Sunday, July 29, 2012

Running Post TRT

It's been a week since TRT50 miler. Yesterday I headed up to Auburn and hit the trails with some friends for 18 miles of dirt, climbs, descents, and fun. I wasn't to sure what the day would hold for me, if I was even going to be able to complete the miles that the others were looking at doing, or if I was even going to be able to keep up. My body once again surprised me and ran very strong.

I knew it was going to be a good day when we started down the damn hill, a 3 mile descent that starts on pavement and than transitions onto gravel back to pavement and finally more gravel. My quads felt great, I had no lingering pain, and mentally I was really focused and excited about this run.

We (5 of us) hit the single track trail and we enjoyed the smooth quiet trail. It was kind of weird how quiet it was. Michaela broke the silence on how we weren't hearing any birds, no squirrels, nothing, just silence. Makes one think that "something" was watching the five of us. I know my awareness was heightened after that comment even more so, as it was pretty odd. The miles were quickly clicking by and soon we hit the turnaround, where of course we enjoyed a snack and than headed back after a few minutes rest.

We were all feeling really strong and we all stuck together as I had pushed the pace on the way out. Everyone was running strong. I was surprised that I was able to keep that pace, I had attacked most of the climbs on the way out, but the return I was wondering if I was going to be able to keep it up. Jay took the lead as we made our way through the star thistles, those little things really cut our legs up and we could hardly see the trail at times. Soon Jay stepped off to get a thistle out of his shoe and I was in the lead. I was feeling pretty strong and continued to set the pace with everyone close behind.

Than as we hit the 13 mile marker, sharp pain ripped through my stomach and caused me to have to step off the trail and let the others by. I knew the only way to get rid of this pain was to really slow my pace and breathing down. The four of them slowly inched their way ahead and than in one climb I didn't see them again. The pain slowly subsided and I was able to get back into it, but at this point my legs were feeling it.

As I neared the bridge, everyone was waiting there and I thanked them and we made our way to the damn hill. We hit the base and the work was really going to start for me. I slowly made my way up the hill, we would hop scotch our way up the hill until my legs finally said enough was enough and they were fully loaded. I ended up having to walk more than I would like but ultimately I am just happy that I was able to go out and run on the trails with my friends after running TRT50 a week ago.

Going forward I am going to enjoy just hitting the trails whenever I can, maintaining my fitness and enjoying time on the trails with friends!

Friday, July 27, 2012


What I have learned from the TRT 50 miler; I learned that I am stronger than I give myself credit for. I can achieve greatness and that greatness comes from within. When I am able to let everything go, all worries, all thoughts, even basic thinking, I am able to reach the point where I am one with the trail. Yes, it might sound funny, but that feeling of being connected with the trail is unlike any other. Being able to feel the movement of my body, the ground beneath my feet, the rocks with each step, hearing my breathing how at times it could be so relaxed, the way I could hear the wind rustling through the trees was unbelievable. Even the smell of the dirt and the smell of the pine trees were intensified. All my senses were connected and working together. There is no other feeling like it in the world!

One of the best feelings from that day was when my body was so tense, that each step brought painful shockwaves that flooded my body, but with one step I felt my entire body relax from my head all the way down to my toes. That feeling, that moment was a turning point for me. It was my body’s way of finally fully accepting the fact that I can do this. It was an amazing moment.
My brain felt my body relax and my brain also relaxed, I want to say that a smile appeared on my face. It was again the feeling of being connected with the trail. I was letting everything go, all my worries, all my frustrations, and just being in the moment. That is what it is about for me. The moment and soaking it all in. When that moment happened a transformation happened and with that transformation, my pace increased effortless, my breathing relaxed, the pain mysteriously went away and I became more focused, more in tune with my body and also more in tune with as I call it “race mode.”

That is what I take away from the journey of 50 miles. Connecting with my inner self and the trail, experiencing it with open arms, open mind, and open heart. That connection brings calmness and a focus like no other and I can’t wait to have that connection again. It is an amazing feeling.

