Tuesday, December 13, 2011
The Silver Lining:
Because I only ran for 12 hours instead of 24 at the One Epic Run this weekend, B & I got home on Sunday and I wasn't dead tired and not moving the next day. On Monday, we went shopping and I found the PERFECT (unexpected, just right, only one, full of lovely tradition and sentiment) gift for my grandson Desmond's first Christmas!
And, btw, went to the gym on Monday too, ran 6.2 miles (at an actual running pace) on the treadmill and then lifted weights. :) Tuesday was a 2 mile walk at lunch, more of a mental than physical thing.
A couple less than epic race pics. :) *sigh* I have got to keep being serious about losing some weight; no wonder I'm so slow.
I am also rethinking my planned participation in the 2012 Mountain Mist trail run January 28. I just haven't been doing very well at trails recently; I haven't been sucessful yet at losing weight or pickingup any speed, and I've already timed out two years in a row at the MM. Do I really want to just do that again?
I'm also registered for the Recover from the Holidays 50K the end of this month. Technically, it's a trail too, but nontechnical and just around the local golf course. I'm thinking to go do this one (to finish up the year) see what kind of time I can manage there, and then decide about the MM which would be 4 weeks later.
Am fighting feeling discouraged, but just have to keep on keeping on.
Monday, December 12, 2011
One Epic Run, Dec 10,2011 at Croft State Park, Spartanburg SC resulted in me finishing another trail ultra 50K distance.
And there were other "EPIC" things about this weekend's event as well:
--seeing/meeting running friends. Big shout outs to Terri P, Terri H, and top trail girls Jameelah and Jenn!!
--enjoying the scenic 2.96 mile trail at Croft State Park; it really was very pretty. (In another mood, I could have quite happily run out there all day-oh, wait, I DID!) It wasn't a technical trail, but was narrow watch out for roots and rocks under the leaves single track, with no major elevation but surprisingly numerous smaller ups and downs and curves. So, not technical, but not trivial either.
--For a first year event, it was very well organized and the RD and all the volunteers were great. And the course was well enough marked so even the likes of I could follow it without getting lost.
(only suggestions I can think of for improvement are: 1) begin the race earlier in the morning, say 7 or 8 am instead of the latish 10 o'clock, to start off with a couple of hours more daylight running. 2) have a port-a-pottie down by the Aid station on the road or make the route loop up by the park restrooms; it was just far enough off course to be annoying. Oh, and while we are dreaming of all possible creature comforts, 3) schedule the race earlier in the year when it it isn't quite so see-your-breath cold at night.
--Back to the good stuff, there was having my fiance B. there. As always he was the best and most supportive crew possible. When I got discouraged after dark, he even walked one lap of the course with me, which is our 3 mile "PR" for the most distance we've ever done together. (he's a gym rat by choice and not a runner)
That was the only PR of the event. Overall, my own performance left me rather disappointed. I had planned on going as much of the entire 24 hours as I could, but "could" turned out to only be 12 hours. And I left the course after finishing 11 laps, or 32.5 miles. (please dear readers, do not figure out my overall snail pace per mile and laugh at me.)
I had planned on running conservatively, but I was as slow as molasses in January (or December as the case may be).. and I just kept getting slower with each lap. I think it was only maybe my first 4 laps that could be called any sort of jog/run pace.
Early on, my hip started hurting during some hill climbing moves, which given the nature of the trail course became a recurring and then persistent pain.
Then it got dark, and well, it was like someone turned the lights out (metaphorically as well as actually). I had my headlamp and flashlights, but my vision and old lady reflexes are lousy regardless and I am just not comfortable on trails at night. While it had been perfectly lovely cool weather running during the day, it got colder quickly after nightfall, and I wasn't moving fast enough to really stay warm. Also, I hadn't minded being solitary during much of the day and just seeing other runners as they passed me, bit I was not happy being alone in the dark. And so felt increasingly skittish and stressed.
I gutted out four laps after dark, to finish up a 50K distance, and then logged off course.
I was cold, cranky, achy and my hip continued to hurt. I was horror stricken it had taken me 12 hours to do a 50K. (and part of me wants to quote race stats to prove I am capable and have done much better distances and times). I tried resting for about an hour, and then got up and walked around attempting unsuccessfully to find any motivation. I just absolutely had no desire, and actually felt an uncomfortable sort of sick dread at the thought, to go back out for more laps or hours of navigating trails in the darkness.
