Training has not gone according to plan and at times it has been downright frustrating. I often wondered how Mike and I got through 6 months of Ironman training when (I felt like) I couldn't even get through 19 weeks of 50K training. I was reminded a few times that Mike and I did experience struggles during Ironman training with skipped and shortened workouts, flat tires, windy rides, hot runs where we had to walk so much it almost felt like it wasn't worth it and swims so choppy that even this seasoned swimmer had to get out of the water early.
Not everything is perfect and we usually remember the good times over the bad times (which is why endurance athletes continue to race long distances, even if it does hurt really bad while we are in the moment).
I am an overachiever and I like to push myself to the extremes in all aspects of my life. I started training for Pineland Farms on January 12th and the first few weeks were pretty uneventful. I was able to get in most, if not all, of my planned workouts. Then, February hit.
We had a difficult winter this year on the east coast and Rochester was no exception. I tried as hard as I could to get outside to run and to complete all of the miles that I had scheduled for myself, but it just didn't happen. I ended up running on the indoor track more times than I would ever like to again and I shortened numerous training runs.
During my longest training run this cycle, a 22 miler
One of the hardest aspects of training for this 50K was that Mike was not also training for it. Sure, he was still joining me for the majority of my runs but once I hit a certain distance (and our 70.3 training started in March) he didn't run the entire workout with me. The fact that he did not have to get out there, made it that much easier for me to skip workouts (even though I really shouldn't have). I am not sure I want to train for something that Mike is not also racing ever again, yet, I have a feeling that my desire to run a 50 miler (and probably even further) and to do a double Ironman someday may force me to do just that.
So many snowy runs
Throughout my training, Mike was my biggest supporter (as he always is). He would run with me, when he didn't have to, he would make sure that I was safe at the end of my long runs by stopping along the way in the car, he cheered me on during my 18 mile race and he would tell me that I could do it. While I may not have always believed that I could do it, knowing that he felt that I could meant the world to me.
In the end, I have done what I could. I can't change the fact that we were post-holing during more runs than I would like to count, that I was freezing for the majority of my winter runs, that I ran on the indoor track (up to 12 miles), that I stood there screaming on the trails that I couldn't do it and that I was going to drop out of the 50K or that I didn't complete my Seneca Trail out and back attempt.
The day after an 18 mile race, running 12+ on the trails
I can give myself credit for what I did do. I have run 493 miles (as of writing this post) so far in this training cycle, I ran three 20+ mile training runs, I ran numerous back-to-back long runs on the weekend, I ran 12 miles on the indoor track (that's 96 times around, for those who don't know) and I didn't give up.
I'll make sure that some of these crazy antics are going on next week!