Have you every experience a sense of calmness, a transformation, a connection during a run?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Tahoe Rim Trail 50 Mile Race Report 2012

A Glimpse of Heaven and a Taste of Hell

I was less than 3/4 of a mile from the finish. I was running on fumes and just keeping it together; when I see this massive hill. Maybe not massive but a tiny roller. Anthony softly tells me "You can hike this hill." I reply "please, thank you" as I transitioned into my hike I slowly feel my lungs closing, I couldn't get any air, I was wheezing which was causing me to hyperventilate, but I was still moving forward. Nothing is going to stop me; except the fact that I couldn't breath. I hear Anthony say to drink some water, I take a sip some how and keep hiking. I am so close to the finish, just keep it together I tell myself, keep it together, keep moving what every I do keep moving as I am wheezing and unable to breath........

The Tahoe Rim Trail 50 miler has been secretly been on my bucket list. I didn't tell anyone that deep down I wanted to run it, but I also knew that it would take some serious training and commitment like no other. I did just that, I changed my training program up, I even changed my diet and as the weeks and months went by I could feel a difference in my body, I felt stronger! I knew that my commitment had been there now it was all going to be tested and tested it was both physically and mentally that day.

The start of the race at Spooner Lake State Park, is at 7,000 feet, I would be running to the highest point of the course just below the 9,214 foot Snow Valley Peak. The low point on the course is at the bottom of the Red House Loop or other wise known as A Taste of Hell at approximately 6800 feet with a very substantial climb near the end.

The Race:

On my way to Marlette Lake which by the way is a 1,500 elevation gain over roughly 4 miles I had decided that I would take this very conservatively. I actually had no choice in the matter as there was a huge traffic jam just getting onto the single track. I took this in stride and just went with it. I am pretty sure the traffic jam helped me remain calm and steady. My hike was very comfortable, in fact I didn't notice any heaviness in my legs like I had in years past. I guess all my hill training had paid off. On the small descent I fly down it, my legs enjoyed it and it allowed me to open them up. After the small descent there is another climb. I was at the base of Marlette Lake (7823 feet) and climbed on dirt roads to the Hobart Road aid station at 8120 feet.

I power hiked the fire road and continued to tell myself to stay relaxed and comfortable. This positive reinforcement went a long ways at it reminded me to conserve. I arrived a Hobart and quickly grabbed a PB&J square and was in and out within seconds. I only slowed down to grab the square. I continued my power hike up to a spectacular view of the lake. What a sight it was, but I didn't spend long looking as I was on a mission. I was now making my way to Tunnel Creek aid station where my crew would be waiting for me. I was feeling really good, lots of energy, I was mentally focused and on point with my nutrition (or so I thought) and slowly reaching my small attainable goals. I didn't look at the big picture of having to run 50 miles but rather shorter attainable goals, basically aid station to aid station.

On my descent into Tunnel I let the trail take me. Not pushing the pace but allowing the trail to tell me what to run. I was listening to my body. I arrived at Tunnel in a little over 2 hours and 40 minutes give or take. I was on schedule. My crew Anthony and Trailmomma quickly went to work, asking me questions trying to decide what I needed. Apparently I wasn't speaking much which caused some concern for them. I thought I was speaking though. They had my bottle ready of hammer perpetuem and I switched out, Anthony refilled my pack while Trailmomma made sure I had everything I needed. I needed to get the rocks out of my shoes and after doing that I downed two gels as I felt a little behind, but not depleted. Anthony poured some cold water on me which he always enjoys and offered me some words of wisdom "stay relaxed on the descent". I was off now for the taste of hell, the Red house loop.

Here comes the cold water; Photo by Trailmomma

Anthony loves this part! Photo by Trailmomma

Taking in fuel and last minute advice for Red House Loop, looking focused; Photo by Trailmomma

This loop is about 6.3 miles with a substantial descent at the beginning and also a challenging climb at the end. The descent could easily destroy my quads and while I went down I just kept thinking "when is this going to end" It hurt to descend, not my legs but my body, the pounding my body took step after step I really needed to be at the bottom. I hit the bottom and continued to motor. Knowing that fueling would be important I sucked down a gel and continued to drink my perpetuem and occasional took sips from hydration pack. On the small climb to the red house I would hike and then run, hike and run, repeating this process. I just needed to keep moving.

