Archive | February, 2016

that whole training thing…

14 Feb

I’ve been on a decent roll with my training for months now…I trained so hard for Virgil, came out of that, trained a bit for Mendon, and then managed to keep my miles up around 30ish a week (with some decent elevation gain AND plenty of strength training thrown into the mix) until February.  If I’m being honest with myself, this is the hardest I’ve ever worked at my running–before Virgil training, there was “training,” but it was never serious, focused or as hard.  So I was proud of how well I’d transitioned into more serious running and how well my body seemed to be responding.


Then Eric’s dad got sick and the whole training plan kind of went to shit.  Running was at a minimum…there were more important things going on.  We came home and now the weather has been awful–single and negative digit temperatures with enough wind to make for -25 to -30 degree wind chill temperatures.


So needless to say, my miles are down.  And I could be upset about that and keep making excuses, except I hate when other people bitch and make excuses.  Just own your shit.  The past few weeks I’ve had plenty of excuses for why I didn’t get my miles in.  I was getting down on myself for what I was viewing as some really negative weeks of training (the reality is that up til 3-4 weeks ago, things were mostly right where they should be).


But then I started to think about some of the positives in the past couple of weeks:

  1. I ran a trail marathon at Cast a Shadow last weekend.  I had not necessarily planned to run the race at all, much less to go that far, particularly after the previous three weeks of hospice stuff.  I wanted to quit many times that day, but I dug deep and found it in myself to keep plugging along–relentless forward progress and all that.
  2. I managed to do some ok speed work a handful of times.  I do not find that type of running to be enjoyable (although the end result of knowing what I did is pretty great).  But we were doing loops around the block at Eric’s parents’ house, and to break up the monotony we decided to hit it hard for 800’s.  And I didn’t die.  And I wasn’t horrifically slow, in spite of not having done any speed in months.
  3. I got out yesterday and today, both days that I would’ve said “ef that” a year or two ago.  Yesterday it was easily -30 when we ran…the wind was whipping snow everywhere.  I ran in an Omni-heat base layer, a shell jacket, Omni-heat hat, huge infinity scarf, ski goggles, tights and regular snowpants–like the big, thick, poofy ones.  I was still a little cold.  But we did 2 loops at Durand, one on each pair of snowshoes we’re testing for Backpacker this winter.  And again I didn’t die.  But I was pretty slow. 😛  Today it was slightly warmer (I wore the same outfit minus the snow pants, instead I just wore some water proof shell pants and I did take the ski goggles off about halfway through–so much warmer!).  I did 7 miles on snow shoes.  The trail was completely untouched–over 6 inches of powder-y, fresh snow.  Eric broke trail, but even with him out front there was still plenty of snow to contend with.  It was exhausting, hard work.  My effort level was way higher than it normally is on my long runs.  The time on feet thing will have to do for today because I was mentally done after the two loops we did.


So mileage has been down for a couple of weeks now.  But I’d say that my mental game has been challenged repeatedly, and in ultras that’s a major part of the battle.  So I’m hoping the mental training will continue to build and I’m planning to start building up actual miles again while we’re off this week.  We have some fun hikes and runs planned, and I’m excited to keep testing the snowshoes we’ve got (kind of…) and enjoy some warmer temps (30 degrees! wahoo!).   And when I look back at my training before Virgil, I see that this is around what I was doing (actually maybe a little less even) before that, so I am fine.  Build the miles when I can and know that winter is only going to last a little longer and then I can really start building miles again.  I can hardly wait!


what a ridiculous-looking crew we make.  the scenery was gorgeous this morning, though.