Thursday, September 25, 2008

I'm here.Still.

Before my weekend of running started Saturday I got a rather unpleasant call informing me that a work colleague had been killed in an auto accident on Friday night. Stunned and sad for her surviving family, I spent my collective 22 miles of running this weekend in a meditative state. I also discovered a few more things about my on course nutrition that will hopefully help me prepare better for the 50K next month and to run stronger.

I've got a Pilates session tonight, a brief run after and then a day off tomorrow. I think my workouts this weekend are 3.5 - 4 hoursish each day. I need to do some route planning.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Survived my *first* trail race

JamGirlz/Guyz have probably already read this and should feel free to move on to something more fun, like speculating on Phish's comeback tour (I'm still hoping for a huge 12/12/12 show to celebrate my big day--but that is all tangential).

On Saturday I ran my first official trail race, the VHTRC Women's Half Marathon. I've run many road halfs, a full, several 10ers and various other shorter length races, but this was my first foray into something a little (oh, hell, VERY) different.

The day was beautiful, if a little warm and humid, and the crowd had great energy. KJ and I even ran into a woman from the shelter who helped us adopt our second bully, Hippo (she even checked in on my at the last aid station to make sure I was still okay). My fears going into this race were totally unfounded--somehow I always forget that IN a race I find a way to keep moving, to keep running, to shut off the head stuff. Trail races are by nature slower than road races, but overall I did fine. I just enjoyed the scenery (at one point in a loop in the course there is a broken down Nash Rambler and another old car--a Ford Fairlane, maybe), the women were incredible and supportive and I just had a really stellar experience. One of my old housemates came in 3rd place, but she's always been a crazy fast ultrarunner.

I fell once in the first 5.1 miles and again in the last 3 or so so now I have this huge goose egg under my left knee, but I didn't bleed or completely scrape off the top layer of skin (as I have in road falls) and was able to get up from both falls, brush off the dirt and keep running. In fact, I think falling just made me run faster.

So now that I've had my first trail race experience I know a bit more what to expect in the 50K next month (boy, I need to get my mileage up!).

Yay! and its on to the rest of my training. ;)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Pre-race planning

My next race is three days away and I'm already mentally lining up my running gear, figuring out the hydration situation. This is all good but its giving me time to get nervous. I think this is just a weird race year/schedule for me. I started out the year with a half marathon and rapidly rolled through a Spring racing season and have not actually raced since May or June. So, here I am several months later, head chatter in full force as if this is my first race ever. I'm contemplating the new Nano for all the new whistles, the higher storage capacity and the distraction possibilities.

I KNOW I'll have fun on Saturday, rain or shine--I love trail running--I just need to stop thinking for a second.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Fountainhead practice run

I ran part of the Women's Half course yesterday as a practice run. Post-Hanna it was muddy and buggy, but its a really challenging course so Saturday's race should be *interesting*. This weekend I discovered a few things: the Stimulus pack is great for carrying all of my stuff but it makes me feel like I'm carrying around an extra few pounds and I'm not loving it. I think for the half I'll just bring a couple of handheld bottles and some gels and be satisfied with that. Also, my shoes are not the lightest, but they'll do fine for the road portion of the race. And I'm having a bit of a motivation issue. I'm not sure what it is. Hopefully, when race time comes I'll be able to find it somewhere, but I'm puzzled and concerned. I'm not usually like this--I have a race plan, I make adjustments, I provide my own motivation and most of all, I don't walk. I'm walking a lot these days and I just can't decide whether its motivation or fitness. Ay yi yi.