Sunday, June 27, 2010

Running Funk

I haven't been on here for a few weeks because I have only negative things to say about my ultramarathon training. I've had 3 awful long runs in a row and with 3 weeks left until my 24 hour race, I'm pretty bummed, freaked out, nervous, and worn out. Three weekends ago, I wanted to get in a long run at night, so my mother and I trekked to the National Mall to get in 20 miles. I was eager to get a long run with my headlamp, but Mother Nature had a different idea. 10 minutes into the run, it poured for 20 minutes straight. It being a scorching hot evening, it was such a relief at first. Then once it stopped, running in soaking wet clothing became more and more of an issue. After about 7.5 miles, I had to call it quits. Running in soaking wet clothing was going to lead to chafing, at a minimum, so we headed back home. I was really upset, but it was only one run.

Last weekend, while in Philadelphia for a friend's graduation party, I decided to do a 25 miler on the course of my 24 hour race. I didn't end up having enough time for the 25 miler, so I decided 20 would be sufficient. I really set myself up for failure on this one because 1) I didn't get enough sleep the night before, 2) It was 95 degrees and I only had one gel pack for the whole 20 miles, 3) I forgot my electrolyte pills, and 4) I was pushing myself kind of hard on the miles. I purchased a bag of peanut M&Ms halfway through so snack on throughout the second 10 miles. I guess it was the heat and my unbalanced electrolytes, but around mile 11, I felt so nauseous. I now realize I was starting to get a cold, but I could not stop coughing and I had to walk during the run a bit. I barely trudged through the run, but could only complete 17 miles.

With my internship FINALLY starting and my cold getting stronger, I didn't run much this past week. I only got in a 7.25 mile run on Thursday and thought running 26.2 miles would be a good idea this yesterday. I had my electrolytes, the right food, and my handheld water bottle, so I was set. It was a hot day, but I was mostly in the shade. Around the halfway point, I felt pretty tired, but knew I could finish it strong. As the miles added up, I felt more and more tired and slowed down a bit. Once I hit the 7 miles left mark, I felt so happy. For some reason, that mark is always a joy to see as it seems kind of like the final stretch. I had an initial high from that, but once I hit the 20 mile mark (6 miles left), the tiredness crept right back. I was just so beaten up mentally and it was such a struggle to push through. I had chafing issues, which of course just made me feel even more defeated. I was able to keep up running in my 10/2 cycle (10 min. running, 2 min. walking), but I ended up slowing down between 10-30 seconds/mile. My mother, who was biking with me, tried to cheer me up, but it was seriously a death march. I know that my 24 hour race will be hotter with much less shade, so I am starting to really feel like this race is going to be the toughest thing ever. I am sick, which I keep reminding myself definitely impacted my running capabilities. I'm just hoping in the next 3 weeks, I can get to a place mentally that has me positive and ready to take the race on.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Running with my new running goodies!

Many of us have heard that running is an inexpensive sport to participate in. The myth says that all you need are your running shoes. Though that is not inaccurate to say all that are needed are shoes, most runners prefer to purchase more to make their run more enjoyable with special running clothing and fun gadgets. This week at the beach, I was able to purchase and/or test out three, count them, THREE new things. I have to say I enjoyed all three and can't wait to use them more and more.
The most exciting thing that I got to test out was my new Petzl Tikka headlamp. I am unsure how the lighting will be for my 24 hour race and to prepare myself, I purchased (well, my mom was nice enough to treat me to it) a Petzl Tikka headlamp last weekend. Last night, I was able to test it out on a 6 mile run. I was really worried about it because a lot of people get motion sick when using lights at night and I easily get motion sick. I made the mistake of eating a bunch of organic gummi bears, White Cheddar baked chips, and grapes before my run. This was not a smart idea. I was nauseas for most of the run, which distracted me. I also was in a neighborhood that was pretty well-lit. When I got home, I did feel slightly light-headed and motion sick, but it was not as bad as I thought it would be. I am excited to use it again and plan on running my 20 miler this weekend later so that I can use it for some of the run.

The next two items I got were clothing items. There's an Under Armour outlet in Rehoboth Beach, DE. I needed a new sleeveless top and, as personal a this is, some running-friendly underwear. I was happy to find both and after having run with both twice now, I am very pleased! I got the top in a blindingly pink and I love how it feels when running. I also am loving the underwear. The whole Dri-Fit invention is amazing and I figured if all of the rest of my running clothes have it, why shouldn't my underwear when running? They were pricey, but I can say they were quite worth it. Yeah, that was personal to say, but in case any other runners happen to read this, I give them two thumbs up. :-)  

With only 5 weeks until my 24 race, anything to distract me from the pain I will be willingly putting myself through is good right now. Overall, with my new watch from last week and these three new fun items, I have even more motivation to run!

Friday, June 4, 2010

6 weeks until insanity....

I can't believe it's 6 weeks until the Back on my Feet 20in24 Lone Ranger race. I am really eager because after my 12 hour race, I keep thinking about what I am capable of and wondering how the heat (and little to no sleep) will affect me. I am slowly easing back into miles. I got 16 miles the week after my race, 25 miles last week, and I should be completing 35 miles this week. I didn't exactly intend to ramp up about 10 miles each week, but it just sort of happened that way. I plan to make my long run 15 miles this Sunday, then increase it by 5 miles each weekend until I get back up to 30 miles. It's hard for me because I am unsure of what exactly to do since I am trying to balance two opposing things: resting/recovering and preparing myself for the next race. I think I have been smartly and slowly increasing miles, but only time will tell.

I got a new watch, which is my exciting news. I needed a slightly less basic watch than I had before, but was not intending to 1) spend a lot of money or 2) purchase a watch with a lot of features. Eventually, I'll buy a Garmin or GPS-enabled watch, but I can't afford one now and don't need all the features yet (okay, it's 90% because I can't afford it yet). I got Nike Triax Mia which is pretty cool so far. The extra features that it has is that it has interval training (which I have set to beep when I need to walk and run during my race) and it also saves the data of up to 10 runs.  The buttons are kind of small and I have to get used to pressing them compared to the much larger buttons on my other watcher. Overall, I love it and can't wait to keep running with it.

Well, I am off to a comedy show. I am excited to get slowly back into my miles, but it also is making me more and more nervous. Similar to my 12 hour race, I am just so eager for it to happen, I want it to happen this very second. :-)