Monday, October 19, 2015

50 Mile Training

I guess you could say that I have been "officially" training for Stone Cat 50 Miler since July 12th. That's the day that I found out at 4:30am (when I woke up to race a 70.3 that day) that I had been picked via lottery to run the race. Though, the term "lottery" is a very loose term, I think almost everyone gets in to the race!

This year has been different for us, we have not really trained using a training plan this year. While that is freeing, it has also been somewhat scary. Have I done enough? Am I going to get injured because I'm not always following the 10% rule?

 Enjoying the view on top of the mountain in Mont Tremblant

The beginning of 50 miler "training", wasn't very 50 miler focused. I still had one more triathlon for the year, the SOS Triathlon, and we went hiking in the Adirondacks, went to Alaska, spectated at Ironman Mont Tremblant and then finally raced SOS the second week in September.

The longest run that I logged in the summer was the half marathon distance (plus a couple of miles when I ran with Crystal some more during her marathon). I did pace someone during their 100K at the end of August, but I only got 16.8 miles in (though that was 4 hours and 20 minutes on my feet).

 We love the 'Daks!

Mike and I even went hiking again back in September. Granted we hiked 14.5 miles and were on our feet for about 9 and half hours, but that wasn't running.

 Crazy hands at the end of the Seneca Trail out and back

So I guess you could say that I didn't really start training for my 50 miler until September 21st. That was my first 40+ run week in awhile (rarely do I hit those miles due to being injury-prone) and the week that I ran 26.3 miles on the Seneca Trail. I felt good after that week.

 Running the Vickery Creek Trail at Roswell Mills with my mom

I took the next week as a cutback week since we had to travel for my brother's wedding. I did get in a 10 miler during the week, though, and got in two solid training runs while in Atlanta.

 Such a fun day! Photo courtesy of Ron Heerkens/The Ascend Collective

Then I raced my second ever 50K, and it went really well! It was on roads, but there was plenty of elevation gain and some solid time on my feet. It was another 40+ mile week.

 Freezing at the start, around 35 degrees outside

This weekend, didn't quite go as planned. I had wanted to try for 36 miles on the Crescent Trail but after a few issues (losing the trail, finding it again, falling on an icy wooden plank and then walking through calf-deep, freezing water) I stopped after 6.75 miles.

I almost thought about tapering early. Yesterday, we had a slow start to the day. After eating breakfast, including coffee, I decided to try for a 13.5 miler. Mike joined me for part of it and at about a mile in, I thought to myself that if I felt good when I got back home at 13.5 miles that I would go back out to get a 20 miler.

 Solid run, time includes stopping in the house for more nutrition

I felt fine enough, except that the coffee and bigger breakfast were bothering me a bit (I never drink coffee before running). I was able to get in a solid 20 miler, and now I can truly taper.

My training hasn't been perfect. I haven't logged 50+ mile weeks, and I only have three 20+ mile runs done.

Recovery run post-50K, photo courtesy of Gustavo

 We love 5AM FIT1! Photo courtesy of Gustavo

I have been able to get out there and run on both Saturday and Sunday, even after my 50K, I have done FIT1 to get stronger, and I have run on trails for the majority of my training. I don't think that there is much else that I can do, and I know I will finish my 50 miler. I have a small time goal in mind, but really I just want to finish. I want to cross that finish line with Mike and some friends there to support me, with a smile on my face, achieving something that I never thought I would want to do or be capable of doing.

I hope that in 19 days, I can do just that.


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