Life's little adventures, accompanied by a running watch

Monday, September 24, 2012

A Training PR!

Some of you know I’ve been training all summer for Stone Cat 50 which takes place in early November.  I’ve got a decent number of marathons under my belt, but trail running has been new to me.  And the distance is….intriguing.

Fast forward to this past weekend; a 10.5 mile training run, followed by my longest training run ever of 31.18!  Scott mapped out a challenging route that included 16 miles of trails and 15 miles of road.  Here’s what it looked like on the elevation chart –

The course fell nicely into 3 loops –
  1. 1st 6 miles on trails in the dark with headlamps.  Bella rocked this 6 miles alongside us! 
  2. Next 12 miles on roads.  Hilly but manageable.
  3. Finally, 2 loops on trails of ~ 5 miles each.  Also hilly (refer back to elevation chart) but manageable.
And here’s the prettier version –

So lucky that I can run to/within this beautiful wildlife conservation area!  Check out the crane!
Trail head, where miles ~19 to ~29 went down

Our drop box....aka our BFF for our later miles!
Here’s what I learned from my 31 miler –
  • The anticipation was much more intense than the actual run
  • Very similar to marathon training; more mileage of course, but same mental focus (just for a longer period of time)
  • Falling (only once!) doesn’t have to be earth shattering to my running psyche
  • Although I could curse the latter 10 miles on trails for the difficulty, I realized just how valuable that was.  It was a great simulation of running on trails when my legs/feet/mind are tired.
  • Training in the dark on trails with a headlamp was a great way to take that mystery out of the equation!
  • Clusters of migrating birds can easily be translated into applauding spectators (hey, it worked!) 
  • I’ve confirmed a number of successful foods that seem to work without much intestinal fanfare (i.e. peanut butter cracker sandwiches, jelly sandwich, pretzels, Coke).  The chicken soup and potatoes worked OK previously, but during the 31 miles, I had absolutely no interest.
  • Too much GU in the first 18 miles left my stomach a little queasy; thinking that more food instead of GU might solve that.
  • Salt tablets were my friend
  • An endless loop of “Call Me Maybe” in my head was also my friend.  Don’t judge.

 


20 comments:

  1. Congrats on your training run PR! PB crackers were my go to fuel. A little dry but did not bother my stomach at all!!

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    1. Thanks Kristy! They also went well w/ the Coke I planted - yum!

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  2. Congrats, Lisa! I can't imagine eating all that food without GI distress, but then again I can't imagine doing an ultra either....

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    1. Other than the distance itself, the eating part of the equation has always been my concern (and probably most people attempting the distance). Not only from the GI perspective, but also because i'm a super slow eater! My husband keeps reminding me my "transition area" shouldn't be like sitting down to dinner....oops.

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  3. I always find that the anticipation is much worse than the actual thing. Nice job!!! That's really awesome to have a new distance PR.

    Also, I once had the "Friday" song in my head during a 5K. I ran a good race, so I won't judge you. :-)

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    1. Thanks Elizabeth! The "Friday" song...yep, you totally get it :)

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    2. Oh, my darling daughter, you never cease to amaze me!

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  4. one of my ultra runner (100) friends has told me to, and I quote "just go ahead and fall and get the first fall behind you" I'm told he falls down often....

    I should do some experimenting with salt tablets in the summer.

    the trail running will make you super strong. I should do more, but I fear injury (I don't pick my feet up) , and I don't have convenient trails in my area.

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    1. Thanks, that's good advice on the fall! I took my first salt tablet during Boston's sweatfest - yeah, always a good idea to try something new in the middle of a marathon. Totally fine ;) Fortunately, I did fine with it, so have continued to use during those very hot/humid/high-sweating runs.

      I agree on becoming stronger via trail running. I'm definitely getting stronger - physically and mentally. I still hate to fall though!!

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  5. Wow- I'm really impressed!! A 31 mile run with a lot of elevation change...after a 10 miler!
    That's awesome you're learning so many lessons during each run too!

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    1. Thanks Abby! I am definitely learning a lot from each run. Hopefully it all pays off on race day :)

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  6. That's amazing training! Thanks for sharing the details!

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    1. Thanks Tina! I get so much from reading about others' training - the good, the bad, the ugly - so feel like others might benefit from what I'm learning/experiencing.

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