags. What do I need to put in them? What if I forget to get something out of them? What if I can't find the right bag? What if a wild animal steals only my drop bag?

I did a race once and my feet were killing me when it was done. I asked my husband to rub them, and when he looked at them, he was terrified at how HUGE they were. That was a marathon.... Maybe I should take my shoelaces out of my shoes?

When I trained for my first half marathon, my longest run was 10 miles. Everyone told me that the extra three miles wouldn't be a problem. They were kind of right. Miles 10-13 were rough, but I got through them. Same thing with a marathon. Longest run was 21, everyone says the last five will be long, but you've got it. Again, it worked.... This race? Longest single run was 30 miles. Blind faith that the next 20 MILES are doable? That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard or said. And yet, here I am...

So, that's where I'm at today. Not in total list making, packing, unpacking panic yet... but I'm getting there.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

A Couple of Things to Keep in Mind....

Last week I ran my highest mileage week ever. I'm exhausted and terrified. And ready to taper....

Like most runners, tapers drive me crazy. I get TO the taper and can't wait to get started. Then the first week of tapering barely feels like I'm tapering at all because the mileage is still kind of high. Then the mileage really starts to drop and I lose my mind. I can't WAIT!

But, after Saturday's long run I kept thinking... you have to remember those two things that you learned during all those 20+ mile runs come race day. You have to remember those two things. Then I would say them, then I would forget them. So, now I'm gonna write em down. Maybe on race day I'll have to write them on my hand so that I can remember.

I had a really miserable run during my training. I had a few that were real doozies to be honest. But this one run was so crappy that at multiple points I just wanted to sit down and cry. The run sucked, I couldn't find a rythm and it just felt AWFUL! My body hurt, my Ipod was dead, there was snow everywhere that made me feel like I was running in place, and every stupid step was a stupid struggle.
And then I stopped.
I turned my Garmin off and just stood there and I said it out loud. It's just stupid running. I'm not saving lives, I'm not designing space stations, it's just stupid running. And that made me smile. Sometimes I get so into my head about how "important" my training schedule and a race might be and in the big picture.... it's just stupid running. When I took the importance away from it, it seemed better. I feel like that will be good to keep in mind come race day. It's just one race and it's just stupid running. It doesn't make or break me.

#2 - It sucks now, but it will get better... probably
One of the things I love about running longer distances is that there's plenty of time for things to change. I remeber being at mile 18 of a race thinking that I was having the best time of my life and I was so sad that I was already at mile 18! No more than three miles later I hated running and wanted the race to be over more than anything in the whole wide world. So, come race day I hope I can remember that when it really sucks, it will get better... probably. Oh, and then it may start to suck again, but then could get better. And then.... oh well you get the idea... it's gonna be a long race, a lot could happen.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Funny Long Run

Last weekend I ran thirty miles. As a training run. I tried to write a post about it, but the post seemed really boring, I may go back to it, but for now let me tell you about yesterday's run.

I've been running with a gal that's training for her first 50k a bunch. And when you seem to be running 20+ mile runs every weekend, your great college town gets very small, and you feel like you've run the same stupid roads a trillion times! So this Saturday we decided to try an area of town that we don't normally run on and some roads we have NEVER run on! I tried to make a route ahead of time, but immediately got bored so we decided to wing it, which added to the adventure.We also had company! Someone we don't typically get to run with was going to join us for the first 10+ miles! 

I woke up not "into" the run, so I was extra happy I was meeting people to run with. We took off and started the run.... Which ended up being full of laughing, running, and fun. Not the fasted run, but a run that reminds you that even a run you don't want to do can have some really awesome stuff along the way...

- we stumbled onto some giant houses that had their lights on, and in the predawn sun, we could see inside (don't judge, everyone does it, right?). Wait, did they still have their Christmas tree up?! They've got a zillion dollar house and they don't have their Christmas tree down?

- In the same really nice neighborhood I got irrationally excited to find.... A port a potty! You see, one of the problems with unmapped routes are lack of bathroom planning. Thankfully this is a very new nice neighborhood, so there was a construction potty that I could take advantage of. I got finished and darted out of the bathroom saying "there's hand sanitizer!" You know, it's the little things. 

- I got out as salt pill and immediately dropped it onto the ground, picked it right back up and was ready to take it when my friend says, "it's fine to eat things off the ground, it's a really nice neighborhood". For some reason this was hilarious.

We wandered all over these neighborhoods, looking at houses, having conversations that share a random intimacy that's only shared after a few hours of physical exhaustion. We ended up on roads that left us slightly clueless as to where we were heading. I almost stepped on a fairly freshly dead opossum and screamed like a child.

We also ended up at a Tibetan Cultural Center where we took a much needed walk break to check things out. Because if you run all the way out to a Tibetan Cultural Center you should take a look around.

On the way back to the cars I also had a tremendous ankle roll, down a hill, which led to a fall, which led to a ful body tuck and roll which my friend declared "professional".

It started out as another stupid twenty miler when I headed out, but it ended up feeling more like an adventure. I'll call that a win.