Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Weekend

I ended up having a pretty full weekend of relaxing/cleaning/running/BBQing. Just the way I would want to spend a 3 day weekend!

Friday Thomas and I spent the evening at a friends BBQ celebrating the end of their 2nd year in Med School- they are now 1/2 doctors-scary! :)

Saturday I had my last long training run for my marathon in 2 weeks. I had been dreading it all week since my 18 miles last week went so horrible. I spent almost an hour on (which is great by the way!) trying to find a great 23 mile run, finally I found a loop that looked good, I was able to drop off water/food at one of my docs offices at mi 14 so I could re-fuel along the way. I started at 7:30am on Saturday, felt strong in the beginning and glad I was going on new territory to give myself something new to look at for 4 hours. I was at about 9-10 miles when I was supposed to have a turn, I kept looking and looking and the street I was supposed to turn on never showed it self! I ended up going about a mile and half out out of the way and decided to turn around, I found a road I knew met up with my intended loop so I took that. I knew I would be much longer than 23 miles so I decided I would stop running at 4 hours (I knew I was on pace to finish 23 miles in 4 hours). I found my water/food and refilled which was heaven since it was SO HUMID and hot! At least compared to what we have been used to. I made to to 4 hours and felt pretty good! I had never ran that far without stopping! WOO!! BUT I ended up stopping about 3 miles from home! And by this point it was the middle of the day, with the sun right over my head, and I was out of water, ugh I was so dreading walking all the way home. I found a Dunkin Donuts and stopped and grabbed a large ice water- what a lifesaver!!! Then I just took my sweet time walking home the rest of the 3 miles :( Oh well, guess it was good "on my feet" training. Got home and mapped my REAL route I ran and I ended up running 23.5 miles and walked 2.5, so ended up doing a marathon! It was a great confidence run, I really feel ready for the Lake Placid marathon now! Bring it on!!!!

After my run I ended up going to a co-workers BBQ/Pig Roast, I spent the majority of it on my feet- again "on my feet training" ( I feel like I am truly an ultra runner with this thinking!)

Sunday I decided to take it easy and spent the afternoon by the POOL! Finally they are open!!!

Monday I took Lucy to the John Muir trail in Torrington, CT about 40 minutes away. Trails were beautiful, unfortunately no good outlooks. The hike was great, just very muggy and so BUGGY!!! Dang bugs are so annoying!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Marathon Training

As my road marathon is quickly approaching, I am getting more and more nervous about the ROAD part of the marathon. I know I can do the distance, I have done 50ks, but the pavement and the non-stop running part scares me! I LOVE being out in the woods, I figured since I signed up for Lake Placid it would sort of feel like a trail race. : / We'll see I guess!

Since Tough Mudder, I have had a cough/lung congestion/sore throat/runny nose funk. I've tried meds with no help. I had to skip my long training run last weekend because I could barely breath to begin with. So I had to post pone it to yesterday... boy was it hard!!!!! I went out for 18 miles around 9 am, brought a 12 oz hand held and 2 gu's. I knew I would be done around noon, but didn't realize it would get so warm. The first 2 hours felt great, my legs were good, I wasn't coughing that often, and felt like I could breath. But then 2 hours in, I felt like I hit a wall. I had no energy and was getting hot! I made it back home at what seemed like snail pace- but I made it!

I realized once I got home and was thirsty and starving, I needed to eat way more and drink way more during my run. I know I'm not the best at drinking/eating while running and that is one thing I really need to work on, especially in the ultra world. My legs were tired the rest of the day, but not horrible a few hours later.

I'm running 22-24 miles next weekend, so hopefully I will take my own advice about eating/drinking and will feel much better. And if not, I will just have to keep repeating my mantra... Just keep swimming, just keep swimming! (Thanks Nemo)

Since I did my training run on Saturday, I treated myself to a beach day on Sunday! :)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Tough (Tutu) Mudders!

After finishing Tough Mudder New England last year, I knew I wanted to do it again, it was such a great event, pushing you to your limit and bringing your team to really work together. When the race weekend came around, I coninced my co-worker to join in. She's been a competetive soccer player for years so I knew she would do great- I've learned to never underestimate soccer players!! Once we signed up, Elizabeth and I started training a few times a week after work together, mostly running, then going to the gym for weights/core exercises. We did a lot of upper body, lunges, core exercises, then added hills later on for training. 
Since we signed up a little late, we had to sign up for the Sunday start, Day 2 of the race. Luckily we made it into the first heat so we didn't have to wait in long lines at the obstacles. We decided to drive up Saturday afternoon to watch the finishers come in and hopefully see some of the obstacles. I went shopping before I met Elizabeth and decided to buy tutus and bandanas for the race, gotta look fun, right?!  Once we got to the event, most of the participants were finished, but we still were able to watch the last few obstacles. We stayed at the half-pipe for a while and tried to come up with plans on how we would be able to get up and over since it looked like most were having a hard time with it. Plus there was about a 30 minute line just to try it!! Finally we left, had our pre-race dinner and margaritas-- it was Cinco de Mayo, and then went to bed. We had an early wake up call at 5:45 am.
We arrived at Mt Snow at 7am for our race start of 8. We made it through registration quickly and spent most of the time just taking pictures in our tutus :) The weather was perfect, sunny and about 45-50 degrees, great running weather! We had lots of compliments on the outfits and one man even wanted to take a picture with us! We thought the tutus were a hit! We finally headed over to the Start and realized we had to climb over an 8ish foot wall just to get to the Start line!!! Someone had to help me up, but I made it, then we got a little pep talk and we were off!!!

