Monday, October 31, 2011

I think I have over tapered.

Javelina 100M is in two weeks so I guess my taper starts. If low mileage is the new way to train I think I have that covered.  I am going to line up to Javelina with my longest week being 62 miles and no back to backs to speak of.  However, I have done quite a bit of speed work. With the every other Wednesday night trail series and a couple of longer races I can take stock in that I have pushed myself.  For the trail series I went for the kill (to kill myself)!  I ran as absolutely hard as I could from start to finish.  A couple of times I almost puked! I ran some very fast trail miles. Not very impressive to most people but I was patting myself on the back every other week.  As some of us stood at the finish coughing up lung particles wondering if we were catching a cold we were reminded of our lack of speed work. Todd tried his hardest to make each race pretty brutal with his hilly terrain choices.  The dark nights just made it more interesting and I am still asking myself how the hell those people run that fast in the dark. I think they have Jedi like reflexes. I got to meet some cool people too. That was a seriously fun time and I can't wait for the next set of races.

I also signed up for the first every Forest Park Trail Marathon.  In another attempt to force myself to run fast but now on a long run.  I ended up being first girl across the finish line in this very small event. I didn't even know I had won until about 40 seconds after I finished. While heading to the finish line the crowd seemed very energetic and I thought, "wow, these guys are really into cheering folks on".  I knew the 1/2 marathon had just finished and was very uplifted by the crowds attention. Just past the finish line Bill comes up and says, "You have no idea you just won do you"?  SO COOL! My prize was a gift certificate to Fit Right NW.  New trail shoes in my future!

For my final long training run I did Autumn Leaves 50K last Saturday. The terrain is flat, five 10K loops so no time for dilly dallying around. It was just what I needed to get my butt out there. Time with friends and like minded folks spurred me to get out and push myself. It was a perfect day too! No rain, early morning fog and sun made it pretty easy to keep going.  I ran hard but what I really wanted to do was gain speed with every 10K. Just to test myself. I was able to accomplish this but on laps 2-3 it was very close. I did however manage to squeak in 2 minutes faster on lap 5 than lap 4. My feet were a bit sore. I haven't had sore feet in years but I also haven't run on pavement for that many miles is years. I had to dig out some road shoes that have about 15 miles of running on them and hope they held up. They did. I was not at all sore on Sunday which totally blew me away.  Must be my new diet....kidding!

Even thought my miles really don't warrant good training for a 100M race I have been out on my Single Speed MTB a few times. After riding up and down my road a bit I got the courage to take it out in public.  I absolutely LOVE it!  It's incredibly different than riding a geared bike. I can't really explain it. You have to just ride it and within 2 miles you'll get it. It's hard but so much fun. I really love riding uphill on it. I actually ride my routes faster on my SS than my geared bike. This is just a function of how you have power a SS versus a geared bike. One thing is certain, I am more tired and have lingering fatigue from the sessions. I am going to line up to TOE 50M MTB this year on a single speed!  I have now put it out there. With 7,800 of climbing it will tell me if I should even THINK about trying Leadville 100M on a single speed....before I die.

Speaking of Leadville!  Registration opens tomorrow!  I don't know what I want to do.  I want to do the Silver Queen event.  Ride the 50M MTB on Sat. then run the 50M run on Sun.  What I don't know is, do I want to do Leadwoman again.  If I lived closer it would be a no brainer I would be in for sure.  I takes a commitment of time from everyone so I can't decided.  I have the 2nd fastest Leadwoman time and I am certain I can shave another hour now that I know more. We'll see.  I know Bill is putting in for the 100M MTB lottery!  I hope he gets in because I know he will have an epic day.  You just can't help it!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

What post race blues?

Leadman events didn't leave me tired.  Instead they energized me. I hate the post race blues.  That feeling I often get once a big goal has been accomplished and I am left with a ho hum mood. Seems so counter productive but it's there nonetheless.  Recovery from the summers adventure went really well.  I am pretty sure the addition of mountain biking has paid serious dividends. My body is much stronger and my power generation is better. I can climb better, I can accelerate better and I most certainly recover faster. The drawback, I am slower.

My lack of natural speed has been laid out countless times in this blog.  Any and all speed I have is earned the old fashioned way, hard work. I have to dial it in my training schedule week after week, monitor it, push myself and keep track. This year I had very little speed work, if any, in my schedule. I think there is only so much you can cram into a week. My body did it's fair share of adapting to mountain biking and adding speed sessions might have thrown me over the edge. The adaptions I am referring to include my back, my glutes, my shoulders and my hamstrings. All of the above were quite developed to run, do speed work, go long, climb and run technical trails, etc without injury. In fact, I have not been laid up with an injury since before The Grand Teton's 100M in 08 (I am currently knocking on wood and banging my body on it for good measure). This year, at times, I felt as if I was riding a fine line. My mid back has been so tight at times I swear my waist would shrink a whole inch. My medial glutes were always fired. Trying to get my legs to swing was challenging and just when I got it worked out, bam! another hard MTB ride. My shoulders and mostly my traps did not like the forward lean. Learning to drop them and relax is still hard. As for the hamstrings, well, let's just say I didn't have any. I have some now!  I must have spent hours upon hours on a foam roller. The pull portion of the pedal stroke forces those babies to work.

At times throughout the year I felt so slow and sluggish. Mostly after a measurable event when my time and effort were not what I remembered. I had this constant battle of desires. Not wanting to lose my speed but needing to make serious gains in another area raged a war in my head. I have pretty much mastered my emotional/logical action center. I am driven by both emotion and logic. I blame this on my up bringing.  Raised by 2 woman who couldn't have been more opposite in how they marched through their lives. My mom, the original bra burner of the 70's, free of almost all logical thinking, extremely loving and always emotional. She defined the free to be attitude, the who cares what others think, be your own woman kind of stuff. My grandmother, who couldn't have been more realistic, the penmanship scholar, the accountant, the stoic woman. She would always presented herself appropriately, never talk about issues and march on with the up most respect for herself and matter what.  I am pretty certain, after years of debate, that I carry both these fine woman's ideas.  The issue......conflict.....the gift....conflict.

So choosing the more logical/practical notion that something has to give. So get on with it.  I guess I would have a good Fall project, speed work. When I got home I had nothing on the books with regards to workouts. I immediately found myself becoming a race registration slore (bad word I know). My friends were sick of me emailing them trying to coheres them into to joining me. I even signed Bill up for a 1/2 while he was out of town. Anything I could do that was short and would force me to run fast, due to pride, I was all in. I got into Todd's Portland Trail Series, I ran the Wildwood 10K and signed up for the Forest Park Marathon. To enhance my drive to run faster I threw my name in for Javelina 100M in November and thanks to Susan's fast fingers got into Umstead 100M in March. Both these 100's are flat courses so I will need to find my legs. In between the 100's I am going to ride the Old Pueblo 24Hr Solo again. I got a single speed MTB and am anxious to ride it in a race. I'm not sure if I will ride OP on my single speed or go geared. The guy riding single speed at Leadville made it look so easy! It's not!

After the first couple of Portland Trail Series events I found I wasn't as slow as I thought. It also reminded me that I am a mental basket case. I can decide I am slow and be slow. Then I can be put into an environment where I should run fast and I can. Of course, this is all relative. I am pretty excited to incorporate speed sessions back in my training.

Speaking of training. This will be the first time I have not had a coach in 7 years! I think I am going to do my own schedule. The issue, I am not so good at holding myself accountable. I am sure I can blame that on my childhood too, ha, ha, ha. I am going to give it a go and see if I can create some alter ego to hold me accountable.