I went right by the red house and kept on moving. This started the climb up but it wouldn't be the steepest part that was still to come. I ran on the fire road, knowing that this was runnable and it would help me make up some time. I slowly found myself walking and very low on energy, hmm where did this low point come from I asked myself? I could have sworn I took in some gels, (I took in 2 gels at tunnel before the descent and than only 1 more gel before arriving at the red house, and maybe 1/4 of the hammer perpetuem was drunk) My brain was telling me one thing; I had been eating when in actuality I hadn't been eating or drinking, elevation must have messed with my head. I took in a gel and some salt, the gel was hard to get down but I managed. I arrived at the climb and just put my head down and powered up it as quickly and efficiently as I could. I found myself pausing to catch my breath and than moving onward and upward. It was steep, but I powered on.

I could see the aid station and broke out into a small jog during the flat section. I saw Anthony and Trailmomma my crew and I believe the first words out of my mouth were "I feel a low coming on" That was all I said. My crew had no other information to go on; Trailmomma asked if I needed more drink mix, I told her very matter of factly "yes, my bottle is empty" In reality I had about half a bottle left. I also told her I was out of gels, she didn't tell me at time, but I had plenty still. Anthony quickly took my pack because I told him I had been drinking; in fact I hadn't it was still pretty full. Both Trailmomma and Anthony were probably really concerned because I remember Anthony not telling me but asking me to please drink more water. I thought I was drinking, just like I thought I was eating.

My return from Red House; photo by Trailmomma

I was now going to go 12 miles to Diamond Peak ski resort. This is a long stretch longer than I ever imagined. My stomach was bloated and I was running really low on energy. I was slowly going into a dark place. This first section is really runnable and I threw together what I could reminding myself to run, not hike but run. I hooked on with some other runners and allowed the pace to be dictate for me. I was not in the right mind frame. I continued to drink my hammer perpetuem and I think I managed to get some gels in me but honestly I can't remember. All I know is I suffered during this stretch.

I arrived at Bull Wheel and just kept moving, I didn't stop knowing it would take a lot for me to get going again. I was shuffling along and than I was just walking not hiking but walking. I was empty; I took in a gel and some salt and kept moving. Than a female runner went by me and yelled out "Hi Melisa!" It was Jennifer, we had met back at the fire trails last year where we both volunteered and became friends. I yelled back "Hi!" I was so happy to see here. I watched her go by me and than something snapped in my head. I thought, I need to hook on, her pace is doable and she gave me the little bit of energy I needed. I did just that, my walked turned into a shuffle and I slowly hooked on. Jennifer asked if I wanted by and I told her, "No, if you don't mind I will just hook on." She had no problem. We chit chatted for bit and than we just focused on the task at hand. We worked with each other each of us taking a turn in the lead, I had a stronger hike but she had a stronger shuffle than I so we helped each other. I took my turn in the lead and when she noticed the pace was dropping she offered to take the lead from me and I thanked her. But slowly after a few miles my pace slowed and she went further ahead. I tried to keep her in my sights but I was not moving well, she was gone and I thought she looked strong and that I would never see her again.

I hit the descent that would take me to the Diamond Peak Ski Run and the wheels completely fell off. I was in so much pain on this descent, the pain wasn't in my legs but in my stomach and lower pelvic area. Oh the pain just about stopped me in my tracks, each step caused screaming pain and I was barely holding on. My mental capacity now was to reach the aid station and my crew, but I had no idea how far it was. The climb down winded this way and that, it kept going and going and with each step the pain got worse and worse. Runners slowly passed me as I couldn't keep the pace, I was falling apart and doing everything I could to keep it together. I just told myself "keep it together, just keep it together." I kept moving forward when all I really wanted to do was stop and walk, but I wouldn't allow it no matter how bad it got.