-Started straight up, then came straight down and we were already at our first obstacle!
-Koolaide Icebath, jump in, then go under water below a log, then swim up and out. COLD! And I lost my bandana :(
-Head straight back up, and up and up the mountain
-Barbwire army crawl through mud and rocks... UPHILL!
-Go over 2 sets of walls, had to have some male help, but we made it!
-Up, up, up hill
-Down, down, downhill
-(probably around 2-3 miles) Grab a log, carry it down hill, then carry it back up the hill
-Devils Beard: a large net that you have to crawl under for about 50 yards
-Run through tires for about 50 yards
-Cargo nets, have to climb up and over
-Crawl through trenches, basically you had to crawl in a long hole in the ground, scary because I was worried the ceiling would cave in on me, and they were dark! Lots of rocks and mud again, knees and elbows really sore now.
- Up, up, up the mountain
-Down, down, down the mountain
-Jump off a 15 foot tall ledge into ice cold lake then swim out... BRR!!!
- Electric eel: Slide through water with hanging shockers- if you hit one you get ZAPPED! Ouch, only got hit once luckily!
-Crawling under logs, in the muddy water
-Rope across lake- had to hang upside down, crossing your legs at your ankles and hold up and pull yourself down the rope. VERY HARD! Maybe made it a quarter of the way, then dropped into the water and swam the rest of the way in the COLD water!
-Tube Crawl- craw through small tubes, filled with rocks and water of course!
- Up, up, up
- Down, down, down
- More up and up, get sprayed by a fire hose this time, literally made me walk/fall to the side
- Up and over hay bales
- Up and over a huge snow pile- COLD hands!
- Monkey bars, not only were they far apart from each other, but they went up, too hard, I had to drop into the water (freezing again) and swim across
- Run through smoke, the jump over fire
- Balance beam, if you fell off, you fell into ice cold koolaid, luckily made it across without falling!
- Up and over 3 more walls, a few awesome guys helped us the whole way, made it over all of them!!! WOOO!!!
- 1/2 pipe- what I was dreading! Finally made it on my 4th attempt with help from Elizabeth and 2 other great guys!!! Great feeling to accomplish it (especially after seeing so may not make it and/or skip it the day before)
- Shocks! Weren't too bad, but this year you had to jump around/over hay bales set up!
-FINISH!!!!! 2: 57, we were told we were the 4th and 5th women in our heat, we were so happy and proud of ourselves. Had a great time the whole way!

Halfpipe at the very end of the race (this is from day one- LONG line!)

Jumping over fire!

Getting ready to jump into ice bath in the very beginning... BBRRRR!!


Post race- muddy and cold!

Tutus stayed surprisingly clean!

Warm clothes felt great- we didn't even plan to match accordingly! :) 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Signed up!

I've noticed that after each race I go through a "Post Race High". In this PRH, I feel like I am able to accomplish any and every goal. I think this is the only time I really ever sign up for more races. On the drive home from Virginia/Promise Land 50k we started talking about what was next on our racing list. Since I have now done 3 50ks, I felt like a 50 miler needed to be put on the list soon, didn't know how soon but felt like it was almost that time. So, I got home and it was stuck in my head that I wanted to sign up for something. I found a few fairly local races that looked good, but then Carrie comes around with more races... so she finally convinced me to take another trip back down to Virginia in November to do.... Mountain Masochist 50 miler!!!!!! I'm officially signed up for a 50!!!! Whew, I'm tired just thinking about it :)

54ish miles, 9200 feet gained, 7200 feet lost, 12 hour cut off... gonna be a tough one!

From the Mountain Masochist website:
"Started in 1983 the Mountain Masochist Trail Run has earned its reputation for being one of the “best trail races in the east.” The course itself is a challenging combination of roads, jeep trails, and single track that can cause even the most experienced runner to breathe a sigh of relief at the finish line in Montebello, VA. Ample aid stations and tried and true organization makes the race a perfect first 50 miler."