Thursday, May 16, 2013

50k prep - T-minus 3 days

Funny how I haven't been sick in ages and have had two separate issues these past few weeks! Food poisoning, which really sucked, and now some something that feel a heck of a lot like strep. I wasn't about to play with that though so I got a strep test and it was negative, which I feel so-so about. Last year was the first time I had strep and the antibiotics kicked in pretty quickly so I felt much like a new person within days. My only hope now is that a lot of hot tea, soup, and as much nutrition as I can pack in today and tomorrow will keep me going on Sunday!

It's not an option to miss the race. I'm pretty happy that my doctor was so excited for me and thought it was inspirational that I was going to do it no matter what. When I told him about the course instead of giving me the "you're totally nuts" look that I'm used to, he just said, "wow, that's really great!" Though I'm not too close with my primary care doctor, it's nice to have him on board with my level of training.

His response and wishing me luck also makes me feel better about maybe feeling a little more run down than I really am. Some personal stress has taken its toll, but I'm working through it and will be okay. There has been minor resolution recently on a few levels, which could be why I woke up feeling a touch better than I felt at 1am last night. I've been living my life on very low levels of personal stress recently (work doesn't count in this) so I'm sure I've just got my ass kicked a bit this past week. Plus my hotel and race is already paid for, so I'm committed!! This hotel for TWO nights is half the amount of my Monterey hotel for one night. Ha ha! I considered staying at the hostel there but with maybe being a touch sick it's probably a good thing I'm booked with a solo room.

The race director posted a photo today when they were marking the course yesterday. It made me pretty darn excited!

Photo by Candice Burt:

If I wake up feeling icky tomorrow I'll have to call it a day, stay home from work, rest up, finish running a couple errands then pack! I still have a bit to put together, but I'm learning that simple for drop bags is the best. I refuse to be an overpacker and lose time shifting through too much stuff, so I'm going very minimal for the drop bags.

As this is the 50k distance nutrition doesn't come into play quite as much as if it were longer, but since I'm scaling 3 big climbs/sides of mountains it will still be important to take in some decent calories. I am using Tailwind for ongoing hydration, calories and electrolytes but I still would like to take in a little bit of real food at aid stations, roughly every 2 hours.

So I decided I really wanted poptarts. I haven't had poptarts since I was a kid but I loved the funky Wildberry flavor ones and discovered a box of them at the dollar store. I ate them all this week... so I have to go back and get more for the actual run. The part I just don't know about though is what I will want on course since I haven't done much long running and eating. I will say that as I've gotten more and more familiar with distance running I usually do get hungry during and immediately after, so I think taking in some calories via real food in route will actually fair somewhat okay.

I'm trying not to over think this though. I find when I over think and over analyze races I tend to not have the best experience. I had months to obsess over Big Sur and while there were so many positives about that race, I really shouldn't have scoured the elevation profile mile by mile for hours like I did. There is a line between preparation and obsession. Obsession starts to set expectations, whether I voice them or not, those expectations exist internally and I've learned through my training cycle that I am just a much happier spontaneous runner. I listen to my body and I do what feels right. I do what feels good. Usually running agrees with me.

This week I ran 4 miles on Monday but I've vowed to take every other day off until Sunday. That means I'll be taking 5 days off in a row, which is the longest I've gone w/out a run since last May, but it's what sounded right. I don't really worry much about mileage as much as I notice other people do. It's not a struggle for my body to conquer 30 miles a week anymore. 40 feels just fine too. I don't try to make up workouts, but I tend to not plan workouts so there isn't much making up. I think I have enough Type A inside of me that I'm pretty well into a general routine. So far, since February, this approach has worked the best for me, but I know it's not for everyone!

My biggest obstacle is my attitude. There has been a huge shift in a positive mood since I started running more often, but sometimes that mood shifts and I get in a pretty big rut. I've learned from the races or training runs where this has happened and made adjustments (hence the least amount of expectations and obsession, the better). I'll still be prepared and know when the aid stations are. I'll still wear my Garmin, but those alerts will be off. I might even keep it where it currently is, where it doesn't lap every mile, or change it to lap every X miles instead to break the course down. But there I go overplanning... ha ha! Overall though I just need to remember to breathe, allow myself a zen mile of walking if I'm having a bad patch, pop in my headphones if needed, and just enjoy the experience. Plus take in the fact that if I complete the darn thing I have graduated into the official ranks of an ultra runner :-D I am waiting to sign up for something else until after this weekend but I've got to say I'm really tempted. I'll divulge that after this race though.

Wish me luck!! And especially about my icky throat!!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Big Sur Pictures

Life and being sick has gotten in the way of a proper review. Most people just want to see pictures, so here they are. Click on the link and then the first picture to scroll through. I wrote a very shortened recap in the captions.

4/28/13 Big Sur Marathon

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

I conquered Big Sur!!!

Over the next few days I'll be working on a nice big race recap (with photos) of Big Sur, but I wanted to let everyone know I made it! The course was really tough. When I say tough I don't just mean elevation, I mean a lot of things. But yeah, the elevation was nothing to scoff at! Hurricane Point was actually harder on me than I thought it would be, but those hills at the end were brutal. To put what I'm talking about into perspective, here is the elevation profile from my Garmin:

This was, hands down, the hardest thing mentally that I have ever run. Physically it was challenging, but so much of running is mental. I chose to run this course 100% on feel and ditched any and all plans for pacing somewhere around mile 6. I'll go into detail on this on my recap!

Thank you for all the support, emails, cards, text messages, and comments!! I was very humbled on this course, and while the ultimate goal wasn't a time goal, of course I had a few in mind. I hit my "B" goal. Let's just say, after running the course I am pretty darn elated with how well I did, despite quite a few dark moments.

My official course time was 4:47:53, which meant I squeaked by right under 11/minutes with a 10:59 course pace. Hallelujah!! Oh yeah, this was over a 30 minute PR from the Columbia Gorge Marathon... Woot!

I'm happy to report that I am feeling top notch. There really isn't much residual soreness going on, and I'm sure it's because I chose to walk around quite a bit afterward, but also because I trained the heck outta some tough stuff. I even tackled a beautiful trail run yesterday on my last day off of work because the forest was calling my name. Official recap is coming soon! I'm Brie, I have a lot to say. Get ready! Ha ha!