I hit the pavement in a all time low ready to cry because of the pain. I arrived at the aid station to huge cheers and my name being yelled. Anthony and Trailmomma came to me and they knew something was wrong. I was not speaking, not one word, it took to much effort to speak and I needed all my effort to stay on my feet. I handed off my pack and looked at Trailmomma and told her I need a bathroom! I checked in and made my way to the bathroom. I was surprised at this because I actually peed and it was clear, and I also did #2. I stood up and just doubled over in pain, standing caused by stomach to hurt. I exited the stall and Trailmomma had some Tylenol for me, which I took after doubling over again from the pain. I made my way back outside where I sat down and removed the rocks from my shoe. Sunscreen was applied, my perpetuem was ready, coke was in another bottle and my pack was good to go. I was sitting there and I hear Anthony tell me "we ready?" I knew that I only had one reply "yes" I say quielty, Again he asked "we ready?" "Yes!" I say louder, I stood up and he instructed me to get soaking wet as wet as I could. Tony helped get me wet and the coldness caused me to start hyperventilating. It was cold, I was overheated and didn't even know it.

The Last 20; A Game Changer:

It took me 7 hours to arrive at the 30 miler mark and the diamond peak ski resort; I was in bad shape upon arrival. Anthony and I headed out of the Diamond Peak resort at 8540 feet for a 1700 foot climb in just under 2 miles. This was going to brutal! Words can not describe the nature of this climb, pictures don't do it justice. Surprisingly I was in good spirits, my crew and friends did their job, they put me back together, though I didn't take in any calories while I was at the aid station.

The climb took about 45 minutes to an hour to complete. Each time I thought we near the top, surprise I wasn't. I had to pause every now and than and when I did I would take a look behind me and enjoy the great view of Lake Tahoe and also where I had come not to long ago. It put it into perspective for me. I was at an all time low, but now with each step forward I was getting higher and stronger. I was hiking this "hill" with power, my will had not been broken it was getting stronger with each step forward up. I was not done,yet!

We climbed and climbed slowly gaining and also passing some. We joked and laughed; the best joke came from me. We were hiking up, both of us with our heads down starring at our shoes and the sand when I said "The view really is great" Anthony just chuckled and I didn't understand why until a few steps later. The "view" of our shoes and sand was great. Priceless.

Ever so slowly we made our way up when all of a sudden I was doubled over in excuriating pain, pain so bad that I was almost dropped to me knees. If Anthony could have seen my eyes he would have noticed they rolled back from the pain. We kept moving on, battling the pain. Than the pain moved lower into my pelvic and again I was doubled over and not moving. We slowed the pace down even though my legs were feeling strong. Walk 5 steps double over, walk 5 more double over. Finally we arrived at top and I was very surprised to see the aid station. It was a small descent but the pain I had just intensified with each step, running was out of the question, but I did. It didn't look pretty and it hurt but I ran the little descent.

At the aid station I really wanted some tums, to see if that would help settle my stomach, but they didn't have any. They did have Sports legs and I took 2 capsules. I really didn't know what it was but it was suppose to help decrease the lactate acid in the legs. All I know is it actually helped my stomach. We pushed on after filling up the bottles with coke.

We attacked the descent to Tunnel Creek. I was able to run pain free and made up some time. My mental capacity was also back, I was fully understanding and joking around. I was a new runner and Anthony knew and capitalised on this opportunity. He pushed me and told me when to transition into a hike. I was moving really well, there was no stiffness, I just allowed the trail to take me. It was a beautiful thing.

As we neared Tunnel I gave Anthony the plan, I needed to use the bathroom and he would fill my pack with water and fill the bottles with coke and we would be out. I hit the bathroom and as I exited found Anthony, I took in a swig of coke and was ready to go. Only Anthony was chowing down. He saw me and I waved at him that I was ready, I knew he needed to fuel but I was ready. I exited the aid station with him right behind me, or so I thought. He had been stopped by his fans and a photo opportunity took place. Meanwhile I am running down the trail focused on the task. He catches up to me, but it took a bit of an effort on his part. I knew he would catch and I wasn't that worried about, it was just funny and we laughed about it for a few miles. Me leaving him behind at the aid station.

