Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Screw Weekly Mileage

I'm done talking about weekly mileage. I'm even taking a hiatus from posting on Dailymile. And not because I don't like Dailymile. But their leaderboards just look at total mileage in a week, and if you filter, then running only mileage, in comparing to your network of friends. And I actually had a pretty high mile week in my opinion. But it doesn't tell the story. And frankly, looking at mileage totals, thinking about what's "normal" for people with my similar goals, and comparing to others is giving me a confidence crisis that I just don't need.

In the time I trained this week, an 8 minute miler could do 82 miles, about double the miles I completed, but I'm not that speedy by far and the amount of time for me to do that many miles is not going to work with my other priorities. Plus my strength training time is valuable for my ultramarathon trailrunning.

Instead... Time on feet, how I felt, and amazing running peeps is a far better focus that I should have for last week and here on out. Why does it always come down to comparing miles or judging our training value by miles? I know I've done that, just like EVERY. OTHER. RUNNER.

Week of May 19-26, 2013

  • Time on Feet: 11 hours of training.
  • How I Felt: Built up my confidence for Bighorn 50K in 3 weeks.
  • Amazing Running Peeps: 9 friends! Ran with Amanda, Mike, Greg, Amy, Catherine, Sheryl, Lesley, Robin, Melissa.
  • Worked out 6 of 7 days this week.

Monday: 0:00. Rest day.

Tuesday: 0:45. In humid weather at Lifetime Fitness Run Club, organized by Mike and getting to run the whole time with Amanda.

Wednesday: 2:10. 
AM: 1 hour strength training. Lots of heavy lifting.
PM: 1 hr, 10 min trail run in the evening. Fast trail miles at an NTX Runners group run hosted by Greg. Got to see Mike two days in a row, and run with Amy and Catherine too! Downed tree branches and mud made it a hard run.

Thursday: 1:15. NTX Runners hill workout I'm hosting. Got to run with Sheryl for the first 5 hill repeats. I had 15 repeats total. That's a lotta hill.

Friday: 1:00. Strength training in the morning. Moderate weight, moving through all the movements of each muscle group to loosen up tight muscles from Wednesday's heavy lifting.

Saturday: 3:10. Loooonnnng run. Hot and humid. A couple miles alone. Then a group of 20 for the NTX Runners Saturday group run. Loved getting to run long with Lesley, Robin, and Melissa.

Sunday: 2:40. Another long run. This was supposed to be a trail run with friends, but it got rained out. Started humid, then I got rain dumped on me heavily for about a mile, then remained at 93-99% humidity. Downed tree branches from the storm.

So how did your week go if using the same focus? How much time was invested? How did you feel? How many people did you connect with? Tell me about your week!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Running at 9000 ft... Sorta

Today, I ran at 9,060 ft... simulated. With a Hypoxico generator that set the oxygen output and wearing a tight mask, I hopped on the treadmill with, as almost always, the movie "Unbreakable" about the 2010 Western States 100 on (best treadmill movie EVER!).

Hannibal Lechter, runner-style!

I have 3 weeks to Bighorn 50K, and while I'm a little late on starting this phase of training, with the upcoming race having a max elevation of about 8900 feet, I hope to avoid some of the altitude sickness potential effects (headaches, shortness of breath), so that what remains is ME and my training, and not those altitude conditions.
Making sure my heart rate reads on my Garmin before starting

So a handful of times a week, I'll be doing altitude workouts for 30-45 minutes. For this first one, I did 12:15 pace. Normally on a treadmill this would be a super easy pace, but there was definitely some effort on this.

Not breathing while you run is FUN!
Steve would pop in and check that I hadn't fallen off the back and passed out every handful of minutes. I even wore the emergency stop switch, which I don't normally click on. At one point, I went to yell something to him when he walked in, and just about passed on. I went suddenly super dizzy. Yeah, that's a lot less oxygen than I'm used to running and talking with!
This doesn't feel awkward at all! :-/
Note again that any workouts with the Hypoxico altitude generator will be on top of the usual training my coach assigns. The altitude workouts aren't meant to replace training but to supplement training to hopefully make race day slightly less painful. Will it work? I don't know. Worth a shot? Yeah, why the hell not!! My iron levels have been fixed since my last altitude experience a year ago, so I'm ready to go race in altitude and BREATHE strong!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A Life Full of Win... and Lots of Recent #Fail Moments

I'm two months behind on blogging, and I need to get back to it. It's not that I don't have a million thoughts. I've shared them with best friends and my coach, but that doesn't make it complete. Blogging is a chance to complete the cycle of promoting introspection in others, lending our own perspective to someone's situation, and learning from each other. I enjoy that constantly in friends' blogs so need to get back to contributing. I'm hoping this is the road back to that for me.

My Life is full of win. I have an appreciation for that, as we all should for what we have. A loving husband I've been with for 18 years, two wonderful children, the best friends a girl could ask for, strong heart and body, and I spend my time following my passion and helping other people fulfill their active goals.

But the last few months for me have been full of #FAIL MOMENTS. (yes, thanks to Twitter, when I think of "fail", I've got to make it a hashtag!)

My 2 year old daughter had been vomiting every couple days since late February, and after really stressful testing including checking for cancer and neurological problems and having a scoping and biopsy procedure of her GI tract, we finally learned that she has celiac disease. This is a major lifestyle change for us to deal with and a huge transition for a willful toddler. Celiac disease isn't just going gluten free - it's complete avoidance of any possible cross contamination of wheat products because it can seriously make her sick.

On top of that in the last month, the kids have had scarlet fever, strep, strep again, strep in the other child, and hand, foot, and mouth viral disease. I guess I really should stop them from licking door handles (disclaimer for anyone calling Child Protective Services: I do NOT let them lick door handles... or toilet seats).

I DNFed one impulsive last minute ultramarathon in March when a blizzard rolled in. I got food poisoning 2 days before my next ultramarathon in mid-April, losing 4 pounds in a day. I fell and smashed up my knee at my early May ultra and DNFed 8.6 miles in.

It would have been so easy to just let all that crap consume me. But while my mileage has suffered, I have been getting runs in and serious quality, soul-suckingly awful runs!

And now I hope to be coming out the other side of these moments of #epicfail. Sophie has been puke free for 10 days now and we're discovering new foods she likes to replace the snacks and bread she misses. Kids are still on antibiotics from the illnesses but seem to be on the mend. I'm getting some runs in, I'm excited for Bighorn 50K next month, and I'm focusing on getting to a place where I can have a strong race.