Sure, I can hear the little voices saying "Suck it up, Buttercup." and whispering "Scaredycat afraid of the dark", "wuss" and "quitter". But, like I said, the lights were out and the runner wasn't home. It wasn't fun any more.
fyi, I had a similar nighttime experience back in September at the Georgia Jewel 50 miler, which was worse because the trail was much more technical and taxing,but was also better because I had Terri Hayes' wonderful company all through the night there! Also, being an out and back course, I didn't have much choice but to keep moving.
If I were younger and sturdier, or if the weather had been a bit warmer for camping, I might have thought about staying, sleeping for several hours, getting up and back on the trail again at dawn. But, I opted for enough is enough and the comfort of a hotel bed back in town. On the bright side, this way B and I got home back to Alabama at a decent time on Sunday, and I have Monday off to regroup with a bit more leisure as well. Looking for additional silver linings, I hadn't been moving fast or far enough to get any blisters, and (except for the dodgy hip) I'm not feeling too bad off bodywise.
It may be, as my boyfriend said that "I like trails, but they don't like me." And I may be happier sticking to trail events I can finish in daylight, and overnights that are on lighted nontrail courses.
So, my event wasn't really all that "Epic", but it wasn't all bad and certainly has some lessons for me. I'm not giving up on my dream of running a 100 miler sometime next year, but it's definitely going to take some thought, changes and effort to get there. So, I'm feeling a bit discouraged, down but not out; I know there will be other days and other races, and maybe even this one again next year.
Friday, December 09, 2011
Good grief... you'd think I was packing for a months' long expedition to the South (or North) Pole instead of a running weekend to South Carolina. I tend to be the obsessive "I MIGHT need this" sort of traveler. Lol..four pairs of running shoes and everything but the kitchen sink!
Dana, since you asked... This event is taking place at Croft State Park near Spartanburg, SC. The course is a three mile trail loop. Not technical and no real elevation issues. (I'm hoping it's somewhat similar to, say, the South Plateau Loop trail up at Monte Sano.) I do wonder how muddy it might be... repeated circuits by lots of feet can really churn up a mucky mess.
Speaking of messes, I have to go clean the trash out of my car before we can leave.
Have a good weekend everyone!
Thursday, December 08, 2011
I'm alternating between being psyched up for and psyched out about participating this weekend in the One Epic Run/24 Hour in Spartanburg South Carolina.
The event website says "it's all about having FUN". And "Have Fun" is my coach/crew/fiance B's main mantra as well! So, we'll go with that. :)
Weather has been cold and rainy this week; good for a pre-race taper and lots of rest anyway (and just a couple of stretch and walk miles). Still might be a bit coolish overnight, but at least it looks like the rain/snow/sleet is done with. Temps are forecast to be between 29/low and 55/high degrees.
This will be my second 24 hour event. In my first, I logged 77 miles last year at the Freedom Park (North Carolina) New Year's Run. Yeah, I'm wishing and hoping to able to set a new mileage PR, but will be happy just to keep moving. Not quite sure how my level of training compares to where I was a year ago? (some aspects worse, some better, and its all moot at this point-- this race will be what it will be.)
Am really, really, really going to try to not go out fast and just find a slower comfortable steady pace for myself and see how long I can hold onto it.
Looking at the participant's list, I'm the second oldest female runner in the 24 hour division. The oldest is my friend Terri Hayes, at 68 years old.
I was feeling rather like a guilty spendthrift when I bought 68$ worth of SOCKS yesterday (2 pairs of wool injinji toe socks and a set of neon pink Zensah calf sleeves), but got an Emplolyee of the Month bonus and a NICE bit of unexpected gift cash from the Friends of the Library when I got to work today! So, I feel better about the expenditures.
Monday, December 05, 2011
Last week's total miles: a measley 18.5.
Better than nothing, but not by much. Three days worth of short lunch runs, and a decent workout on Sunday, when I managed to run 6 miles at the Indian Creek Greenway, and then later did 4 gym miles (3 arc trainer/1 treadmill) and a weights workout.
Decision: I am going to start scheduling one of my rest days for Saturday or Sunday. I LIKE being able to sleep in/be lazy/cuddle with my boyfriend and I'd LIKE to be able to do that (one day of the week) without feeling guilty.
Lol..but it won't be next weekend; I'm doing a 24 hour run from 10 am Sat to 10am Sunday. :)
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