Anthony pausing for his photo opp. Photo by Gretchen Brugman

The climb back to Hobart is challenging because it appears that I should be able to run it, but in actuality it is a pretty good sustained climb. I choose to power hike. I took the lead for a bit and than I instructed Anthony that in case he hadn't noticed I was racing. He knew I was racing at this point but I needed to make sure he knew that I knew I was racing. At this point I asked him to take the lead, I knew I had another gear in me and I asked him to push the pace. I wanted the pace increased but I was having a hard time doing it, but I knew that if he did I would do what ever needed to be done to keep up. He pushed the pace let me tell you. We even ran some of the climb. He continued to monitor my fuel intake as by this point I had only had 2 gels and the coke in the bottles. I knew that I could make up a ton of time just by hiking and I was still hiking with a purpose.We were finally passing other runners and when we passed them I wouldn't allow them to hook on. I was making a statement, I was on a mission. It was here that we spotted Jennifer and I was hoping she would hook on. She was battling some serious stomach issues and wasn't able to to hook sadly.

As we neared Hobart I was took the lead back and was running the trail very well at this point, the little rollers I would roll up and over without breaking my stride. I was passing 100 milers, one female 100 miler hooked on and started up a conversation with Anthony. She remembered us from miles back and told us we were moving really well. This lit a fire within me, I increased our pace and slowly she fell back, again I was making statement I told Anthony. Anthony just laughed when I told him that.

Hobart was arriving and I again gave Anthony the plan, wow here I am some 39-40 miles into the race and I am communicating unlike when I saw him and Pam at mile 11 and 18. A big change in attitude! I told him coke and water and I was again going to use the bathroom. After the bathroom I found Anthony and he quickly iced me down and cleaned my face, I was covered in salt and getting the grim off of my face was Heaven.

Off we went to Snow Valley which sits at 9,214 feet. A huge elevation gain. I was focused and on a mission. I ran until I needed to transition into a hike. My hike was still powerful and I knew that the finish was near. Anthony was always the calm voice in my head, keep drinking, now hike this, lets run this, keep going a few more paces. It worked, what ever he said I executed. On the climb up to snow valley, my breathing became very labored and I started wheezing, I could feel my heart beating up in my throat. I had to slow my pace down to recover. Once recovered we continued to motor. We arrived at snow valley and I took some more sports legs, and Anthony refilled the bottles.

7 miles to the finish, that is all 7 miles a piece of cake after what I have already been through. I had hit numerous lows, been depleted of precious calories but somehow someway I was still moving and not just moving but passing other runners while no one was passing me. The fire was burning and the mental aspect of running had pushed me this far. But how much did I have left? Did I have enough in the tank to finish, or did I spend everything in my mental tank? That was a question that I couldn't answer. There was only one way to find out, to finish strong!

The first part of the descent is very technical, very rocky and extremely difficult to get any rhythm. I was constantly having to stop and side step over a boulder or bounce off another boulder. My downhill legs at this point were not liking this and all the stopping and going was painful. Anthony reminded me that it opens up in a bit and I just went with it. No sense in getting angry at this stage of race. I was still passing other runners and no one was able to hook on.

I hit the very runnable section and run I did. I felt free and alive. My leg turnover was solid and I was effortlessly maneuvering around the boulders and over the boulders, effortlessly running the little ups and finding that last gear I needed. Effortlessly making my way down passing others and only one runner hooked on. This freaked me out, and I am sure Anthony could tell, I did everything I knew how to drop the runner. I increased my pace running 8 minute miles on this descent, I even took risk by running over the boulders instead of around, I pushed the hills that much harder but everything I did was not working. He was still there. Anthony calmly told me that I shouldn't push it and risk imploding because that would be fatal, especially after coming this far. I took his advice and slowed the pace back down to a more manageable sustainable pace. A more comfortable pace.

4 miles to go and it felt like I had nothing left to give. Anthony kept reminding to hike this hill and keep it easy, he knew I was running on fumes and was doing everything he could to get me to the finish in one piece and running. He didn't push me, he let me push myself, he offered up the encouragement I needed to continue to believe in myself. I dug even deeper and was hitting the wall, but just like digging for a well, if you dig far enough you will find water. I found my water per say; I was running, slowly counting down the miles, I knew the terrain and I just had to dig deep with each little roller. I was on fumes, I mean fumes there wasn't much left and the runner was still with us. That runner may not have known it but he was pushing me to keep pushing myself, I didn't want him to pass me.

