This post is a few days late, but Saturday, I got in my longest run to date and my longest run before my 12 hour race. I was again up super early to make some salted potato wedges and my mom and I were off (me running, her biking) at 6:40 am. The weather was not supposed to be nice (chillier than it has been and rain in the forecast), but for the first 2/3 of the run, it was so nice. My mom and I have begun counting things on our long runs to keep us occupied. We each have an earbud in so we listen to music, but keep an ear each open so we can talk, but the counting is fun. Last week, we thought counting people would be a good idea since we were out early. We then ran into 3 running groups and by mile 13, we were up to 200+ people. We realized that was a bad idea. This week, we stuck with dogs and we counted 42.
The weather turned a bit as the sun went behind the clouds and it started to sprinkle at around mile 21. The week previously, my mother asked if we should train in the rain. I said I'd prefer not to do so, but if it happened, it would. I think she jinxed me by saying that, but luckily, it was only a light sprinkling for the final 9 miles.
I have recently become very confused about my training for my ultra and where I really want to take it. I am part of an ultramarathoning e-mail list and someone recently posted about walking breaks during their training. A pretty big ultrarunner posted that any walking during a race or training is failure. I think he is extremely judgmental and opinionated (above all, I disagree with his walking=failure idea), but it really resonated with some feelings I've had. I've run entirely through each of my 2 marathons, so why am I purposefully incorporating walk breaks into my ultra training? Can I run 50 miles straight? No, but I still feel kind of like cheating by incorporating my walking breaks. It allows my body to be able to physically handle the distance I've trained so far, but I still feel weird about it. My mom (a non-runner) keeps telling me that I'm being silly and should keep doing what is working for me (aka walk break). I tried a new running-walking ratio for this 30 mile run that had less walking and it didn't work for me (I think it was a mental thing coupled with being sluggish the first few miles so early in the morning). Once I went back to my 10 min run, 2 min walk routine, my miles were much faster and I felt great. I still have to mentally get over my ego and keep it up OR I need to remove all walking breaks and go that route. We shall see what I decide.
I'm off to Arkansas tomorrow to visit the boyfriend, so I will be doing my training for the next week and a half there. I'm excited to see my guy, of course, but I am also happy for a change of venue from running.
Sorry for my long post today, but I've been thinking a lot about running, what it means to me, why I do it, and what I want to get out of my running this year. Who knew running would be so darn mentally draining? I sure didn't.