Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Similarities between ultrarunners and infants...

I have an 8 month old nephew, Jaggar, that I've spent quite a bit of time with lately. The more time I spend with him the more I notice the similarities between his lifestyle and mine. I've often thought that the tail end of training for a race, where you're getting big miles, is similar to when you are the mother of a newborn. I know when my boys were born I walked around in a fog of fatigue for weeks. I'm the same way when I'm running a lot. I'm just so tired I can't focus on anything. I didn't realize before just how much ultrarunners are really like giant newborns though.

Here are the ways in which I think ultrarunners and infants are similar:

1. Frequent naps-Perhaps I'm just a wimp and extra tired, but I take naps a lot these days. I get up at 4:30 or 5 on the weekdays to run. Weekends are even earlier. By the time afternoon rolls around I'm just done. I need a quick nap. When I'm with Jaggar, our napping schedules tend to be similar. In fact, I love it when he's at my house or I'm with him because he likes to have someone lay down with him to go to sleep. I quickly volunteer myself for that duty. Last Saturday we camped and I took two naps with him. I had gotten up at 3:30 and put in 20 miles before heading to the lake, so I was ready for some sleep.

2. Frequent meals-Like our napping schedule, Jaggar and I also tend to eat on the same schedule. Every few hours we need a snack of some sort. His comes in liquid form, which doesn't seem like a lot of fun. I eat whatever I can get my hands on. I'm starving all the time. I'm trying not to eat everything I see as I've been fat, didn't like it, and don't really want to go back.

3. Excessive Laundry-both Jaggar and I tend to generate quite a bit of laundry. A lot of it is wet and stinky. My sister Keli does his laundry, but sadly I'm left to do mine by myself. One time I asked Rick to wash my running clothes and he was so grossed out that I think he almost left me, so I guess I'm on my own with laundry.

4. Schedules-You know how when you have a baby your entire life revolves around their schedule? When they need to eat, nap, etc, affects when you can go places. Sadly, that's what my family is experiencing right now. Want to go camping this weekend? Yay! But first I need to run 20 miles. And by the way, I'll be going to bed early so I can get up and run again the next day. Right now my training schedule takes priority. Obviously some things would come first, but I'm doing my best to stick to it.

I'm sure I could think of many other similarities, but right now I'm tired and hungry. Also, there is a huge pile of stinky and wet clothes on my bathroom floor that need washed.

Here is a picture of me with the cutest 8 month old ever. Notice I'm in running clothes. I think I got him all wet when I held him.

Small brag: Three weeks in a row of 50+ miles! My training is kicking butt. I'm happy. 100 miles here I come!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Updates and randomness

Let me start by saying I have no title for this post. Maybe by the time I'm done I will? Also, I need to get back to blogging regularly instead of just doing race reports. I have so many cool experiences when running. I just know you guys love hearing about them! ;)

I'm pretty sure everyone has been on the edge of their seats wondering what I'm up to and what big race I'm doing next. At least, I'm sure there's still one person out there that hasn't had to listen to me obsess about it for hours. After the 101K I knew I wanted to run 100 miles sometime in the near future, or at least within the next year. The first challenge is picking one. I looked them up, read race reports, read race info packets, asked for advice from friends, and narrowed it down to a few. I then started talking to Rick about it. I knew I needed him to be on board. For one thing, it's a huge commitment and I needed him to be ok with it. I also want him to go with me to crew and just be there. After much debate and discussion, I'm doing Pumpkin Holler on October 18 in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. The next thing to do was talk to some people about pacing and find a training plan. I still don't have all of my pacers lined out for sure, but I think I've got enough people that are willing to do it that if my first choices can't do it I'll still be ok.

Training started out well. I was happy. Then I crashed. I got sick. Strep throat and a double ear infection. That took me out of two weekends of long runs. Then I pulled a muscle in my back. The worst part of that was that I missed out on going to Dizzy Goat, which is a race I had looked forward to for months. It was a few days after the injury. I think it's entirely possible I could have ran that day, but sitting in the car would have been misery. It was I think a 5 hour drive to the race and there was no way my back could handle that. It was depressing and the worst part was that a few people questioned me a lot and seemed to get pretty upset with me for not going. I don't know why and it was pretty upsetting. I think in the end I'm the only one that knows my body and knows what the right choice is. In this case, the right choice was to defer my entry to next year.

