ct50 pre-race report

29 May

I can’t believe we are now less than a week away from CT50!  In one week, I will be hobbling around Treman campsite getting ready to pack up and head home.

 

The first time I was ever on trails in Ithaca, we were aid stationing for this race.  I think it was in 2012…I had just started to run on trails, and by trails I mean Seneca Park was my favorite place to run.  Not that there’s anything wrong with Seneca Park–but it’s flat, untechnical, and wide.  I think at the time I was probably training for a road marathon or something and I needed to run 10 miles or so.  I went with Eric, Ron and Mort to do the first 5 of the course.  I think after the first half mile, I was already cursing and throwing a fit, and by 2, Ron and Mort were gone.  I may have made it another mile or so…hiking…and then hiked back.  “Who the fuck runs that kind of shit?” I think I said something like that.

 

And that attitude continued for years.  It was a well-known fact around here that I despised running hills.  In fact, I refused to do it.  If there was a flat option, I’d take it instead.  If the hill was the only option, I’d walk it.  And bitch. The whole way up.  I don’t know why.  Looking back, it’s kind of embarrassing.  I’m not soft.  WTF was wrong with me?

 

I don’t know when the switch flipped.  I’d say probably sometime during training for Virgil last summer.  I realized that hills don’t kill me.  They make me stronger.  They make me feel like a badass.  And they give me a great ass and quads.  Win. Win. Win.

 

We’ve aid stationed every year of the race since that first time.  I’ve never really gone on the course…that first time scared me off I guess…Last year, I went out to run part of it again.  And I couldn’t believe how breathtakingly beautiful everything was.  I kept stopping to take pictures, to take it all in, to enjoy.  Enjoy.  Hiking up the stairs next to Buttermilk Falls, I was enjoying myself.  Huh?

 

Now…I’m not going to lie and say I like hills.  There are people who I think genuinely love to climb and run up steep shit.  I am not one of them. Climbing is not fun to me.  It IS, however, a challenge.  And man do I love challenges.  I love looking back on them and saying “wow I was really strong and here’s how I can be stronger next time.”  I love thinking about the strategy of the challenge–what can I do to emphasize my strengths as a runner and minimize my weaknesses?  I love the focus that it takes, the getting from point a to point b in the quickest, most efficient way possible.

 

I am excited for next weekend.  I wish it were now (except for this godforsaken heat and humidity that needs to go away).  I’m ready for the work, the pain, the beauty in the suffering that all of us will share out there on the trails.  I’m ready to push my body, to see what my training allows me to do this time around.

 

There are things that I can reflect on and know that I did well this cycle (compared to my only other 50 mile training cycle):  I ran more miles, with more elevation gain, at a faster overall pace.  I trained specifically for this race by working stairs in–at White Lady’s Castle and at Letchworth–at the end of runs, in the middle of long runs, and when I didn’t want to do any more stairs.  I did more mid-week mid-distance running.  I felt stronger during most of it.

There are things that I wish I’d done better:  My diet wasn’t the best (I craved chicken wing dip and Oreo McFlurries this cycle), but it wasn’t the worst either.  I find it tough when running huge miles to a. get enough calories of the “right stuff” and b. feel like actually preparing the “right stuff” and c. actually want to eat the “right stuff” when you know that you can technically eat junk because you just burned 2000 calories on your run…I was ok, but there’s definitely a ton of room for improvement.

 

There are things that I am nervous about:  The weather has been ungodly hot and humid.  It’s supposed to break between now and next week.  I can’t control it either way, so I’m doing my best not to worry.  There will be a lot of other Rochester people out there.  This is a good thing in some ways–seeing familiar faces can be a big boost energy-wise.  But I can be a head case.  Why am I behind this person? Why I am in front of this person?  That person loves hills/is super experienced at ultras/is a better runner than me…I need to speed up/slow down/quit running all together.  I think I will be ok on race day–I have gotten much stronger mentally, and I know that a lot can change in a 50 mile race, even just in the course of a mile or two…

 

The things I need to do the rest of the week: Hydrate well.  Keep my nutrition on point.  Visualize feeling strong and in control out there all day Saturday.  Get an actual plan together for the race.  Focus on me and what I am doing on Saturday and not worry about others.  Follow my plan.  Stay in control.  Embrace the suck when it happens.  Love what I’m doing.  Love my body for allowing me to do it.  Love my husband for being there to crew for me, to support me through all the training, to be my coach and voice of reason during training and during the actual race.

 

As with many of my “great” plans for races, it started with a “who the f would do that?” changed to  “I wonder how it would feel to do that or how fast I could do that…” and it’s going to end with an epic adventure next weekend!!!

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One Response to “ct50 pre-race report”

  1. Rekkless Running May 29, 2016 at 10:55 pm #

    Can’t wait to be out there with you!!

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