Monday, August 17, 2009

Bouncing Back

When I get sick I like to "bring it"! None of this stuffy nose, coughing or headache stuff. I get the full blown flu. Last weekend was supposed to be the end of a Peak week and the final runs before my taper for CCC100M. Instead the most movement I made was from my bed to the couch and back again. Friday after noon I went shopping with Susan at Lululemon and felt fine (BTW: we bought matching mid calf tights with gather ties on the bottom...tough looking with touch of girl with gather and ribbon). At about 5 pm I was so chilled I was putting on a hooded sweatshirt checking the thermostat. Then the body aches came and it was downhill from there. Fortunately Bill and Alex were well on their way around Mt. Hood so they were free from the ugly germ infested house.

On Sunday I drug myself into the shower which took what seemed like forever so I could drive to the trail head to pick up my men. I hadn't heard from them since Friday and they were expecting me to come running up to them that day. I knew Bill was going to be so worried. They arrived at Ramona Falls at noon. I could sense the worried look on Bill's face as he scanned the parking lot and we he saw me he almost teared up. I felt so bad for making him stressed on his final 3 hours of what was an epic journey but once he found me safe and sound and just sick all was good.

They had a fabulous 3 day trip on Hood. I am so proud of Alex. Hearing him talk about the adventure and all the stuff they had to do was really cool. Bill is incredibly patient and loving so their experience on such a tough journey for a 13 year old was nothing but good. They laughed about climbing to high on Elliot Glacier to make the crossing, Bill ripping his pants so bad he had to use tape to keep them up, their tent slanting so bad that Alex kept rolling onto Bill in the night and the list goes on and on. The pictures of their trip are here.

So I get a couple extra days of tapering. I suspect it will serve me well as I was on the edge and was probably over doing it anyway. I am looking forward to CCC100M and finishing out the year. I am already dreaming about next years adventures.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Thanks to back to backs....

Thanks to back to back runs I was saved from diving into an endless pouty session this weekend. The Dual Dual race killed me. I was so thrashed and beat up. When I had my call with Scott today he made me feel justified when he explained that the Dual Dual workout format is one of the toughest workouts the Kenyan marathoners do. He thinks they may even get more rest in-between intervals. So there you have it...I felt much better about the torn up state my body was was earned.

When the weekend arrived I wasn't feeling my usual Black Saturday spirit. It would be my first repeats since Hardrock. We had an awesome 6 party group out on the trail which made it lively. Black Saturday debris was scattered all over the start point. It was sort of neat to see the freeing nature of ultra runners. Leaving their stuff out in to open along side the forest with no a worry. I don't need to go into much explanation about my day because it basically sucked wind. It was hard, slow and sluggish on both the climbs and descents. I just didn't have it. Everyone else rocked passing me right and left. I tried to rub on some of their seemingly boundless energy but not a drop would penetrate. I even found this feather on the trail, put in my headband and tried to pretend to had wings. Clearly it didn't work and I started to resent the bird who dropped it. My hill repeats were the slowest of the season....poop! Despite how slow and pathetic my workout was it was great to have everyone around busting their tail and looking very strong. To deal with my run I decided I would simply lower my expectations and roll with the day and just live with what I felt my body could do. Immediately experiencing relief and a slight weight lifted off my shoulder was great. But....was it? Since I had plenty of time on my hands as I slogged up the 2500+ climb I asked myself the question: "Does lowering your expectations help or hurt you"? Sure I had immediate relief, felt better, had a sense of peace or acceptance in that moment. But since the workout I have been asking myself that question everyday. Not because I need to lower my expectations now but rather SHOULD I lower them to feel better in the moment. For me, NO! I think I would rather keep my expectations high, push to them and if I fail so be it. I can live with that. What I can't seem to grasp is the OKAYness, the sense of just live and let live, everything happens for a reason approach. I am not saying it's a bad thing just not a way I can thrive. Though comforting at the time it's just not me. I am not wired that way and it bugged me that I did it. If you read this and if you think, "Your to hard on yourself"...."Don't beat yourself up" or something like that. Just know I am good with my expectations of myself. I like the pressure and expectations. They feed me. Sure it makes me and others crazy at times but I think we could say that about everything. Since I lowered my expectations and my workout showed it I was more determined to see a better day Sunday.

Micheal and I decided to do a long hard trail run with not a ton of climbing. I had up to 6 hours on my schedule so we hit the Wildwood for the full 30+ miles. It was an awesome run, comfortable, powerful, and relatively easy. I was happy with the effort and felt it somewhat made up for Saturday's performance. Although, I am not going to fool myself. Saturday's poor effort certainly played into the killer run I had on Sunday. I am sort of okay with that but there is still some flogging sessions left from Saturday.

Now in the final Peak week before Cascade Crest. I haven't spent much time thinking about the race yet but I will. I feel like I know the course pretty well since I ran the race in 03 and have paced a couple of times. I need to dig out the cobwebs and pull a race plan together soon.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Dual Dual

Ouch! The Dual Dual race is 40 laps around a track alternating with a partner. Bill and I teamed up for some serious speed work last night. Tempted by Darin and Trisha who were participating was all we needed to sign on the dotted line. This event has been running for 38 years and I have done a couple of other times over 10 years ago. Clearly I had forgotten how wrong it is!

