Saturday, November 19, 2011

Ultra Training Week 12 and the Power of a Strong Mind

It won't be long until November is over and taper time will begin! I can't believe December is so close!  For this week, here are the totals:

Sunday, Nov 13 - Ran 7 miles that afternoon.  Ran 2 to the local YMCA, ran 3 on the treadmill with Shannon, and ran 2 home.  The first two were awful.  I really thought I would not make it.  I think that was due to the half-marathon the day before, dozing on the couch, and a bowl of ice cream after lunch. It got better, though.  The treadmill part was good and I left the pace at 9:50 for most of it.  Then I ran home and felt a ton better, with my last mile split at 8:29.

Monday, Nov 14 - Ran 10 morning miles, 9:53 pace.  I ran 6 with the girls but Katie wanted 10 so I continued with her and I was so glad I did! 

Tuesday, Nov 15 - Ran 6.3 solo morning miles in the warm, humid air at 8:50 pace.  My legs were super tired, but I got it done.  Attended the Turbokick class at the gym that night.  I love that class, but I have paid for my long absence from it all week!  Ouch!  I may have been a little two enthusiastic with my uppercuts and hooks. 

Wednesday, Nov 16 - Ran 6.7 morning miles at 9:13 pace.  Ran solo again because it rained out the early morning crew.  Another run with tired legs, but I was glad the rain stopped and I got out there.

Thursday, Nov 17 - I was too tired that morning, but I attended the Body Attack (I feel so hard core saying that) class that night at the gym.  This was the first time I'd attended this class and it was tough, but great.  High cardio with lots of jumping around and throwing my arms in the air.  The instructor was awesome and hilarious, which kept me grinning even when she yelled, "High knees!" for the 50th time.

Friday, Nov 18 - Ran 6 morning miles with Katie and Tracey.  The warm, humid weather left us a COLD morning in which to run.  We warmed up quickly, though, and I enjoyed our morning jaunt around 9:36 pace. 

Saturday, Nov 19 (today) - Ran 10.3 morning miles with Katie.  She was doing her long run of 20 miles and shooting for an 8:55 pace since that is her pacing time for the Rocket City Marathon (she's the 3:55 pacer).  When we first started I felt tired and creaky (this may have much to do with Turbokick and Body Attack), but once we got going I felt better.  I had no idea what sort of pace we were doing as I got lost in our conversation, but I completed my 10.3 in 1:32:00 which is around 8:50 average pace.  I left Katie right before mile 10 to head back and when my watch beeped the 10 mile split, it showed an 8:55.  I grinned. 

My weekly total is 46.1 miles.

I have NO idea what the deal is this time around in my ultra training.  Is it the cold and the dark?  Is it my knee knob?  Is it all the sports nutrition/running form/pose method/training talk in which I've engaged this semester that has muddied the waters when I think about training?

Whatever it is, it's annoying.  I had a great talk with Jason about it all over dinner last night.  I talk with other runners and trainers and athletes with different perspectives, and I begin to doubt what I know and what I think as I consider what they've said.  But when I talk to Jason, everything makes sense.  If there is anyone I trust to really know what he's talking about, its Jason (my amazing 2:38 marathoner, Ironman husband).

One thing he said last night was that I have to do what I believe is necessary to run a 50 mile ultra run.  The mind is a powerful tool and if my mind believes I have done what was needed and that I'm ready, then I'm ready.  While I believe knowledge, research, and experience are important factors when training and seeking to improve, I also agree with his statement about the mind. 

So here's what my mind is telling me.  My mind is sort of aggravated that I've let all this information crowd in and change my training strategy mid-course.  However, my mind also knows that I've been consistent in my training.  My mind knows that I am tough and my mind knows what I have done before.  It remembers the marathons and the previous ultras.  My mind knows I can dig deep. I also have people like Jason and Katie and my mom to remind me of these things when I forget.

Would I change a few things that I've done up to this point?  I would.  I would do more.  Despite that I still believe I can complete this 50 mile.  It may not be the most impressive time.  There may be (will be) lots of room for improvement.  And when it is all said and done I will have learned some great lessons, providing more ammunition for a strong mind and future races...


  1. I'm really impressed with anyone that can do 50 miles regardless of the time! That is an amazing accomplishment!

  2. I am glad I could offer you the very same encouragement you offered me before Chicago. And look, you were right about my training; now it's time to believe in yours!!!