Sunday, August 3, 2008


Ultra-marathon training this week became an experimentation to see how my body and mind responded to certain feelings that I can predict happening during a 100-mile race. Crazy...for sure. Stupid...maybe a little. Rewarding, informational, and glad it's over...YES!

Miles for week: 80

Monday= Rest
Tuesday= 9 miles- (Speed workout) 2 mi. warmup- mile 3=5:48, recovered one mile- mile 5=5:46, recovery mile, mile 7=5:53, 2 mi. cooldown... Warren Rd., Asbury Loop.
Wednesday= 5 miles through Cass Park and lifted weights.
Thursday= 14 miles on Iroquois Trails 100 course. Daisy Hollow Rd. past Hauck Hill campsite and back.
Friday= 12 miles through plantations climbing Mt. Pleasant then Cayuga/Pink Trails w/ Sambo.

This is where it gets a little nutsy. I decided that last weeks back to back quality long runs needed another little variable thrown into the equation. Running upwards of 20 something hours is going to be exhausting to say the least. Soooooo...why not practice navigating the trails sleepy with spent legs?

After my 12 miler on Friday afternoon I went into Watercress to work on my feet until about midnight. Went home- slept 4.5 hours, then drove to Green Lakes State Park to do a course run through w/ Todd Baum, Jimmy, Dr. Riccardi, Ben, Mike Wright, Andrew and a couple other buddies.

I had a great training run up there. The course is beautiful! I couldn't believe how green the water was!... and really enjoyed getting to know some of the guys taking part in The Green Lakes Endurance Runs on August 24th.

Also, very exciting news that world-class ultra-runner Valmir Nunes will be running the 100K this year. Man, this is quite an honor to be sharing the trails with a specimen that has won and set many course records including Badwater!

Anyway, I clocked 20 miles for the day and headed back to Ithaca. Although the couch was yelling my name I refrained and got ready to go back to work. Another long night on my feet. Got home at 11:30 pm and my personal alarm clock (Erica) woke me up at 3:45am...ouch...painful!

I purposely committed to volunteer at The Cayuga Lake Triathlon in order to get by butt up and also to help out fellow triathlon club members for this Sprint National Championship year. The initial plan was to volunteer from 4am to 8am then go for another 20 mile run on the trails. I thought that would do the trick for simulating fatigue and sleep deprivation.

Things were going great! Yes, I was loopy but enjoyed seeing friends compete and volunteer at this growing tradition at Taughannock State Park. I headed back home to get ready for my final segment of my experimental weekend. After getting some food in me I saw (and heard) the couch...and this time I gave in a little. I told Erica that I was just going to let my food digest a little when she yelled..."No...don't do it!"

15 minutes passed and I was still lying on the couch kind of drifting in and out of consciousness with the cat purring at my side. I wrestled with the demons in my head telling me that I need some sleep and rest, and that I can run later or tomorrow, or that's enough for the week.

Erica came over to sit next to me and reminded me that I would probably be disappointed in myself if I didn't go, and that the 100 is going to be much tougher than this. She also helped me think of how rewarding it will be when I can sleep afterwards (possibly for the rest of the day and night!). I feel lucky to have a supportive partner that urges me to go out and kill myself!

I rallied and off I went for another 20 miles...about 12 total on trails and 8 on road. I definitely had some tastes of what my legs are going to feel like and how the rational mind works. I had very little power going up anything remotely steep and had to walk on the flat road a couple of times just for a reprieve.

I made it home alive and napped for a little while. Now I can finally say, "that's enough for this week!"

Quote of the week: "The body does not want you to do this. As you run, it tells you to stop but the mind must be strong. You always go too far for your body. You must handle the pain with strategy...It is not age; it is not diet. It is the will to succeed." - Jacqueline Gareau, 1980 Boston Marathon champ

1 comment:

Erica said... are so mentally tough. I admire you and you inspire me. erica