Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Ultra training has begun....*gulp*

It’s that time of the year, folks: ultramarathon training. Last week was the official start for me in my training for the Mind the Ducks 12 hour race and the BOMF 24 hour race. *gulp* The lack of posting has occurred due to the lack of running, at times. My first two weeks back into solid running were great, with about 36 mpw for each. My third week, I got in only 20. But wait for it: for my fourth week, I got in 4, that is correct, 4 miles! Wow, I really lost motivation. Those 4 miles were also on my birthday!

In order to get me in the shape I need to be to achieve my goals for my ultras (65 miles for the 12 hour race and 90 miles for the 24 hour race), I have devised a way to scheme myself into running. I loosely got this idea from other people, but I’ve decided to create a prize for running all of my scheduled miles: $10 per week. If I am sick or injured, no money is earned or lost. If I don’t run all of my miles, I deduct $5 from my pot. One week in and I’ve got $10. Yay! When I didn’t want to run, I thought about how lame it would be to miss out on the weekly prize in the first week of training. I plan on using this money for a fun shopping spree after my 24 hour race.

When it comes to my training, I have so many ideas and not one solid one nailed down. I’ve researched to death about training programs, but I can’t exactly figure out what to do. I’m going to follow Hal Higdon’s ultra plan again, but it has what some ultra runners call “junk miles.” I am the type of person that needs a plan written out to follow, so I can’t exactly just “wing” it and know I’ll get in all the right mileage. The main thing I am torn about is whether or not to incorporate walking breaks into my long runs. I will have to walk at times to eat, but I’m starting to think about ways to improve my distances for both races. For my training for my first ultras, I needed the walk breaks so I could convince myself I could do it. I now know I can achieve a lot of distance, but will taking the walking breaks out mean I can’t run that far? Will it mean I am in pain sooner? I am not sure, but I think I am going to train with as few walk breaks as possible so I can honesty see how well I can push myself. If I don’t know my limits, I won’t know my abilities.

Week two of ultra training is underway and I am eager to earn those $10 for this week! Until next time…

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Aaaaaaaaaaand I'm back

Man, it is kind of crazy that I haven't written on here in almost 2 months. Honestly, since the marathon on Halloween, I've barely run. Once I recovered from being sick and my IT band pain, I was swamped with finishing my last college classes. Once I finished that (still waiting for my diploma to be mailed...can't wait to see it!), I only had a week home before I headed to Israel for 10 days. There was no time for me to run in Israel. Therefore, not a lot of running has occurred in the past 2 months.

Honestly, I think my body and mind needed a break from running. With 2+ years of constantly training for some race (and a decade of off and on running before that), I think I needed a break. I still am not eager to run every morning, but I'm not loathing it, so that's good. I've never really been a runner who desires to run most of the time. I usually have to remind myself that running each week is what will get me ready for the races that I want to run. I ponder quite a lot what that means for me as a runner. I do not love running most of the time, but do it so I can compete in races. If you talk to any of my friends, they know I could talk about running for hours and meeting another runner gets me so jazzed. Maybe I like the idea of running sometimes more than actually running? Maybe I am so programmed to run as I have done it for most of my life? Maybe I am afraid what it will be like to not run? I am not sure. I honestly think it is a bit of all of that, plus I just now equate exercise with running, meaning I only think to run when I need to exercise. I think I need to work on this a bit so I can integrate other forms of exercise to make me a more well rounded athlete, which is why I just downloaded an abs video and yoga for athletes video. Yay!

This week was my first week in my ultramarathon training schedule. I am officially registered for the same two ultras I ran last year: the Mind the Ducks 12 hour race and the BOMF Lone Rager 24 hour race. With about 4 months and 6 months until my race, I am slowly easing back into running and into a training program. I got in 31 miles this week, which may have been jumping in a bit too much, but my body should be alright. I got in a 15 mile long run today which felt nice. My Sundays have been for the past 2 years long run days and it felt comfortable for today to start that trend back up.

In regards to my ITBS that is still around, my IT band has been bothering me a bit, but I am work really hard to strengthen myself and truly ready myself for my races. I have not been doing nearly any core work either while running and one of my new year's resolutions is to do so--not just for my vanity and desire to fit back into my favorite pair of skinny jeans, but mostly for my running. I have put myself at a disadvantage by not strengthening my core, an essential part of my body for running.

Whew, okay, so obviously I have not written a lot recently and needed to spew a lot. I am really excited for the next 6 months of training to see what I am capable of this time around.