Following a killer leg workout on Tuesday which left my hamstrings shorter than normal if that's possible meant I was going to suffer more than I would know last night. Saving myself for the big event I did no working out beforehand. My run schedule called for a recovery run on Wed. In my mind, which obviously needs some adjusting, I felt like 5 miles on the the track in 400 meter intervals would be the perfect recovery run...yeah smart. I honestly thought I would get enough recovery while Bill ran his lap. I thought anything over 1:30 would be sufficient enough time to recharge before the next lap. The first 5 laps were good and I was thinking this won't be so bad but as each lap continued my legs felt sluggish. My heart rate was sky high in the 180's...hello I don't even do that on my nicely controlled track workouts! Oh well, this is going to be a good lung burner and I wanted to make the most of it. My laps were consistently 1:38-1:42. Bill was not exactly going slow and my heart rate would have just enough time to drop. After Bill and I did 5 miles together I was pretty much toast. My hamstring on my left leg was protesting like crazy. Despite the limp left leg I was able to maintain about the same speed. By the last 3 laps I must have built up enough buffers and began converting the lactic acid to fuel because they were pretty good.

That night I was woke up by pain in the back of my leg. In my fog like state my mind my thoughts went crazy with all sorts of horrible ideas. Did I tear something? Is this going to last? Nice recovery run, smart pants! I think the devious deviation from my rigid running schedule was hard for me to accept. What have I done, have I fallen off the wagon? Funny!

This was certainly no recovery run and in fact may be one of the hardest workouts I have done. I spent 39 minutes in the 178-185 range! I can't remember the last time I ever did that. I paid the price big time though. I had to abandoned my recovery run because my left leg wouldn't move. Thankfully Dr. T got me right in and tore into my medial hamstring and glute releasing some serious knots giving some range of motion. I am sitting on ice right now with the devil Ronda on my shoulder dressed in her spiky red outfit complete with a tail rolling around laughing her head off. She is extremely proud she got me so sore that I can't run! I am secretly smiling myself because it was really really fun. Bill said he feels like someone threw him off a cliff. So.....I think all of you should get your friends (or maybe you enemies), head to the track and put on your own Dual Dual. It's a special kind of workout. Bill and I finished the 10 miles in 1:09:53 on my watch. Bill was amazing since he runs about 3 miles every other day on the treadmill right now. he didn't give me enough rest :)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Crazy busy but all good stuff!

So many cool things have been happening around here. A good friend of ours Jim Rudig got hitched on Saturday, Alex turned into a teenager, I got to go to my favorite spot and did my first professional photo shoot. It's been a busy 5 days but all of it super cool.

First, our friend Jim and his bride Alisa had a lovely wedding at the beach. It's been so long since Bill and I were at a wedding and Alex has never been. After the ceremony Alex told us he would probably cry out of happiness at his wedding. That just about made both Bill and I cry because it was so sweet. I told him I would be sure to cry like a baby at his wedding. Since we were already at the beach we celebrated Alex's 13th birthday in the sand. We had a nice family affair and he is having friends over this weekend for the real celebration. He's pretty excited to be an official teen. I am not sure what that means but I am appropriately watchful wondering what these teen years are going to be like.

All the celebrations followed an awesome run up to Yokem Ridge on Friday with Trisha and Cheri. The temperatures have been so hot it was nice to be in the mountains. It was still crazy warm up there and we were drenched when we finished. We started at the Ramona Falls trail head and did an out and back. Ramona Falls itself is a great sight. Since the snow up there has just melted the wildflowers were everywhere and super fragrant. The biting flies were out in full force as well. I think both Trisha and Cheri got their first taste or should I say bite of the nasty bug. When we stopped to filter water they swarmed over and before we knew it we were covered, jumping and swatting while we tried to get water. The trail was in great shape with only a few blow downs which surprised me given the winter we had. The views were as usual amazing. As you make your way up the Yokem trail in the forest and wildflowers it just opens up and Mt. Hood it right in front of you. The sound of the glacier melt roars and suddenly you have forgotten the 3000 foot climb. The only problem is once you're there you don't want to leave! That was my first long run since Hardrock. I felt pretty good but still don't have the spring back in my quads for the downhills. Nothing that a couple of gorge hill repeats won't fix and fortunately for me I get to do them this weekend. I have 2 weeks of good training left. This week is a Build 2 then a Peak. After those are done it's taper time zooms by!

Yesterday I did my photo shoot for Lululemon. I will be their running ambassador and I am thrilled. It's just like all other sponsorships but it's clothing not shoes. Since I live in their stuff it's an honor to be asked. The photos that come out of the shoot will be used to create a life sized canvas that hangs in the Pearl District store and the others will show up in advertising, water bottles, bags and who knows where. I had to sign my life away saying they could do whatever they wanted with them. I have never done a photo shoot before and it was not easy. We spent 3 hours in Forest Park doing all sorts of stuff in a few different clothing items. I asked for lots of photo shop but they prefer the natural look..oh well it was my one shot at a tall skinny version of myself. I got a sample of a couple of shots and they weren't bad so I can't complain. It took a while for me to get the groove of running, looking up and smiling all at the same time. I am super pumped to be representing their run line since I think it's awesome, functional and mostly really really cute!