I have a whole list of things I’m supposed to be doing. There’s a schedule + each color means something different + getting it all done will make me happy. Except, right at this moment, I’m listening to Shania Twain + Reba McEntire on Spotify while sipping away at a Read more…
Sooo…I’ve officially survived my first month of intentional AZ200 training! I am using the term “training” rather loosely as the last month has been a lot of testing my legs + body + brain to see how they’d hold up to higher miles without putting too much pressure on the mileage or terrain or…anything but “get yo’ self out there gurl” type of running.
The results? My body is happy! My brain is happy! I might actually survive training + racing!
Rather than dig into every single run or tally out every tenth of a mile I want to focus on the overall month of running — partly because that’s boring and partly because that starts to put pressure on the performance of every single run I head outside for, which is exactly what I’m trying to avoid. As for the month in general? Here are a few things worth sharing…
Disclaimer: This post reviews the UD Jenny and UD Wink packs, both of which were given to me by Ultimate Direction [one through an unaffiliated giveaway, one for product testing]. While they did not require a blog post in exchange for the product I really love the packs [and the company!] so I want to share my thoughts and experiences! Aside from product I am not being compensated for this post and all opinions are my own!
When I first started running it was shorter distances on roads and I was rarely concerned about carrying along water, food or gear. As I started signing up for longer races my solo training run got longer and I needed a way to drag along water and snacks. In the past I’ve strapped on a Nathan Fuel Belt on longer training runs, regularly filled the SPIBelt for shorter runs + races and made good use of handhelds. This all changed when I decided to take on ultra running. I spent the days before the Bear Chase 50K concerned about how I would survive with just a handheld. In the end it worked out perfectly; the aid stations were wonderfully stocked and my Ultimate Direction handheld was great for gauging my water intake between aid stations.
I unfolded my legs and wobbled a bit as I got out of my car at 9pm on Saturday night. It took a few steps before my hips felt normal again. My entire day was spent at the Indian Creek Fifties near Sedalia, CO and by my random whines you would think I had actually ran the races, but…no. Turns out an untrained body who knows the couch better than the local trails gets sore after 14 hours of volunteering!
My original plan for the weekend was to run the Indian Creek 50K with Marissa as it was her first ultra and it would be my first big run back after the Run, Rabbit, Run 100 mile race. Apparently my Achilles did not get the confirmation email from UltraSignUp because it was NOT on board for any sort of running in the weeks leading up to the races. I decided to listen to my body and pass on actually running but I’d already thought up my costume for the race so I headed to the race as a costumed volunteer!
I pinky promise this is my last [really long] post about the Run, Rabbit, Run 100 miler…seriously, I promise! In my defense I’m in full blown sit-on-my-butt-and-eat-ice-cream recovery mode so there really isn’t anything more interesting going on in my life. I have already written the basic recap of the race, from the night before to the night after. You can read all of that over here. This post is all about the nitty gritty details – the stuff that doesn’t fit nicely into a chronological recap, random thoughts I had along the course and an update on my cranky tendons.
As always – if this post leaves you with questions, ask ‘em! If I don’t have a good answer I’ll make one up…or I’ll shoot you a link to the next best resource. And if this ultra chatter is boring you I promise my next both will be full of mountain photos completely unrelated to running!
Full Disclosure: I went into this race rather under trained — my “peak weeks” of training were spent off my feet with a bowl of ice cream in hand and included many visits to the PT for work on my left Achilles/Soleus. Two weeks before the race I was cleared to run again but if I took it slow, didn’t go far and stopped every mile to give my body TLC. Then the week of the race the PT proclaimed I was no longer injured, just under trained! I went into the race with ONE goal — finish with a smile. Spoiler: mission accomplished!
It’s been a week since I took on the Run, Rabbit, Run 100 mile race in Steamboat Springs, CO…and I’m still alive to talk about it! Since everyone I see in real life is getting sick of hearing my stories about the race so I guess it’s time to write a legitimate recap. How does one recap 100 miles? I have no idea, but I’ll start out with some stats + spoilers for anyone with a short attention span, because this is going to be a doozy!
On Friday morning I started the longest run of my life – the Run, Rabbit, Run 100 in Steamboat Springs.
On Saturday evening I finished the race still running with a big ol’ goofy grin on my face.
I walked away from the race a smarter runner. I played it safe from the start. I was hyperaware of my body and addressed niggles as the popped up, not hours later. I ate consistently and consciously, without puking. I kept moving forward with purpose. I ran across the finish line.
So, it’s here. Race week has arrived. The Run Rabbit Run 100 starts in less than 24 hours! And I’m as ready as I’ll ever be. You’d think that with the lack of actual training on the trails I’d have every other part of the race day prep mastered. Not true. Not even a little bit true. I spent a good portion of last night sitting on my bed staring at 4 mini totes nicely labeled but not even sort of packed…a pile of clean clothes was tossed on my pillows, a stack of half finished lists were scattered across the bed, two cats are crawling all over me and a half packed duffle bag was hiding behind me.
Rather than check the weather repeatedly I’ve decided to pack everything I own. That’s a valid compromise, right? It’s a good thing I drive an SUV…the list of things I need keeps growing! Yea, yea, I know ultras are all about making due with what’s available, which I can appreciate, but what if I need it before or after the race?! All this insane list making keeps me sane…or at least speaks to the tiny part of sanity I have left.
I know very little about running a 100 mile race. I might have one on the schedule in a month but I’ll be the first person to tell you I have no idea what I’m doing. I’ve soaked up as much information as possible and have high hopes for my abilities to complete the distance but there is a lot I still need to learn. And there is no better place to get a crash course on the reality of a 100 mile race than at the Leadville 100.
My weekend was spent doing just that – roaming around the mountains near Leadville chasing my runner, waiting for a pacer, encouraging strangers and sucking down caffeine. At the end of the day my runner did not make it across the finish line, but he fought hard on the trail and walked away knowing he gave the mountain trails his all. Even though my runner wasn’t able to head home with a finisher’s belt buckle I left Leadville with a wealth of knowledge and a new take on the reality that may go down at Run, Rabbit, Run!
If you have an injury (or even if you only have a niggle that might become an injury) one of the first things people will tell you to do is RICE. And if you don’t know what RICE means a quick LMGTFY search will give you this…
…which is a pretty straight forward explanation of what you should be doing to recover from most running related injuries. Now, maybe I’m a little wrapped up in semantics but I am currently pretending that I am not injured…I just have a little niggle that is unexplained and will not go away, no matter how many bad words I call it!