Pre-Ultra Thoughts

major

I find it amusing that the end of each Friday, someone at my office usually asks me if I am planning on running a mountain over the weekend…. It is also amusing that my boss has asked if I “plan on strapping on my snowshoes and running 75 miles this weekend.”  I have inadvertently gained the reputation for being that crazy ass chick who plummets off mountains for fun.  And I am totally ok with it!  The picture above was from a run up Mt. Major just last weekend.  Stunning winter day on the little mountain… exactly where I love to be.  It’s like a “reset” every time I get to drink in a summit.  I hope I never lose that feeling.  

The last few weeks have been about enjoying the “down” time and starting to get in the groove to train.  My officially training date is January 6th and that should get me ready for the Pineland 50K on Memorial Day Weekend.  If you have been following my blog, you know injuries and illness sidelined me from my first ultra in 2013.  That being said, I have a few apprehensions I am working through mentally… some of which will require time to see how it turns out.

1) Illness:  I was so sick last winter.  Sicker than I have been in my years on this earth.  Two nasty respiratory infections and a subsequent torn abdomen muscle were brutal.  I am so apprehensive about getting sick this year.  I am well aware I may get a cold or two, but it’s the respiratory issues that really frighten me.  They will end my training.  Healthy eating and supplementation is where I am going to rely on staying strong.  I started working with a new doctor in July and she has me on a few daily supplements I am hoping work out well.

2)  Injury: I still have PTSD from blowing out my right hamstring last January.  I was an idiot.  I had symptoms before it went and I completely ignored them like most runners who think they can just get through it.  MORONIC!  That being said, I rehabbed it cautiously and it gave me no trouble this year.  I still get nervous if I push my hammys too far.  I think that is just something I need to mentally work through.  I know my body so well now, I am getting good at recognizing bad pain vs. training pain.  I also believe this is also still a skill I will build on as ultra training progresses.

3)  Nutrition:  I don’t eat like shit most of the time.  I love fruits and veggies and try not to eat a ton of processed food.  That being said, I started the overhaul with eating for fuel in mind about a week ago.  I also incorporated Super Food’s Amazing Grass powder into my protein shake regimen and am logging all food intake on Training Peaks (thanks to my awesome pals!!!  They got me a 6 month subscription so I can feed my stat obsession).

4) Heart Rate Training:  I started using a heart rate monitor with my brandy new Garmin 310XT in October.  I am using a theory written about extensively by a guy called the Soc Doc.  Basically I need to keep my HR around 145 for the duration of my runs.  I won’t bore you, but the goal is to be able to run long on less effort.  I am finding that when I run alone I can maintain a very steady HR but when I run with friends, all I do is laugh and talk and it tends to get a little wild.  My “wild” end is getting lower, so time will tell.  I am committed to working with this theory as much as possible as I know many runners have had luck with it.

5) My marriage:  Ok, this is the only really heavy one.  I adore my husband.  He and I have been together almost eight years and friends for a total of almost 15.  While we get along so well and love being together, the running has been a struggle for us.  I tend to get a little… um…. obsessed (shhhh)… about it and he doesn’t understand the fascination.  It has been the source of many an argument, which we have worked through and grown from.  However, the level of training I am about to embark on will require me to work extra hard to continue keeping my MARRIAGE first not my RUNNING.  Agree or disagree with me, E. is the most important and it’s my job to balance it.  He has gotten more supportive over time and will even be coming to Pineland with us!  Growth… it’s all about our growth together.

So, training is a mere few weeks away!  I have started to incorporate snow runs and crossfit into my routine and intend on making core work a priority too!  Before, I go…. two more shots from the weekend:

yaks

My favorite winter gear!!!  I love my Salomon Speedcross 3 so much… especially paired with my Yaktrax for running!

sweet

Love me some trail….

Merry Christmas all!

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