Monday, May 24, 2010

Swim upstream or drown!

(a very beat up Ronda)
Two more weeks of training and they are 2 of the hardest. This week and next my miles will climb in the 90's and maybe closer to 100. That's a lot for me. With 4 quality workouts a week and high miles I am feeling tired. It's like a deja vu and I am certainly aware of this feeling but riding the line between over training and appropriate fatigue is hard for me. The teeter totter has the potential to swing either way if I am not attentive. Bighorn will be number 20 something for me. I have to go back and outline the 100M races I have done and funny that I am not sure on the number. I should have it imprinted in my brain but I don't. Seems like yesterday I was lining up at Angeles Crest 100M for my first experience of traveling through the mountains on foot for 100 miles. Since I have run enough of these you would think I have this all figured out but I don't. I think that's why I keep coming back for more. There is always some new lesson or discovery with each and every training regimen. It's like free therapy and rapid growth both physically and mentally.

This will be the only 100M race I have trained for in which I have stuck with 4 week cycles. Generally I have jumped down to 3 week cycles during the Peak Phase. There have been two reasons for that. First, due to the timing of a training race I've had to make adjustments. Second, I need more rest when it gets this intense. This year neither issue came up and here I am on my last 4 week cycle with this week being Build 2. I have to admit, I am feeling tired. The challenge is determining where or why. How much is physical and how much is mental. How can I fool my body with mind tricks? It's much harder is trick my mind, it's smart. I know I am asking a lot out of my body right now. There is no doubt about that. The question is: Is it too much? I am still on the fence and not willing to make that call yet. All my workouts have been measurably positive. What I mean by that is my heart rate and pace coincide. When they start to slip I know it's too much. My mind might be tired. My brain might simply be sluggish when it comes to preparing for my day. I have other people who count on me to be more than a runner. In order to achieve my goals I am extremely organized and routine. Not only do I love that but it's paramount in allowing me to get the workouts I have chosen to do in. Seems like life is busy right now. Lot's of school requirements for Alex and lots of planning for what he needs and wants as he gets ready for High School. Yes, seems a bit early but they start stuff now and their not even done with the 8th grade. Crazy but that's the way it rolls. In order for me to run 4 quality sessions and miles ranging in 80-100 I have to be on my toes. I might be tired of being on my toes. Does any of this matter? Not one damb bit!

It's time to suck it up and get over myself. Time to stop thinking about why I am tired and just continue to use data to guide my last 2 weeks effort. The mind is powerful instrument in either propelling us or detouring us. I have been detoured and hate it so I refuse to succumb to the emotional piece of difficulty and fatigue. Giving in or giving up, however you choose to think about it is not an option. That doesn't mean I am not going to have a pity party or two. I honestly believe the body has it's own cycles and I need to be aware of what it's telling me. Lord knows I have spent enough quality time with it. I should be fully aware of every signal it sends. Are you doing to much? Are you being weak? Hard to to say. Since I am choosing to get over myself it's time to buckle down and do my final preparations. To continue to work on the goals I outlined in the beginning. Find my mantra and man up so to speak.

Last week was capped with Friday hill repeats with 6,800 feet of ascent of which I ran every single step. My legs were burning from the inside out. My glutes were screaming by the end. Saturday I did 30 miles on the Wildwood trail. Not much climb but lots of running on rolling terrain. The mud was crazy leaving dirt clods in my shoes. Perfect training for Bighorn. :) I topped of the weekend with a road 10K. Lululemon put on it's first race. I haven't laced up a pair of road shoes since February and managed to drag myself at a 7:35 pace. I lined up with minimal expectations. Not much beyond participating and supporting the event. Surprisingly I found some legs and was able to run a great pace not breaking 160 beats per minute. Alex and Kari (Micheal and Lisa's) daughter ran the 5K and seemed to really have fun. This week will be a solid bunch of Gorge training. Since Bill has decided to go around Rainier with some friends he might even join the fun.

So besides my general fatigue all is well for Bighorn. Looking forward to pushing myself through this funk and seeing what emerges.


  1. I can't fathom having done 20+ 100s. I don't know if I've even done 20+ marathons. I'm always amazed by your ability to keep pushing hard in your training. I predict that it will payoff, especially since you're trying to make sure you don't overdo it and are really paying attention. I'm excited to watch you do great things at Bighorn in person!

  2. You do look a bit tired there, but happy. I heard about this iphone app that measures heart rate variability as a way of checking for overtraining. see I haven't tried it, but it sounds intriguing.

    Good luck with the rest of your training!


  3. Great work, Ronda. I have never trained for 50's and 100's like you are, but I know that totally run-out feeling! I will look to your training schedules when I sign up for my next 100. Turns out I wont be running Bighorn 50 after all because I will be 6 months pregnant. However I need to go to Montana again next summer, so hopefully I will run it with my baby cheering me on from the sidelines! Nothing like pregnancy to make you miss training...

  4. Man, Alex is so's scary our babies are going to high school, heh?
    Aren't we always say, it's mind over matter, if you don't mind, it doesn't matter? Funny how I hung on the timer. If there is a workout and I have a stop-watch, I know I'll push. 4 days after MMT I knew I had speedwork...
    Your mind is incredibly strong. And you know you'll make this push through the last 2 weeks. Then you'll look back - and will have no excuses to do a high quality prep for the next race:) That's the problem! We keep pushinjg ourselves, and then backing off is considered a failure! Ha!
    I am cheering you on, and running "with" you.

  5. your encouraging to so many, keep swimming upstream!

  6. You are going to rock the Bighorn. Your training is off the chart, and looking so very strong. Enjoy the taper and hold nothing back during the race. Can't wait to see you tear this course up.