We arrived at the last aid station and we didn't stop, the three of use on our way to the finish. 1.7 miles to go. One final descent to the lake and then it levels out and I can see the finish. It was on other side. I knew that once I crossed the wood bridge we would be in the home stretch. But the bridge couldn't come fast enough. I was less than 3/4 of a mile from the finish. I was running on fumes and just keeping it together; when I see this massive hill. Maybe not massive but a tiny roller. Anthony softly tells me "You can hike this hill." I reply "please, thank you" as I transitioned into my hike I slowly feel my lungs closing, I couldn't get any air, I was wheezing which was causing me to hyperventilate, but I was still moving forward. Nothing is going to stop me; except the fact that I couldn't breath. I hear Anthony say to drink some water, I some how take a sip and kept hiking.

I am so close to the finish, just keep it together I tell myself, keep it together, keep moving what every I do keep moving as I am wheezing and unable to breath. As I crest the climb I am able to breath and somehow find the strength to run again. The bridge, I see the bridge. I cross the bridge and find another gear, I hope I didn't kick to early I remember thinking. Anthony is right by my side matching me stride for stride, offering encouragement, almost there you can see the finish. I hear cheering but I am just focused on crossing the finish line, I have to get there, again I increase the pace and than again I increase the pace and I cross the finish line in 12:23:01 (give or take).

The final push; Photo by Trailmomma

What an incredible journey! I ran the first 30 miles in about 7 hours and the last 20 miles in 5:23. A pretty good split considering the terrain and the black diamond ski slope I had to hike up. It is amazing what the body can do under tough condition. I never thought about dropping I only thought about finishing. My training for this race was spot on, as I have become a stronger runner. The mental aspect of running should not be taken lightly, I know my mental game is what pushed my body those last 20 miles, that and having great support all day.

Finished a well deserved chair! Photo by Trailmomma

Thank you to my crew; Trailmomma and Anthony. You two knew what I needed and you helped me achieve and overcome this event. Thank you for your support all day. Anthony thank you for running with me. Your confidence in my ability allowed me to push on. You knew when and how to push me and you also knew when to let me push myself. I had a great time laughing and joking with you on the trails! An adventure I will not soon be forgetting, or the FROGS!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Fire is Alive and Burning

Have you ever watched a program or read a article/blog that inspired you? That is what happened today. I watched the replay of the Kona Iron man World Championships and I was inspired. It brought my focus back that has been missing for awhile now. My fire was alive once again.

The past few weeks I have been distracted and unfocused. Lost you could say in a way. Yes I went about my normal everyday activities but something inside of me was off, something was just not right, I wasn't me. My running was affected, which in turn affected my mind. Which is not good with a race right around the corner.

With everything that has been going on I did receive some good news which really lifted my spirits. With that good news and some solid advice from my friend Anthony, I went out and ran 4 miles at a hard pace. Pushing myself on the little rollers, throwing in some tempo during the flats. It was a amazing feeling.

Anthony's post on my facebook wall "Relax, your fit, go run something short and hard today you will feel better..... " This he posted before he read my post from Thursday.

I did just that and today I feel better. So much better in fact I can say that my legs are back. The leg turnover felt really good today and it was even better that my mind was focused on the task at hand and I was highly motivated! All good things.

I can't wait for Saturday; Tahoe Rim Trail 50 miler here I come!


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Just Fatigued

Today my body feels like it has hit a brick wall. Very low energy which is causing my brain to scramble about Tahoe Rim Trail 50 mile which is next Saturday. Today I woke up and headed out the door for a very easy run. I knew that I didn't want to wait, because again the temperature here will be in the 100's again. During my run I felt very low on energy, my legs didn't feel powerful and I found myself walking the final hill that takes me out of the parkway to Sutter Street. A hill I have flown up in the past.

I know every taper is different and I am hoping that with the lower mileage my body will bounce back. I would like to think that my brain is over thinking. I have logged only 13 miles this week and I don't plan on logging too much more. A few shorter runs in the next few days. I will be running how my body feels and letting my body dictate to me what pace and effort will look like. For the most part I will be keeping it nice and mellow.