After those things happened I just had a hard time getting back out there. I was doing my runs during the week because I have awesome company (Tammy and Mindy are amazing and let me chase them around town three days a week). The weekend long runs just weren't happening for me though. On 4th of July I had a 22 mile run scheduled. I was planning to run 14 alone, jump into a 5k race, then finish after. I was a few miles into the run and just felt awful. My stomach hurt, I was so tired I felt like I might fall asleep and it was just terrible. It was 5 am, dark, I was out in the middle of nowhere in the country on a gravel road and I just started crying. I stood there on the road bawling my eyes out. I was asking myself why I was doing this, do I really want to run 100 miles, and lots of other questions. I finally got myself together and ran a little further. I finally realized it was just not happening for me and I walked home. I still went and did the 5k race and had a lot of fun. Tammy ran it with me and I told her about my run, how I was questioning myself, etc. It felt good to talk it out. I also met a lot of people from Eureka. After nearly a year I'm finally making friends and feel like part of the community! There is a group here called Run for God. I joined it and it's so fun! They have a monthly mileage challenge and people post several times a week what they did that day, how many miles they've ran, etc. It's very motivating! My morning ended on a high note.

Rick and I talked quite a bit that afternoon and I told him I really wasn't sure I want to run 100 miles. We decided I didn't have to make a decision right now. The next day I decided I would redeem myself and run 22. Two miles into the run I felt horrible again and was practically falling asleep while running. I was at the park so I decided to sit at the picnic table for a few minutes to see if I felt better. I fell asleep. I decided to call it a day and went home depressed. I finally realized that two nights in a row I had taken Advil PM hoping it would make me fall asleep fast and sleep well for my run the next day. Well, with only 4 hours or so of sleep after taking that I wasn't sleeping it off and couldn't wake up enough to run. Lesson learned. I talked to Rick some more and I decided I need to re-evaluate my training plan as there was no way I could just jump into where it had me after missing all of those runs. I also decided to give it two weeks before I make a decision. I wanted to follow my plan for two weeks and see if I could turn things around. Well, I changed up my plan quite a bit and actually followed it for two weeks. I'm feeling so much better about things. I'm out of my funk and am back to feeling confident about running 100 miles.

I'm getting rather spoiled and most of my runs are with people instead of solo lately. I run with Tammy a lot, and sometimes on the long runs Rick rides his bike with me. That's a lot of fun. Yesterday I was really hateful to him when I got tired. I hope he'll still go next time I ask! I did apologize. Saturday I had what was probably my best ever long run. I started at 5 am with Deanna riding her bike with me. We did about 9 miles, maybe a little over. She probably got to know me a lot better than she wanted to while riding beside me! Poor thing. She even had to wait for me while I used the restroom in between rows of round bales beside the road. I had a great time though. Then I ran to Tammy's house and she ran 5 miles with me. She had to wait while I went in Casey's and went to the bathroom. It was not my best day when it comes to bathroom issues! After Tammy ran her 5 she decided (or maybe I talked her into) doing the last few with me too. We ran back to Deanna's house and picked her up for the last 3ish. After a few blocks her knee hurt pretty bad and she told us to go on. Well, that wasn't happening! She had gotten up at 5 am, rode over 9 miles, helped me a ton, then waited while I ran 5 more, then was willing to run 3 to finish it out. I wasn't leaving her. We told her we were happy to walk. We walked a little less than 3 miles I think. It was decent training as I'll certainly walk a lot in the 100. When we got back to Deanna's (which is right by my house, she's my neighbor) I still had .68 to finish the run. I ran Tammy back to her house, then back to Deanna's and was finished. I had left my hydration pack there so I got it and walked home. I took Adam to get a donut at Casey's because I hate using the bathroom somewhere and not buying something. I also bought a bag of ice so I could take an ice bath.

Anyway, long post just to tell everyone what is going on. I had a few crappy weeks but I'm back! I've been enjoying some lovely weather and having fun getting to know people on runs. I have some big miles coming up that I'm nervous about, but I know I can do it. I hope everyone is having a great summer!

Disclaimer: I haven't edited this post for grammar and spelling errors. Maybe I will later. Maybe not. Don't judge. It's Monday morning and I've only had half a cup of coffee.