The past few weeks I have not worn my Garmin. My last long run I didn't wear a Garmin and I actually like it. Not knowing what the pace is, but instead just running how I feel. With this taper I have still been eating, I bring a lunch to work every day with snacks and a sandwich, my water intake hasn't been as strong as it has in the past which could be causing some of the fatigue, but I still think I am drinking plenty of water because when I use the bathroom it isn't dark yellow. I do have a massage for tomorrow with Lily, and I am sure that will bring some new energy into my body, it always does.

For now I am focused on eating healthy, drinking water and resting.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A New Race!

There is a new trail race that is offering a 10k and half marathon option!

This Saturday July 14 the Race Director himself will be hosting a training run to familiarize us runners with the awesome 10k course! If you are interested I highly suggest you check out the training run this Saturday at 8am in Cool by the Fire Station.


This past week I have been a bit distracted and in Saturday's run it really showed. I wasn't focused on my run my mind was else where. I also felt pretty fatigued from the start on Saturday. This run was more mental than anything and I am glad that it was only 14 miles. TRT is quickly approaching as in less than 2 weeks away.

I have to keep reminding myself just like Anthony told me; I am ready, I have put the work in. If you had asked me a few weeks ago how I felt going into TRT I would have told you I felt ready. If you asked me Saturday how I was feeling about TRT I would tell you, a bit nervous that maybe I didn't work hard enough, or that I didn't push myself hard enough.

If you asked me today that same question; I am ready, I have done the work now to rest up and prepare myself mentally for the task at hand.

This past weekend was packed and filled with swimming, BBQ, and of course good friends. It was just what I needed. Lil Man came over yesterday with his little sister and mom of course and we enjoyed the nice cool pool as temperatures yesterday reached the upper 90's if not 100's.

This week is a taper week and I am glad it is here. I am in need of some rest and some lower mileage as the past two weeks I have ended up with 55 miles. I can't wait for next week because after TRT I took a week off from work. My last real vacation was a little bit over a year. Yes, I have taken a day off here and there, but those day's off weren't really day's off. What big plans do I have? Well, not much. Just to enjoy it to the fullest.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

A Little Talk and Mentally Back

After last Thursday disastrous long run I have been inside my head, well that is until my good friend Anthony stopped by the store on Friday and we talked about my run. He believes in me and told me that since I did hill repeats on Monday and then a few mile hill repeats on Tuesday that by Thursday my legs were feeling those tough workouts hence the reason for the tough run. He also told me that I am ready for Tahoe Rim Trail and his energy and excitement when he talked rubbed off on me.

After his little inspirational talk, I was feeling a lot better especially with a few weeks until the race. I have run the 50k course twice now and every time I finish it I swear I am never run it again, but as you can tell each time registration comes around I sign up and this year I went for the 50 miler. I guess I really wanted to challenge myself. Or I am crazy!

With knowing how tough the course is I have been really focused on developing power, with weekly hill workouts and my long runs have to been to Cool and back which gives me the nice climbs and descents.

This week after the pep talk from Anthony I asked him "should I do hills this week?" His response "YES!" So on Monday that is just I did. After work I ran over to "my hill" and completed the hill workout. It was tough going as it was pretty warm and the sun just baked me and my breathing was labored more so then usually. But you know what? I stuck it out and completed the workout all by myself. Of course in my head I was training with Trailmomma and I would push myself because she pushed me when we did our workouts together.

On Tuesday I decided to take the day off, as I thought my legs could use a bit of recovery. I believe that was the smartest move I have made this week thus far! Yesterday after work I headed out to the Parkway and did 2 sets of mile repeats before calling it a day up the nice long rolling hill to Beals. Of course the parkway was packed with families out on their bikes and a few times I literally had to jump into the bushes on the side of the trail because the bikes were crowding the shoulder. It was dangerous out there.

Overall my legs felt good, I kept a nice and steady pace and didn't stop when I reached the turnaround point, I would quickly turn around and head back down and once down I would turn and head back up. I am sure some people gave me questionable looks, because who does repeats on that hill in the middle of the day when the sun is beating down on you?

My legs this week are feeling more alive and I think that has something to do with my eating. I think last week I didn't eat enough and by Friday I was really depleted. Mentally I am checked back in because I think on the last long run on Thursday I checked out which made that run even more difficult. I have a nice four day weekend ahead and this weekend came at a very good time. I plan on enjoying some time with the family and good friends.